Saint Mary’s University Mass Email Guidelines and Procedures
Saint Mary’s University strives to ensure campus communication resources are used effectively. Email is an efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally-friendly way to communicate with large groups of people. However, it requires a clear and consistent strategy because non-strategic use of mass email reduces employee and student productivity, creates viewer fatigue and increases the likelihood of deleting critical messages.
Recognizing best practices, the university has created a policy and guidelines for email usage. This policy governs the use of announcements to the following listserves:
- Winona undergraduate students,
- Students in the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs,
- Faculty and staff (across the university or by campus).
Email to a Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota email account is the university’s official means of communicating information to faculty, staff, and students as stated in our email policy.
Mass email is any email message sent to the entire campus or large subset (example: all students, Winona undergraduate students, students in graduate and professional programs, all faculty and staff, or all faculty and staff on one campus). All mass emails must follow Saint Mary’s email guidelines and procedures and be consistent with any applicable state and federal laws.
Users are strongly encouraged to use other current options for communications before considering a mass email as the choice for any communication:
- Saint Mary’s Today, the university’s internal e-news channel*
- Printed and digital signage
- Social media
- Website (depending on topic)
- Department or division email
- Digital Screens
- Small group or interpersonal communications.
*Audiences reached via Saint Mary’s Today:
- The entire university community
- All students
- All faculty and staff
- All Winona undergraduate students
- All graduate and professional students
- Undergraduate faculty and staff
- Schools of Graduate and Professional Program faculty and staff
Guidance on topics better served through a mass email:
- Information that should not be accessible to the public.
- Information that pertains to the majority of the recipients, is critical and/or time-sensitive, and meets one or more of the following standards:
- Alerts the campus community to situations about health and safety risks;
- Notifies the campus community about changes in governance, policy, and practice;
- Communicates important information from the president, provost, or other university senior leadership.
Inappropriate use of internal mass email (or inclusion in Saint Mary’s Today) includes, but is not limited to:
- Messages not in line with the university’s mission or Lasallian Catholic values;
- Messages commercial in nature with the exception of those messages that support university business;
- Political activities that advocate for or against a party, platform, or candidate;
- Messages for job postings or research recruitment;
- Marketing or advertising of programs, majors, classes, products, regular events;
- Solicitations for contributions, charities, or participation in personal activities not related to university purposes or not sponsored by the university;
- Solicitations for non-university businesses operated by university faculty or staff;
Announcements that do not meet the outlined standards or are inappropriate for mass email should use other communication channels as listed below.
Required approval and authorization
Authorization to send mass email is automatically granted in the following cases:
1. Official university announcements
Requests to send out mass email to university groups must be approved by and sent by an authorized unit and must follow these guidelines.
Each authorized unit will identify one or two departmental email addresses that are the designated senders who have authorization to send on behalf of their department. IT Services will keep the master list of designated senders and ensure those accounts have the rights to send to the approved lists. This list of designated senders will be audited and updated each summer by IT.
Requests to be added to the authorized unit list or to send to a group must be submitted through the HelpDesk and should be approved by the head of the authorized unit.
No employee may create a listserv that mirrors or mimics a university listserv.
In an emergency situation, communications should follow our emergency response plan found on the HR website.
Violations of this policy should be reported to the employee’s supervisor.