I was talking to a Don who is an assessor at a university court. A court that has had civil jurisdiction in all matters involving scholars or privileged persons of the university since 1244. We were discussing email and its dangers and how, as a consequence, telephones are ringing again between the the ivory towers.
The reality has stuck home that emails are indestructible — as one unfortunate love lorn professor and a student recently found out (not for the amorous nature of the content but for the serious crime of plagiarism evident in them). The long and short is that for future historians email will no longer reveal gems and insights from the biggest brains in the land. Senior academics now realise – as should we all – that you should never write anything that might end up in court So the guideline is simple. Write an anodyne email and at the end add – If you want to discuss this further give me a call!
Bob Hallewell – director of Expert Messaging – says “Email should be considered as public, permanent and official. If you wouldn’t be happy for your email to form part of a national advertising campaign then don’t send it.”