CSU Policy: Institutional Mass Text and Email Communication Tools (formerly Central Administrative Email Listservs

Policy Title: Institutional Mass Text and Email Communication Tools (formerly Central Administrative Email Listservs Category: Information Technology
Owner: Vice President for University Marketing and Communications Policy ID#: 4-1018-018
Vice President for University Marketing and Communications
Web: https://marcomm.colostate.edu/
Email: news@colostate.edu
Original Effective Date: 1/1/1997
Last Revision: 4/5/2024
Supersedes Policy ID#: 4-1018-006
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This policy is jointly owned by the Vice President for University Marketing and Communications and the Vice President for Information Technology.


The purpose of this policy is to provide requirements and guidelines for using the Central Administrative Email Listservs established by the University for communicating to large groups of university community members.


This policy applies to all Users of Colorado State University email systems and mass communication tools, including text.


Mailing lists that are set up using the university’s Mailman system are exempted from this policy.


Central Administrative Email Listservs are lists developed and maintained by the University for use in reaching large numbers of defined University email recipients at once. These are controlled, managed and updated by the central University administration and their use is restricted to assure they are used appropriately for University business purposes.

Emergency Email is an email system that allows executive offices of the university to generate emails to student, employee and associate CSU email accounts.

RamLink is a tool developed by the Student Leadership, Involvement & Community Engagement (SLiCE) office as a centralized portal for student involvement.

RamSelect is a tool used by the Registrar’s office that is found in Ariesweb.

SOURCE is an electronic newsletter of general interest to the university community that is transmitted by the Department of  Communications to CSU email subscribers (i.e., those with a CSU NetID).

User is anyone who has University permission to send and receive emails and text messages through the University’s systems.


CSU provides communication systems for use by the University community. While these systems may be used for large-group communications, they must be used judiciously to avoid inundating Users with messages that do not apply to them. Only the President of the University, or the President’s designee, and the University’s Public Safety Team (as authorized by the President) may approve the sending of university-wide messages to all Users: students, faculty, staff and affiliates. Email transmissions using university listservs to large numbers of Users are moderated by University officials to ensure that systems are not overtaxed, and that these mass communications on the University’s behalf are appropriate to serve the University’s business needs.

Official communications from the University are critical to student success, safety of the university community, and efficient operation of the institution. However, when such communications are too frequent or of limited interest and importance, students and employees may become accustomed to tuning these messages out, and the effectiveness of the university’s communication tools will be diminished. To avoid this, such communications must be carefully managed, limited and monitored. Electronic communications to students using university email systems and text messaging are subject to the provisions of this policy.


CSU provides every employee and student an email account to be used for official university email communications. Official University communications may also be delivered via SMS (text messages). However, not all employees and students may have an SMS capable device. Thus, it cannot be assumed that one can use text messaging as a sole means of communication to employees and students.

Mass Email Communications to the University Community

There are three existing CSU systems that allow for mass email communications to faculty, staff, students, and affiliates:

  1. RamSelect is the vehicle for mass communication to students.  It allows business offices of the university to generate emails to students’ CSU email accounts while specifying parameters that include or exclude certain students. Use of RamSelect, and any successor system or tool to RamSelect, shall be limited as follows:
    • Its primary use will be by the Office of the Registrar, Office of Financial Aid, Business and Financial Services, Vice President for Student Affairs, academic departments, and student advisors, and for essential business of Collaboration for Student Achievement, Continuing Education, International Programs, and other core advising offices.
    • It may also be used for essential communications regarding campus safety/Clery Act communications, required institutional surveys, and alerts approved by the above offices or the Office of the Provost. Because of the nature of these essential communications, students cannot “opt out” of receiving emails in RamSelect.
    • Non-academic messages of general interest are better addressed through systems other than RamSelect, including RamLink, SOURCE, and other university-operated systems and publications. Designated university departments will continue to have access to use the RamSelect system to generate email address lists for the purpose of sending non-critical, official business-related messages to students who have affirmatively expressed an interest in the subject matter. The message subject line shall be informative as to their source and subject matter and must be used consistently so that students will be better able to determine where such messages are coming from and set their own message filters accordingly. Each university business unit or employee using the RamSelect system will be expected to exercise good judgment to assure that emails to student email accounts are for official business purposes, not sent to an unduly large number of recipients, or to students who may have no interest in the subject matter, and properly identified as being from the department or office involved. Examples of messages for which RamSelect may be an appropriate choice include invitations to nominate faculty for the Alumni Association Best Teachers Awards and information about how students can pick up their tickets for a CSU Athletics event. Examples of messages for which RamLink or another tool is a better choice include all messages sent to general student populations, general news about programs and events, and the election of officers of a registered student organization.
    • RamSelect is for institutional use only. Email lists generated from the RamSelect system shall not be provided to non-affiliated external users such as private businesses, sponsors, or non-profit agencies.
  2. Emergency Mail or bulk email is used exclusively by the President (and/or their designee) Executive Leadership and the Public Safety Team for mass communication to students, faculty, and staff to communicate widely to the University about official CSU business and matters of safety and security impacting the entire university or particular areas or groups. Emergency emails for public safety matters may also be moderated and sent through the Everbridge platform that is hosted by the Larimer Emergency Telephone Authority (LETA). The Everbridge platform can also send emergency text messages. Recipients do not have the ability to opt out of receiving messages sent using Emergency Mail, since it must be available to reach everyone in the event of an emergency notification or timely warning. Email messages are required communication under the Clery Act.
  3. Central Administrative Email Listservs are available for official University business messaging to specific constituent groups (e.g., faculty; administrative professionals; deans, directors, and department heads; state classified staff; and departmental administrative assistants). All mass email messages sent to a Central Administrative Email Listserv should be directed only to the mailing list for those to whom the information has direct relevance. Any and all use of these listservs is subject to review and approval by the listserv moderators. At the discretion of the VP for Marketing and Communications, a third-party platform can be used to send email messages to University community members.
  4. Examples of appropriate use of a Central Administrative Email Listserv include:
    • An official communication by an employee council to its constituents concerning matters of importance or wide interest to that group;
    • An announcement from Human Resources to all employees regarding benefits enrollment;
    • An announcement from a Vice President that is of broad interest or importance to the university community;
    • A message advising the university community of a new or substantially revised institutional policy on a matter of general concern.
  5. Examples of inappropriate use of a Central Administrative Email Listserv include, but are not limited to the unauthorized:
    • Promotion of events
    • Recruiting for research subjects
    • Distribution of newsletters
    • Promotion of unit- or college-level programming
    • Job openings

Alternative Means of Reaching the University Community

A number of alternatives exist for reaching the University community, and in many cases can be more effective than email in reaching the target audience. These include  SOURCE, the university e-newsletter; CSU Life, the monthly printed newsletter for faculty and staff;  Canvas; ARIESweb; RamLink; RamSelect; various CSU social media tools; CSU Magazine; and AlumLine, the monthly e-newsletter for alumni and friends of the University. Contact information is shown below. Additionally, individual listservs can be created that allow recipients to opt-in to receive your message.

For emergency communications, the Everbridge platform hosted by the Larimer Emergency Telephone Authority (LETA) may be used. CSU Police Department dispatchers and the University Public Information Officer or their designee have access to send these messages.


Compliance with this policy is required. Misuse of a university email system to send email messages to students and employees in violation of this policy may be grounds for disciplinary action under the applicable student or employee policies and in accordance with University policies and procedures. Such violations may also result in revocation or restriction of access to University systems. For assistance with interpretation or application of this policy, contact the Division of Marketing and Communications.


Board of Governors Policy 127, Use of Digital Resources

CSU Policy: Acceptable Use for Computing and Networking Resources

CSU Policy: Accessibility of Electronic Information and Technology

CSU Policy: Social Media

Registrar’s Office

Vice President for Student Affairs Office

RamLink / SLiCE Office

Strategic Communications (including for SOURCE)

Division of Information Technology for technical issues

The Office of the Registrar for use of RamPoint

The SLiCE Office for assistance with RamLink (tool for student organizations to communicate with their members and other interested persons)

The Social Media Staff in the Division of Marketing and Communications


Colostate Mailing Lists

CSU Social Media Directory



Effective July 1, 1997

Revision approved by Amy L. Parsons, Vice President for University Operations, on June 30, 2014

Revision approved by Amy L. Parsons, Vice President for University Operations, on April 3, 2015

Revision approved by Lynn Johnson, Vice President for University Operations, on November 3, 2016

Revision approved by Brendan Hanlon, Vice President for University Operations, on April 5, 2024


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