Student Email Communication Policy

Students enrolled in the College of Nursing’s degree programs are expected to conduct all communication (electronic and otherwise) in a professional manner. In addition to the policies outlined in the Essential Qualifications for Nursing Students document and the University of Arizona’s Student Code of Conduct the faculty of the College of Nursing has outlined the following expectations:

Email communications are important and encouraged. For general emails, faculty and staff will reply to general questions or concerns within 2 to 3 business days, Monday through Friday, during business hours (8:00AM-5:00PM). Emails received after 5:00PM, may not be responded to until the next business day. Emails will not be responded to on the weekend. Please also note the time zone differentials for non-Arizona residents. Arizona does not participate in Daylight Savings Time. Exceptions to this policy (e.g. faculty or staff are out of town, are ill or on leave) will be noted by an automated ‘out of office response’. For course related emails, please note that individual instructors may provide additional expectations for email or discussion communication in course syllabi.

All students are expected to adhere to the University of Arizona’s Official Student Email Policy. This policy applies to messages from faculty, staff and all college or university officials. Timely review and response to email messages is vital to student success. The policy states that “students are expected to check their email on a frequent and consistent basis in order to stay current with University-related communications. Students have the responsibility to recognize that certain communications may be time- critical. "I didn't check my email", error in forwarding mail, or email returned to the University with"Mailbox Full" or "User Unknown" are not acceptable excuses for missing official University communications via email”. The College of Nursing expects that students will reply to emails from faculty and staff within 2 to 3 business days, Monday thru Friday, during business hours (8:00AM-5:00PM). Please note that all emails sent using the official University of Arizona email system are considered the property of the State of Arizona and may be subject to a subpoena during legal action.

Students are expected to use appropriate etiquette when communicating with faculty and staff in the College of Nursing. This applies to in person, telephone or electronic communications (emails, discussion board posts in D2L for coursework, etc.). Manners matter in professional communication. Appropriate etiquette should adhere to the guidelines below:

  • Open with a salutation (e.g., Hi, Hello, Dear Dr. or Ms. X) and finish with a closing (e.g., Best, Regards, Thank you, your name). Introductory emails should address faculty and staff more formally (Dear Dr. Smith or Hello Ms. Jones) unless the faculty or staff member has given permission to use their first name. It is appropriate to include a simple, “What would you like me to call you?” or “Is it ok to call you X?”question.
  • Use complete sentences and avoid jargon, especially text-type words (e.g. C U). This is especially important when sending messages from mobiledevices.
  • Be careful with humor and sarcasm; in written form humor does not always translate well. Sarcasm should beavoided.
  • Avoid typing a message in CAPSLOCK-this conveys anger or frustration just as raising one’svoice conveys such emotions over the telephone or inperson.
  • Do not use swear words or pejorative terms (e.g., calling someone stupid or a lousyfaculty).
  • Maintain a professional tone; remain neutral when discussing an issue or problem. This helps to engage the reader in finding a solution by avoiding negative emotions. Using “please” and “thank you” are appropriate, and another way to engage thereader.
  • Include complete information about the question or concern at hand. Emails should be brief; if ittakes more than 3 paragraphs to communicate about the issue or topic, an appointment to discuss on the telephone or in person is a more appropriateaction.
  • Avoid sending email in anger or frustration. Walk away from the computer and wait at least 24 hours. Email communications cannot be “taken back” and the damage caused by an ill-advised email can be permanent. In high-stress or emotional situations, ask a trusted friend or colleague to provide feedback before hitting “send”. Messages sent in anger may be interpreted as disruptive, abusive or threatening, making the sender subject a Student Code of Conduct violation.
  • Everyone makes mistakes. If an email was sent in frustration or anger, email an apology as soon as possible. A simple, “I am sorry and should not have sent that email. I apologize for my wording …” will go a long way to repair the damage to therelationship.
  • Proofread! Reread each email message to ensure it is clear and without grammar or spellingerrors. Remember that email is simply another professional behavior and a poorly crafted message is a negative reflection on one’s ability to communicateeffectively.
  • Remember any email you send can be forwarded toothers.
  • Use the “CC” and “reply all” functions sparingly. All students are expected to adhere to the chain-of- command communication tree outlined in the student’s Degree Program Handbook. Be mindful of creating excessemail volume when adding additional faculty, staff or students to an emailconversation.

For complaints, issues or concerns, a sample email checklist has been generated:

  • Tone (respectful, using positive words)?
  • Brief history or context of theproblem?
  • Outline of steps already taken to try and resolve theissue?
  • Explanation of why this is important.
  • What help isneeded?
  • Provide suggestions forresolutions?
  • Offer to meet in person/set a phone appointment discuss the topic further?

Students may contact the Office of Student Support & Community Engagement ( for any questions or concerns.


All CON students

Last Revised

July 2019