'Phishing' is the practice of using email to convince people that the message is legitimate and to disclose personal information. Often official company logos are added to the message to persuade people into following an embedded link, which seems to be pointing to a legitimate site for the company. Once there, a webpage, again looking very legitimate, usually asks for the person to update their account and credit card information.
These types of scams have involved commercial adventures such as EBay, Paypal, the Royal Bank, CIBC, CITI Bank and others. The only clues that may tip you off to this are strange web addresses that appear when you visit the site, the lack of a security lock indicating an unsecured link, the reference to 'Dear Customer', etc.
Please take caution.
AT NO TIME will the University ask you to reveal your userid and password by email.