Policy on Listservs

Electronic mail is a useful tool for communication within the University.

A series of internal e-mail lists serving different functions and constituencies will be created. Following are the categories and functions of e-mail lists:

1) University Announcement lists:

The function of these lists is to enable University officials to circulate announcements to the community. An appropriate header will be devised that indicates the official nature of the announcement, e.g. Official Announcement. Posting to the list is reserved for administrative council members, or their designees. No reply is expected to these announcements, but replies can be sent to the sender. Members of the community who do not have access to e-mail will have access to printed copies of all University announcements through their supervisors. Only messages from "@willamette.edu" addresses will be allowed to post to these lists.

Membership on a list is by virtue of membership in a specific University population and is not optional. The following lists currently exist: CLA faculty, Law faculty, SOE faculty, Atkinson faculty, SOE students, Law students, Atkinson students, classified staff, administrative staff, related lists. We propose that a list for CLA students be initiated. Related lists include, for example: TIUA, Governors’ school, Bon Appetit, Salem Chamber Orchestra. Alumni lists might also be developed. Additional lists may be designated as needed by members of the Administrative Council. These lists may be accessed either individually or as a group (All Official Lists). The lists are generated by Human Resources (for faculty and staff) and the University Registrar (for students) and maintained by WITS.

2) Announcement/limited discussion lists:

The function of these lists is to enable members of the University community to circulate general announcements and undertake limited discussion. An appropriate header will be devised that indicates the nature of the announcement, e.g. Announcement, Discussion. Members of any list may post to any or all of these lists. Replies are possible only to the sender. A new message must be composed to address the entire list. Personal postings (e.g., for sale, house wanted) are not appropriate for these lists and should be sent to an appropriate newsgroup. Protracted discussions should be transferred to a topical list (see below).

Initial membership on a list is automatic by virtue of membership in a specific University population, but one can make a request for removal from the list. These lists currently include the following: CLA faculty, Law faculty, SOE faculty, Atkinson faculty, Law students, SOE students, Atkinson students, classified staff, administrative staff. The new CLA student list will be added. The lists are generated and maintained by WITS. Requests for removal from a list should be addressed to WITS.

3) Discussion lists:

Discussion lists are initiated through a request to WITS by a sponsor. Students may not sponsor a list. For categories A and B below, the sponsor will determine the membership of the list, whether or not membership is required, and the ability of members to post and reply. For any particular list, the sponsor and WITS will decide who is responsible for making changes in the list.

A. Instructional lists:

Membership by virtue of enrollment in a class, sponsored by faculty member.
A class list can be generated automatically from the class roster.

B. Employee, organization, special interest lists:

Membership by virtue of employment in a unit of the University, membership in a campus organization, academic major, or other interest.

C. Topical and discussion lists:

Membership on the list is by subscription, usually through an automated system of subscribe/unsubscribe. All members can post and receive replies. List is generated by WITS upon request of sponsor.

Glossary of terms:

  • e-mail group: All the lists and functions described above fall into the category of e-mail group, or mail group. When a message is received, it is forwarded on to every address that has been entered on the list for that group.
  • list-serve: These are similar to e-mail groups, except that additions or deletions to the list can be made by software. Typically, there is an address for subscription requests and a different address for sending a message to members of the list. We recommend that some topical/discussion lists (3C) be maintained as list-serves.
  • newsgroup: Newsgroups are separate from e-mail, in that notices are stored centrally and must be accessed by subscribers. There is no automatic notification of new postings.
  • alias: An alias is an e-mail address that does not belong to a unique account, rather, to a person or persons in a particular role. An alias is created by WITS when mail is to be sent to a particular function, e.g. Webmaster, which may go to several people in different departments.

Lists in all of the above groups reside centrally on WITS servers. Members of one list can contact the entire list. This contrasts with address-book lists that individuals develop and maintain through their individual e-mail system. Such lists can only be accessed by the person on whose e-mail the list resides.