Mass Email Distribution Guidelines

Information used with permission from

The Whistle

Georgia Tech's new Electronic Mail Mass Distribution Policy, formerly known as MegaList, took effect Nov. 1, 1998. The purpose of the policy is to define the appropriate types of communication for mass distribution and to outline the procedures for submitting messages.

The intent is that all campus units, as well as all individuals who need to communicate time-sensitive information to large segments of the campus community, adhere to this policy. This policy will be administered by Institute Communications and Public Affairs and the Office of Information Technology.

In its earlier format, MegaList was developed simply as a large electronic mail address list to provide a means by which important time-critical messages could be sent to large segments of the campus community. Originally the mailing list included about 800 somewhat random members of the community who would, in turn, transmit important information to their respective units.

As it evolved and became more popular, the MegaList began to be used not only for transmitting important information to the campus but also as a means for alerting recipients to athletic events, guest appearances, routine administrative announcements and other non-critical information. As the number of messages increased, so, too, did the complaints from recipients about unwanted “junk mail.”

Rather than discontinue the practice altogether, a new policy has been developed, and a new mechanism will be in place to handle mass distribution of time-critical information. This new system is intended to be a mechanism by which only important, time-critical messages are communicated to the campus. The vast majority of messages intended for the campus are generally best communicated via other means such as The Whistle, The Technique, flyers, invitations, memos, news groups and regular mail.


The new e-mail distribution system will now consist of multiple lists, grouped into major administrative groups:

  • Campuswide (all permanent employees and students )
  • Faculty (academic, research and general)
  • Institute leadership (VP, associate VP, provost, assistant/associate provost, deans, assistant/associate deans, chairs, directors)
  • Full- and part-time students
  • Staff

The following is a breakdown of items considered appropriate for each category:


  • Crisis/urgent announcements: bomb or terrorist threat; natural disaster alert; mechanical failures; weather closures or delays; crime alerts; and computer virus alerts.
  • Logistics announcements: construction closures; traffic routing; and ozone or environmental alert notices.
  • Major announcements: major events such as the Olympics or a Presidential visit; naming of a new president, vice president, provost or dean; and major sports announcements such as Bowl Game, College World Series or NCAA Final Four appearances.


  • Faculty governance announcements that must be communicated quickly; and ‚ÄîMajor policy and procedural changes that must be communicated quickly.

Institute Leadership

  • Personnel appointments at this level;
  • Significant policy changes that are time critical; and,
  • Strategic messages from the president, provost, vice president or dean.

Full- and part-time students

  • Registration and curriculum information;
  • SGA time-sensitive information; and,
  • Messages to students from Tech leadership: president, provost, vice president of student affairs, dean of students, etc.


  • Policy and procedure updates that are time sensitive;
  • Financial and administrative deadlines that are time critical; and,
  • Administrative announcements of campuswide importance that are time critical.


Anyone wishing to distribute a message to one or all the groups should e-mail the message to and indicate which group(s) is to receive the message. Please be as selective as possible in selecting the appropriate group(s). The MegaMod coordinator will consider the request in light of the aforementioned criteria and determine whether or not the message is appropriate for distribution. If so, it will be distributed on the same day for any request received prior to 2 p.m. and before noon the following business day for any request received after 2 p.m. Emergency messages will be distributed as soon as possible. These lists will be prepared and maintained in a joint effort by the Office of Information Technology and the Office of Human Resources. The actual sender of t he messages will be kept confidential and the individual lists and addresses therein will remain confidential.

Appeals process

For those messages not deemed appropriate for mass distribution, the requestor will receive a note back indicating so. Should the requestor feel that his or her message has been refused in error, the requestor may appeal to the executive director of Institute Communications and Public Affairs by re-sending the request to asking that it be reviewed by the executive director. All decisions by the executive director are final.