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Questions and answers

I am a member of staff leaving the University. When will my IT Services account close?

This information is for staff, and persons with associate roles (Visitors, Emeritus etc) only.   If you are a student, please see our guidance for students who are leaving the University.

Your departure from the university (or the expiry of your Associate status) triggers a process to begin closing your IT account.


If you want to keep any of your files or mail folders, you must copy them to your own storage (a private cloud storage account or a portable hard drive/USB drive) before you leave, and in any case before your account closes. For information on taking copies of your Sussex email, see FAQ number 1456.

If you have a Box account, make sure every folder you own has been transferred to another colleague as it is extremely difficult to change this once you've left. Here’s a guide on how to change collaborators permissions.

If you use your Sussex OneDrive account, please ensure you make a copy of your important files before your IT account closes. 

If you own a role-based account (shared mailbox) you will need to contact ITS to transfer ownership, otherwise the account will close. 


Please note that your IT account will close shortly after you leave the University, and any forwarding rules or auto replies that you set up will be disabled at this time.  You should only think of forwarding as a temporary solution.

To set up forwarding of your incoming Sussex email to another Sussex email address,  please follow the instructions in our forwarding guide. You can also set up an autoreply message.  Please note that IT Services is unable to provide an extended email forwarding or autoreply service for leavers.

For GDPR reasons, you should only forward email to another Sussex email account.  Do not forward email from a Sussex address to a shared email account.


The account closure sequence starts when the appropriate Staff Systems officer updates your record in the central database so as to record you as a 'leaver', or when the predetermined 'end date' for your Associate status arrives.  This triggers the eventual automatic closure of your IT Services account.    It also triggers the removal of your Sussex email address from the automatically-updated central School and Departmental mailing lists.

In normal circumstances, after you have left the university an email will be sent to your Sussex address about 14 days after your leaving date, advising you that your account will close 30 days later. Let's follow the example of an imaginary staff member, Ann Other:

All dates shown here are for example only, and time intervals are approximate.

  1. Ann Other leaves the University on April 30. Their Library access ends on this day.
  2. 14 days later (May 14), an email is sent automatically to Ann's Sussex email address, warning that her Sussex account is to close.
  3. 30 days later (June 13), Ann's account closes, and access to her email stops.
  4. A further 30 days later (July 13), Ann's email and files are archived.  Any email forwarding and autoreplying is cancelled at this point.
  5. The following day (July 14), Ann's Sussex account and files are completely removed from the system.


If you have received an account closure warning email but have a legitimate need for your account to remain open a little longer, please contact IT Services and we may be able to delay the closure.  If you need access to your account for a longer period, please discuss your needs with your Section Head or your School Administrator: they may be able to arrange for you to be made an Associate for a limited period of time, which would allow your account to stay open.   You need to have a current 'role' (whether Student, Staff, Associate or Emeritus) at the University for your account to remain open, but IT Services is not authorised to make role changes or change leaving dates.


If you need to access your Sussex account after its scheduled closure date, please contact IT Services to let us know.   We may be able to reopen your account for a limited period, but only if the account has not already been archived and removed from the system (as in steps 4 and 5 above).   Once an account has been removed, we cannot reopen it.

If you need to remain as an Associate, you need to contact the administrative staff in the School or Department where you were associated.   Only when they have renewed your Associate status can your account be reopened, but this must happen before the account is archived and removed (see steps 4 and 5 above in the Account Closure Sequence).


These roles are maintained by HR. Therefore, if you have a question regarding this please contact HR directly. 

Emeritus and Visitor status provides staff with an IT account including a mailbox, Sussex Direct access, and electronic Library access (when requested by HR or your School/Department).

Honorary status provides the above access apart from the electronic Library. 

ITS recommend you make a backup of your emails and files before becoming an Emeritus, Honorary or Visitor. 

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This is question number 2222, which appears in the following categories:

Created by Andy Clews on 29 September 2010 and last updated by Rebecca Latimer on 22 February 2021