I just got this in my in box, with instructions from my division chair that all faculty members are henceforth to paste the following block of legalese into their e-mail signatures:This document may contain confidential information and is intended solely for the use of the addressee. If you received it in error, please contact the sender at once and destroy the document. The document may contain information subject to restrictions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Acts. Such information may not be disclosed or used in any fashion outside the scope of the service for which you are receiving the information.
—Mandatory Legalese in E-mail Signatures: Seeking PerspectiveLiteracy Weblog)
I certainly understand and appreciate the need to protect a student’s privacy, but quite frankly over the course of my daily communication, I often write e-mails that I want and expect people to forward. Long e-mail discussions will be somewhat harder to follow, and the emotional tone of even the friendliest “hello” sent to an incoming freshman or a “thank you” sent to a webmaster who has linked to my work will be considerably modified.
Does anybody else have any experience with this? How would you react if you were asked to append such a message to every e-mail you sent? What if received such an e-mail? Since I never see signatures like this from any of the colleagues I correspond with, I’m guessing that either this is a brand new thing that will sweep the nation, or Seton Hill is, to quote one of my colleagues, “using a hammer on an eggshell.”
P.S. I can’t actually comply with this until I get a computer with the full version of Outlook installed — unless there’s a way to change the signature via webmail.
Cross-posted to KairosNews, where you can add comments.
Update: Moments after I posted it, Charlie perfectly capsulized my concern: “Stick this legalese on the end of every email, and students will perceive every correspondence as formal.”