Important notice: Prior approval needs to be secured to send a mass email. Announcement of any kind of event or any type of newsletter cannot be sent as a mass email. Alternatives include events website, events newsletter, social media, campus screens, targeted mailing lists...
In a university environment, mass email is a mean to broadcast university-wide announcements, informational briefings, new policies, health or safety alerts, to all major campus constituencies.
AUB maintains moderated mailing lists to facilitate mass communication to all students (email@example.com), to all faculty members (firstname.lastname@example.org), to all staff (email@example.com) and to the entire campus community (firstname.lastname@example.org). AUB also maintains lists to facilitate mass email to alumni and other key constituencies.
Separately, a non-moderated, open mailing list service (listserv) exists to facilitate discourse and information-sharing among and between faculty members (email@example.com).
Mass email: Mass email is an email sent to a large number of recipients.
Moderated mailing lists: Email lists that can’t be used without securing prior approvals and access. If user attempts to send to such list, the email message would be blocked. (Example: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Non-moderated mailing lists or Listserv: This is a tool that offers a predetermined list of members opportunities to exchange ideas, make recommendations, or solicit information from a group. When you send correspondence on a listserv, the content is distributed to the entire list. (Example: email@example.com).
Mass emails are appealing to the various faculties and departments at the university. However, regulation is required to avoid the misuse or overuse of this communication channel and to reduce the amount of complaints received by recipients who take exception to volume or relevance of content of the mail they receive from AUB (considering them spam, deleting emails, not reading important emails...).
The Office of Communications at the American University of Beirut has developed these guidelines to create a balance between the need to send information among different constituencies of the university and the need to decrease perceived spam or mail perceived to be non-relevant to university operations. The following apply to any individual, department, faculty or affiliated organization that sends mass email on behalf of AUB email networks and mailing lists.
Official messages inform the AUB community about substantial changes in governance policy or practice; immediate threats to health, safety, property or research; IT and telecommunications issues; shared interests about core University operations, required action or transactions. Shared interest messages do not include messages of commercial, political or personal interest. Official messages may include an official survey or messages that relate to an employment or transactional nature.
Mass email messages to all students (firstname.lastname@example.org), to all faculty members (email@example.com), to all staff (firstname.lastname@example.org) and to the entire campus community (email@example.com) are restricted to official communications. Individuals, groups or organized bodies on campus who need to send official mass emails to these groups must obtain the approval of the appropriate approval authority:
firstname.lastname@example.org: Office of Student Affairs
email@example.com: Office of the Provost
firstname.lastname@example.org: Office of the President
email@example.com: Office of the President
- Office of the President may send mass emails to all users without authorization from another party.
- Office of the Provost may send mass emails to all students and faculty without authorization from another party.
- University Libraries may send mass emails to all students and faculty without authorization from another party.
- Office of Student Affairs may send mass emails to all students without authorization from another party.
- Office of Information Technology (IT) may send mass emails to all users without authorization from another party.
- Office of Registrar may send mass emails to all students and faculty without authorization from another party.
- Office of Financial Aid may send mass emails to all students without authorization from another party.
- Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Decision Support may to send mass emails to all students and faculty without authorization from another party.
- Departments may to send mass email to their direct staff, faculty and students without authorization from another party. (Examples: Graduate students’ list, Advancement’s list, Faculty of Arts and Science students’ list…)
- Faculty members may send mass email to aub-faculty listserv without authorization from another party.
Except in the case of emergencies, three working days notice is required to process mass mailing.
Other messages that offer or promote events (lectures, conferences, panels, exhibitions, auditions, newsletters, discussions...) and services cannot be sent as mass emails and are required to provide recipients with a clear and conspicuous opportunity to decline to receive further messages.
Appropriate channels for such messages include events website, events newsletter, campus screens, and social media...
Message Content and Formatting
- The message must relate specifically to University business and all content and material in the email must conform to AUB policies. Unacceptable content includes personal messages, items for sale, jokes, chain letters, unsolicited commercial email, information of interest to a small segment of the community, political material, etc.
- The content must impact or interest a significant number of individuals within the University community.
- The message must clearly state the name and contact information of the sender.
- The email cannot be longer than the equivalent of one printed page in length. If content exceeds space, recipients should be directed to “read more” about the subject via a web link.
- No attachments are permitted. The maximum size of the body of the email message should be less than 5120 KB. (Because binary files have to be encoded before being sent over email, the final size of a message is often significantly larger that the original file.)
- All content must be checked for style, spelling and grammar, and approved by the Office of Communications. Official email templates are provided by the Office of Communications here.
- All messages should be written in plain text only to be accessible by all users and on all devices. Html messages are not recommended since they are often identified as spam and might be filtered by the mail client or server of some recipients.
Faculty (Non-Moderated) Mailing ListServ
AUB is one of only a small number of universities that facilitate unmoderated email messaging among and between faculty members. While AUB does not moderate content, those participating in email exchanges on this channel must adhere to AUB’s policies and codes of conduct.
Creating a Mailing List
Departments can contact IT to create new mailing lists that are based on subscription and used for specific groups.
Unauthorized dissemination of university proprietary information, or confidential materials via mass email or listserv is prohibited. Dissemination of intentional misinformation, slanderous or abusive language, threats of violence, bullying language, or materials of a strictly political or religious nature is also prohibited.
Accounts and network access ay be administratively suspended by AUB with or without notice if it is determined that the continued use of University resources may interfere with the work of others, place the University or members of its community at risk, or violate AUB policy or applicable laws.
For more information, contact the Office of Communications.