Information Technology

Mass Email Guidelines

These guidelines are intended to reduce the number of mass email messages sent to Reed community members, preserve the effectiveness of email as a communication tool, and maintain the free flow of information within the Reed community.

First Consider Alternatives to Using Mass Email

Before sending a mass email to Reed community members, you are encouraged to consult with the Office of Public Affairs and to consider using one or more of these alternative communication channels.

  • Submit an announcement for the website or to be featured in Campus News, our weekly newsletter sent via email that is distributed by public affairs to the entire campus.

  • Submit a story idea to public affairs. Public affairs will review your idea and consider it for publication in Reed Magazine or another outlet.

  • Work with Conference & Events Planning to add an event to the Reed events calendar.

  • Make a verbal announcement at a department or general staff meeting.

  • Consider sending an email to a small targeted email list.

Mass Email Approval

If sending a mass email turns out to be the best way to communicate your message, it must be authorized by one of the following people in order for Public Affairs (PA) to release it.

Primary Approver for Sending Mass Emails

  • Faculty: Dean of the Faculty Office
  • Staff: Vice President/Treasurer Office
  • Student: Vice President for Student Life or Dean of Students Office

Others Who Can Authorize and/or Send Mass Emails to All Lists

Others Who Can Authorize and/or Send Mass Emails to Faculty and Staff Lists

Others Who Can Authorize and/or Send Mass Emails to Student Lists

  • Associate Dean for Student and Campus Life
  • Student Payroll Manager
  • Director of Physical Education
  • Director of Bookstore and Auxiliary Services and Assistant Director of Auxiliary Services 

Use of internal email lists to conduct surveys of students, faculty, or staff

Access to Reed email lists for internal surveys requires consultation with the office of institutional research.

Criteria for Mass Email Message Approval

  • Confirm mass email is the best medium for your message
    Have you consulted with Public Affairs regarding the suitability of using mass email rather than an announcement in Campus News? Have you discussed other alternative communication channels that may be more appropriate with Public Affairs?

  • Mass email should be relevant to the recipients
    Is the substance of the message relevant to the intended audience?

  • Message should be clear and concise
    The message must include a subject line that is relevant to the message's content, and the body text must be clear and concise.

  • Sender must use a Reed email address
    Use of an address at a domain not owned by Reed College to distribute mass email is prohibited.

  • Message must be accessible
    The message must be composed in either plain-text or multipart plain-text/HTML. All information conveyed by the message must be in the text, not embedded in images or other elements that are inaccessible by text-to-speech software. Any images in the message must include "alt" text describing the image for low-vision readers.

  • Prohibited content
    The use of mass email for commercial, political, or external fundraising purposes is not allowed.

  • Use of external mass email services
    Use of an external mass email service—such as Constant Contact or MailChimp—must be approved by the Office of Public Affairs, comply with these standards, and provide recipients with the option of unsubscribing from future mailings.

  • Sending mass emails to recipients outside of Reed
    Sending mass email to individuals outside of the Reed community by purchasing or otherwise collecting their email addresses without their consent is a violation of the law. Such mass emails may only be sent with the consent of the recipients. For further information, please consult the Office of Public Affairs.

Reed Mass Email Lists

Official Reed mass email lists that address the entire Reed community, faculty, staff, or students cannot be unsubscribed.

all students, faculty, and staff
all members of the faculty
all non-faculty employees
all first year students
all sophomores
all juniors
all seniors
all enrolled students

(Enrolled includes MALS, HIP, Language Scholars, Young Scholars, and enrolled employees.)

If you wish to send mass emails to alumni, parents, or other constituencies, please consult with Public Affairs for assistance.

For Assistance or to Release a Mass Email message

Business Hours (Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.)

Contact the Office of Public Affairs (; x7591, 503-777-7591).

Emails will be released on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9:30 to 10 a.m. and 3:30 to 4 p.m. unless there is an emergency or urgent need for immediate release. If there is an urgent need, please contact the Public Affairs office to let them know. If you are unable to connect with the Public Affairs office, please contact Executive Director of Public Affairs and Communications Sheena McFarland via text message at 801-510-5567.

Urgent Mass Email Messages that Must be Sent Outside of Business Hours

Contact Community Safety (503-771-1112)
The Dispatcher will connect you with the Executive Director of Public Affairs and Communications.

Important Notes

  • All replies, vacation messages, or error messages will go to the email address from which a message is sent.

  • Emergency Notifications should be sent via Reed’s Emergency Alert System by contacting Community Safety at x6666 (503-788-6666).

Content added from Reed Mass Email POLICY PAGE 

Mass Email

Mass emails are messages sent to large segments of the Reed Community, such as the entire faculty, staff, student body (or student class year), a curricular division, or a group of organizations. While such messages may seem like a good way to spread information to a wide audience, many recipients perceive them as spam or may even find them offensive. In order to avoid this problem, faculty, staff, students, or other members of the Reed community who wish to send a mass email need to follow these steps:

  • First, determine the desired audience for your message (refer to the Reed Mass Email Lists described above);
  • then, obtain approval to send an email to the desired email distribution list by following the Mass Email Guidelines
  • then, email Public Affairs at, indicating who has approved the message.

When Public Affairs confirms that you have received authorization to send your message they will provide guidance on technical details for sending the message.

Sending mass emails to the Reed community without authorization, by circumventing college distribution email lists or other means, is a violation of the Computer User Agreement and is subject to the penalties described in the Failure to Comply section of the CUS policy page.