Bulk Email Guidelines

Definition

Email is a strategic tool for carrying out the mission of Brown University. It can be used to easily, quickly, and effectively communicate with large groups of people. Recognizing this need, regularly replenished bulk email groups (see chart below) were established and a mailing mechanism created to enable these high level offices, departments and organizations to reach large segments of the community.

Generally, official messages come from the administration or its representatives, to be sent to the entire community or large subgroups. As such, bulk email that has been authorized as an "official communication" should be received and read as any other official document here at Brown, since they may affect day-to-day activities and responsibilities.

Criteria

The official bulk email service is restricted to those messages that meet one of more of the following tests:

  • The message is essential to the proper execution of daily business.
  • It notifies the community of significant events or changes in governance, policy, and practice.
  • It alerts the community to situations around health and safety (examples include crime alerts, snow closings and flu vaccinations).
  • It keeps segments of the community informed of their business. For example, in the case of official committees, the messages could contain minutes, updates, and announcements. This would include instructors who send official email to the students in their courses.

Announcements that do not meet these requirements of urgency and/or critical information, should seek other methods of relaying their information, such as Morning Mail (for announcements) and Brown's online events calendar.

List ownership

It is acknowledged that the membership list of particular groups belongs to the offices which maintain them. As such, these list owners have the right to communicate with their constituents as they deem best, and may send out bulk email to those groups without need of further authorization. In addition, these offices can delegate to other offices or individuals the authority to communicate with these groups. In general, it is expected that this delegation will parallel the existing delegation models of paper-based mailings.

Requests

Requests to send out bulk email to the following populations must have the approval of the owning offices and must meet the criteria listed above. Contact the Help Desk (help@brown.edu) to coordinate any requests only if they meet these requirements. Bear in mind that a request will not be honored if it does not meet the requirements specified above.

The following chart indicates the authorizing offices and provides a summary of acceptable use bulk emailings:

Authorizing Department Mailing Lists Examples of General Use
President's Office all on-campus faculty, medical faculty, graduate students, medical students, students, staff Alerts, significant announcements, policy changes impacting all or most of the community
Dean of the Faculty all on-campus faculty (i.e., not medical faculty) Important meetings and seminars, training, special faculty events, news
Graduate School all graduate students Community-wide announcements, special meetings, health insurance
Human Resources all employees (includes faculty) Matters related to employment (benefits, payroll, snow closings)
Campus Life all undergraduates, all seniors, all, juniors, all sophomores, all freshmen, all special students Registrar announcements, housing information, student services announcements, UCS memos

Last updated: February 9, 2004