Text Messaging

Scope: Who is Covered by this Policy?

All Employees


All University employees are expected to understand that any records they create related to University business - including text messages, voicemail messages, emails, and other electronic communications - are University records. These records therefore (1) should be managed according to University records retention policies, and (2) may be subject to disclosure under the Ohio Public Records Act if someone requests them. This Policy is intended to help employees manage the business-related messages sent or received on smart phones, tablets, or similar devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Blackberry, Android, etc.), to appropriately maintain what  should be kept and to delete  transient records that no longer have administrative value.

The general rule is that business-related records that the University should retain must be kept on University—not personal—computer systems, and business-related records that do not require retention (transient records) should be deleted as you go. This rule applies to University-related information transmitted on an employee’s smart phone or similar device by electronic messaging, whether the device is owned by the employee or provided by the University.

Follow Mobile Device Security Standards

No one should be able to pick up your device and access University data. The potential for disclosure of private data is too great. Employees are expected to maintain data security in accordance with the University’s Telecommunications Policy- (make a link to http://miamioh.edu/policy-library/administration-operations/it-services/telecommunications.html)

Text Messages and other similar types of electronic messaging

  • Use text messaging only for routine or transitory messages that don’t need to be retained by the University. Examples include notices of meetings, directions, and scheduling information, and other routine messages that would not be kept in a file if it were a paper communication. Do not use text messages to send policies, contracts, personnel or student related University records or data.
  • Avoid sending private University data in text messages. This includes student grade information, evaluative personnel information, etc.
  • Delete routine, transitory, business-related text messages as soon as they are no longer of administrative value.
  • If for some reason, one or more text messages needs to be saved under the University’s record retention policies, the employee must be able to transfer messages to their department’s University network drive.
  • Do not send social security numbers, passwords or credit card numbers in text messages.
  • Do not text and drive at the same time.

Documents and Other Files on Your Device

  • If the device has other programs on it, such as Microsoft Office products, and these programs are used for business-related purposes, save those records to your network drive—make sure they do not exist only on your device.
  • Encrypt any files that contain private data.
  • Delete transient records as soon as possible.
  • Do not use personal or University-provided devices to take, transmit, download, upload, print or copy photos or videos of University employees or students without their permission.


Recordings of voicemail messages can also be considered public records. Follow the same principles for text messages—use voicemail with discretion; use it for routine, transitory messages that do not need to be retained; and delete as soon as no longer needed..

Email and Calendars

Again devices must be password protected and auto-locked to protect the University data in email and calendar programs. See the Email Policy http://miamioh.edu/policy-library/administration-operations/it-services/email.html


Related Form(s)

Not applicable.

Additional Resources and Procedures

Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Policy Administration

Next Review Date


Responsible Officers

Vice President for Information Technology & CIO

Legal Reference

Not Applicable.

Compliance Policy


Recent Revision History

New July 2019

Reference ID(s)

Not applicable


Vice President for Information Technology & Chief Information Officer