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Student Electronic Communications (Policy 2280)

University Policy 2280

Download a Printable Version of Policy 2280

Effective Date

May 2013

Last Revision Date

November 03, 2023

Responsible Party

Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, (208) 426-1418
Office of Information Technology, (208) 426-1433

Scope and Audience

This policy applies to all students.

Additional Authority

  • The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. § 1232g
  • Idaho Code Title 74 Chapter 1 (Idaho Public Records Act)
  • Idaho Code § 28-51-104, 105 (Idaho’s Identity Theft Statutes)
  • University Policy 1020 (Public Records Management)
  • University Policy 8000 (Information Technology Resource Use)
  • University Policy 8100 (Institutional Messaging)

1. Policy Purpose

To establish email as an official mode of communication between the university and its students and to provide guidelines for the proper use of email and SMS (text message) communications.

2. Policy Statement

Boise State University must be able to communicate quickly and efficiently with its students to conduct University business. Email is considered an official mode of communication between the university and its students and is an acceptable and appropriate medium for such communication.

Text messaging may also be used to deliver official university communications that are critical to a student’s success. Messages that are critical to a student’s success are outlined in University Policy 8100 (Institutional Messaging) and fall under the “Must Know” and “Should Know” categories. Students are asked to provide their personal cell phone number when applying to Boise State; however, this decision is optional, and it should not be assumed that a mass text message will be received by every currently enrolled student.

3. University Student Email Addresses

a. All active students are provided with a University student email address.

b. Student email addresses may be deactivated after a specific amount of time away from the university.

c. In limited circumstances, an enrolled student’s University email address may be deactivated for violations of University policy at the request of the Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.

4. Expectations

a. Students are expected to read University email and SMS communications sent to their University student email address or personal mobile device in a timely fashion.

b. Unless law, contract, or other University policy requires another form of communication or prohibits sending a particular communication via email, faculty and staff may send emails to student email accounts. Topics are generally limited to business that is critical to the success of the student and matters intended to meet the academic and administrative needs of the university.

c. Any mass email communication sent to students that is not related to a specific course or program must be pre-approved by the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, or designee, following the guidelines as required under University Policy 8100 (Institutional Messaging).

Mass text message communications will be limited to “must know” or “should know” information as defined by University Policy 8100 (Institutional Messaging) and must not be used to announce events, messages of general interest, or fundraising.

5. Security and Privacy

a. Email and text message communications to students must comply with all University policies and applicable laws, including but not limited to FERPA and the Idaho Public Records Act. The university will not request or engage in email or text message transmission of personal, confidential information such as social security numbers and credit/debit card or bank account numbers.

b. Students are responsible for establishing and safeguarding their password and must not share it with others or leave it exposed for others to see (see University Policy 8000 – Information Technology Resource Use).

6. Forwarding

a. A student may choose to forward/redirect their university student email address to a non-University email address; however, forwarding/redirecting is not recommended as emails may be blocked or become lost.

b. Problems with forwarded/redirected emails do not absolve a student of their responsibility to read University communications sent to their University student email address.

7. Instructional Use

Instructors determine how electronic communication, including email, is used in their classes and should specify such requirements in their course syllabi.

8. Related Information

Office of Information Technology Website – Accounts & Access

Revision History

August 04, 2022; November 03, 2023