Thursday, May 9, 2013

Another Big Thirsty: How long do I have to check these email addresses?

I've amassed several university email addresses over the years. Now, I could set up some of the older ones to POP forward to my current email, but the thing is, I have reached the point where I don't want to even read those emails any more. Since I've been relegated to "on call" status with my current institution (on call for almost six months ... no calls), I put up a vacation reply asking to be emailed at my preferred address.

Again, I don't POP forward from this address because I don't give a fuck about the parties, charity events, or other crap that Misleading U and Crappy State mass email (with so many typos and malapropisms) to everyone.

Q: How long until I can just shut down/ignore/permanently away message these old university email addresses? Do I have to forward them to my preferred email address? Can I just pretend these email addresses no longer exist, much like a bad college apartment?


  1. The *only* reason I can think for checking or forwarding those addresses is if you want further work from those institutions, and think an offer might come that way. Otherwise, ignore them. If someone really, really needs to get in touch with you, they'll find a way. If you want to stay on their radar screens, you could send an updated c.v. with/from your preferred address once a year or so, with a note expressing continued interest in working for them, and providing full contact info.

    It sounds like you already have another professional address, so this may not be useful, but I've taken advantage of my grad institution's system of alumni forwarding addresses to create a .edu address that I can use on c.v.s, business cards, and the like (the business card has both my present professional address -- associated with a full-time job I've held for over a decade -- and the forwarding address). The address can be set to forward wherever I like, and the forwarding can be changed as necessary. I do get a bit of fundraising spam (that, of course, is why the school offers the addresses), but otherwise this system seems to work.

  2. Also, are you easily Googleable? If a search of "your name discipline" reliably produces a current hit for you, like an that you maintain, I'd say you're OK ix-naying the old emails.

  3. I had one institution where I learned of my "inactive" status because my uni EMail stopped working. Apparently, IT was told to cancel the account of anyone who had not been assigned in a year.

    Then again, I had another program where everything went dead except the spam filter. No contact from them for nearly four years, but every couple of days I get notified that the spam filter caught some messages from my no-longer-existent EMail account.

    I agree with the advice so far.

  4. I can't even remember my email addresses from past institutions...

  5. My postdoctoral University shuts the email off the day after your contract ends! We find it fascinating they do not seem to care if you turn in your keys, though?!?!?!