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  January 29, 2001

E-Mail Lists Launched for Official Communications

Recognizing the changing nature of communication and the importance of e-mail to the University, several targeted e-mail lists have been created to disseminate significant, official information to members of the community.

Electronic messages announcing the lists were sent Jan. 23 to all members of the community who will receive the occasional mailings. The lists have been built from the University's computer databases, which will refresh the list each week to retrieve and add the names of any new faculty, staff, students or administrators - the four target audiences - to the lists. Because the e-mails bring the community official University notices, and receipt is required, people will not be allowed to unsubscribe.

"These lists will be used to transmit critical information to the people involved in the business of the University, people who have a need to know, from deans and directors to faculty, staff and students," says Paul Kobulnicky, vice chancellor for information technology. "We expect to use it conservatively. If you receive an e-mail from one of the lists, it's because it is important."

Messages will be sent only to those groups of people who need the specific information. Members of the deans, directors and department heads list may receive information regarding budget issues or official policies and procedures; faculty may receive information regarding University class calendars or instructional policies; employees could receive information on policies, such as sexual harassment in the workplace; and students may receive information on relevant dates in the academic calendar or important community issues.

Kobulnicky says efforts will be made to keep the information to a minimum - not more than twice a week, he expects. Each list will be moderated by an administrator in the affected area, and submissions must pass a stern test before being accepted for distribution. The format and policies regarding the new lists were developed by a committee that included faculty, staff, students and administrators.

Once the electronic lists begin, paper notices will seldom be sent to members of the UConn community who have an e-mail address, making the University more environmentally friendly. Part-time faculty or other employees who do not have access to a computer, such as people working in the trades, will continue to receive paper distributions of important notices.

"We are cognizant of the fact that not all recipients of any official correspondence will consider the information material they needed to know, but we're confident that the system ensures that most recipients of any official announcement will appreciate having the information and having it delivered in a manner that is fast, efficient, and environmentally friendly," said John Barry, associate director of University communications and a member of the committee.

The four lists are:

  • UCDDD-L: Official communications to deans, directors, and department heads regarding decisions about the University;

  • UCONN-FL: Official communications to all faculty, including those at regional campuses, the School of Law and the School of Social Work, concerning curricula and scheduling issues, official reminders of dates, policies with respect to students, and interactions with students;

  • UCONN-XL: Official communications to all students concerning official actions and important community issues; and

  • UCONN-EL: Official communications concerning important issues affecting all employees, including faculty, at all campuses.

Additionally, Kobulnicky says, the ANNOUNCE-L list that has been in operation for several years has been restructured and reenergized. All faculty and staff will be automatically subscribed to the list. Other members of the University community, including students, may also subscribe to the ANNOUNCE-L list by submitting the form found on the UConn website. The list will announce lectures, training opportunities, campus-wide meetings, or theatrical events, and other activities that are not suitable for the official lists. People receiving ANNOUNCE-L will be allowed to unsubscribe if they do not wish to receive this type of information.

None of the lists will accept replies, but each list will be archived at a website accessible to all members of the University community. A more detailed explanation about the lists, and the policies and practices related to them, is available on the internet.

Richard Veilleux