Office E-mail Herbert B. Chermside 09 Jun 1998 08:24 EST

I suggest a "best practice" regarding e-mail use.

The e-mail address of the institution's grants office (the one put on
proposals) should be a separate address for the office, as opposed to the
personal e-mail of the signing official, and that e-mail should be set up
so it goes to the office manager or the senior person doing
receptionist/mail routing duty.  That person will know where to forward
items needing a specialist answer.  Additionally, because most computers
are set up so only the individual who uses it has access to it, that office
e-mail account should additionally be accessable by one or two backup
people who cover that receptionist/mail routing function in the absence of
the primary person.

Most communications are to "the office" rather than to an individual; this
is especially true of simple requests such as "The finagle form is missing
from your proposal."

Actually, this can be useful in any service office, and particularly in one
that has lots of communications with external parties.  Our IT office was
very helpful in making this possible once we explained that we were truely
dealing with "office" rather than "individual official" communications.
Certainly someone has to be the "responsible party", but that's what the
head of the office is paid for!