Business Policies and Procedures Manual
Chapter 80: Services

Forwarding Mail

BPPM 80.23

Employee’s Department

University mailing services departments send mail designated for employees who have left WSU permanently or temporarily to the employee’s last WSU department. Departmental personnel determine the appropriate destination for the mail.

Official Mail

Official departmental mail addressed to the employee is routed to the employee’s successor or replacement.

Employee Mail

Mail specifically for the employee (not departmental or WSU business) is forwarded according to the following guidelines and the employee’s written instructions. In cases of conflict between an employee’s written instructions and WSU policy, policy provisions are to be followed.

General Guidelines

The following applies to mail not routed to the employee’s successor or replacement.

If an employee left no forwarding address or instructions, the department returns it to the campus mailing services office marked “terminated-no forwarding address.”

Do not destroy mail marked “Return Service Requested.” To do so violates USPS instructions. Return such items to the campus mailing services office.

Express Mail and First-Class Mail

Express mail and first-class mail, including postal and postcards and priority mail, may be forwarded at no charge for up to 12 months after the employee leaves WSU.

When forwarding mail, cross out but do not obliterate the old address. Write the new address below or beside the old one.

If more than 12 months have elapsed since the employee left, treat these classes of mail as indicated below for “Other Mail.”

Other Mail

All mail other than express, first-class, and priority may be forwarded using the former employee’s stamps and envelopes. If the employee did not provide stamps and envelopes, each item may be returned to the sender only if the mail piece is marked with a Move Update endorsement. Examples of Move Update endorsements include:

  • “Return Service Requested,”
  • “Change Service Requested,”
  • “Address Service Requested,” or
  • “Forwarding Service Requested.”

Dispose of the mail piece if the sender has not used such an endorsement.

Before Employee Leaves WSU

The employee provides the department secretary with the following:

  • The complete new address.
  • Stamps and envelopes if the employee wishes the department to forward mail other than first-class, express, or priority.
  • Any other special instructions.

Personal Mail

Personal mail may not be routed to WSU to be forwarded or held. Employees on sabbatical are to make other arrangements for their personal mail while temporarily away from WSU.


For assistance with mail services at each of the campuses, see the following:

Revisions:  Oct. 2016 (Rev. 480) Nov. 2005 (Rev. 269); Mar. 1998 (Rev. 116); July 1992 (Rev. 89); Sept. 1979 – new policy (Rev. 34).