CSULB Broadcast Email Process (Net-bulk@csulb.edu)

Background and Purpose

This campus communication process is intended for campus administrative offices/departments requiring mass email messages to be sent to established campus audiences in the form of restricted email lists.  This is in support of approved University business.  This process is administered by Division of Information Technology (DoIT) by emailing net-bulk@csulb.edu, which is comprised of a team of IT staff functioning as List Moderators. 

Terminology

  • Requestor: this is typically an office/department representative staff person that is coordinating the communication request and also handles receiving appropriate approvals.
  • Approver: this is often an office/department Assistant Vice President, Associate Vice President, or division Vice President.
  • Moderator: this is an employee that may be one of several people given ListServ list access which enables them to click the "Approve" button on automated emails which enables emails to be released to the restricted email lists below.  They are select employees within such areas as Division of IT, the President's Office, the Provost's Office, and Staff HR. See Notes below for moderators.

Established, Restricted Email Lists

The following lists are strictly based on the current active employment (for employees) and admissions (for students) status at the time of the requested email communication.  They are dynamically generated based on the "Active" statuses in campus Human Resources systems (for employees) and Enrollment Services systems (for students). 

  • All-Employees: contains the embedded lists below which include all-faculty, all-auxiliary and all-staff
  • All-Faculty: contains all faculty that have a current "Active" faculty HR role
  • All-Staff: contains all staff, MPP, and Executive employees
  • All-Students: only includes all currently enrolled students. Students who are admitted but aren’t enrolled will not receive messages to the all-student list. This is determined by Enrollment Services as they provide an Identity Management system flag called “csulbAllStudentEmail,” and DoIT will only send to those who have that attribute set to “TRUE”.  Note:  This means that DoIT can only send to the fully populated All-Student list during the active semester. Outside of this timeframe (i.e., winter and summer sessions) fewer students will have this "TRUE" status. For these timeframes, Enrollment Services will have to assist with reaching the broader student population.

Request Process Steps

  1. Office/department representatives are to send an email to net-bulk@csulb.edu with a specific request for their broadcast email.  If the requestor is a director level staff or below, typically DoIT needs approval from an AVP or higher before we will release the message. Some people will get pre-approval, others will wait and do it at step 4.  The information required in this request includes:
    • The email "From" address from which the the message must be sent (i.e., CSULB-CIO@csulb.edu, CSULB-President@csulb.edu)
    • The recipients/audience list to which the message needs to be sent
    • The subject line
    • and the message contents in the final format
  2. Net-bulk will verify all the relevant information provided and request any missing information.  Net-bulk will use the provided information to send a message to the ListServ server. The message is no longer editable at this time, but can be rejected and re-sent if edits need to be made. This takes time and adds additional complexity so DoIT always recommends to have all your edits complete before submitting to net-bulk.
  3. A message is returned from ListServ to net-bulk which is how the message will appear once it’s received by the designated audience(s).  Net-bulk then sends this to the requestor and the approver to make sure that the message looks the way it’s intended. This will have an “APPROVAL” or “APPROVAL REQUESTED” pre-appended in the subject line so that you know this is the approval request message.
  4. The requestor gives approval (an approver may also need to give approval here if the requestor didn’t get preapproval in step 1), and net-bulk waits approximately 15 minutes then releases the message. It is important that the requestor gives their approval since they were approved for this content and need to make sure it meets university requirements (i.e., formatting, grammar, accuracy, web accessibility, etc.).

Notes

  • Moderators on net-bulk lists that are listed above may receive “approval required” emails from ListServ, but if they are not involved with the message it is critical that they do not release it. There may be edits happening between net-bulk and the requestor that they are not aware of and we can’t “unsend” an email once it’s released. If moderators release messages they are not involved with, they may be removed as a moderator.
    • Critical note about Outlook on the web:  Moderators should not use Outlook on the web (OWA) because of a mechanism in OWA that will click any link on a previewed message to check if it’s safe. This results in any message previewed in OWA being released immediately without the requestor’s approval.
  • Attachments can be problematic due to formatting that may not meet web accessibility standards.  It's recommended that instead of including attachments for highly formatted and visual content, that websites be created and hyperlinked in the email body.  If attachments are necessary, it's best to stay with simple text.  If you're unsure about whether your content meets accessibility standards, it can be reviewed prior to your email broadcast by either your own office's communications specialist or by submitting a request for accessibility review with DoIT.

Reference

Campus emails must follow accessibility best practices.

Details

Article ID: 143534
Created
Fri 12/16/22 9:35 AM
Modified
Mon 1/30/23 12:03 PM