IU Bloomington Academic Policies

I. Professional Conduct and Communications

Mass Email Procedures and Restrictions

BL-ACA-I23

Scope

This policy applies only to emails sent to official IU lists owned by the offices of:

  • the IUB Provost
  • the Vice Provost for Faculty & Academic Affairs
  • the Dean of Students
  • the Director of Human Resources

The policy does not apply to emails sent to lists created or maintained by any other entity.

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Policy Statement

Officially Administered Mass Email Lists
Officially Administered Mass Email Lists are defined to be those lists created from IU’s official database of faculty, students, and staff for the use of the offices of the Provost, the Vice Provost for Faculty & Academic Affairs, the Dean of Students, and the Director of Human Resources. Those individuals or groups desiring access to these lists must receive approval from the appropriate office as outlined below.

Mass Emails
Mass emails sent to the officially administered mass email lists must directly relate to and facilitate the teaching and learning, research, or service missions of the University and must be relevant to the mailing list members. All mass emails that are sent to officially administered mass email lists must be approved by the appropriate campus or University officers, as described in the Procedures section of this document.

Personal and Commercial Emails
Mass emails that are personal, political, or commercial in nature will not be distributed to the lists mentioned above unless they are in support of University business and have been approved following the procedures outline below.

Content and Format of Mass Emails
Mass emails sent to the lists described above should be concise and to the point and should make minimal use of embedded graphics and attachments. These emails must:

  • clearly identify the sending entity of the email (e.g. in the From: field)
  • clearly specify an email address to which replies can be sent (e.g. in the Reply To: field) – preferably an organizational, rather than a personal, email address
  • contain a meaningful description of the email (e.g. in the Subject: field)
  • mask the email addresses of the individual recipients of the mailing.

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Reason for Policy

The purpose of this policy is to outline the procedures that must be followed by those individuals or groups wishing to send email to University or campus communities using officially administered mass email lists. These email lists reflect the most up-to-date knowledge of the current membership of the IUB campus communities: faculty, students, and staff. Individuals or groups wishing to communicate information relevant to the research, teaching and learning, or service missions of the University to these communities are therefore encouraged to make use of the official lists. No restrictions are placed upon electronic communications that do not make use of these lists beyond the requirements already specified in the University policy on the Use of Electronic Mail.

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Procedures

Requests for distribution of mass emails must be directed to the following officers, or their designees, depending on the largest intended audience of the electronic communication.
  • any University-wide community--the President
  • all IUB members--the Provost
  • the IUB faculty--the Vice Provost for Faculty & Academic Affairs
  • the IUB students--the Dean of Students
  • the IUB staff--the Director of Human Resources
Specific procedures for making these requests are detailed in the Best Practices document.
 

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Definitions

Mass Email: Any unsolicited email, or group of emails, sent to a significant fraction of any of the communities – faculty, students, or staff – of the IUB campus.

Communities: Membership in the faculty, student, and staff communities is determined by the contents of lists maintained by the university such as the “Global Address List”.

Officially Administered Mass Email Lists: Email distribution lists derived from the official IU database of faculty, students, and staff, which are made available to the offices of the Provost, the Vice Provost for Faculty & Academic Affairs, the Dean of Students, or the Director of Human Resources.

Best Practices: The document accompanying this policy that outlines appropriate mass email usage and gives technical advice on possibilities for electronic communication.

Appropriate campus or University officers: The officers listed in the Procedures section who have the authority to review and approve mass emails for their respective constituencies.

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History

Approved: BFC 04/20/12.

Updated 05/10/2016: References to a best practices document were removed because the information is now contained in the linked knowledge base article.

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