Broadcast Email Guidelines

(Revised October 2014)

The following guidelines outline both the process and responsibility for distributing administrative email messages to members of the Wake Forest community. In all circumstances, the guiding principle for using the broadcast e-mail system is only for those circumstances when no other single communication method or combination of methods is sufficient.

In these guidelines, broadcast messages are defined as electronic mail messages distributed through system generated email lists maintained on behalf of the university by Information Systems. This approach prevents excessive email “spamming” to the broader community and ensures that messages deemed “high priority” communications reach the intended parties.

In general, broadcast emails to all faculty, students and staff are centralized through the Communications and External Relations Office (CER) according to the criteria below. In addition to certain types of messages that serve the University, CER also serves as a facilitator for key messages prepared for distribution by the Office of the President.

Messages distributed by CER:

  • Emergency and crisis situations.
  • Weather-related closings and delays.
  • Crimes, or a series of crimes, that threaten public safety.
  • Deaths of faculty members, staff and students and memorials/funerals scheduled, as well as deaths of retired faculty and staff when requested by family or members of the campus community.  Messages regarding retired individuals will be sent to faculty and staff.  * (At end of this page, see additional comments about messages for deaths of retired individuals.)
  • Significant changes in traffic, vehicular access and parking.
  • Disruptive situations related to University facilities.
  • Other pressing situations deemed necessary to communicate by broadcast e-mail by the Associate Vice President for Communications and External Relations (or designate).

Such messages may be requested from CER by calling 336.758.5237.  CER also is available to provide editorial assistance and advice on content.

Because a variety of administrative offices across campus also need to communicate with their own constituencies using the University’s broadcast email system, a selected number of “permissions” are granted by Information Systems with approval from Communications and External Relations.  Information Systems also provides instruction for those granted permissions to utilize the broadcast lists and maintains the written processes for managing these lists.  This collaborative process provides the flexibility needed by campus leadership to authorize specific messages to the people for whom these individuals have oversight.

Specifically, the Provost, Vice Presidents, Dean of the College, and the Deans of any Reynolda Campus schools (Graduate, Divinity, Business, Law) and their designates may send broadcast e-mails to relevant constituencies associated with their administrative and academic offices.

  • The Provost may send broadcast e-mails to faculty, staff and students.
  • The Dean of any School may send broadcast e-mails to faculty, staff and students in their particular Schools.
  • Vice Presidents may send broadcast e-mails to any faculty, staff or students for whom they have immediate responsibility. They have the authority to approve broadcast e-mails be sent by department heads they directly supervise.

All senior administrators with authority to send broadcast e-mails are responsible for the following:

  1. Designating individuals or “moderators” in their offices who will actually perform the practical, technical functions using the broadcast e-mail system.
  2. Creating broadcast e-mail guidelines for their individual academic and administrative offices with criteria for which types of messages they will distribute.
  3. Establishing a system for review and approval of all messages before distribution (quality control).
  4. Arranging training by Information Systems and keeping abreast of changes to the university guidelines and procedures over time.
  5. Keeping other email moderators and designated administrators in Information Systems informed of impending messages through the broadcast email system to help ensure that two offices are not sending messages at the same time.

It is important that Information Systems be promptly informed if a moderator leaves the University or moves to another position within the University.  The moderator’s supervisor is encouraged to contact the Information Systems Service Desk at and ask that the Information Systems Communications team be informed of the moderator change.

In regard to announcements of deaths of retired individuals:

  • CER will send an e-mail to faculty and staff announcing the death of a retired faculty member or staff member when a death is brought to the attention of CER within 30 days of a death.
  • If memorial/funeral service information is available at the time of the announcement, brief service details will be included, when practical. If service details become available after a death announcement is made, a second message will be not be distributed by e-mail. Brief service details, instead, would be presented on Inside WFU.
  • CER, routinely, will attempt to announce a retired individual’s death within 72 hours after CER received word of a death.  Weekends and holidays may cause further delay.
  • CER depends on others (faculty/staff, family, friends) to inform CER of the deaths of retired faculty/staff.

Messages to external audiences

To request a broadcast email for off-campus constituents (alumni, parents, friends of the University), please use the Broadcast Email Request form.