Email Standards

mark bering's picture


Students, faculty and staff are provisioned with a UCSF email account in order to conduct University business. In order to be eligible for a [email protected] account, you must have a:

  1. Current UCSF affiliation*
  2. Valid UCSF employee ID number.

*Current affiliation status is defined as having an 'Active' appointment in at least one of four source databases (Employees (OLPPS), Residents/Fellows, Affiliates, Students (SIS)).

If you don’t know your UCSF ID number, please contact your departmental HR representative to obtain your valid employee ID number.



[email protected] accounts are suspended upon separation from active affiliation from the University. Suspension takes effect on the night of separation in an automatic process. Absent of any requested legal holds, suspended email accounts are retained for 90 days, after which, they are deleted and all data is purged from the system.

[email protected] accounts** are suspended based on the following criteria:

  1. Employee separation from UCSF;
  2. Expiration of an employee's or contractor’s appointment;
  3. Request for discontinuance from either a UCSF manager or the UCSF Police.

Extending Access

Departments can extend temporary access to an account, allowing up to 90 days of access, by establishing the account extension affiliation (ACCEXT) status for faculty or staff within the Affiliates database.*

  • Suspended accounts can be re-enabled once the account extension affiliation has been established;
  • Work with your former department to establish your ACCEXT status;
  • Once completed, contact the IT Service Desk;
  • Upon status verification, the IT Service Desk will re-enable the account.

*Important: Because the account suspension process is automated, we recommend setting up ACCEXT status prior to your separation from the University. IT CANNOT setup ACCEXT status. Account re-enabling can only be done within 90 calendar days of account suspension.

Inactive Accounts

  • Accounts* on the [email protected] system will be identified as Inactive after 90 days of inactivity (90 days without a logon)
  • Accounts marked as Inactive will be disabled for a period of 60 days;
  • Inactive Accounts, absent of any legal holds, that have been disabled for 60 days will be deleted from the system.

*This applies to individual customer accounts and not resource accounts. Resource accounts will be subject periodic review.


Email Deletion and Recovery

  • Messages you 'Delete' (move to the Deleted Items folder) remain there until you empty your Deleted Items folder
  • When you empty your Deleted Items folder of its contents, it is moved to the Recoverable Items folder (this folder is not part of your , and held here for 30 days (the 30 days starts from the date the folder was emptied).
  • Additional information regarding this aspect of the Microsoft Exchange Online service can be found at


Use of Email at UCSF

  • The forwarding of mail through the [email protected] system to an outside email service is not offered for the following reasons:
    1. Government regulations (HIPAA), heightened security concerns, as well as audit requirements, require the [email protected] system to meet the strictest security requirements. When mail is forwarded through the [email protected] system, these security measures are bypassed.
    2. When mail only passes through the [email protected] system and does not remain on the server, it is not possible to resolve support issues when they arise. Thus, it is not possible to meet UCSF service and business level requirements when mail is forwarded

    See: Use of Third Party Email Systems at UCSF for further details.

Address Format

The [email protected] program adheres to the following naming convention:

  • [email protected]
    • For cases where there are multiple people with the same first and last names we will:
      • Append a numeric digit at the end of the last name, for example, [email protected] (the number will increase with each additional person of the same name)
      • If you are known by a different name than is listed in the campus directory – and all your colleagues, students, etc. refer to you by this common name (for instance, if your name is Margaret and everyone refers to you as Meg) - we will make your address [email protected])
      • Upon customer request, we will add the customer's middle initial, for example, [email protected]
  • Benefits of this standard:
    • Convenience – people will know what your email address is without having to look it up
    • Mobility – you can move from department to department and take your address with you
    • Ease – no need to repeatedly notify people and systems if you change jobs
    • Unity – a sense of belonging to the University as a whole, not just the department
    • Focus on support– streamlined addresses maximize the ability to focus on important support issues



  • UCSF IT provides customer assurance that:
  • IT - Field Services (ITFS) provides departments with a unified set of support services.  Click here for information on the criteria for basic support.
  • The [email protected] team team is committed to providing a seamless email experience. To meet this objective, we must limit the software clients we test as well as set achievable goals when certifying software compatibility.
  • The email support team can only address compatibility issues arising with software that has been certified for use.