Policy: Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Life
The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Life (VCSL) provides review and approval of requests for mass emails to students in consultation with the Office of the Registrar. Mass emails are defined as the distribution of a single e-mail to many recipients. In this instance, “many” means hundreds or thousands of students. Mass emails require prior approval in order to limit the amount of email sent to students and to control “spam.” Mass emails are categorized in two ways: 1) targeted emails, and 2) all-student emails.
Use of other campus technologies is encouraged for the dissemination of important information. The following list provides examples of the types of information that might be provided to students through the Bulldog Update and other electronic media.
- Items related to health and wellness of students
- Campus-wide events
- Promotions for student organization events and fundraisers
- Job, volunteer, or leadership opportunities
Students have the right to suppress the release and use of their personal information, including their University of Minnesota email address, for all uses other than official university business by school officials (FERPA). Best practices and professional judgement must be used to balance student privacy rights and our intent to communicate important university business.
Targeted emails are defined as those sent to a sub-set of the student body to achieve a specific purpose for that group of students. Examples include students living on campus or graduating students. Since email is an established official means of communication with UMD students, certain campus offices use email to send notices that constitute official university business to targeted groups of students.
Targeted emails (with the exception of the offices noted below) must be submitted to the office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Life for approval. Targeted emails will be approved if they are deemed to be official university business relevant to the targeted students identified.
All-student emails (with the exception of the offices noted below) must be submitted to the office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Life for approval. All-student emails are defined as those sent to every registered student at UMD or every undergraduate student. As such, all-student emails must be of interest to every student, and must provide information necessary to them. The following list provides examples of appropriate uses of all-student emails that will be approved.
- Alerts and notification of emergencies and concerns related to safety and security
- Notification of policies (examples: payment policies and link to student guides or handbook)
- Mandatory disclosures (examples: annual FERPA notification, annual Drug-Free schools notification)
- Survey invitations (examples: NSSE, Noel Levitz Student Satisfaction) sponsored by the University
- Unusual exceptions that are determined to be mission-critical and time-sensitive, and come through a member of the Chancellor’s Cabinet
- Notice of important University business deadlines
Requests to send a targeted student email or an all-student email should be submitted to the office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Life ([email protected]). The VCSL office will determine whether the email should go into the Bulldog Update or be sent as a separate mailing. If it is determined that the email can be sent as a separate mailing, the requester should fill out the ITSS on-line request form. Information Technology Systems and Services (ITSS) will verify the email request with the VCSL office and forward the request to the Office of the Registrar for their approval and FERPA ruling. Once needed approvals are received, ITSS will create the student subset that has been requested. These approvals could take 2-3 working days. Questions should be directed to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Life.
NOTE: Departments that have access to Lyris are still required to follow these guidelines.
The following offices are delegated the authority for sending official communication to students for their offices without the need for prior approval from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Life:
- Collegiate Units, including Continuing Education
- Financial Aid
- Graduate School
- Student Accounts Receivable
- University of Minnesota Duluth Police
Approved by the Chancellor's Cabinet on August 3, 2012