Use of Email for Official Communication Policy in Effect

By: Kerrin Perniciaro
Last Updated: March 22, 2017

In an effort to improve the reliability of electronic communications between students, faculty, and staff, Stony Brook University (including Stony Brook Medicine) is implementing a policy beginning Aug. 14, concerning the use of email for official communication that will apply to all community members who have been issued a Stony Brook University email account. Students, faculty, and staff will be responsible for receiving and reading official University communications at their primary campus email address ( or on a regular basis, or if permitted, forwarding their Stony Brook mail to a personal email account which they read regularly (instructions for Google Apps users only).

The primary campus email address ( or is the address to which the University sends official email notifications and will become the 'preferred' email address in SOLAR for all active employees and enrolled students beginning Aug. 14. Members of the community will no longer have the ability to designate a separate 'preferred' email address in SOLAR while they are actively enrolled or employed at the University, but they will still have the ability to enter a 'home' or 'other' email address, and are encouraged to do so.

As a reminder, the two largest University email systems at Stony Brook are:

  • Microsoft Exchange/Outlook - used by Stony Brook Medicine employees and students in the School of Medicine and School of Dental Medicine. To sign in to Stony Brook Medicine's Microsoft Outlook Web App, go to and enter your UHMC Domain username and password.

Related Policies

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why is Stony Brook implementing this policy?
To improve the reliability of electronic communications between students, faculty, and staff so that important messages are read in a timely fashion, and to reinforce the sense of community at Stony Brook.

Q. When is this happening?
A. August 14, 2013

Q. Is there any action I need to take?
There are two things to do: 1) Since you no longer have the option or ability in SOLAR of choosing a 'preferred' email address, start checking your Stony Brook email account for messages on a regular basis, or set up your mail forwarding if you are a Google Apps user. 2) Log into SOLAR and verify that any 'home' or 'other' email addresses are accurate and up-to-date.

Q. Am I permitted to forward my mail to a private account?
A. While not recommended, the majority of users are permitted but it varies by system. Google Apps for Education users may set up mail forwarding. Users with addresses may not forward their email because of concerns with ePHI.

Q. My EPO address email is sent to another email server on campus (e.g. Computer Science - Will this change impact me?
A. No, this change will have no impact. You can always check or change your mail forwarding address in Stony Brook's electronic post office (EPO).

Q. Does this affect the information I already entered into SBAlert?
No. You will continue to receive important messages at the email, text, and phone numbers you entered into SBAlert through SOLAR. However, this is a good opportunity to make sure your information in SBAlert is accurate and up-to-date.

Q. Does this mean that when someone officially becomes a hired employee or an enrolled student that the Stony Brook email address automatically becomes the default 'preferred' address in SOLAR?
Yes, and as part of this change, new employees and new students will actually receive an automated email as soon as their account is created with information about how to activate it. That email will be sent to whatever email address the employee or student had on file with the University during the application process (usually a personal email address or an email address from another school, etc.). The automated email highlights the fact that the Stony Brook email address is where communications will be sent.

Q. Will the University ever send me email to my personal email address?
A. Yes, students applying to Stony Brook may receive communications at their personal email address up until the point they become enrolled in a course. Students receive their Stony Brook Google email accounts and are notified that they have an account when they become "eligible to enroll" in a course, or another way of putting it, "term activated." The University will not switch the preferred email address in SOLAR to point to the campus address until a student is officially enrolled in a course.

Q. What happens when I graduate, resign, or retire?
A. If you are about to graduate, resign, or retire, please make arrangements to back up important data that you want to take with you before your NetID is disabled. For students, this happens 200 days after the last class meeting date. For employees, it is one day after the last effective work date entered in PeopleSoft. Once you separate from the University, your campus address will automatically be removed from SOLAR, but your 'home' and/or 'other' email addresses will remain. It is always good practice to make sure your email addresses in SOLAR are kept up-to-date.

Q. I'm an SPD student who often skips terms. If I don’t take classes for a term or two, is my email still active?
Student email accounts remain active for 200 days from the last class meeting date. After that, their NetID and email account becomes disabled. Students who re-enroll in a course after the 200 days are up will be issued the same NetID and email account. Therefore, students who anticipate skipping terms should make sure they back up any important data they may need from Stony Brook University systems before they separate for more than 200 days.

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