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20 October: update on the progress of the email policy

The ISC received revised policy recommendations at its meeting in September and agreed that the next step should be a programme of communication and engagement to test the principles and gather further data to help inform the final policy draft. Colleagues are currently working on the consultation package. Once this is ready, it will be shared with the University community and there will be a consultation period of at least 2 months. The aim will be to gather feedback as widely as possible, and so the consultation will be supported through a range of communications channels. Given the two-month consultation period, and the need for Council to approve the new policy, there are likely to be no changes arising from it until October 2022 at the earliest.

Users should note that development of the email policy is completely separate from the process to replace Hermes with Exchange Online. All current Hermes users will need to complete the move from Hermes by the end of this year, regardless of whether they think they might be affected by the email policy. This includes all retired staff. Further information on how to do this will be emailed directly to Hermes users on Wednesday 27 October.

Work is currently underway to define a policy for the provision of email mailboxes for the Collegiate University.

UIS is leading development of a policy on eligibility for email services in the and domains. Drafts of the policy proposals have been discussed by the Information Services Committee (ISC) and a sub-group it established to provide UIS with guidance and support in refining it.

Copies of the policy proposal documents are available: version 1, version 2.

The ISC, its sub-group members and UIS much value the comments received to date on this topic from the University community. The feedback provided and concerns raised have been immensely useful in guiding the discussions and development of the policy, including the need to ensure support for those who continue to be academically active in retirement. Further work is needed to refine the next draft, version 3, and devise appropriate transitional arrangements in the light of feedback received. 

Once the ISC is content with the proposed policy, it will be made available to the community for wider comments for a minimum two-month period (this may be longer to take account of the long vacation). Following this, the ISC will consider whether any further amendments are required before it makes a recommendation to the General Board and Council.

The proposed policy doesn’t include anything that alters the validity of CRSids or the access rights associated with them, other than with respect to email addresses. 

It is also technology neutral - that is, it aims to define eligibility for an email address irrespective of the platform on which it is delivered. The policy can therefore be developed in parallel with the planned decommissioning of Hermes.

This means that individuals who have retired from the Collegiate University, whose email is currently hosted on Hermes, will be contacted in the coming months with instructions on how to move to Exchange Online. This can proceed independent of the outcomes of the policy review.

Any ongoing concerns or comments about the policy proposals should be addressed to for the attention of the committee. Any technical queries relating to the transition from Hermes to Exchange Online should be addressed to the UIS Service Desk (

Last updated on 20 October 2021

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