Brian -- at Notre Dame we've implemented a variation on quotas that helps
tremendously. It's similar to what was done down at Tennessee that worked
well for even a large school.
We implemented a soft quota/hard quota framework. We have a 100 Mb hard
quota, but a 14 day grace period (with essentially unlimited quota) before
mail is actually bounced. Each day, the person is dunned reminding them
they have X days left before mail is returned to sender. If they drop under
quota for 1 day, then the counter resets.
It gives our users the flexibility to send large attachments around but
ultimately forces them to be good stewards of resources. It also minimizes
the dilemma that you outlined. True...the chronic abuser will not receive
the campus communiqué, but our experience shows that to be a very small
percentage of total e-mail users at any given time.
From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Brian D. Voss
Sent: Friday, August 27, 2004 9:05 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [CIO] Mail quotas and 'official e-mail communication' requirements
I know we've had lots of discussion about e-mail quotas and the like, but
here's a policy question I don't recall having seen covered.
How do you reconcile two facts:
1. The institution has adopted a policy by which official communication
is done via e-mail. I.e., students are told that they must check their
e-mail for any notifications of an official nature from the institution.
2. IT organizations, that maintain mailstore environments, have quotas on
accounts, and when those quotas are exceeded the inbox is closed until
space is made available by the user through 'housekeeping' activities.
Where the rubber meets the road, of course, is:
What is the policy/practice when #1 is impacted by #2?
Is this, by policy, the student's responsibility to ensure their inbox is
able to accept mail? Or is this a case where the communicating entity
(the institution or a department thereof) receives the rejection
notification from the account and seeks other ways to communicate with
Or is it the case that it is the IT organization's responsible to remedy
the situation, by any number of means, such as: automatically increasing
quota; forcing delivery of official mail (how and how determined?), or
agressively seeking contact with that user to get them to address their
We have a policy at IU regarding official use of e-mail as official
correspondence (http://registrar.iupui.edu/iu-email.html). While it
nicely addresses the issue of forwarded mail (to non-IU accounts), this
issue of over-quota blocking is not covered. And of course, with Fall
starting and some student inboxes shut down (due to no review activity
over the summer), this is a current concern.
Brian D. Voss
Associate Vice President of IT (Telecommunications)
Office of the Vice President for Information Technology & CIO
Chief Operating Officer
Pervasive Technology Labs at Indiana University
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Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/cg/.