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!