University adopts new mass email policy

Contact: Cara Barnes

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University has adopted a new mass email policy to regulate the dissemination of information within and beyond the campus community.

The policy was adopted April 28 and replaces the previous policy, which was last revised in 2013.

Key changes

The policy was rewritten to better clarify the justification for such a document, the policy scope, and the rules for creating messages and mailing lists. Key changes to the policy include the following:

  • The new policy requires the use of mailing lists to send mass email messages and empowers owners of mailing lists to send messages without the assistance of the Office of University Relations.
  • The previous requirement that mass email messages be composed in plain text only has been eliminated.
  • The new policy defines "essential" communications, which are exempt from the requirement that an unsubscribe option be present.

Rules for composing mass email

  • Spam message are prohibited.
  • Sender must use a WMU email address.
  • Sender must provide contact information.
  • Recipients must be addressed using a mailing list.
  • Message must be clear and concise.
  • Attachments are prohibited.
  • Message must be accessible.
  • Recipients must be allowed to unsubscribe.

The policy acknowledges the loss of time and productivity attributed to the processing of excessive or unwanted email messages and encourages members of the campus community to instead use the WMU Today e-newsletter to distribute messages when possible.

The mass email policy can be read in its entirety at Direct questions to Dan Lobelle in the Office of University Relations.

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