System Administration & Network Administration
email zimbra
Updated Mon, 19 Sep 2022 15:54:30 GMT

How do you separate emails for different roles an individual has?

I work at a university, where we have staff members who can also teach as an adjunct faculty member. We issue an account for the individual based on their name, so Joe Smith would get and it is up to them to sort through their mail for staff content versus adjunct content.

HR wants these individuals to have 2 accounts, one for their staff work and one for their adjunct work so the two are completely separated. One reason being that if the staff role is terminated for any reason, they shouldn't have access to their staff content, but could still continue in their adjunct role. Using the previous "Joe Smith" example they would keep their account for staff work, and get the next iteration of our naming scheme as an additional for their adjunct account.

I don't want to do this for a number of reasons:

  1. From a security perspective, I'd like 1 user to have 1 account
  2. It takes an extra email account license (we are using Zimbra)
  3. It's confusing to have two accounts that map to the same person for different roles
  4. In any case, the user has that content, and can do whatever they want with it: forward to their other account, save it to disk, whatever. So if HR has dreams of keeping any staff-only information from a user when their staff employment is terminated that is a pointless battle

Some options we have thought of:

  1. Create an alias and set up a persona in Zimbra - This solves the licensing issue and everything is in the same account, but is not separate in that if their staff employment is terminated they would still have access to all that stuff.
  2. Different domains - having and - This is still as crappy as the 2 account solution, now they are just spread across 2 domains

Has anyone else experienced a similar situation, and if so how did you deal with it?


I don't see anything wrong with the HR plan. It makes sense to me to keep the emails separated by role. If the additional licensing cost is approved then my opinion would be to go with it.

You have a point about a user accessing email sent to one role from the other role, but I think the point is to take appropriate steps to keep the roles distinct and unique, not to close any and every possible loophole that exists. If that were the case then you'd have a lot more work to do, and not just regarding email.

Comments (2)

  • +0 – I certainly see their point, and they give me real world examples of why it is a pain for them every month or so. I may just have to work with multiple accounts, and to Ward's point just say "this is a one-hit-wonder solution for adjunct and staff roles only" :) — Jul 08, 2011 at 13:27  
  • +0 – I don't really like it as an answer, but I think I'm left with little choice. We are really only talking about a handful of people in both roles, so the licensing is really a pretty small issue. — Jul 13, 2011 at 22:00