Text of May 2, 2005 letter to Senate from President McCormick acknowledging Report on E-mail Privacy:

I am writing in response to the University Senate’s Report on E-mail Privacy, which was approved at its November 19, 2004 meeting.  My thanks to the members of the Senate’s Faculty Affairs and Personnel Committee for their recommendations.

The administration supports the goals expressed in the Senate’s recommendations, ensuring that Rutgers provides an environment that promotes “the free and open communication and inquiry that are essential to a university.”  Community concerns about breaches of privacy – or the potential for such breaches – warrant our efforts to strengthen and clarify university policy in this regard.  There are, however, serious legal concerns about the effects of the proposed changes as they are worded in the resolution.  We are especially hesitant to adopt language within an e-mail privacy policy that might preclude the university from carrying out necessary investigations and other responsibilities.

I have asked General Counsel Jonathan Alger to appoint a member of his legal staff to work with my office and the Faculty Affairs and Personnel Committee to address the administration’s concerns and to work toward a policy that is acceptable to both the Senate and the administration.

Sincerely yours,
Richard L. McCormick

c:  Philip Furmanski, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
     Jonathan Algar, Vice President and General Counsel