Purchasing and Business Services Manual (PUR)

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Effective: 3/1/1990

Revised: 11/12/2014

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PUR 704: University Mail Services

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To prepare and distribute materials relating to the official business of the university

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U.S. Postal System
University policy

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Departments, offices, and recognized student and staff organizations that maintain an institutional account with funds provided in total or in part by the university or are funded through university approved grants and contracts

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ASU Mail Services operates under the direction of the associate vice president of University Business Services and is responsible for the distribution of U.S. and intercampus mail and the preparation and mailing of all U.S. mail.

ASU Mail Services exists primarily for the preparation and distribution of materials, the content of which is to relate to the official business of the university. Official business materials are those dealing with some aspect of the university’s operation that can be defined as being essential to the instructional, research, and community service programs and activities of the institution as differentiated from private business or personal mail. ASU Mail Services’ distribution services, according to federal regulations and university guidelines, are not to be used for commercial purposes or for personal mail of university employees. Neither should ASU Mail Services’ equipment nor the distribution facilities be available for the preparation and/or dissemination of statements in behalf of a political campaign or candidate.

Note: Employees and students may not misuse university assets and have a responsibility to report activities or incidents that appear to be a misuse of university assets as detailed in the Academic Affairs Policies and Procedures ManualACD 123, “Misuse of University Assets.”

ASU Mail Services’ policy is intended to restrict services provided to those directly related to official university business. These services are not available to personal and private business of university students, faculty, and staff members, or to outside agencies, organizations, and commercial firms for activities not directly sponsored or conducted by the university. The policy is designed to ensure compliance with federal regulations and university guidelines relating to the use of U.S. and campus mail services.

Each department head or unit director of the university is responsible in accordance with Operational Policies—ASU Mail Services for determining whether materials to be addressed and/or distributed by ASU Mail Services systems relate to official business of the university. When questions occur concerning such determination, the matter may be referred to the next level of university administration (department head, dean, vice president, etc.). Materials found within the university addressing and/or distribution systems to be in violation of this policy will be removed immediately and affected staff members so advised by ASU Mail Services.

Departments and/or individual employees may not purchase postage stamps via the Internet or establish electronic postage usage via the Internet on behalf of ASU. This prohibition ensures that ASU postage funds are used for ASU business mail only. Mail processed through ASU Mail Services is monitored for a valid ASU return address and proper departmental agency/org before expending ASU postage funds. ASU Mail Services takes advantage of the lowest postal discounts for the university by consolidating mail into one central location. See also PUR 401–09, “Postage Stamps.”

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The following procedures and regulations define the operational policy of ASU Mail Services in regard to the distribution of U.S. and campus mail (interdepartmental mail, notices, bulletins, and circulars that normally originate and terminate on the campus), the preparation of bulk mailings, and the operation of the university campus.

Campus Delivery—U.S. and Intercampus Mail

Administration offices and academic departments are responsible for the distribution of mail to persons within their areas. The campus mail service system allows for one pickup and delivery daily, Monday through Friday (except holidays). Mail delivery to residence halls is handled by the United States Postal Service (USPS). ASU Mail Services does not pick up or deliver mail to residence halls.

Campus mail is picked up and delivered from one designated point at each mail stop. Campus mail carriers are not authorized to change the location of the mail stop within an office or add a new mail stop. Requests for changes or additions to mail delivery routes are to be submitted via e-mail to the manager of Materials Management.

Establishing a Mail Code (Mail Pick Up and Delivery)

All requests for a mail code are directed to the manager of Materials Management for approval and assignment. The cost of a mail code within the perimeters of a campus is $37.50 per month or $450.00 annually. Mail codes for non-ASU organizations or for departments outside the perimeter of a campus will be charged a rate based on their location and/or cost for delivery.


U.S. Mail Services

Complete Campus Address (Tempe Campus)

All U.S. mail is sorted by the last four digits of the ZIP + 4 code. If no ZIP + 4 code appears on the piece, it is sorted to the PO box. If no PO box appears on the piece, it is sorted to the first department name appearing on the piece. U.S. mail is delivered to departments by ASU Mail Services. To assure prompt delivery, correspondents should be provided with complete addresses, including the department name, PO box, and ZIP + 4 where staff members receive their mail. The university’s Tempe campus zip code is 85287 (excluding “business reply” mail and mail addressed to the residence halls).

Misaddressed U.S./Campus Mail vs. Missorted U.S./Campus Mail

Mail that contains a ZIP + 4, PO box, or mail code will be delivered to the department. If the mail is not for anyone in the department, the piece has been misaddressed by the sender. All misaddressed mail should be placed in a campus envelope and sent to the proper department along with a note requesting that the department notify the mailer of the correct mailing address to prevent future mail delivery delays.

All missorted U.S. mail and campus mail should be placed in campus envelopes and returned to ASU Mail Services for correction.

ASU/Department Mail

Mail addressed to ASU becomes the property of ASU upon acceptance by ASU Mail Services. All mail received at ASU is to be official ASU business mail only. When mail is addressed to and delivered to that department, it becomes the property of the department. Each department should set policy with their staff as to the handling of mail when an employee has left the department. University funds will not be used for forwarding this type of mail.

Personal Mail

Staff members should have all personal mail addressed to their home address. Such mail includes, but is not limited to, fraternal and church bulletins; personal effects; book and record club mailings; personal check books; postage due mail; personal mail that is registered, certified, or insured; and magazines, periodicals, and newspapers not specifically used in the course of university business.

On-Campus Mail (Non-U.S. Mail)

On-Campus Business Mail

ASU Mail Services sorts and delivers intercampus mail between departments and is legally bound to follow the federal guidelines set forth in the Private Express Statutes. The statutes state that only official ASU business mail can be transported through intercampus mail.

The following classifications of non-U.S. mail originating on the campus or directed to university personnel may be processed through ASU Mail Services, if properly addressed to include department name and mail code:

  1. interoffice communications relating to official university business


  2. approved university department circulars and bulletins relating to course offerings, special instructional programs, operational or administrative releases, and like materials.

    The recipient’s name, mail code and department name should appear on each piece. Department names should be spelled out (abbreviations increase the chance of delays in delivery).

Intercampus university business mail is to be placed in intercampus manila envelopes (small or large) for routing within the campus mail system.

Flyers or brochures not contained in an envelope require an ASU department return address (more than 100 pieces require they be put in mail code order—sorted by last two digits and then by first two digits). If quantity warrants, they should be banded by mail code. If a flyer or brochure is sealed, the return address must appear on the outside of the piece in the upper left-hand corner to include the department name.

Use of other envelopes (such as ASU #10 business envelopes) should be limited, but is allowed for intercampus mail provided these guidelines are followed:

  1. These pieces are rubber banded separately from outgoing U.S. Postal Service (USPS) mail.
  2. They are clearly stamped “CAMPUS MAIL” in the upper right-hand corner of the piece.
  3. An ASU department address appears on the outside of the piece.
    Note: Postage charges, mail delays, or mail being returned may occur if these steps are not followed.

Private Business and Personal Mail

The following classifications are examples of campus mail that is not to be processed within the university mail system:

  1. any material that, if stamped, would be prohibited by federal postal regulations
  2. personal unstamped mail involving operation of employees’ and/or students’ organizations outside of the recognized university structure
  3. literature, circulars, or notices originated by nonuniversity employee and/or student organizations
  4. petitions, money solicitations, and membership recruitment materials not originated by the university administration
  5. election or campaign materials of a partisan nature
  6. items of material value such as money, money orders, checks, etc.
  7. unstamped commercial solicitations


  8. personal greetings, books, and like materials.

Campus Envelopes

When addressing a campus envelope, all previous addresses should be marked through to guarantee proper delivery to the appropriate party. All information on campus envelopes should be properly filled out to assure prompt delivery. These may be purchased through SunRISE Materials Management.

Student Housing

All students in residence halls are served directly by the USPS. For additional information on mail procedures for residence halls, contact University Housing.

Sorting Procedures for Departments

Standardized procedures will improve delivery and accuracy and provide a mutual cost reduction. ASU Mail Services has established five procedures for the preparation of mail picked up by the ASU mail carriers.

Accurate and complete billing requires each individual agency/org to be separated and rubber banded. All pieces should be faced in one direction.

The first three categories require either barcoded envelopes or an attached barcode label affixed to the top mailing piece. Separate and rubber band the following:

  1. letters requiring postage to be mailed within the United States (sealed or flaps up)
  2. flats (large envelopes) requiring postage to be mailed within the United States (must be sealed for security of contents and processing)
  3. all foreign mail, regardless of size, that will be mailed outside the United States
  4. intercampus mail (small envelopes should be rubber banded, then the large ones banded around the small ones)
    Note: Use of envelopes other than the official intercampus envelopes require the piece to be stamped/designated as “CAMPUS MAIL.” If ASU business envelopes are used for campus mail and not separated and stamped “CAMPUS MAIL,” the piece(s) may be processed with the outgoing mail, and the department will incur postage charges.


  5. university business stamped mail (all mail with postage affixed, business reply returns, and return-to-sender or forwarded mail)
    Note: As a courtesy, stamped mail has been expanded to include faculty/staff personal mail with the understanding that the mailer assumes full responsibility for such mail deposited for pickup in the university’s outgoing mail. Faculty/staff personal mail should be sorted and rubber banded with the mail described in number 5 above.

Large mailings (250 or more pieces) that can fill a mail tray or tub need not be rubber banded if all pieces have a barcode. Face all pieces in the same direction.

Large intercampus mailings (100 pieces or more) of identical items such as flyers or brochures should be banded by department and placed in route order (last two digits of the mail code).

Preparation and Processing of Mail

Metered Mail

  1. Metered mail leaves ASU Mail Services at 3:30 p.m. Cutoff time for daily outgoing mail is 2:30 p.m.
  2. ASU Mail Services affixes postage to outgoing business mail for university departments and organizations and processes the pieces if they have a valid agency/org bar code presented with the mail. Postage charges appear on the department’s monthly financial statements.
  3. Face all pieces of mail in the same direction and bundle by agency/org.
  4. Unsealed business-size envelopes submitted for metering, with material already inserted, should be submitted with flaps up.
  5. Each department is to include its complete university return address on all outgoing mail. This procedure will ensure proper billing and/or return of mail to sender if for any reason it is undeliverable.
  6. Envelopes must be sealed if:
    1. they are larger than a #10 business envelope


    2. a business envelope is thicker than 1/4".
  7. End-flap envelopes submitted for metering should have the end flaps to the right when reading the address; these must be sealed.
  8. Items submitted for metering that are not contained in an envelope and require sealing should be sealed closed with wafer tab seals. Staples should not be used.
  9. Separate first class mail from foreign mail with the latter rubber banded together.
  10. Foreign mail must have appropriate customs forms to avoid delay in processing.
  11. Registered, insured, certified, express, and any other mail requiring special services should be marked in a conspicuous manner and separated from other mail.

Guidelines for ASU’s Permit Indicia and Nonprofit Status

ASU Mail Services maintains the USPS permit account to process ASU’s qualified departmental first-class, standard, or nonprofit (bulk) mail. ASU’s nonprofit status is directly tied to the permit held by ASU Mail Services. As the official mail representative for ASU, ASU Mail Services is solely responsible for the proper use of the permit, ASU’s nonprofit status established in association with the permit, and legal protection of the university’s interests.

Printing ASU’s permit on a mail piece for mailing purposes requires the mailing to be processed through ASU Mail Services. Individual ASU departments or organizations are required to have and maintain their own USPS nonprofit permit before they use an outside supplier to authorize any nonprofit mailing.

Mail Processing of Mass Mailings—Operational Procedures

ASU Mail Services is equipped to process uniform mass mailings for both on- and off-campus distribution. This service includes preparation and maintenance of mailing lists, addressing, preparation and application of address labels, tabbing, folding, and inserting mailing items into the envelopes and the affixing of required postage. Use of ASU’s postal indicia and permit requires that ASU Mail Services prepares the entire mailing.

Note: All departments are asked to contact ASU Mail Services prior to the development of a mass mailing for information and consultation about particular mailing plans and to be certain that these items meet minimum specifications and postal regulations and to facilitate proper scheduling. Furthermore, if a large bulk mailing is planned, the department should call ASU Mail Services in advance to schedule the job for processing as advance notice is extremely helpful if there is a mailing deadline.

The following requirements must be met for all U.S. standard rate bulk mailings:

  1. the mailing must consist of at least 200 pieces, all of which must be identical in content, size, and weight
  2. foreign mail cannot be sent at standard bulk rate and should not be submitted with such mailings
  3. a completed Mail Processing Request Form including a signature from an authorized agency/org signer, two samples, and mailing addresses sent via e-mail must accompany any bulk mailing to be processed in the Mail Processing Division
  4. materials submitted to ASU Mail Services already labeled will require the department to incur additional costs either by having it mailed at first-rate postage or with the additional labor costs charged for having to readdress the piece
  5. mailing labels submitted with a mailing must either be campus labels in mail code order or labels for a mailing that is being sent out first class


  6. if envelopes are already stuffed, the flaps should be up for sealing or sealed by the department; envelopes larger than a #10 business envelope should be sealed.

Use of United States Postal Service (USPS) Equipment

The USPS does not allow the use of their mail transport equipment (mail trays and tubs) by university departments except for ASU Mail Services. All mail tubs must be returned to ASU Mail Services to facilitate their return to the USPS. Failure to return these items can result in fines and penalties to the university.

The black postal tubs provided by ASU Mail Services are the property of ASU Mail Services and cannot be used by university departments or private individuals except to store or transport mail.

Note: Employees and students may not misuse university assets and have a responsibility to report activities or incidents that appear to be a misuse of university assets as detailed in the Academic Affairs Policies and Procedures ManualACD 123, “Misuse of University Assets.”

Courier Service

ASU Mail Services provides a delivery and pick-up service for ASU business-related items to and from departments, campuses, and off-campus addresses. Requests for delivery can be made via ASU Mail Services or by calling 480/965–1263. All deliveries are tracked from receipt to delivery and have an electronic signature. Daily or weekly pick-ups may also be scheduled.

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