If a staff member is taking a leave of absence, what is the best way to disable their mailbox?

We have staff members who are attending school for 8-10 months.  Since they will be returning to work at the end of their leave, we do not want to delete their AD account or mailbox.  However, we do not want their mailbox filling up either.  Nor do we want people sending email for which a response is necessary.

Is there a best practice for temporarily disabling or making inactive the mailbox?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
What I do for this is set up forwarding to another account - the person who will respond to the email in the absence of the first person here.

The first person can (and should) set up an Out of Office greeting. Once senders understand, this will limit the inflow of email.

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DebS52Author Commented:
This makes sense as a solution for staff members whose emails we want to monitor but that's not the case in this instance.  However, the Out of Office greeting was a good idea that we did remind staff to implement.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@DebS52 - Thanks for the update and I was happy to help.
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