Mass Email Policy: Updated January 2014

PURPOSE 

Saint Joseph’s University recognizes that email is an efficient and cost-effective means for individuals and campus groups to reach large internal audiences. At the same time, members of the University community have expressed an aversion to unsolicited, mass-distributed internal email. Additional feedback further suggests that the overuse of such email adversely impacts the University’s ability to deliver messages of critical importance, which was the original intent of large email aliases like “employee.”

With these concerns in mind, this policy supports the following principle: SJU respects all community members and protects both the integrity and effectiveness of University messages by minimizing unsolicited, mass-delivered email communications. 

In addition to a policy reserving all-employee communications for official University messaging, there are supplemental issues related to system capacity and the security of protected information. It is the University’s responsibility to preserve an effective email system that safeguards personal information and promotes system-wide performance. With those and other objectives in mind, the University has re-written its Mass EMail Guidelines (May 2005) and put in place the following Mass EMail Policy (effective January 2014).

SCOPE AND CRITERIA 

The Mass EMail Policy identifies instances in which mass email communications are permitted, how distribution of those messages is approved, and alternatives when the use of mass email is not appropriate. Its structure is guided by the federal CAN-SPAM Act, which created new regulations about the management of unsolicited email. Namely, all such unsolicited messages must include an opt-out mechanism. When members of an email community cannot opt out of a message stream, the owner – in this case Saint Joseph’s University – assumes a heightened responsibility to protect recipients from unsolicited messaging.

This policy restricts the use of the employee, empfac and empstaff aliases according to the authorization list below. These aliases meet CAN-SPAM criteria as follows:

• They reach all faculty and staff.

• Membership is required (“employee” and subsets) and there is no immediate opt-out (“fyi”).

• They were created with the intent of quickly communicating essential information.

Prior to this policy, no formal protocol governed their access or use.

Effective January 17, 2014, the University has eliminated the “fyi” alias and established formal criteria restricting access to the “employee” (and subset “empfac” and “empstaff”) aliases. Future broadcast emails can be sent only by authorized users and must meet one or more of the following conditions:

• Be critical, time sensitive and germane to the University’s mission or operations, as determined by the President’s Office, Senior Vice President, Provost’s Office, University Communications or Public Safety.

• Address an urgent issue of campus safety, health or operational status (e.g., weather alerts).

• Address a required/recommended activity that applies to all or the vast majority of suppressed alias recipients (e.g., Class Registration, Benefits Enrollment, Convocation).

• Be deemed otherwise essential by an authorized office (*) and carry the heading and signature of the division/department head.

(*) Authorized offices/officers include President’s Cabinet divisions, along with Campus Ministry, Dining Services, Drexel Library, Facilities, Jesuit Community, Payroll, Public Safety, Student Records and Financial Services, and Student Health. 

PROCEDURES 

The offices of the President, Senior Vice President and Provost are authorized to send messages to the University community, as are division/department heads in University Communications and Public Safety.

The Office of Mission is authorized to approve messages on behalf of Campus Ministry. Administrative Services approves messages from Dining Services and Facilities. Human Resources (employee benefits and payroll) and Information Technology (I.T. service issues) are authorized to send messages related to their respective areas. The Jesuit Community will distribute its messages through the President’s Office.

All other mass email requests, unless approved and sent by an authorized officer or one of the remaining designated offices, will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the Office of University Communications with the primary goal of minimizing unsolicited messages. In addition, each week University Communications will distribute an internal electronic digest of events and announcements. All approved events submitted (thisweek@sju.edu) by the published deadline will be compiled and distributed to campus users in this manner. The first issue of This Week will appear on January 21, 2014.

Daily event reminders are currently available via the online SJU Events Calendar at http://www.sju.edu/events. Academic and administrative units are encouraged to post their events to this online calendar for maximum effect. The so-called “classifieds” previously permitted under the FYI alias should now be posted in the announcements section of MySJU. They will not be accepted for email or digest distribution.

Questions about the Mass EMail Policy may be directed to the Office of University Communications (x1222).

AUTHORIZED MASS EMAIL USERS 

• Administrative Services

• Advancement

• Athletics

• Campus Ministry

• CAS Dean’s Office

• CAS Council

• Dining Services

• Drexel Library

• Enrollment Management

• External Affairs

• Facilities

• Faculty Senate

• Financial Affairs

• General Counsel

• Hawk Central

• HSB Dean’s Office

• HSB Council

• Human Resources

• Information Technology

• Jesuit Community

• Mission

• Payroll

• Planning

• President’s Office

• Provost’s Office

• Public Safety

• Senior Vice President

• SRFS

• Student Health

• Student Life

• University Communications