Faculty & Staff Email


Administration & Finance


Information Technology Services

Effective Date: 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Revised Date: 

Thursday, November 3, 2016



This Practice Directive defines service offering, requirements and provisions governing the use of Faculty and Staff E-mail Services provided by SF State.


Purpose and Scope

This Business Practice Directive defines service offering, policies, requirements and provisions governing the use of Faculty and Staff E-mail Services provided by San Francisco State University. SF State supports one enterprise e-mail system providing all faculty and staff with an @sfsu.edu e-mail account for official University communication.


Faculty and Staff (employees) as defined by Human Resources are eligible for Faculty and Staff E-mail Services.

Primary Account

All SF State employees are required to have an SF State e-mail account to receive official University communication. Official University communications will only be sent to employees primary e-mail account. The first account generated will be considered the employees primary e-mail account.nd will be used for official communication.


Up to five e-mail aliases are available for multiple sending addresses for a given e-mail account (i.e., when messages will be forwarded to a common inbox). Exceptions can be requested from the Information Technology Services (ITS) Help Desk.

Secondary Accounts

Up to twenty-five secondary accounts will be provided to faculty members and administrators when the account holder intends to maintain separation between messages directed to different addresses. Secondary accounts must be renewed annually.

Departmental Accounts

Departmental accounts are associated with a department or college rather than an individual. Ownership of a departmental account is held, by default, by the department or college unit head (such as department chair, director or dean) regardless of who requested the account. Up to two individuals can be named to act on the unit head’s behalf to administer the account (for password changes, etc.). When necessary for business operations, departments can request that student employees use departmental accounts.

Unit heads are responsible for managing the security of departmental accounts and for changing the password on such accounts when employment or responsibility changes affect which individuals should have access to the account.

Suspending/Deleting Accounts (De-provisioning)

An e-mail account will be suspended or deleted according to the following procedures:

  1. Standard employment termination: Users who does not have a current faculty, staff or emeritus status will have their accounts terminated.
  2. Violation of Responsible Use Policy
  3. Accounts may be suspended, deleted or reassigned based on request from Human Resources (HR), University Police Department (UPD) or University Counsel.

Email Account Names

For ease of e-mail account provisioning across systems, e-mail account names shall be 2-32 characters in length. E-mail account name and last name changes will be performed within two weeks of requests. Full name changes should be first changed through HR. After completion of HR procedures, e-mail full name requests can be submitted to ITS.


Shared calendar features are supported on the Exchange server and are accessible using e-mail programs that support these features. By default, busy time will be visible to all other users on the Exchange e-mail system (no default start or end hours). Calendar settings can be changed using Outlook.

Mass E-mails

Mass e-mails are defined as messages sent to all students, all faculty and/or all staff when individual recipient addressees are not defined. ITS manages e-mail distribution lists of current faculty and staff based upon HR data. There is no opt-out provision for these lists. Messages sent to these lists require VP or presidential approval. Files may not be attached to mass e-mails but may be referenced through a Website.


Individuals forwarding e-mail are responsible for maintaining a current forwarding e-mail address. Individuals who handle sensitive information are encouraged not to forward e-mail for security reasons.

Maximum Recipients per Message

There is a limit of 300 recipients per message. Messages to larger groups require a VP or presidential approval.

Message Size

SF State will follow higher education standards regarding maximum allowed message size (including attachments); current message size limit is 20 MB.

Restore Items from Trash

Users can restore items from trash for 30 days by default. Thirty days after a message is moved to trash it is automatically deleted from trash. Users can empty trash manually at any time. If an account has a litigation hold all messages will remain discoverable.

Storage Quotas

Each e-mail account is allowed 5 GB of storage space. A method for checking storage usage will be provided through Outlook Web Access. The following notifications and actions will be taken as a user approaches the space quota:

  • Level 1 (85%): Issue warning, send message referencing best practices on managing e-mail
  • Level 2 (95%): Prohibit sending mail, send message referencing best practices on managing e-mail
  • Level 3 (100%): Prohibit send and receive, mail bounced back to sender.

Quota Exceptions:

Quota increase can be requested with business justification.



Passwords should not be stored in any e-mail clients, including handheld devices unless a strong secondary password or authentication is used.

Protocols Supported

SF State requires clients to use secure transport protocols (IMAP, SMTPS, HTTPS).

Securing Content

Securing the content of messages containing sensitive information is the responsibility of the individual user. Unencrypted e-mail messages are not a secure form of communication. Sensitive information, such as electronic Protected Health Information or Personally Identifiable Information should not be communicated via unencrypted e-mail.

Supported Clients

SF State central and distributed IT units strive to officially support the latest version and one earlier version of native Microsoft e-mail clients and at least one open source (no cost to use) Macintosh and Windows client. However, security, compatibility and other issues may delay adoption of new versions or expedite retirement of older versions of any specific client.

Virus Scanning

All internal and external e-mail will be scanned for malware.

Attachment Blocking

Any attachment with an extension included in the following list will be removed from the message, and replaced with a text file that explains why the attachment was removed. The e-mail message and any other attachments that do not match the filter will be allowed through.

  • 386 3gr add ade asp bas bat chm com cmd cpl crt dbx dll exe fon hlp hta inf ins isp js jse lnk mde msc msi msp mst ocx pcd pif reg scr sct shs shb url vb vbe vbs vxd wsc wsf wsh


Responsibility for implementing this Practice Directive will rest with users of SF State Exchange. Submit any apparent violation of Faculty and Staff Email Practice Directive to the appropriate administrative authority (vice president, dean, director, department, or program chair) or to service@sfsu.edu.


Noncompliance with applicable policies and/or practices may result in suspension of Email access privileges. In addition, disciplinary action may be applicable under other University policies, guidelines, implementing procedures, or collective bargaining agreements.