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9.7 Policy on Mass Electronic Mail

I. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish a University-wide framework to define roles and responsibilities for how mass electronic mail (email) will be created, approved, and distributed to the University community and off-campus groups. The University recognizes the need to send mass electronic mail of both a critical and a general nature to large groups of individuals. The University further understands the need to protect the privacy of these individuals and to ensure that the mass electronic mail is essential and relevant to its academic mission.

II. Scope

This policy on the use of mass electronic email applies to anyone who uses Illinois State University's information technology resources, computers, networking systems, information, and data collectively defined here as ISU Information Technology Resources and Systems. The policy also authorizes the creation of procedures that outline how mass email will be created, approved, and distributed. Any use of ISU Information Technology Resources and Systems is subject to applicable University policies, procedures, and local, state, and federal laws.

Mass email is defined as any single message sent via email to (potentially) all students, all TT/NTT faculty, all staff, groups of parents and family members, campus community groups and stakeholders, or a combination of those groups. This policy does not apply to recurring communications that are sent to a pre-approved contact or distribution list (e.g., all students in a college) approved by the Mass Email Guidance Council (for details on Mass Email Guidance Council, see 9.7.1 Procedures for Use of Mass Electronic Mail).

III. Policy

ISU promotes the use of mass email that is relevant to the University’s institutional mission.

In order to reduce unwanted messages, use of mass email is discouraged unless there is a compelling safety reason, business purpose, or sending the mass email meets a primary objective of serving the educational purposes of the University. Before requesting permission to send a mass email, one should consider using other methods of communication, such as ReggieNet, the Announcements channel in the My.IllinoisState portal, or an article in the ISU News. Instructors retain the right to use mass email and other University-approved digital communication tools to contact students registered for their classes during the current semester without prior permission.

Exceptions to the provisions of the Mass Electronic Mail Policy and the Mass Electronic Mail Procedures shall be in compliance with and not superceded the University Policy on Appropriate Use. (Policy 9.2).

To facilitate permitted mass email, the University has developed procedures for specific communication channels along with directives for their appropriate use and management. The Mass Email Policy Guidance Council is authorized to create and maintain procedures to implement this policy (for details on Mass Email Guidance Council, see 9.7.1)

IV. Compliance

Access to use ISU Information Technology Resources and Systems for mass email requires that each individual accept responsibility to send mass email in a manner relevant to the University's institutional mission as stated in Policy 9.2 on Appropriate Use of Information Technology Resources and Systems. The author of any business message assumes responsibility for assuring the message does not violate any University policies, regulations, or procedures. Violations of this policy shall be reported and responded to in accordance with University procedures associated with this policy. The University reserves the right to act as appropriate and necessary. Such acts may include, but are not limited to: limitation of access to mass electronic mail tools; initiation of legal action; discipline; up to and including discharge or termination; and/or requiring the violator to provide financial restitution to the University.

V. Approval & Review

This policy will be reviewed every five years by the Mass Electronic Mail Policy Guidance Council, and changes or additions to this policy will be recommended by this council to the Academic Senate and the President of the University. Information technology resources and systems are changing rapidly both in terms of technology and application, and the University reserves the right to amend this policy at any time.

Last Review: December 7, 2020