Information Technology

Listmanager Requirements and Procedures

Electronic mail (e-mail) and electronic mailing lists have become important resources in higher education for academic and administrative communications.  Faculty members use these electronic resources to enhance classroom instruction and to support scholarly collaborations with partners both on and off campus.  Student organizations use these resources to manage the flow of important information to their members.  Administrators use these resources to assist in the day-to-day operations of UMass Boston.  Benefits include a facility for selection of targeted audiences, speed of delivery, and the potential for enterprise-wide cost savings.
Information Technology (IT) at the University of Massachusetts at Boston (UMass Boston) provides e‑mail service to faculty and staff members, departments, and student organizations affiliated with UMass Boston.  An e-mail mailing list management service (listmanager) is available through IT to groups and organizations affiliated with UMass Boston for university-related business (e.g., scholarly research, academic and student life enhancement, administrative services) using software residing on the UMass Boston e-mail server.

The purpose of this listmanager policy is to provide guidance and procedures that encourage the use of electronic mailing lists while also ensuring the efficiency, effectiveness, and manageability of the service.  This policy is based on the principle that the electronic information environment is provided to support university-related business and its mission of education, research, and service.  All other uses are secondary.  In particular, uses that threaten the integrity of the electronic information environment, the privacy and safety (actual or perceived) of the members of UMass Boston community, or that are otherwise illegal are forbidden.

This UMass Boston policy is in compliance with the Board of Trustees policy T97-010 (passed February 5, 1997; last revised September 23, 2005) Policy Statement on Data Security, Electronic Mail, and Computer Policy Development, which requires that each campus of the University of Massachusetts (UMass) develop and implement policies related to data security, electronic mail, and acceptable use of computing and data resources.

This policy is subject to change as new technologies and processes emerge.

Definitions

IT listmanager administrator – a professional staff member in IT designated as responsible for managing UMass Boston’s listmanager service.
List – an electronic mailing list.
List moderator a person responsible for approving or rejecting messages to be sent to an electronic mailing list.
List owner – a person responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of an electronic mailing list, including adding and deleting subscribers, answering questions from list subscribers, monitoring e-mail traffic, and assisting the IT listmanager administrator in resolving problems related to the list.
Listmanager an electronic mailing list management service that offers a way to facilitate the dissemination of information by sending e-mail to everyone who subscribes to the list.
Official list – a list established by the IT listmanager administrator at the request of academic or administrative officers to which members of the UMass Boston community are pre-subscribed by virtue of their positions or responsibilities at the institution.
Unofficial list – a list established by the IT listmanager administrator at the request of a list owner who agrees to maintain the list; the list members are not pre-subscribed and must provide their active permission to be included on the list.

 

Listmanager Policy

All lists, both official and unofficial, are subject to all UMass Boston and UMass policies, standards, and guidelines concerning responsible/acceptable use, e-mail, data, and computing.

All lists must be established by the IT listmanager administrator.  The list owner must submit a request for the establishment of a list following the procedure described below.  The chief information officer (CIO) must authorize the establishment of all lists.

A list owner and a list moderator are mandatory for each list.  The chief administrative officer of a unit is the moderator for each list authorized for use within that unit (e.g., vice chancellors are the moderators for each division list, deans are the moderators for each college list, directors are the moderators for each institute or center list, department chairpersons are the moderators for each department list).  The official faculty or staff advisor is the moderator for each list authorized for use within a student organization.  If the list owner or moderator leaves UMass Boston, then the current list owner must find a new list owner or moderator and identify that new person to the IT listmanager administrator.  If a new list owner and moderator cannot be identified, then the IT listmanager administrator will disable that list pending resolution after consultation with proper UMass Boston officials.

Student organizations must request a list through the official faculty or staff advisor to the organization.  Students may not own these lists, although they may be delegated ownership duties by the organization’s official faculty or staff advisor.

Unofficial lists will not be created by the IT listmanager administrator from UMass Boston databases.  That is, individuals may not be pre-subscribed to an unofficial list without their knowledge or permission.  The list owner is responsible for building the list by subscribing or unsubscribing members to the list.

Except in certain special cases (e.g., a class list owned and moderated by the instructor), a mechanism must be included with each list—official as well as unofficial—to allow subscribers to unsubscribe from the list and the list owner must remove subscribers who request to be unsubscribed from the list.

Subscription to a list is a privilege and not a right of an individual.  List owners have the right to and are responsible for unsubscribing list members who misuse the resource by sending off-topic mail to the list, mail that misuses the listmanager resource (e.g., spam), or mail that is disrespectful or abusive of other list members.  The list owner is responsible for determining what constitutes an off-topic mailing or disrespectful or abusive mailings.  Misuse of the listmanager resource should first be brought to the attention of the listmanager moderator for resolution and appropriate intervention (e.g., unsubscribing the individual who misused the list).  The listmanager moderator should bring egregious misuse of a list to the attention of proper UMass Boston officials.

All listmanager-related software and hardware connected to the UMass Boston network must be maintained and administered by IT unless the CIO gives written approval for an exception.

All lists will be periodically, but at least annually, reviewed by the IT listmanager administrator for activity and continued conformance with UMass Boston listmanager policies and with applicable UMass IT policies, standards, and guidelines.  The IT listmanager administrator will temporarily disable a list with no activity for one year after consultation with the list owner and proper UMass Boston officials.  The IT listmanager administrator will temporarily disable any list that fails to conform to the UMass Boston listmanager policies and with applicable UMass IT policies, standards, and guidelines after consultation with the list owner and proper UMass Boston officials.

The IT listmanager administrator will temporarily disable any unofficial list not authorized by the CIO pending a discussion with the list owner and moderator.  If no list owner and moderator can be identified for the list, then the IT listmanager administrator will delete the list after consultation with proper UMass Boston officials.

Listmanager Procedures

Requesting a List
The UMass Boston listmanager service is provided at no cost to groups and organizations affiliated with UMass Boston.  Consequently, only individuals affiliated with UMass Boston as faculty or staff members may request that a list be established.  Although this service is not available to individuals or groups not affiliated with UMass Boston, off-campus subscribers to a list are permitted.

 

To request a list, the list owner must complete and submit the List Application Form available from the IT webpage, from the IT Service Desk at ITservicedesk@umb.edu, or from the IT Service Desk on the third floor of the Healey Library on campus (mail drop: 090-03-007).  Applicants with questions about the form can request assistance by contacting the IT Service Desk.

IT may ask for additional information prior to submitting the request to the CIO for authorization and the establishment of the list.  In some cases, IT may recommend other electronic conferencing technology that would better serve the purpose of the request.

In making a decision about the authorization of a list, the CIO will take into consideration the relevance of the list to the education, research, and service mission of UMass Boston, or to the business of UMass Boston, as well as the capacity of available resources within IT to establish, manage, and support the list within UMass Boston’s electronic mail system.  When demand for listmanager service exceeds available capacity, then the CIO will establish and enforce priorities for use of the service.

The IT listmanager administrator will establish the list authorized by the CIO and, based on the information provided in the application and IT naming conventions, select the list name.  The IT listmanager administrator will maintain the listmanager software that supports the list and the listmanager service.
An individual’s request to establish a list that is denied by the CIO may be appealed to the provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs whose decision will be final.

All unofficial lists must be renewed on a yearly basis in order to remain current and to assist the IT listmanager administrator to maintain the resources necessary to support the listmanager service.

Messages

The distribution of large binary documents via listmanager service is discouraged.  The IT listmanager administrator may refuse to send messages that are greater than 500K.  Large binary files should be made available from either a Web server or server-based file share.

 

All messages sent to any list will be archived by the IT listmanager administrator for a period of one month, after which the messages will be purged from the system.  Special arrangements can be made in advance for archiving message for a period longer than one month.  IT reserves the right to remove archives from lists that use excessive amounts of storage following consultation with the list owner.

List Owner Responsibilities

List owners assume personal responsibility for the appropriate use of their list and agree to comply with UMass Boston’s listmanager policy and other applicable UMass policies, standards, and guidelines.
List owners are responsible for properly managing their lists.  The responsibilities of the list owner include:

 

  • Advising individuals who wish to subscribe to the list of the list’s purpose
  • Assisting individuals to subscribe to the list
  • Creating and maintaining a subscriber’s welcome message
  • Providing instructions to list members on how to unsubscribe from a list, or if members are not allowed to unsubscribe (i.e., a class list owned by the instructor), ensuring that the members of the list understand that subscribing to the list is not optional
  • Responding promptly and courteously to questions from list subscribers
  • Correcting subscriptions that are made incorrectly or in error (e.g., malformed or mistaken e-mail addresses)
  • Responding to error messages and assisting the IT listmanager administrator in resolving problems related to the list
  • Responding to inquiries and requests from the IT listmanager administrator
  • Monitoring traffic for the list and notifying IT listmanager administrator if a user is in violation of the UMass Boston listmanager policy and other applicable UMass policies, standards, and guidelines
  • Identifying a backup person to carry out these responsibilities during his or her absence

IT reserves the right to disable any list for which the list owner fails to meet these responsibilities.

To assist the list owner in performing these tasks, the IT listmanager administrator will ensure that the listmanager owner receives appropriate documentation of these responsibilities as well as suggestions for successful use of the listmanager.  This documentation will also be maintained on-line.  The list owner may also request assistance in fulfilling these responsibilities by sending a message to the IT Service Desk.