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IS-1008 Email

Communication

Release Date: 9/12/13
Revision Date: 9/29/15

Summary

Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) utilizes electronic messaging as a means of communicating with students, employees and vendors. Electronic mail (email) is a support service provided at CNM to enable these communications. CNM also defines the process for handling and retaining email.

Applicability

IS-1008 is applicable to all CNM employees and Third Parties who have been granted access and signed a CNM Non-Disclosure Agreement.

1. Purpose

  1. Define the required standards for email retention
  2. Designate the disposition of inactive email accounts
  3. Define the required standards and methods for College-wide Electronic Communications
  4. Define how CNM sensitive and restricted information may be transferred via email

2. Email Storage and Retention

All Employee email traffic may be archived as required to support CNM’s IS-2520 Record Retention, CNM’s IS-1002 Information Technology Use Policy and all Federal, State and Local regulatory requirements. All non-student CNM Email will be retained for 30 days following deletion in support of Email Storage and Retention.

It is the responsibility of each CNM Employee, Contractor or Third Party to understand and follow the retention requirements as described herein. The individual must classify messages and hold them as required below or forward them to Records Retention for storage as required herein.

3. Determining if an Email is an “Official College Record”

Email itself is not considered a record series or category. It is a means of transmission of messages or information. Electronic mail which contains information that is created or received by CNM in connection with official business is a public record that is subject to access and records management laws and regulations. Email messages which constitute public records must be identified, made accessible and retained in the same manner as records in other formats. Retention or disposition of email messages must be related to the information they contain or the purpose they serve.

The following list illustrates the types of email messages that document official business transactions:

  • Any message regarding, or relied upon in the development of management, financial, operating procedures, Administrative Directives, or policy matters or contain final reports or recommendations thereof
  • contain minutes of meetings or transcripts of hearings
  • regarding vital public information such as environmental reports
  • contain student enrollment, grade determinations, and disciplinary actions

Non-Records:

Email messages that do not meet the criteria of the definition of a record may be deleted at any time, unless they become part of some official record as a result of circumstances. The following types of messages may be considered non-records:

  • Personnel Correspondence: Any email message not received or created in the course of official CNM business may be deleted immediately since it is not an official record
  • Promotional material: Promotional material from vendors, and similar materials that are publicly available to anyone, are not official records unless specifically incorporated into other official records. These may include:
  • Unsolicited commercial material (UCE) or Junk mail, such as promotional material, spam, advertisements, phishing, etc.
    • Files copied or downloaded from internet sites which are not directly related to CNM business
  • Duplicate copies of messages sent to multiple people
  • Copies of documents distributed for convenience or reference
  • Announcements of social events, such as a retirement party
  • Messages to or from email distributions list (listserv) not directly related to CNM business

Transitory Email:

Much of the communication via email has very limited administrative value. For instance, an email message notifying employees of an upcoming meeting would only have value until the meeting has been attended or the employee receiving the message has marked the date and time in this or her calendar. These records can be deleted.

4. Email Management 

All College business records are owned by CNM, regardless of their physical location and format.  This includes email.

Email messages that are identified as a public record shall be maintained in accordance with CNM’s records retention and disposition schedule and records management plan and may not be permanently removed from CNM or destroyed except in accordance with approved record management, retention and disposition standards and schedules.

The retention and disposition schedule follows the State of New Mexico Administrative Code for educational institutions (1.15.3).

Retention of email records, when they are utilized for official business, depends on the business purpose of the email. Email generally falls into one of the following record series categories: 

  • Administrative Files;
  • Administrative Reference Files;
  • Administrative Correspondence Files;
  • General Correspondence; and,
  • Email correspondence concerning contracts.

These categories and examples thereof can be found at the State of New Mexico’s Public Records Commission website.

It is also the responsibility of each CNM department to develop and publish department-specific procedures for email management.

5. Retention of Electronic Email and Documents

CNM’s email systems are delivery systems for electronic communication.  The automated system cannot discern differences between information of limited or transitory value and that of lasting value.  The email system is backed-up daily and retained for a predetermined period.  However, the email system does not provide the functionality or long-term storage capability required to maintain official records for the College.

CNM faculty and staff should retain copies of important documents and correspondence sent by email by organizing them within a folder structure within each user’s mailbox.  Each office or department should provide guidance to determine which documents should be retained.

6. Employee Training

Employee training is mandatory and will be provided by the Human Resources department for all current and new employees with regard to these procedures.

In addition, each department will also provide, and make mandatory, the necessary training for their employees on the contents and specifics of departmental procedures.

7. Deactivation of Email Accounts

7.1. CNM will deactivate email accounts in accordance with CNM’s IS-1002 Information Technology Use. Accounts with archival value, as determined by the Human Resources department, will be retained for 5 years after an employees’ separation.

8. College-wide Electronic Communications

8.1. ITS is authorized to use CNM college-wide ITS-related emails to employees.

8.2. The President and/or MCO authorizes the use of CNM college-wide emails to employees.

8.3. The President and/or MCO authorizes CNM college-wide emails to students.

9. Transmission of CNM Sensitive and Restricted Information

9.1. Internal email messages being sent to an email address within the cnm.edu address space containing Restricted or Sensitive information, as defined in IS-1014 Data Classification and Handling, may be sent without restriction.

9.2. External email messages being sent to an email address outside the cnm.edu address space containing Restricted or Sensitive information, as defined in IS-1014 Data Classification and Handling, must be secured utilizing industry standard encryption tools. For additional information, please contact the ITS Information Security and Compliance team (infosec@cnm.edu).

10. Definitions

Archives — 1) The documents created or received and accumulated by a person or organization in the course of the conduct of affairs and preserved because of their continuing value; 2) The building or part of a building in which archives are preserved and made available for consultation; or 3) The agency or program responsible for selecting, acquiring, preserving, and making available archives

Classify  Using the guidelines provided, determine the nature of the document for the purposes of Records Retention.

Data — Symbols or characters that represent raw facts or figures and form the basis of information

Discovery — Required disclosure of relevant items in the possession of one party to the opposing party during the course of legal action

Disposition — A final administrative action taken with regard to records, including destruction, transfer to another entity, or permanent preservation

Document – An email attachment that contains a document or an excerpt of the email that may or may not meet the standard for a public record

Electronic Records Management — 1) The application of records management principles to electronic records; or 2) The management of records using electronic systems to apply records management principles

Information — Data that has been given value through analysis, interpretation, or compilation in a meaningful form

Lifecycle (of a record) — Distinct phases of a record's existence, from creation to final disposition

Record — Recorded information, regardless of medium or characteristics, made or received by an organization in the pursuance of legal obligations or in the transaction of business.

Records and Information Management — Field of management responsible for the efficient and systematic control of the creation, receipt, maintenance, use, and disposition of records.

Records Manager — The person responsible for the oversight and administration of the records management program in an organization

Retention Period — Length of time a record must be kept to meet administrative, fiscal, legal, or historical requirements.

Retention Program — A system established and maintained to define retention periods for records in an organization.

Retention Schedule — A comprehensive list of records series, indicating for each the length of time it is to be maintained and its disposition.

11. Related Information

Forms

  • Not Applicable

Support Materials

Reference Materials