Written by Darcy Hryn-Bird
The results of a recent ASPA member survey showed that 66% (of those who responded) of ASPA members are graduates of the University of Saskatchewan. This means that you have been given a usask.ca email account which is yours for life.
Although this is a really good bonus, this is also the email address that you are using during your employment at the University. This creates some challenges should your employment relationship with the University end for some reason, particularly if you use the usask.ca email for your personal use.
Should your employment relationship with the University end for whatever reason your usask.ca email address will be deactivated. There will be an out of office message put on your account saying that you no longer work at the University. However, we have had instances, after a member’s departure, where the employer has forwarded incoming messages to another individual in the same unit. ASPA has asked that this does not happen but we have seen “email forwarding” occur in a couple of cases. ASPA will continue to advocate that emails should not be forwarded as we believe that this is a breach of your privacy.
For anyone who is a University of Saskatchewan Alumni, after a period of at least thirty (30) days following your departure, you would have the ability to reactivate your account by contacting Alumni Relations. There is no guarantees however that you will have all of your emails, contacts or anything in your calendar returned to you. In fact, we have just learnt that your supervisor is responsible to review your emails and remove those related to work prior to it being reactivated.
Having your account deactivated is less of a challenge should your exit be voluntary as you can plan for this departure by providing a new address to your personal contacts, making sure you have copies of your contacts and cleaning out all of your personal items off your email and computer. This becomes quite a challenge should there be a sudden exit like that of a layoff.
So, what are we suggesting? Here are a few suggestions regarding the use of your usask.ca account:
- Whether you are an Alumni or not only use the usask.ca account only for work purposes.
- Keep a backup of your contacts in another location.
- Don’t keep personal emails in a folder in your usask.ca outlook account. Send those to another account for use and storage.
- Store or document important personal calendar appointments in another location easily accessible to you at home.
- When saving an email or document on your work computer ask yourself if you would need this if your employment relationship ended today. If you do, consider storing it somewhere else.
On another note, you may also wish to consider where you store personal documents on your work computer. Not entirely recommended but if you do store them on your work computer keep them in one or two folders that are clearly marked as personal and easily found. This is helpful should they need to be retrieved by someone other than yourself upon your departure.
ASPA members have a reasonable expectation of privacy when using the employer’s equipment and systems. This line becomes a bit blurry when we have personal and work items meshed together.
As always, if you have any question regarding this topic or any other matter please contact the ASPA Member Services Officer, Glenn Billingsley, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 306-966-7392.