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UVa Email Address Management System (AMS)

FAQs about Email Aliases & Addresses

Frequently-Asked Questions about the UVa Email AMS

Answers to Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQs)

Understanding UVa Email Addresses & Aliases

What’s my “primary address?”

Your primary email address is your UVa computing ID, followed by @virginia.edu (e.g., mst3k@virginia.edu). This is used by the University to send official email notifications to you.

What’s an “email alias?” Why would I want one?

An email alias is an additional UVa email address that is easier to read, write, and remember. For example, if your primary email address is your UVa computing ID@virginia.edu (e.g., mst3k@virginia.edu), you might find that you’d like another, more convenient UVa email address (e.g., miketurner@email.virginia.edu) to use as well. To find out how to set one up, see Requesting an Email Alias.

How many aliases may I have? Do I get to keep them for life?

See About Email Aliases for this information.

What’s an email “domain?”

An email domain refers to the part of your email address after the @ symbol, such as virginia.edu. The UVa Email Address Management System will display all known email domains for you. Everyone at the University has an account in the virginia.edu domain, and you may have other domains available to you as well; your current domain options will display automatically. Some examples of domains:

Example UVa Email Domains:

  • email.virginia.edu
    domain for student and alumni email accounts with UVa Gmail, a UVa-contracted vendor
  • cms.mail.virginia.edu
    domain for the UVa Central Mail Service
  • eservices.virginia.edu
    domain for the UVa Centralized Exchange Service
  • hscmail.mcc.virginia.edu domain for UVa’s Health System
  • darden.virginia.edu
    domain for UVa’s business school
  • ad.nursing.virginia.edu domain for UVa’s School of Nursing
  • mail.astro.virginia.edu domain for UVa’s Department of Astronomy
  • comm.virginia.edu
    domain for UVa’s School of Commerce
  • uvawise.edu
    domain for The University of Virginia College at Wise
  • vprserver.clas.virginia.edu domain for UVa’s Vice President for Research

Example non-UVa Email Domains:

  • yahoo.com
  • gmail.com
  • aol.com
  • hotmail.com
  • alumni.vt.edu
  • earthlink.net
  • ntelos.net
  • virginia.gov

Note: While the AMS allows you to add email addresses with both UVa and non-UVa domains to the system, know that employees’ redirecting University email to non-UVa email service(s) is discouraged, as it exposes an employee and the University to several hazards.

What’s the difference between an email address in the virginia.edu domain, and the email.virginia.edu domain?

All primary addresses at UVa (i.e., computing ID@virginia.edu, such as mst3k@virginia.edu) are in the virginia.edu domain. All UVa students, alumni, faculty, and staff members have a primary University email address ending in @virginia.edu.

 

UVa faculty and staff may request email aliases in the virginia.edu domain (e.g., miketurner@virginia.edu).

 

All who have email accounts provided by UVa Gmail, a UVa-contracted vendor (so, primarily UVa students and alumni, not faculty and staff) may request email aliases in the email.virginia.edu domain (e.g., miketurner@email.virginia.edu).

For more information, see About Email Aliases.

What’s a “deliverable address?”

A deliverable address is just a working email account that you have (and it can be a UVa account or an external, non-UVa email account, with an internal or external domain). You can use the UVa Email Address Management System to specify where you’d like your UVa email messages delivered. Just add up to 5 deliverable addresses to the AMS, and then you can read your University email in the desired account(s).

While the AMS allows you to add both UVa and non-UVa email addresses to the system, know that employees’ redirecting University email to non-UVa email service(s) is discouraged, as it exposes an employee and the University to several hazards.

What’s UVa Gmail, a “UVa-contracted vendor?”

UVa student and alumni email accounts are provided by Google, a private, third-party service provider with whom UVa has contracted. This company offers robust, cutting-edge email services suited to the needs of UVa students and alumni.

UVa Gmail student and alumni email aliases are in the email.virginia.edu domain, while their primary addresses remain in the virginia.edu domain.

Where do I go to check my UVa email account?

Go to the UVa Email Switchboard at www.mail.virginia.edu. If you have just one UVa email account, you’ll be taken straight to it. If you have more than one, your various University email accounts will display, and can select your desired account to log in.

I do not seem to be able to use plus addressing. Why not?

The email system at the University of Virginia is not designed to support plus addressing.

Who Can Use the UVa Email Address Management System (AMS)

I’m a UVa alum with an email account provided by UVa-contracted vendor. Can I use the AMS?
Alumni are welcome to use the AMS to manage their email aliases, but they cannot use the AMS to manage deliverable addresses. (Providing antispam and antivirus licenses for all email accounts alumni could become prohibitively expensive, so management of deliverable addresses for alumni is not supported. UVa Gmail, the UVa-contracted vendor has antivirus and antispam capabilities, however, and provides email to alumni for life.) Again, alumni may manage their email aliases with the AMS.
Are UVa faculty and staff allowed email accounts with UVa-contracted student email vendors?
Email accounts provided by UVa Gmail, the UVa-contracted vendor are offered primarily to students and alumni. However, accounts are also available to faculty and staff who provide technical support to students.

Using the UVa Email Address Management System (AMS)

How do I use the AMS to set a forward or change where I read my UVa email?

You can decide where you would like to read your University email; you may check your UVa mail at any email account you choose. However, the University strongly advises employees not to redirect or auto-forward email sent to UVa-provided email address(es) to personal, non-UVa email service(s), as it exposes an employee and the University to several hazards.

If you like, you may even route messages sent to your primary address (i.e., your computing ID@virginia.edu) to one email account, and messages sent to your email alias (e.g., mike@email.virginia.edu) to another. This isn’t technically an email forward; but it essentially works like one.

Here’s how to set where you wish to read your UVa email:

  1. Enter the name(s) of one or more email accounts where you’d like to read your mail. Add this email account to the AMS as a deliverable address. For more detail on how to do this, see Add a Deliverable Address.
  2. Then, use the AMS to associate your UVa email address(es) with the email account you just added. This essentially sets a “forward,” enabling you to read your UVa mail at the email account you specified. For more detail on how to do this, see Managing Where You Read Your Mail.

Why are employees discouraged from forwarding UVa email to non-UVa email services?
Employees are advised not to redirect University email to non-UVa email services, as it exposes an employee and the University to the following hazards:
  • It reduces security and privacy for sensitive University business-related information that may be contained within email text or attachments.
  • It leaves no official records in the University system. If a demand for such records is made in litigation or under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), an employee may be required to search within, or provide access to, his or her personal email account for University business records to be recovered.
  • It makes it impossible for UVa technical staff to assist with technology issues related to outside email provider services, including the recovery of emails lost due to the provider’s service failures.

In addition, this ensures compliance with several computing policies, including the email rules and responsibilities listed in the Faculty/Staff Responsible Computing Handbook, the Institutional Data Protection Standards, and the Records Management Email Guidelines.

Of course, some employees may have a valid reason to forward their University email—faculty on sabbatical, visiting employees associated with other universities, etc.—but for most at UVa, redirecting University email to non-UVa email services is not advised.

How do I use the Email Address Management System to check to see if an alias is available, and if it is, request or claim it?
See Requesting an Email Alias.
How do I use the Email Address Management System create, change, or delete an email alias?

See Managing Your Email Aliases.

How do I use the Email Address Management System to create my primary UVa email address for the first time?
See Creating Your Primary Address.
I used the Email Address Management System to make a change to my email alias but it did not seem to work. Why?
Changes to existing aliases is not immediate. It often takes about 15 minutes to become active, so wait a bit and then try to use the address you changed again. If you continue to have problems after 15-20 minutes, please report the problem to postmaster@virginia.edu.

Quarantines & Lockouts

What is a “quarantine?” How long does one last?

A quarantine is the time period after which an email alias has been deleted when it is unavailable to anyone. Quarantines are necessary to allow time for people to update their address books, thereby reducing the risk of inadvertently delivering email to the new alias owner when intended for the previous owner.

How long the alias remains in quarantine will vary depending on the domain to which the alias is assigned. Currently, email aliases assigned to the virginia.edu domain and the email.virginia.edu domain are held in quarantine for 2 years before they are available for reassignment. Other departmental domains may have different quarantine requirements.

Why am I “locked out?”

Lockouts prevent people from repeatedly creating and deleting email aliases, each of which would have to be quarantined, quickly depleting the pool of available aliases for everyone.

If you delete too many aliases, you will be “locked out” from creating new aliases until your lockout score falls below the threshold. During a lockout, you cannot request new aliases, but you can delete aliases (which increases your lockout score further) and change the deliverable address with which an existing alias is associated (for which there is no lockout score increase).

How long does it take for a lockout to end? Can I speed it up?

How long a lockout lasts depends on the domain and the timing of your alias deletions. For more specifics on how lockouts work, see Alias System Lockouts.

If you are over the lockout threshold but need to make a special request for an alias in the virginia.edu domain or the email.virginia.edu domain, email postmaster@virginia.edu and explain your situation. To expedite consideration of your request, please provide as much information as possible, including:

  • Your UVa computing ID (e.g., mst3k);
  • The domain in which the problem exists (e.g., virginia.edu, email.virginia.edu, etc.);
  • Your requested alias and why you need it; and
  • A description of why you are presently locked out of the system.

The domain administrator will assess your situation during normal business hours and will make a decision about what, if any, assistance can be provided.

  Page Updated: Monday 2013-08-05 11:55:03 EDT

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