All-Campus Emails & Group Email
Faculty, staff and departments often have a need to send emails to groups of recipients, whether they're all students, all faculty/staff, students in a particular major, or students in a particular course.
Departments and student organizations also may have a need to receive emails in a way that allows multiple individuals to view and respond to incoming messages.
The Office of Technology Services offers solutions to these needs.
Receiving Email as a Group
Departments, project workgroups, student organizations and other groups of people can receive email as a group in a few different ways:
Faculty/staff groups can use email groups (distribution lists) to communicate within a group. These groups can be configured flexibly and:
- Can be visible within the Global Address List in Outlook or hidden and only available as a generic email address (such as email@example.com).
- Can be restricted to only allow faculty/staff to send to them or even restrict senders to those who are members of the list.
- Cannot send emails as the email address - they are only appropriate for receiving email and communicating within the group. These groups can only contain faculty/staff. The membership of these groups can be managed by owners of the group using the Group Management web application.
Maildrops are group mailboxes in Outlook created to display a particular department or organization name.
- These maildrops provide a generic email address (such as firstname.lastname@example.org) that can receive email, and that email is stored in the maildrop's mailbox.
- Faculty/staff with access to the maildrop can view and manage that email, and they can also send email as the email address.
- Many departments choose to use maildrops when they have a need for non-Towson senders to be able to send email to the department, and it's common to publish these maildrop email addresses on the web site.
- Student organizations can get a maildrop if they have a faculty/staff sponsor.
- Owners of a maildrop can choose who has access to it by managing the maildrop's "control group." The membership of these control groups can be managed using the Group Management web application.
Student organizations that want an "@towson.edu" address should use a forwarding address. The email address (such as email@example.com) would simply forward all incoming email to an external address (such as firstname.lastname@example.org).
Mailing Lists (lists.towson.edu)
Mailing lists on the TU Email List Service allow for email lists that include non-Towson email addresses.
- These lists can include faculty, staff, students and non-Towson addresses.
- They are configured to allow the list owners to easily modify the list of subscribers (list members), to allow email moderation if desired, to archive all messages sent to the list, and to allow a variety of other settings to be customized.
- All mailing lists on the TU Email List Service are of the format email@example.com.
SharePoint is another method of communicating within faculty/staff groups and student organizations. Sites allow for shared document libraries, shared announcements, and outgoing email alerts to members of the site. SharePoint (http://sp.towson.edu) provides users with a list of all SharePoint sites they have followed. To add a site to your list, click on the "Follow" star in the top right menu. Learn more about SharePoint.
Conference Rooms and other Shared Resources
Faculty and staff can schedule conference rooms or other shared resources through Outlook. Room resource owners have the ability to configure who can schedule meetings in the room as well as other settings.
Requests for any of the above email options should be submitted to OTS through a TechHelp service request.
All-Campus Emails and Communications
OTS maintains several all-campus email lists, such as an all-students list, an all-faculty list and an all-faculty/staff list. Each of these large lists has a set of approved senders who are authorized to send email, usually from departmental mailboxes in Outlook. Anyone who wishes to send messages to these lists must either already be an approved sender or must submit their message for approval to their respective vice president. Requests to modify the list of approved senders can be sent to OTS by the office of the respective vice president.
In addition, the TU Today daily email newsletter is a preferred mechanism for most all-campus communications.
When sending email to all-campus email lists, it is best to follow these simple guidelines:
- Only send attachments when absolutely necessary. Preferably, link to a web page or document on the Web instead of including an attachment.
- Include a subject line that is short, but accurately describes the intent of the message.
- Proofread the message for spelling, grammar, punctuation and sentence structure errors.
- Include contact information for more information. This should include the contact person's name, phone number and email address.
- Set a Reply-To email address if appropriate, which will cause any replies to be directed to that preferred address.
Sending Email to Student Lists
OTS recommends that faculty and staff use Blackboard for communicating with sets of students. Through Blackboard, instructors can communicate with their students using discussion boards, chat and email.
Email distribution lists are available for each class roster (course section), academic major or academic advisor.
- The class roster and academic major lists are generated automatically based on enrollment in a particular course or registration in a particular major, and are updated nightly.
- These lists can be used outside of Blackboard.
- The academic advisor lists are updated nightly, and allow an advisor to contact their advisees.
- Faculty/staff can send email to these class roster or advising lists using a specific email address for each course section, major or advisor.