Internal Mass E-mail Requirements, Guidelines, and Best Practices

University Communications strives to use campus communications resources effectively and efficiently. E-mail is an efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly way to communicate with large groups of people. However, non-strategic use of mass e-mail can reduce employee productivity and hinder the university’s ability to deliver critical messages.

Recognizing these expectations and concerns, the university has created these requirements, guidelines, and best practices to ensure e-mail remains an effective form of communication. This page includes the following information:

  • Definition
  • Appropriate use of mass e-mail
  • Required approval and authorization
  • Required content
  • Best practices guidelines
  • Additional internal communication channels

Definition

E-mail is the University of Oregon’s official means of communicating information to faculty, staff, and students as stated in UO e-mail policy. Mass e-mail is any e-mail message sent to the entire campus or large subset (e.g., all students, all undergraduates, all graduate students, all tenure-track faculty, all non-tenure track faculty, classified employees, officers of administration). All mass e-mails must follow the UO mass e-mail guidelines and procedures and be consistent with any applicable state and federal laws. These requirements do not apply to units when sending messages within their own unit, school, or college or to e-mails in which all subscribers signed up voluntarily to receive information.

Appropriate Use of Internal Mass E-mail

Mass e-mail is appropriate for 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, as defined in the UO Crisis and Emergency Notification procedures;
  • Provides information essential to the operation or execution of business;
  • Notifies the campus community about changes in governance, policy, and practice;
  • Communicates important information from the president, provost, or other university senior leadership as described in the authorization and approvals section below.

Inappropriate use of internal mass e-mail includes, but is not limited to:

  • Messages that are not in line with the university’s mission of teaching, research, and service;
  • Messages that are commercial in nature with the exception of those messages that are in support of university business;
  • Political activities that advocate for or against a ballot measure or candidate, as prohibited by Oregon law;
  • Messages for job postings or research recruitment;
  • Marketing or advertising of programs, majors, classes, products, or events offered or sponsored by the university
  • 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;
  • Messages that are discriminatory or infringe on privacy;

Announcements that do not meet the outlined standards, or are inappropriate for mass e-mail should use other communication channels as listed below.

Required Approval and Authorization

Authorization to send mass e-mail is automatically granted in the following three cases:

  1. Official University Announcements

    Requests to send out mass e-mail to the following university populations must be approved by the appropriate owning office, when not otherwise authorized.
Target GroupsOwning OfficeOther Authorized Units

Students:
Undergraduate
Graduate
Law

Division of Student Life

Registrar's Office

Office of the President
Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs
Student Services and Enrollment Management
University Communications
Safety and Risk Services

Faculty:
Tenure-related and
Non-tenure Track Faculty

Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs

Office of the President
Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs
University Communications
Office of the Registrar
Human Resources
Safety and Risk Services

Staff:
Officers of Adminstration
Classified Employees

Human Resources

Office of the President
Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs
University Communications
Human Resources
Safety and Risk Services

Graduate Employees

Human Resources

Registrar’s Office

Office of the President
Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs
Graduate School
University Communications
Office of the Registrar
Human Resources
Safety and Risk Services

  1. Emergency

    In an emergency, approval may be bypassed, as is detailed in the University of Oregon’s Emergency Operations Plan.
     
  2. Local Authority

    Schools, colleges, departments, units, and administrative offices are authorized to send messages to their students, faculty, or staff, in accordance with department or school guidelines and procedures. Units are encouraged to use best practices detailed here. Contact your supervisor or communication staff member for direction and/or approval.

Required Content

Messages sent to internal (@uoregon.edu) e-mail addresses must include all of the following:

  • Approved UO logo at the top or prominently placed within an HTML message. (See brand guidelines)
  • “University of Oregon” clearly identified in plain text messages and in the text-only portion that accompanies an HTML message.
  • Name of the sending unit (preferred) or the sending individual in the "from" field.
  • Name of the sending unit and the audience the message was sent to in the footer (e.g., "This message was sent by the Office of the President to all University of Oregon faculty and staff.").

Best Practices Guidelines

To promote operational efficiency and network security, the following guidelines govern internal mass e-mail:

  • A mass e-mail message should be brief, self-explanatory, clear, and concise—ideally under 200 words. If there is a need to convey more information, the sender should link to a webpage or seek other communication channels such as Around the O.
  • Include a succinct subject line that conveys the e-mail’s purpose.
  • Provide a link or contact information about where people may ask questions or get more information.
  • Avoid sending frequent or repeated messages. Follow-up messages or reminders should seek other communication channels, with the exception of emergency communications.
  • Collaborate with others at the university to avoid redundancy and reduce the number of messages sent.
  • Attachments are not allowed in mass e-mail. A link to a webpage is recommended.
  • Avoid acronyms and jargon. Do not use acronyms on first reference in the body of a message. For example, write out “Officers of Administration (OA)” on first reference, then use OA on future references.
  • Check spelling and grammar, and copy edit message to align with the UO brand guidelines and Chicago Style.
  • Senders should avoid sending e-mails at the end of the day or on Friday afternoons to prevent their message from getting “lost” during non-work hours.

Additional Internal Communication Channels

Before deciding on mass e-mail as the choice for any communication, units are strongly encouraged to use: