Email, University Communications

Effective: October 1, 2006
Updated/Revised: November 29, 2012
Contact: Information Technology Services (ITS)


Iowa State University must be able to communicate quickly and efficiently with faculty, staff, and students in order to conduct university business. Email is an acceptable and appropriate medium for such communications.

Policy Statement

Unless law, contract, or other university policy prohibits email or requires another form of communication, Iowa State University may send communications to faculty, staff, and students by email to their Iowa State University email address. It is expected that the email will be received and read by the recipient within a reasonable amount of time, as email communications may be time-sensitive. This includes communications intended to meet the academic and administrative needs of the university, including business that is critical to the operation and function of Iowa State University.

Security & Privacy

Email communications must comply with federal and/or state regulations and university policies including the Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources, and Electronic Privacy. Iowa State University will not request personal confidential information such as social security, credit/debit card, or bank account numbers be returned by email. Faculty, staff, and students are responsible for keeping their email passwords confidential, and must not share their password with others or leave it exposed.

University Email Address

University email addresses are of the form [Net- ID] and are included in university directory information. Current Iowa State University students are expected to have a University Net-ID and email address. Students may request that their university email address not be made public by completing a no information release request in the Office of the Registrar.

University faculty and staff are expected to have a University Net-ID and email address unless other provisions for university communications are made by their unit. Unit heads that have employees without email access, such as some Merit and temporary employees, must make reasonable accommodations for an alternative means of communication. Faculty and staff will choose a University Net-ID (email address) as part of the hiring process. The University Net-ID address will be suspended after the effective date of termination or separation from the university. A Net-ID may be sponsored by a university administrative officer or delegate for the purpose of carrying out university business.


Although students or employees may choose to forward their university email address to another email address, forwarding is not recommended. There is a risk forwarded email may be lost or blocked. Problems with forwarded email will not absolve the individual of responsibilities associated with university communications sent to their university email address.

Instructional Use

Faculty will determine how electronic communication, including email, will be used in their classes, and must specify those requirements in the course syllabus.