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Office of Information Technology

Bulk Email Lists

OIT provides bulk email lists for distribution of critical messages related to safety, health and campus operations. All current faculty, staff, and students are included in these distribution lists. Membership is mandatory. Membership is automatically maintained through official my.SMU records and the Account Maintenance Automation process.

About the Lists

There are currently four mandatory campus lists:

  • Staff: includes all Benefit Eligible and Part Time Employees that are not also Instructors.
  • Faculty: includes anyone that is marked as an instructor except for Teaching Assistants and Academic Advisors
  • Graduate: includes all students in a graduate level program
  • Undergraduate: includes all enrolled undergraduate students

Retired Faculty and Staff can elect to remain part of these lists after retirement by contacting the OIT Help Desk. Faculty and Staff can also request inclusion in other essential distribution lists by contacting the OIT Help Desk.

Approved Senders

OIT maintains the list of departments who are authorized to send emails to the essential lists. These departments send critical messages related to safety, health and campus operations.

Message Size Limit

The student lists are restricted to 300 KB. Messages sent to the Faculty and Staff lists are restricted to 2 MB.

Message Content

Notifications sent to the lists must be appropriate for the target audience and include critical content related to safety, health and campus operations.






About the Managed Lists

Departments may request a managed list to send information about upcoming events, programming or other information to appropriate audiences.  These messages do not meet the requirements for the essential lists. Therefore recipients are able to unsubscribe from receiving messages from each department.

How to update your subscription preferences

Individuals may opt out (or back into) any of the managed lists by visiting after September 9, 2013. When they login to the site, they will be able to view all lists to which they are eligible to subscribe as well as all lists in which they are currently subscribed.  Simply check or uncheck the box next to each list to update your subscription and then click Submit your changes.

Students will be resubscribed to all lists at the start of each academic year. They will then be able to adjust their subscription preferences at that point. Faculty and staff will retain their subscription preferences as long as their job records and contract paperwork remains current.

How to request a managed list

Managed lists are currently being identified and created based on the list of approved senders. Following the initial setup, departments may request a new list by email the IT Help Desk ( 

Why are managed lists being implemented?

OIT received a number of requests from the Faculty Senate, Student Senate and other groups on campus to decrease the number of campus wide messages that were being sent. The request was made to allow individuals to choose the types of messages they would like to receive and opt out of others. This request was reviewed and approved by the PEC.

Who will have access to the essential campus bulk lists?

A small group of individuals will be permitted to send to these essential lists. This includes Public Affairs, Provost, HR, Enrollment Services, Emergency Management etc. However, they may only use these lists to communicate information that is mandatory for the target audience. For example: annual benefit enrollment information may be sent to the mandatory list as it is critical information. However, the HR newsletter should be sent using the managed list instead.

Can messages still be sent to a single target audience using these new managed lists?

Yes. When a request is made, the requester will indicate to which target audiences they need to communicate. If all 4 audience types are selected, the requester will receive 4 separate email lists containing the appropriate audience. Therefore messages can be sent to the appropriate audience.

How do I send a message to the managed lists?

Messages can be sent from Outlook, Webmail or whichever email client you prefer. The “To” field will simply need to contain the appropriate email address for the desired list. These addresses will be provided to the requester when the list is created.

How does someone opt out of the lists?

There are two ways to unsubscribe from the managed lists. At the bottom of each email that is sent to these lists, a custom footer will automatically be added. This contains a link to unsubscribe from the mailing list as well as a link to the Subscription Portal page located at

Is there a way for a department to know how many individuals are subscribed to their managed lists?

Yes, a subscription report will be emailed automatically to the list owners with the number of addresses subscribed on a monthly basis.

Can a list be requested for a single event?

Lists should only be created for recurring use. If there is a one time event, please utilize the existing lists in your department whenever possible. Exception requests will be reviewed for approval.

As new employees or students arrive, are they added to the appropriate lists automatically?

Yes. A process is in place to add all new employees to all of the lists when they are hired. Students will also be subscribed automatically. Student lists will be refreshed on an annual basis.

Can someone subscribe to a list from which they previously unsubscribed?

Yes. They can opt in to any of the lists via the Email Subscription page at

What is the difference between the essential lists and the managed lists?

Essential lists ( ,,, and are reserved for content that is mandatory for the University community. These messages are related to safety, health or personnel and academic business. Membership on these essential lists is mandatory and the ability to send to these lists is limited.
Managed lists are provided to the various departments to communicate non essential content to the appropriate audience. These include events, newsletters, and other information. Managed lists will be populated with all addresses, but individuals can opt out of these messages at any time.