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Office of the Provost

University of Missouri-Kansas City Mass E-mail Policy

Using mass e-mail for communication to a targeted audience is a cost-effective alternative to traditional paper mailing. It also allows information to be distributed quickly to many people.

This mass e-mail policy ensures the University’s ability to communicate and deliver mission-critical messages consistently in order to share critical information – information that is relevant to the University’s business and mission.

Guiding Principles

  • Reduce the distraction of excessive mass emails: too many mass e-mails reduce the likelihood that any mass e-mail will get the attention it deserves. Receiving e-mail that is unrelated to an individual’s administrative or academic activities is disruptive regardless of the perceived value of the information by the sender.
  • Preserve e-mail as a viable channel for critical communication: Reserve e-mail for items that are 1) critical importance and time sensitive; 2) true emergencies; and 3) crime-related information as required by law. Increasing the number of untargeted e-mail announcements and solicitations can make it more difficult for the University to communicate critical information effectively.
  • Create an archive for announcements using Web-based channels: By providing announcements in a Web-based format, an archive can be created that can be used for future reference. This also aids new employees who will not have received previously emailed information that may also be critical to them.
  • Promote best practices in communication: Mass e-mail, while convenient and cost efficient, may not be the best communication channel. Many communication mechanisms exist within the University including traditional paper mail, print and electronic publications, Web sites, targeted mailing lists and social media channels.

    All units should evaluate all available communication channels and determine the best method based on message and target audience and should refrain from using email as a communication channel of convenience.

Scope

This policy covers all UMKC internal non-optional mass e-mail to UMKC Everyone (students, faculty and staff), UMKC Faculty, UMKC Staff, UMKC Faculty/Staff and UMKC Students.


Categories of Messages

Mass e-mail is reserved for information which is considered critical or time-sensitive and affects the UMKC campuses as a whole.

Three categories of messages are allowed under this policy:

  • Crisis and/or emergency, or significant disruptions to University operations including activity that poses a threat to public safety, unscheduled university closings/late starts and unexpected changes in traffic, campus vehicular access and/or parking due to emergency situations.
  • Official UMKC announcements sent on behalf of the Chancellor or Provost or their designees that are urgent and important to the entire campus community and cannot be effectively communicated via another channel.
  • Crime advisories, as mandated by the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act.

General Policy

Permission to E-mail. E-mailing to a large audience as noted in the Scope section of this policy requires the approval from the office authorized to mail to the particular audience (see table below). Exceptions or requests outside the scope will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Direct your request to the head of the division or unit for the intended audience.

Emergency Operations and Communications. As noted in the University’s Emergency Operations Plan, UMKC’s Chief of Police and the Director of Public Relations acting as the public information officer (PIO) have responsibility for all communications in an emergency. See the Emergency Operations Plan for detailed information.

Audience

Approving Office *

UMKC Everyone
(Students, Faculty and Staff)

Chancellor
Provost

Faculty

Chancellor
Provost

Staff

Chancellor
Provost

Students

Student Affairs
Chancellor
Provost

* Requestors for mass e-mail need approval from one approving office only.


Procedures

  • Submit mass e-mail requests to the approving office listed above at least one week before your preferred send date.
    Please consider the following guidelines:
    • Mass e-emails must be relevant to the majority of recipients on the targeted list.
    • E-mails are subject to editing for grammar, spelling, consistency and content. Except in an emergency, edited text will be returned to requestor for review prior to distribution.
    • E-mail content should be brief.
    • E-mails should not include attachments. When necessary to incorporate additional information, include a hyperlink in the e-mail content and link to additional information.
    • Each mass e-mail will be sent only one time. Exceptions will be made if significant changes to content need to be communicated.
    • Mass e-mail cannot be used for commercial mailings.
  • E-mail delegates will consult with the Office of Public Relations for the scheduling of e-mail distribution to ensure optimal timing and to prevent multiple messages being sent in a tight timeframe.
  • Requests may be directed to alternate communication channels when appropriate, including UMatters, the Provost’s blog, News and Announcements (UMKC home page), Important Dates (UMKC home page), etc. Details below.

Exceptions. Exceptions to this policy will be made for unexpected circumstances with the approval of the Chancellor, Provost or their designee(s).

Mass E-mail Requests directed to the Provost for Approval: Please use the online request form


Alternatives to Mass E-mail

There are several alternatives to sending mass e-mails for communication. These include:

Home Page Features and News Releases

Share your ideas for a story with the Office of Public Relations.

University Events Calendar

All events submitted to the UMKC Web Calendar must be sponsored by a UMKC office, department, division, library, school, student organization or the Linda Hall Library.

UMatters

UMatters is a weekly electronic newsletter for UMKC faculty and staff that is produced by the Chancellor's Office and the Provost's Office/Division of Academic Affairs.

Provost's Blog

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Updated July 2013