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Mass Email Policy - Use of Google Digest Mode

Beginning in June 2011, we will take the next step towards improving Augustana’s email services by addressing a frustration shared by many across campus - too much email. Google provides options for email delivery which may provide some relief for those who receive a large amount of general campus email, yet still provide College groups with a communication tool to share activities, events, and other useful information.

One of the delivery methods provided by Google is called “Digest”. When email is sent to a large distribution group, for example “All Students”,  Google will gather these messages, combine each individual email into a single message, and deliver the collection as one single email - complete with a indexed header - allowing the recipient to jump directly to subjects of interest. Instead of receiving ten email messages addressed to All Students, you will receive one email with ten subjects with the full content of each message included further down the email.

Moving forward, we will be converting the following major campus email distribution lists to default to the Digest delivery method:

Faculty, Admin, Staff

As explained above, each of these large address groups will now be set to deliver e-mail once a day (maybe twice if the number of messages to the group exceeds 25). Unfortunately, the delivery time for the aggregated message is not exact, merely documented as between midnight and noon. This delivery schedule will require a bit more planning as messages to large groups will no longer be delivered instantaneously.

There are offices and personnel within the College who will be given access to “Priority” distribution lists - distribution lists  which will deliver email to large groups of recipients immediately. Offices such as the Dean of Students, Registrar, Security, and the President’s Office will have the capability to send immediate e-mails to the campus. These “Priority” lists will be used only to communicate information critical to the functions of the institution and emergency notifications. Access to the priority lists will require approval from the President of the College.

The conversion of the StaffGroup and AdminGroup distribution list to the digest delivery format will take place on May 31st.  The conversion of the FacultyGroup and the major student groups will occur over the summer.

Our hope is the digest delivery format will improve communication by helping readers choose what is interesting information on their schedule.