Chapter Six: Statutory Compliance
Procedure Title: Email acceptable use and electronic records retention
Based On: Board Policies 1 and 5
Procedure Number: 6.16
Date Adopted/Revised: October 26, 2009; November 30, 2015

It is not acceptable to use the College's computer equipment or facilities

  • for any illegal purpose or act;
  • to transmit harassing, indecent, obscene, discriminatory, or fraudulent materials or messages;
  • to transmit or receive any materials in violation of either state or federal laws (e.g. copyright laws);
  • to send fraudulent or forged e-mail messages using the account of another person;
  • to use the account or password assigned to another person to gain access to College's equipment, files, or the network;
  • to damage, destroy, interfere with, or disrupt the operation of College owned and operated program equipment;
  • for any partisan political purposes; or
  • for any commercial pursuits or activities.

Messages sent or received via the SouthArk e-mail systems are public records, subject to public inspection, and are not confidential, unless specifically cited by statute. First and Fifth Amendment rights do not apply and the College reserves the right to restrict, retain, review, and distribute any message regardless of content and without notice in order to comply with all federal and state statutes, regulations, or court orders.

E-mail messages and electronic documents supporting official College business are subject to the same retention policies as written correspondence or paper documents. All substantive correspondence (implementing a rule or internal procedure, supporting a significant decision) has significant administrative importance and must be retained for four (4) years. In contrast, non-substantive correspondence is temporary and unremarkable (setting up an agency meeting, discussing matters that do not relate to state policy) and can be deleted as soon as it has served its purpose.

To comply with state regulations, all users of the SouthArk e-mail system are required to retain all substantive electronic correspondence and documents on the College’s host systems. Users should follow good filing and document handling procedures to organize these electronic records in a manner that will facilitate any regulatory or court ordered document discovery and review.

The College has implemented an e-mail archiving solution to facilitate its compliance with record retention and discovery requirements.  All correspondence traversing the College's e-mail service is archived and retained on a first in - first out basis for a period exceeding current retention requirements.

Arkansas regulatory guidelines and statutes limit the use of SouthArk e-mail to the academic, administrative, and service functions of the College. Use of the SACC-ALL distribution group is limited to official College business and may only be used to solicit donations, promote events sanctioned by the College, or in direct support of College affiliated groups.

Users should avoid sending messages soliciting donations or promoting events unless the user has prior knowledge that the recipient would be interested in supporting the event, organization, or activity and it is part of the larger service role of the College within the community (i.e. an activity or service that would be included in the annual monitoring report detailing community service).

Upon separation from the College, all of a user’s e-mail and electronic documents will be archived and copies made available to the user’s supervisor (in the event of a departing member of the president’s cabinet, copies will be made available to the appropriate administrative assistant to facilitate the ongoing operations of the College). Users will lose access to the College network and e-mail systems at separation and are prohibited by state regulations from purging their e-mail prior to their departure.

Departing users may, with their supervisor’s and the President’s approval, request that the College establish an automatic reply message in their SouthArk e-mail account notifying senders of their separation from the College and their new e-mail address for a period of sixty (60) days.