The latest news out of N.C. State University involves an e-mail account maintained by former Chancellor James Oblinger. Turns out, the chancellor had two accounts - one for general university business and the other for high-importance stuff requiring a speedy response.
Problem - many of those e-mails are missing. Nobody over at NCSU - in trying to respond to demands from federal authorities - can find the e-mails but are trying to re-create them.
The N&O's Joe Neff has the story here.
It got me to thinking about whether it was standard for campus chancellors to use two e-mail accounts, so I put some questions to Joni Worthington, the UNC system's spokesperson.
Here are the highlights:
Is it customary for campus chancellors to use two email accounts? If
so, are they told specifically to do so? If not, do some do so? Which
I believe that several of the campuses have a "generic" email address for the chancellor (e.g., "chancellor@....) that's posted on the website, etc., that is different from the email address that the chancellor uses in the ordinary course of business.
There is no question that all email accounts used by a chancellor would be considered public accounts and should be treated accordingly. There has never been a directive from General Administration advising chancellors to use a second email account, and I do not know which chancellors use dual addresses.
Does President Bowles use two email accounts?
President Bowles has only one email account.
When a reporter or member of the public requests a chancellor's
emails on a particular topic, are they drawn from all accounts that
When responding to documents requests for a chancellor's email (whether from media or the general public), relevant email should be captured from all accounts, whatever the email address. I certainly believe that to be the University-wide practice.
There is no problem with a chancellor using more than one university email address, so long as all accounts used in the course of conducting University business are appropriately treated as public accounts.