UCR Policies and Procedures

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Campus Policy Number: 350-04

Correspondence (Special Designations and Handling)

Policy Owner:Mail Services
Effective Date:12/1/89

  2. Guideline for special designations and handling of correspondence were developed by the Office of the President for use throughout the University for the following reasons:

    1. To protect individual rights of privacy.
    2. To resolve confusion concerning the handling of correspondence.
    3. To provide appropriate designations for correspondence requiring special handling.

    1. Highly sensitive correspondence is defined as material that is determined by the sender to be seen first by the addressee only. The sender accepts any possible delays in action which may result from the temporary absence of the addressee.
    2. Envelope: FOR ADDRESSEE ONLY

      Correspondence: CONFIDENTIAL

    3. Less sensitive correspondence is defined as material determined by the sender to be circulated on a limited, need-to-know basis (i.e., only within the office of the addressee). Normally, such mail will be opened by the addressee or by a person so authorized by the addressee.
    4. Envelope: CONFIDENTIAL

      Correspondence: CONFIDENTIAL

    5. General distribution correspondence is defined as material which may be circulated freely within the University, but for which public distribution is not authorized.
    6. Envelope: (No Designation Necessary)

      Correspondence: UNIVERSITY USE ONLY

  5. Special designations should be placed on the lower left-hand side of the envelope. On correspondence, designations should be placed on the upper left-hand side of each page.

    Correspondence containing any of the above designations is not authorized for public distribution.

  7. Due to the continuing sensitivity of individuals to their rights of privacy, departments should periodically review their practice for processing mail addressed to persons within the department.

    1. Interdepartmental envelopes should not be used for personal or confidential mail. Mail received in intedepartmental envelopes is considered institutional and will be opened and distributed by department personnel assigned this task.
    2. University (Office of the President, other UC campuses, other Universities) and Government envelopes: In the absence of any commonly accepted indication of requested confidentiality, such as "Personal", "Confidential" or "for Addressee Only", mail received by the department in university or government envelopes is considered to be institutional and is subject to opening and processing by the department prior to distribution.
    3. All other mail: Mail addressed to an office marked to the attention of an individual is treated as being addressed to the office and not to the individual unless it carries a designation of confidentiality. Mail addressed to an individual, via the department address, is to be delivered unopened, unless blanket authorization to open such mail has been given by the addressee.
    4. Special circumstances: Departments should implement procedures for handling correspondence during vacations or leaves so that mail which may be official university business does not remain unopened. In cases of unexpected absences, unopened mail that is marked "Confidential" or "Addressee Only" may be referred to the dean's office or the appropriate Vice Chancellor for identification of correspondence that requires official university response. If there is any indication that the correspondence is personal or non-university related, it should be forwarded unopened to the addressee or returned to the sender.