Texas Tech University

 

[Minor revision–posted 9/30/14 (replaces 3/7/12 edition)]
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Operating Policy and Procedure

OP 67.01: Campus Mail Services

DATE: September 30, 2014

PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to establish policy and procedures for departmental and personal mailing services for the university.

REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in August of even-numbered years by the Assistant Vice President for Operations and the Director of Operations Division Business and Administrative Services with substantive revisions forwarded to the Vice President for Administration and Finance and Chief Financial Officer.

POLICY/PROCEDURE

1.  Organization and Mission

MailTech, located in the Administrative Support Center, 2903 Fourth Street, Room 144, is an operational unit of the Texas Tech University Operations Division. MailTech's mission is to provide mailing services to Texas Tech University departments and activities for official business purposes. The use of MailTech facilities and postal and commercial carrier accounts for personal or private use is prohibited.

Among the services provided are: sorting and delivery of incoming U.S. and campus mail to official activities on campus; processing and metering of outgoing official departmental U.S. mail; processing of outgoing commercial carrier shipments; and maintaining appropriate business mailing, business reply, postage due permit and non-profit permit accounts for Texas Tech University. Visit MailTech's website at https://www.depts.ttu.edu/services/MailTech/ for more detailed information.

2.  Mail Stops

a.    Authorization

Only official entities of Texas Tech University may establish a mail stop. Private organizations, tenants, and vendors may be excluded from certain aspects of campus service due to constraints and prohibitions listed in the federal Private Express Statutes. MailTech will review situations concerning these types of organizations on a case-by-case basis.

b.    Mail Stop Assignments

Requests to establish or discontinue a mail stop or change a delivery location may be accomplished through a memorandum to the Manager of Mail Services, Mail Stop 5017, or via e-mail at mailtech@ttu.edu. The request must include the department or activity name, precise delivery location, and billable FOP.

The department/activity will be notified of the four-digit number assigned as well as pertinent delivery and billing data.

c.    Mail Stop Charges

Fees for mail stops are established by the Texas Tech University administration and are billed annually as a part of the cyclic departmental postage billing, normally in the first month of the fiscal year.

d.    Mail Receptacle

Each university department with a mail stop is responsible for providing a suitable receptacle for mail deposit.

e.    Delivery Requirements

(1)    Correspondence

Each department is responsible for providing correspondents with the correct mail stop and ensuring all office stationary bears the correct address. The correct format for the return and delivery address is:

TTU – Department Name
Individual Name
Room #, Building Name
Box 4XXXX
Lubbock, TX 79409-XXXX

Room # is the point where the mail is delivered to the department. As indicated in the preceding example, the mail stop is used in identifying an on-campus delivery point as well as an approved zip+4 ending to the university's zip code. Please note that "P.O." is NOT to be used in the address preceding "Box."

(2)    Physical Addresses

A list of all department names and physical addresses will be maintained by MailTech personnel. The list will also be stored on the website at https://www.depts.ttu.edu/services/MailTech/ for convenient referral. Should the delivery point change, MailTech should be notified as soon as possible in order to update the Web listing. Sending an e-mail to mailtech@ttu.edu or a memorandum via campus mail to MS 5017 will be adequate.

(3)    Current Mail Stop List

A current mail stop list is available at the MailTech website: http://www.depts.ttu.edu/BusinessServices/Mail-Tech.php Mail with obsolete, incorrect, or omitted mail stops may require opening at MailTech to ensure correct routing.

3.  Mail Delivery Schedule and Services

USPS has designated MailTech as the organization head's agent. Federal statute and USPS regulation stipulate that organizationally addressed mail is considered delivered once it is deposited with the agent. At that point, USPS responsibility ends and MailTech assumes responsibility for delivery of incoming and outgoing first class official university mail.

a.    Daily Activities

(1)    MailTech carriers will deliver letter and flat-sized mail and hand-held sized parcels twice daily to active mail stops on regular campus mail routes and once a day for those departments that have selected once a day delivery; larger parcel delivery normally is accomplished through a separate mail run. Special or distinct deliveries apart from this must be coordinated through the Manager of Mail Services.

(2)    For requesting departments that pay an annual service fee, a special end-of-business- day pickup service is provided for U.S. mail or commercial carrier overnight shipments. Overnight shipments and U.S. mail will be picked up during this service and no deliveries will be made. This service is conducted at a time that will allow proper processing before end-of-day collections are made by the various service providers.

(3)    It is the policy of Texas Tech University to accept postage due charges on mail with insufficient postage due to weight and size or accumulated fees due to forwarding service. The receiving department may make exceptions if acceptance is deemed inappropriate. Costs incurred will be maintained by MailTech and charged back to departments in the normal billing.

(4)    Deviations in the daily schedule are discussed below.

Early closure or change in university business hours:

• In the event the university closes early during a business day at the direction of the governor or Texas Tech administration, every effort will be made to notify MailTech by 12 p.m. MailTech will strive to provide a full range of services, and minimal staffing will be maintained to accommodate activities that need to dispatch mail or commercial carrier consignments. Established afternoon dispatch times with the USPS and commercial carriers will be kept.

• Depending on the circumstances and timing for the closing, the scheduled afternoon and last runs may not be conducted, and end-of-business-day pickups may be curtailed or cancelled.

b.    Holiday Periods

During scheduled holidays when the university is closed, delivery to mail stops is suspended until the university reopens. However, during that time, MailTech routinely receives and sorts incoming mail from the USPS. Departments that want to pick up incoming mail during those times may make prior arrangements with the Manager of Mail Services. A TechAnnounce notice will be sent prior to the holiday period announcing dates and times when mail may be picked up from MailTech.

4.  Mail Classifications

a.    Campus Mail

(1)    General

(a)    Campus mail is internal mail that passes between individuals, organizations, or activities for official activities of Texas Tech University or activities recognized or governed by Texas Tech University. The federal Privacy Express Statutes (PES) allow colleges and universities to pass letters between departments and activities without payment of postage as long as those letters pertain to the business of the institution itself and are carried by that institution's own staff.

(b)    As specified by law, campus mail may not be used by university vendors or by commercial firms or outside activities for solicitation.

(c)    Outside organizations to which university faculty, staff, or students belong may use campus mail only with the prior approval of the Center for Campus Life.

(d)    Use of campus mail for strictly personal purposes such as private solicitation, passing money between individuals, chain letters, etc., constitutes an unauthorized use of campus mail and is prohibited.

(2)    All campus mail must bear a correct mail stop number to ensure delivery and, as indicated previously, mail addressed incorrectly may require opening to ensure proper delivery.

(3)    Confidential Mail: A responsible department official may designate a piece of campus mail as confidential if the content is regarded as sensitive. The envelope should be clearly marked with the word "Confidential" and the flap sealed. It is also recommended that the sender initial across the seal and tape be applied. Each department head is responsible for establishing internal policies for the use and opening of confidential mail as deemed appropriate.

(4)    MailTech does not provide routine cartage service on boxes between activities on campus. Departments with this need should contact MailTech in advance for shipping advice.

(5)    Large Campus Mailings: The annual mail stop fee covers the cost for individual pieces of mail to each department. However, departments with identical mail or campus distributions greater than 50 pieces will be charged for sorting and delivery, which will appear in the respective account's monthly billing.

(6)    Private boxes are maintained by the University ID Office in the Student Union Building.

b.    Accountable Mail

This mail consists of express, registered, certified, and insured mail and requires signature for proof of delivery. Accountable mail will be delivered separately from routine campus mail routes and will be delivered only to the addressee or an authorized agent for signature.

c.    Undeliverable Incoming Mail

Departments are responsible for providing a correct forwarding address on mail delivered to former faculty and staff. First class and periodical mail is forwardable; bulk mail is forwardable if it bears a USPS-approved move update endorsement. All other mail is considered undeliverable by the USPS and may be disposed of as waste.

Forwardable mail will be returned to the MailTech carrier as soon as possible after initial delivery for proper disposition. The mail will be delivered to a new department, if indicated, or returned to USPS.

d.    Outgoing U.S. Mail

(1)    General

Departments will normally consign outgoing mail to MailTech through the routine campus mail run, direct delivery to MailTech, or special pick-up request. Calls for pick-ups made to MailTech before 3:30 p.m. will be picked up and dispatched the same day.

(2)    Postage

(a)    MailTech will keep sufficient postage funds in its licensed postage meters and business mail permits granted by the USPS to ensure prompt mailing.

(b)    Departments with on-site postage meters or approved permits from USPS may continue to maintain them at their discretion and with the approval of the USPS. New commercial carrier accounts (FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc.), and meter licenses and permits may be requested from the USPS only with the prior approval of the president.

(c)    All outgoing mail with postage applied by MailTech will be charged to the sending department as part of the weekly postage billing, with service or surcharge fees applied as determined by the administration. A current FOP account number or a barcode bearing a FOP account number obtained by MailTech must be provided with all outgoing mail or commercial carrier shipments. Mail not bearing a valid FOP account number or barcode bearing an account number may be returned for correct information.

(d)    Use of this postage for personal reasons or by non-official entities is prohibited. Individuals and private organizations may purchase postage from Sam's Place located at Student Union Building. TTU Federal Credit Union also sells books of stamps for members only. A Copy/Mailing Service center is located on the first floor at the Student Union Building.

(e)    Appropriate department heads or business managers will be notified when questionable use of official mail is suspected. Investigation and action regarding the circumstances will be implemented as deemed appropriate by the department official. Cases involving students will be referred to the Center for Campus Life.

(3)    Preparation of Outgoing Domestic Mail

(a)    The sender is responsible for ensuring that outgoing mail is prepared in accordance with USPS standards, including size and addressing. This information is available from MailTech or the USPS website at http://www.usps.com in the Domestic Mail Manual. All mail that does not conform to prescribed standards or with deficiencies that would preclude shipment or would seriously hinder delivery will be returned to the sending department with a notification of the reason for non-shipment and a recommended remedy. Addresses should be printed or typed, when possible, giving a correct delivery address and code. Handwritten addresses are discouraged but will be accepted if legible.

(b)    As an official activity of Texas Tech University, MailTech must ensure that all mail being submitted for dispatch is of an official nature. Therefore, all outgoing mail not bearing a valid return address will be returned to the sender for correction.

(c)    Move update/address endorsements must appear on all pre-sorted Texas Tech University outgoing domestic U.S. first class mail, as stipulated by the USPS. This information will ensure the quality of departmental mailing lists as well as ensure the best possible postage rates. MailTech will apply an endorsement when the mail is metered.

e.    International Mail

(1)    All outgoing international mail must be addressed with a distinct country of destination spelled out in English and in its entirety. Abbreviations or initials must not be used.

(2)    Envelopes for international letter mail should be clearly marked "AIR MAIL/PAR AVION" by the sender.

(3)    Customs declarations will be required on certain types of international mail based on weight and content. Printed matter weighing 15 ounces or greater and packages, regardless of weight and content, will require a customs declaration. When required, the department is responsible for preparing an accurate and complete customs declaration. MailTech staff is not authorized to sign a customs declaration, and mail without the correct documentation will be returned to the department and/or the actual preparer.

f.    Commercial Carrier and Overnight Shipments

(1)    MailTech maintains accounts with Federal Express (FedEx) and United Parcel Service (UPS). Departments may send express shipments to MailTech for consignment or request a pickup directly from the carrier. Direct pickup will require a completed airbill obtained from MailTech or the MailTech website, which must contain a valid FOP account number or shipping document, along with delivery information. Direct pickups may incur an additional pickup charge from the carrier.

(2)    Any shipment of hazardous material under a MailTech-maintained commercial carrier account must be coordinated at least 24-hours in advance to ensure proper packaging and labeling. Hazardous shipments not coordinated in advance will be held to allow for appropriate screening. No direct pickup of hazardous commercial carrier shipments on MailTech accounts is authorized unless prior approval is given and a MailTech representative examines the shipment for packaging and labeling on site. The sender must notify the Office of Environmental Health and Safety as forms must be filled before shipments are consigned to MailTech.

The United States government rigidly prescribes standards for documenting and labeling hazardous material shipments, and failure to comply can result in stiff federal penalties. NO EXEMPTION TO THESE PROCEDURES CAN BE MADE.

g.    Business Reply Mail

(1)    MailTech maintains a business reply permit with the USPS (Permit 28) for Texas Tech University activities requiring the use of this type of postal service. Funds are advanced into the business reply permit to cover the postage and postal accounting costs for each reply returned to the university. The local postmaster has designated MailTech as the "business reply center" for the purposes of this permit.

(2)    The USPS maintains very precise technical standards for business reply mail. To ensure maintenance of these standards, the USPS has provided exact templates with exact data to MailTech for all authorized types of reply mail. These templates are the only ones authorized for use under Permit 28. MailTech provides these templates upon request to departments planning to use business reply mail. Customers requiring the use of business reply mail must submit three copies to the Manager of Mail Services for review prior to printing to ensure compliance with USPS requirements. Individually tailored business reply addresses or designs are considered unauthorized. The use of unauthorized templates may result in postal surcharges or other administrative action by the U.S. Postal Service.

(3)    Charges against accounts using the business reply permit will be tabulated daily and included in the normal departmental postage billing.

5.  Suspicious Mail

MailTech personnel have been trained to recognize mail or packages that might be detrimental to the health of the university population and to ensure that suspicious mail is eliminated from distribution. However, if departments or activities receive something they consider suspicious, Environmental Health and Safety, in conjunction with the university police and MailTech, has established protocol for university personnel to follow if the piece is truly suspicious.

a.    Do NOT touch the piece after the initial contact.

b.    Call your supervisor to verify your concerns and continue with the following steps ONLY if your concerns are verified.

c.    Stop all activities and evacuate all personnel in the immediate vicinity of the piece.

d.    Turn off all air handling equipment and close all doors and windows in the area.

e.    Call university police at 742-3931 and MailTech at 742-2286.

Operating Policies & Procedures