IT Services provides electronic mailing lists (email lists) for University departments, groups, or organizations to use for discussion, disseminating information (internally or externally), or to act as a contact address for external people to contact the list subscribers. Like all information technology services on campus, email lists are subject to the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). Email list owners and subscribers should also keep in mind the following specific points:

  • Departments or central administration may require University faculty, students, or staff to subscribe to certain email lists for the purpose of University business. In all other cases, however, email lists are to be “opt-in”: List owners may not subscribe an individual to a list without that individual’s explicit permission.
  • Email lists may be locked or closed, have their names or other configurations modified, etc. by IT Services systems staff without the consent of a particular list owner if resource usage, verifiable complaints, and/or University business needs require it.
  • All email lists must be owned or co-owned by a current faculty, student, or staff of the University or the Chicago Biomedical Enterprise, using their @uchicago.edu or @uchospitals.edu address. Any list that fails to have an identifiable current faculty, student, or staff as an owner may be locked or closed without notice.
  • In order to ensure that email lists are closed when they are no longer needed, list owners will be asked to re-certify their lists on an annual basis. If a list is not re-certified, it may be closed without further notice.
  • Spam mailings and/or commercial use of an email list are potential grounds for removal from any and all email lists provided by IT Services, including list ownership, and may also be grounds for disciplinary action. Note that, for this purpose, “commercial use” includes non-profit entities which have no connection with the University; for example, mailing lists for your church or your housing co-op’s board are not permitted on a University-sponsored email list service.
  • The primary purpose of the IT Services email list service is for internal University business use, including administrative, academic, and scholarly functions. Lists for other (legal, non-commercial) purposes (such as academic discussion lists with an external focus, student interests, and local community organizations) are considered ancillary under the AUP, and may be refused, locked, closed, or otherwise curtailed if they consume an inappropriate amount of resources.
  • Email lists which are closed due to owner request, lack of an eligible owner, violation of Terms of Use, or other reasons will be archived for three months, then permanently purged from the system. When a list is purged, all archives, subscriber lists, and settings will be unrecoverably deleted, unless IT Services has been given reason to believe the archives must be preserved for legal, research, or archival purposes.
  • Members of an email list are responsible for the content of any message they send to that list, and list owners are responsible for moderating lists for inappropriate messages and for determining whether a list’s archives are publicly accessible. IT Services will not edit, remove, or change the privacy settings for the archives of an active email list except in response to a violation of Terms of Use or if culling archives is necessary for system performance or compliance with data security requirements.
  • All email lists must be requested using a standard web submission form. Requests are reviewed by IT Services systems staff, who may recommend other technology that would better serve the purpose of the request. Other considerations which determine whether a list request will be granted include (but are not limited to):
    • Whether the list serves to further the University’s education and research mission
    • Capacity of available resources, including how the size or usage of the proposed list will affect University email systems
  • List owners are responsible for the proper management of their list, and may have their list ownership revoked they do not manage their lists appropriately. Responsibilities of list owners include (but are not limited to):
    • Responding to subscription and unsubscription requests
    • Assisting subscribers with subscription and unsubscription, as well as other subscriber-specific settings
    • Ensuring that their list has appropriate configurations for the purpose of that list, including whether or not it is moderated, advertised, etc.
    • Making subscribers aware if the list is advertised and/or if the archives are accessible to the Internet at large
    • Maintaining the list of subscribers and removing addresses which are no longer functional or belong to people who should no longer be on the list
    • Responding promptly to errors related to their list (e.g. delivery and remove errors)
    • Acting as appropriate to deal with off-topic list postings, abusive behavior, and/or abuse of the email list service by their subscribers
    • Ensuring that usage of their list does not violate the Acceptable Use Policy
    • Transitioning list ownership to another individual if and when appropriate
  • IT Services maintains backups of the list server for disaster recovery only. IT Services cannot recover settings, subscriber lists, or archives for an individual list.

Category: Email
Expiration Date: August 15, 2014
Policy Owner: tbarton