Policies

U.S. mail is picked up from the DeKalb Post Office at 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. each operating day. Campus Mail Services receives First Class, small-sized Parcel Post mail, and mail with special services (i.e. Registered, Express, Certified, Insured, and Return Receipts). Registered, Express, Certified, and Insured mail are recorded with number, department and date, and then delivered to the designated department. A signature is required on an “Accountable Mail Receipt” form that is returned to Campus Mail Services and filed.

To be processed without delay, incoming mail from correspondents must use the following format:

YOUR FULL NAME
YOUR FULL DEPARTMENT NAME
NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY
1425 W. LINCOLN HIGHWAY
DEKALB, IL. 60115-2828

The same information must be used in the return address for outgoing university mail.

The bottom line of an international address must show only the country name written in full (no abbreviations) and be in capital letters. For example:

THOMAS CLARK
117 RUSSELL DRIVE
LONDON WIP 6HQ
ENGLAND

All International envelopes and packets must be sealed prior to arrival at Campus Mail. All International packets and parcels that weigh more than 16 oz. are required to bear custom form PS 2976 or PS 2976-A, regardless, of value or contents. These forms can be obtained through Campus Mail and must be filled out by the mailer. Check with Campus Mail Services for a list of prohibited or restricted articles for an individual country’s rules and regulations on mail-ability. All international mail must comply with export control regulations. Please visit Export Control for more information.

All mail must be marked as to the class required to ensure that it will be posted accordingly. If the mail does not carry the required markings, it will be sent First Class at the appropriate postage rate. Unmarked parcels will be sent at the most economical rate.

Priority mail is a First Class mail service offered by the U.S. Postal Service that allows the delivery of an item in two or three days. While two to three days is the normal time frame, it is not guaranteed to reach its destination in two or three days. First Class mail that weighs 13 oz. or more is automatically considered Priority mail. First Class mail under 13 oz. can be mailed as Priority mail, but there is a minimum rate for this service, which is more than the standard First Class rate.

First Class mail generally offers three-day delivery to most domestic destinations but is not guaranteed. Postcards, Business Reply Mail and Permit Imprint #207 are included in this group.

Periodical mail is newspapers and magazines issued at least four times a year by a publisher who mails at the periodical rate on the basis of a periodical permit purchased through the U.S. Post Office.

Standard Bulk mail is a low priority mailing class for mail sent at a lower rate. To use this service contact Document Services at 815-753-1692.

Package Services mail has four sub-categories that might save postage. This class of mail does not receive expedited service but is usually delivered between 3 to 7 days. They are:

  • Standard Post must not exceed 70 pounds and 130 inches in length and girth combined. All oversized pieces, regardless of actual weight, will be charged at an “oversized” rate.
  • Media mail is a book rate with the same dimensions as above.
  • Library mail is mailed between schools and cultural institutions with the same dimensions as above.
  • Bound Printed Matter must be permanently bound and not exceed 15 pounds

Accountable mail includes Express, Registered, Insured, Certified and mail with a Return Receipt. Call Campus Mail Services at 815-753-6286 for forms.

Express mail is a service offered by the U.S. Post Office that guarantees next day delivery to most destinations within the U.S. (Note: Deliveries to some locations in the U.S. and all locations overseas do take longer than one day.) $100 insurance is included at no extra cost. Mail using this service must be in Campus Mail Services no later than 3:30 p.m. daily. After 3:30 p.m. there is no guarantee that it will arrive at the destination by the next business day.

Registered mail is a highly secure form of delivery that is documented at each step of the way. Registered mail is best for sending documents or items of value, where security is important. This mail is kept under lock and key during its journey. As a result of the added security delivery may be delayed by 24-48 hours.

Insured mail provides protection by obtaining payment for loss of mail, rifling, or damage to your mail. You can buy insurance up to $5,000 for Package Services mail. It is also available for merchandise mailed at the Priority mail or First Class mail rates. Express mail includes $100 insurance at no extra charge.

Certified mail provides you with a receipt at the time of mailing and records of delivery are maintained at the post office. Only mailable matter on which postage is paid at a First Class rate (including Priority mail) may be accepted as Certified mail. Certified mail is a good choice when you want to prove that you mailed something and that it was received.

Return Receipts are your proof of mailing and delivery. The addressee signs a green card, which is returned to the mailer as proof of delivery. It is available for domestic Express, Registered, Certified, and Insured mail shipments. The return receipt identifies the article number, who signed for it and the date it was delivered. Another option is to use the Return Receipt titled Restricted Delivery. This service permits a mailer to direct delivery only to the addressee.

Mail delivery service is provided to all primary department offices on a once-per-day basis, using a pouch exchange system. When mail is delivered to a department office, a return pouch is picked up and returned to the Dorland Mail Center. Three mail delivery routes are utilized to provide the most efficient delivery system possible.

Personal mail with U.S. postage stamps affixed such as holiday greetings, monthly bills, personal correspondence, etc., should not be sent to Campus Mail Services for processing. Such mail should be deposited in U.S. Postal Service collection boxes. For your convenience, there are seven USPS collection boxes located on campus. Boxes have been placed on the corner of Lucinda and Annie Glidden, College and Castle, Barsema Hall, Holmes Student Center and the outside area 100 yards southwest of Holmes Student Center.

Outgoing meter mail (mail which must have postage affixed by Campus Mail Services), must reach the Dorland Mail Center before 3:00 p.m. to assure dispatch to the DeKalb Post Office the same day. Metered mail is the most cost-effective way to send outgoing mail.

Outgoing First Class mail sent by university departments to Campus Mail Services, to be run through the meter, qualifies for a presort discount. First Class mail qualifies if the envelope weighs less than 3 ounces and the envelope is no larger than 11 1/2” in length, 6 1/8” in height and 1/4” thick. All metered mail must be for university business only, be in all capital letters and have a complete university return address, including the name of the sending department.

Flaps of envelopes to be metered must be overlapped for the meter machine to seal. The flaps of larger flat mail must be sealed prior to reaching Campus Mail Services. All metered mail must be accompanied by a pre-printed, bar-coded Postage Charge Slip showing the name and account number of the sending department, the date sent, and an authorized department signature.

If special services are required for mailing, such as Registered, Insured, Certified, etc., instructions should be clearly marked on the Postage Charge Slip and on the envelope or package to be mailed. Charge slips for new accounts can be ordered by calling Campus Mail Services at 815-753-6286.

Perforated postage stamps are available to university departments through Campus Mail Services using the Postage Charge Slip to authorize charges to your university postage account. To order stamps fill out the pre-printed Postage Charge Slip with the name and account number of your department, the date sent, an authorized department signature, and the quantities and denominations of the type of postage your department needs. Postage requests will be delivered to your department as soon as possible. A signature acknowledging receipt will be requested upon delivery.

Departments using perforated postage stamps do not qualify for the presort discount. The university stocks perforated postage stamps of limited denominations, secured through the Department of Central Management Services in Springfield, Illinois.

Departments are encouraged to order supplies as early as possible to allow ample time for the items to be ordered from Springfield, if necessary. This is especially important when large quantities are needed. Campus Mail Services does not sell postage stamps to individuals for personal use, and does not accept cash or personal checks under any circumstances.

Business Reply Envelopes are obtained by sending a printing requisition to Document Services. The Business Reply Envelope return cost is charged to your account upon receipt of the letter.

Standard (Bulk) mailings are not processed by Campus Mail Services, but are prepared and processed by Document Services. Bulk mailings include two types; meter imprint and permit imprint. Certain procedures are followed for the dispatch of each type of mailing and the person preparing such mailing should first contact Document Services at 815-753-1692 for preparation guidelines.

Please notify Campus Mail Services promptly of all changes in your official department name or building location. Campus Mail Services should also be notified when your offices will be closed during regular delivery periods, such as semester breaks or vacation breaks.

Campus Mail Services processes approximately 2,500,000 pieces of mail annually. Both incoming U.S. mail and interoffice mail are sorted by university department name. Mail that does not show the name of the department is delayed in Directory Search Services. In Directory Search Services the envelope is screened to determine if it can be correctly identified for delivery or return to a university department.

First Class mail with an insufficient return address that is returned to NIU from the U.S. Postal Service is held in Directory Search Service to determine, if possible, the sender’s name and the department that sent the item.

First Class mail addressed to a specific person at NIU (and does not include their department) is held for Directory Search Service to determine, if possible, what department the person is affiliated with.

First Class mail directed to the university that is addressed only to “NIU, DeKalb Il.” will be held and opened to determine to whom that mail should be delivered. When identification of the intended recipient isn’t possible from the inspection of the contents, the mail is returned to the sender, if possible.

First Class mail that has been referred to Directory Search Service and still cannot be identified is handled as follows:

  • If the piece has a return address, it is stamped “Insufficient Address” and returned to the sender.
  • If the piece has no return address, it will be returned to the DeKalb Post Office for disposition.

The handling of insufficient addresses on incoming Periodical, Standard, and Parcel Post mail is differentiated by Campus Mail Services based upon the following factors:

  • Mail indicating “Address, Forwarding, Return or Change Service Requested" on the face of the envelope is returned to the DeKalb Post Office for disposition.
  • Mail not indicating any of the services listed above is disposed of by Campus Mail Services unopened.

Mail delivered to your department, addressed to a staff member who has left the department, should be forwarded as needed, by your department if the new address is known. First Class mail is forwarded free of charge for one year. When forwarding such mail, you should draw a line through the incorrect address, insert the correct new address, band separately, and return the mail to Campus Mail Services. If you do not have a forwarding address for the staff member, mark on the face of the envelope “Moved-No-Forward” and return to Campus Mail Services.

Periodical mail (magazines, newspapers etc.) is forwarded for 60 days free of charge.

Standard mail may not be forwarded; however, if an ancillary endorsement (i.e. address, forwarding, return, or change service requested) is written on the item you should return the item to Campus Mail Services.

An official change-of-address form cannot be left by a staff member or student at the DeKalb Post Office or at Campus Mail Services for the purpose of re-directing mail. A form can be left with Campus Mail Services for reference purposes only.

Any mail received at Campus Mail Services which does not have postage affixed and/or has no accompanying postage charge slips will be returned to the sender. If such mail does not have a return address, it will be sent to the dead letter office, as postal regulations prohibit sending this type of mail postage due.

The following types of non-U.S. stamped mail cannot be accepted for processing by Campus Mail Services:

  • Any material that would be prohibited by federal regulations
  • Personal unstamped mail involving non-university business (i.e. notices of garage sales, homes for sale, personal gatherings, meeting notices for organizations not affiliated with NIU, fraternity or sorority social functions, etc.)
  • Personal greeting in bulk, including holiday greeting cards
  • Literature, circulars, or notices originated by non-university organizations
  • Personal books
  • Petitions, money solicitations, membership recruitment, election or campaign literature of partisan nature
  • Currency or coin
  • Scandalous or libelous material
  • Controversial material of any kind
  • Unstamped commercial solicitations
  • Unstamped advertisement

If the above guidelines are met organizations of university employees may utilize Campus Mail Services for campus deliveries without affixing US mail postage subject to the following rules:

  • Employee organization(s) shall include groups of at least ten employees organized, whether incorporated or not, for common recreational, social, educational, charitable or employment purposes. It shall also include similar organizations of spouses of university employees.
  • Any employee organizations mailing more than fifty pieces must be brought directly to the Campus Mail Services central office. Non-compliance with this paragraph will result in non-delivery of the mailing.
  • In order to assure the reasonable delivery of official US mail or official university mailings, an employee organization may use Campus Mail Services for a mailing to members or prospective members no more than once every ten working days.
  • Campus Mail Services and the university shall continue to determine priorities for sorting and delivery of various classifications of mail. Highest priority shall be given to the disposition of postage-affixed US mail, interoffice mail, and official university mail.
  • All other portions of NIU Business Procedure No. 13-1 remain in full force and effect unless expressly modified herein.

For information on postal rates for various classes of mail or current fees for special services and handling, contact Campus Mail Services at 815-753-6286.