Authors

Frederic White

Document Type

Article

Publication Year

2005

Journal Title

University of Toledo Law Review

Abstract

Email correspondence is a dilemma for all of us, but for a law school dean, the email onslaught is particularly troublesome because the universal expectation is that we are always available to everyone, whether they are students, staff, faculty, alumni, the university president, or the press. There is no getting around it. What to do?

I've developed some simple rules for taking the sting of out the daily email jolt.

My attitude toward this all-encompassing electronic wonder is embodied in an acronym I developed for the SEND button, a term found on every email system in the world, whether it's Microsoft, AOL, Hotmail, MSN, any of the rest of them. My short advice: Beware of the SEND button. Be very careful what you write. In other words, Suspect Every Negative Declaration.

I created the acronym several years ago when there was a particular acrimonious email exchange between two of my former colleagues at Cleveland-Marshall. Unfortunately, all the rest of us unsuspecting faculty members received copies of their exchange. Many years have passed and neither person remains at that institution. One is at another law school. One is out of law teaching altogether. As a result of that conversation I wrote a memorandum to my law faculty colleagues entitled, "The Trouble with Email." I concluded my message with the acronym SEND. My modest conclusion: Don't email what you can't say face to face. Since that time, and now that I've been a dean, I am forced to deal with email much more than I ever did as a regular faculty member. As a result, I have developed eight simple rules for email use.

First Page

191

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