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Mail Center Procedures & Regulations

The following procedures and regulations are designed to define the operational policy of the Mail Center in regard to the distribution of U.S. and intracampus mail (interdepartmental, non-U.S. stamped mail, notices, bulletins, and circulars which normally originate and terminate on the campus):

Address Processing

Central Mail/University of Iowa uses a mailing program to process your mailing lists. Benefits are postal coding, barcoding and presorting at a reduced cost. It is available for First Class or Standard Mail. When sending your file, label it with the following information: department name, name of list, number of records/names, format of file, field lengths and any special instructions (be as specific as possible)

Acceptable file formats are the following: Dbase, ASCII Fixed Length with Line Feed, ASCII Fixed Length without Line Feed, ASCII Comma Delimited and ASCII Tab Delimited.

Departments are to maintain their own mailing lists. Central Mail/University of Iowa will only process the list as is, though they will review and suggest changes to reduce duplications and cost.

Address Relocations

All U.S. mail for staff members located in buildings other than the building in which the main department office is located should be marked with the proper building name and placed in the pickup container for return to the Mail Center.

All U.S. mail for a staff member no longer employed by the university can be forwarded to the former employee's new address. Draw lines through all parts of the old address except the name and write the new address next to the name and place mail in pickup container to return to the Mail Center. No additional postage will be required for first class mail. Parcel Post class mail with "Address Correction Requested" may be forwarded, but the addressee will be required to pay the postage due upon receipt. Parcel Post class mail carrying an address cancellation requested statement will be returned to the sender. University funds will not be used for forwarding this type of mail.


All U.S. mail is sorted according to main departments and is delivered intact to departments by the campus mail delivery service. To ensure prompt delivery, correspondents should be provided with complete addresses including the department, campus code, name of person and building in which staff members are located.

Barcode Instructions

A Purple Mailing card must be completed for all outgoing mail with the proper account number. For Bulk Mailings, a Mailing Barcode form must be completed with the proper account number and signature. If there is no Purple Mailing card or Barcode form or if the form is not completed correctly, the material may be held until the proper form is provided.

Please read the following instructions CAREFULLY before using the Online Mailing Barcode Form

  • Enter your 29 digit Oracle account number
    • Fund - 4 digits
    • App Year - 2 digits
    • Organization- 5 digits
    • Object - 5 digits
    • Program- 4 digits-63010 for mailing
    • Function - 2 digits
    • Activity - 4 digits
    • Line Number - 3 digits
  • Fill in the correct information in the boxes provided
  • The Appropriation Year must be current if the fund is 0011
  • The object code will be 63010 for all US Postal Mailings and Federal Express Mailings
  • The extra box at the end is for foundation accounts only
  • After filling in your information click the Generate Barcode Now button
  • Clicking the Generate Barcode Now will lead to the Mailing Request form
  • Fill in the correct information for a specific job or delete the date and print for generic use
  • A mailing request form is needed for each Oracle account number used and each individual mailing (one form per mailing, not per piece)
  • Only originals should be used
  • A mailing request form must accompany your mailing before the mailing will be processed.

Please click here to use the Online Mailing Request Form

*The Online Mailing Request Form page can be book marked but not saved*

Business Reply

Postage Paid Business Reply envelopes or cards may be ordered for use by departments. Complete a requisition and forward to Print Services well in advance of mailing date. Print Services will imprint envelopes with the appropriate permit and other U.S. Postal Service requirements. The department pays postage on only those envelopes that are returned.

Campus Delivery

U.S. stamped and intra-campus mail deliveries are provided once daily at all approved university offices located on or contiguous to the mail campus.

Campus mail carriers deliver and pick up all mail from one designated point at each mail stop. Campus mail carriers are not authorized to change the location of the mail stop within an office or add a new mail stop. Requests for changes or additions to mail delivery routes are to be submitted to the Manager/Transportation Services. Administrative offices and academic departments are responsible for the distribution of mail to persons within their areas. A delivery and pickup schedule may be obtained upon request from the Mail Center.

Intracampus university business mail is to be placed in envelopes provided by the Mail Center for routing within the campus mail system.

Central Receiving Procedures

  1. Incoming shipments will be received and inspected by Central Receiving personnel immediately after receipt.
  2. The receiving inspection performed will include the following:
    • A careful comparison of the number of pieces received with the number listed on the freight bill.
    • Examination of cartons for any evidence of damage.
    • Examination of the contents for obvious damage if cartons show any evidence of possible damage. Cartons will not be opened.
  3. Notation of any shortage or damage will be made on the freight bill before it is signed and the carrier released.
  4. If concealed damages are detected after the shipment has been delivered by Central Receiving, departments should notify the Central Receiving office immediately. Remember concealed damage claims must be filed with the carrier within 15 days of receipt of the freight.
  5. The University of Northern Iowa does not accept “Collect” freight shipments of any kind.
  6. After the receiving inspection has been performed and the receiving report prepared, the material will be delivered to the requisitioning department by Central Receiving personnel. It is the goal of Central Receiving personnel to deliver UPS, FedEx and Office Max deliveries the same day.
  7. Delivery to the requisitioning department will include transporting the materials to the on-campus location designated on the purchase order. Signatures are preferred when the delivery is made.
  8. The requisitioning department is responsible for making final inspection of their merchandise.
  9. Refrigerated items will be accepted at Central Receiving and delivered to the requisitioning department the same day of receipt if at all possible. Central Receiving does not have facilities to refrigerated items overnight.
  10. There are exceptions that will not be received at Central Receiving
    • Live animals or radioactive materials
    • Large loads for a single destination for which unloading and reloading would be impractical. This type of load will be directed to the UNI Warehouse.
    • Shipments that have been ordered by a private contractor.

First Class Mail

First Class Mail is material that is entirely or partially handwritten or typewritten. Typewritten addresses expedite the delivery of the mail. First Class Mail also includes postcards, completed forms, statements, and invoices.

Fourth Class Mail/Parcel Post

Parcel Post mail is material printed or duplicated only (no originals or personalized materials), merchandise or other mailable material weighing 16 ounces or more.

Intra-campus Mail (Non-U.S.)

The following classification of non-U.S. mail originating on the campus or directed to university personnel may be processed through the campus mail service if properly addressed and presented with required approvals:

  • Interoffice communications relating to official university business.
  • Approved university department circulars and bulletins.
    • Must relate to course offerings, special instructional programs, operational or administrative releases and like materials.
  • All non-U.S. campus mail must carry the name and department of the sender.
  • All blank spaces on campus envelopes should be properly filled out to assure prompt delivery.
  • Campus envelopes are not to be discarded until all blank spaces have been used or the envelope becomes unusable. Cross out previous addresses to avoid confusion.

Library Mail & Media Mail

Library Mail is an economical Media Mail postage rate used to mail books on loan. The Media Mail rate can be used by university departments for other limited educational material such as recording tape, prescribed audio-visual materials, film, scientific instructional kits, or museum material.

Mass Mailing

Approved campus mass mailings (standard notice to be released to 25 or more staff members or students) may, upon written request and approval of the University Mail Center, be distributed within or outside of campus envelopes if:

  • All pieces are delivered to the university Mail Center.
  • Addressing of material can be done by some mechanical method. (Note: ink jet/laser addressing may be necessary; will be done by the UNI Mail Center Smartmailer or Central Mail, University of Iowa for a small processing fee per piece-charged to departmental account)
  • Departments may address an on-campus mailing by using typed labels prepared by the department as long as the piece contains the person's name and campus code. The cost for sorting in such mailings is .02 per piece.
  • A separate mail instruction form is made for each mass mailing date in advance of that date.

The Mail Center maintains a mailing list for all faculty and staff. Departments must notify the Mail Center regarding any updates to the list.

Metered Mail

The Mail Center no longer affixes postage to outgoing business mail for university organizations and programs that have an operating account with the university. All out-going mail is processed and metered by Central Mail/University of Iowa in a joint partnership agreement with UNI. Postage costs for items mailed are charged against the university account indicated on mailing request forms by monthly transfer of charges in administrative accounting.

Mailing referred for metering should be sorted to cause all pieces to face in the same direction. Please separate postcards, they require different postage.

Unsealed #10 envelopes to be metered, with material already inserted, should be submitted with flaps up. Overstuffed envelopes and larger envelopes must be sealed.

Each department is to include their complete university return address on all outgoing mail. This procedure will ensure proper billing and return mail to sender if for any reason it is undeliverable.

End flap envelopes submitted for metering must be sorted so that when reading the address, the end flaps are to the right. They must be sealed.

Staples are not to be used for sealing mail pieces. Tabs or tape should be used to enclose the mailing.

Misrouted Mail

All misrouted U.S. mail should be placed in the pickup containers for return to the Mail Center at the next pickup.

Personal Mail

Personal mail should not be sent to faculty or staff of the university. Such mail includes, but is not limited to, fraternal and church bulletins, personal effects, book and record club mailings, personal check books, postage due mail, personal mail which is registered, certified or insured, and magazines, periodicals and newspapers not specifically used in the course of university business.

All outgoing private and personal U.S. mail must be processed through the U.S. postal system. Such mail may be deposited in official U.S. post office boxes. Boxes are located at the university Mail Center, on the south side of Rod Library, at the east entrance to the Student Health Center, on the corner of Minnesota and 27th and at the corner of Campus Street and 23rd. The time for pickup of U.S. mail is designated on the boxes.

Private Business and Personal Mail

The following classifications are examples of non-U.S. stamped (campus mail) which are not to be processed within the university mail system:

  • Any material, if stamped, which would be prohibited by Federal postal regulations.
  • Personal unstamped mail involving operation of employees and/or student organizations outside of the recognized university structure.
  • Literature, circulars or notices originated by non-university employees and/or student organizations.
  • Petitions, money solicitations and membership recruitment materials not originated by the university administration.
  • Election or campaign materials of a partisan nature.
  • Items of material value, such as money, money orders, checks, etc.
  • Unstamped commercial solicitations.
  • Personal greetings, books, and like materials.

Registered, Certified and Insured Mail

Each department will be responsible for putting on green return receipts and certified or registered stickers. The following features are available for additional cost. Material must be in the mailroom by 11:30 AM to be processed the same day.

Registered Mail provides written evidence and security of mailing and delivery. It is the safest way to send valuables through the mail. Only First Class mail can be registered and insured up to $25,000. Mark "registered". Foreign mail can only be sent registered mail (not certified). To prevent unauthorized opening, seal with gummed tape. Do not use envelopes, labels or containers that are self-sealing. The value of the contents must appear on the meter card under "special notes".

Certified Mail provides written evidence of mailing First Class Mail. Mark the request form "certified". To have written evidence of delivery, mark the orange meter card "Return Receipt Requested" on the line marked "Special Notes". Only registered mail provides insurance.

Insurance on First and Parcel Post Class mail can be obtained for an additional charge. Mark the mailing request "Insured" to obtain insurance for the parcel. The value of the contents must appear on the line marked "Special Notes". If a return receipt is requested, write "Return Receipt Requested" on the line marked "Special Notes".


Smartmailer is a service provided by the Mail Center for on-campus mailings. When using this service, the name and on-campus mail code is printed onto the piece to be mailed. The cost to print the name and mail code and then sort the piece for delivery, is .055 cents per copy. If a mailing is counted in without the on-campus name and mail code, the cost is .02 per piece. The Mail Center has several on campus address lists available for campus mail. If departments are unsure of which list to use, please call the Mail Center at 273-3230 for assistance.

Student Housing Mail

There is no intracampus mail delivery to students housed in University Apartments. All students in University Apartments are served by the U.S. Post Office.

Use of the residence hall mail system for the distribution of materials is limited to persons, groups and/or organizations officially recognized by the university and must be pre-approved by the Department of Residence. Others may distribute information only through the U.S. mail. For additional information on mail procedures for residence housing, contact the Department of Residence.

UPS Overnight Shipping

The Mail Center uses UPS to send items overnight and second day. Fill out a UPS Shipping Request for UPS shipments. Indicate on the "Additional instructions" line if you would like to know the shipping cost prior to shipping or if you would like a tracking number.  Items must be to the Mail Center by 2:15 pm in order to go out that day. Oversized packages and multiple packages should be at the Mail Center by 11:30 am for same day processing. UPS will not deliver to a P.O. Box or Rural Route. You must have a street address. Please provide the phone number of the recipient if available.

UPS shipping rates vary by size/weight of the package, delivery zone, and service requested.  You may use the UPS website as a guideline in determining cost (UNI generally receives a discount from these rates).

UPS mailing envelopes and an assortment of boxes are available from the Mail Center.

Please call the Mail Center at 319-273-2828 if you have questions or need assistance.

U.S. Standard (Bulk) Rate Mailings

A mailing to qualify for standard rates must consist of at least 200 pieces, all of which must be identical in content, size, weight, zip code order, etc., or weigh at least 50 pounds. Co-mingling only applies to pieces that are smaller than 6 1/8" and 11 ¼". Overstuffed envelopes and other pieces (not business envelopes, such as flats), should be sealed.

All standard mail must be for delivery in the United States and its possessions. Foreign mail cannot be sent at bulk rate and should not be submitted with such mailings. Pull out all on-campus mail and keep separate when presenting a mailing.

Arrangements for standard mailings should be made as far in advance of the desired mailing date as possible. When designing a mail piece, please consider the postal requirements for flyers and brochures. The main fold at the bottom, tab at the top. Staples are not desirable because of postal and Mail Center automation. Complying with postal requirements means faster service and sometimes lower rates, even for standard (bulk) mail. Central Mail/University of Iowa, can assist.

Zip code numbers are an essential part of the mailing address and must be included. Mass mailing prepared by departments should be sorted by zip code numbers, in sequence lowest to highest, by the department before forwarding to the mail room.

Mail labels submitted with a mailing should be presorted in zip code order and submitted one across on continuous form feed. Please send a zip code printout, if possible, to expedite the processing of the mailing.

The following replaces Permit #62:

Non Profit Organization

U.S. Postage



Envelopes bearing this permit or University of Northern Iowa nonprofit printing in the upper right hand corner are designated as bulk mailing and cannot be used for individual piece mailing unless postage stamps and /or meter tapes completely cover the printed permit.

All standard mailings bearing this permit must be sent through the Central Mail/University of Iowa.
Items bearing the University of Northern Iowa nonprofit printing cannot be included with other materials in an envelope unless the permit printing is crossed off or covered up by blank labels. The permit applies only to outgoing standard mail processed by the Mail Center.

If an item is designed to be used both as a handout piece and as a mail piece, the sender should check with the Mail Center and Central Mail/University of Iowa prior to printing the postal permit for advice on standard mailing preparations.

Through permit mailing, mailers may be authorized to mail material without affixing postage if the payment is paid at the time of mailing. Each mail piece sent under this payment method must bear a permit imprint indicia showing that postage is paid. Print Services or the Mail Center can provide a sample of the imprint.

A postage check must be provided to pay for the mailing before it is presented to the post office.

Check with the Central Mail/University of Iowa for current mailing costs and estimates.

Type a Request For Payment in the UNI Forms Repository requesting a postage check to be made out to: "U. S. Postmaster" and send to the Controller's Office.

Include a note on the requisition to send the check to the University of Iowa when complete.

Give a breakdown of the cost (multiply number of pieces by the per piece cost). The Mail Center needs this information for the mailing forms that accompany the mailing to the post office.

U.S. University Business Mail

U.S. mail should be separated from foreign mail with the latter clipped together with an identifying note "Foreign", using a barcoded mail form.

Registered, insured and certified are special services and are specified on a barcoded mail form.

Stamped mail should be separated from that requiring metering.