The following guidelines, defined by the vice provost for information services and the university registrar, apply to the release of email addresses in compliance with FERPA and OSU’s policy, Acceptable Use of University Computing Facilities, which states, "The electronic mail system shall not be used for "broadcasting" of unsolicited mail (unless authorized by the department chair or unit head) or for sending chain letters. (Broadcast means more than one person as recipient; Unsolicited means without authorization.)

The communication system "shall not be used for sending of material that reasonably would be considered obscene, offensive, or threatening by the recipient or another viewer of the material." See Acceptable Use of University Computing Resources.

Authorizing Agents:
  • Unit heads can authorize unsolicited broadcast emails to recipients within the unit.
  • The special assistant to the provost can authorize unsolicited broadcast emails to faculty and staff.
  • The Registrar's Office can authorize unsolicited broadcast requests to the entire student body or to subsets of students.
Criteria for Authorization of Student Email Messages:
  • The purpose of the email must be related to the university's educational mission with specific relationship to the students being contacted.
  • The email must be memo style, not promotional, and must not appear to be advertising.
  • Parameters used for selecting the student recipients should be so defined that only students who possibly might be interested will be contacted.
  • Student surveys may be approved if the survey will provide data that will improve the unit's services or offerings to students.
Prohibited Messages:
  • Sales of any kind.
  • Anything for profit.
  • Anything viewed as advertising, even for academic or university business, even if there is no fee.

If a request is denied, the requestor will be encouraged to use postal mail.