Procedures

Sending Bulk Messages - Procedures

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1. Purpose and Objectives

This procedure outlines The University of Queensland's position on sending bulk messages.

This procedure should be read in conjunction with PPL 6.20.01 Acceptable Use of UQ ICT Resources.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Cohort of Students - students grouped by course or program.

User, Authorised User - all staff, students, contractors, third parties, clinical and adjunct title holders, affiliates, alumni and all other users who access UQ’s systems and/or network.

3. Procedures Scope/Coverage

This procedure applies to all staff and students of the University in the sending of bulk communications.

4. Procedures Statement

This procedure provides additional detail on the sending bulk messages in respect of email bulk messaging, SMS bulk messaging, compliance, use of bulk messaging, sending bulk messages, subscribed broadcasts, authorization, and seeking authorisation to approve broadcast electronic communication. Details on each of these aspects are outlined in sections 5 – 13 below.

5. Email Bulk Messaging

5.1 The University provides an email address to authorised users. The University also provides a directory of contact information for all staff and students and a messaging system that allows staff members, with relevant authorisation, to send bulk email messages to groups of recipients.

5.2 Other systems within the university also provide a method for bulk emails. These include SI-Net, e-Learning, Library and data warehouse systems. These systems allow staff to email cohorts of students.

6. SMS Bulk Messaging

6.1 SMS also provides the ability to broadcast messages to multiple recipients. The University does not wish to flood mobile phones with messages to students and staff as this could reduce the effectiveness of messages sent.

6.2 Mobile phone numbers are not available for all staff and students.

6.3 Consequently, the sending of bulk SMS messaging to students is restricted, so the number of messages received from The University of Queensland is kept small and focused on high priority topics.

6.4 In addition to the tightly controlled distribution of official information via SMS, students may wish to “opt-in” to additional SMS services available at UQ.

6.5 Some staff are provided with mobile phone numbers as part of their work requirements.

6.6 Where overseas mobile phone numbers are provided to UQ for the purposes of receiving official University-initiated SMS messages as authorised below, a charge may be incurred by the student or, in the case of staff, the business unit providing the mobile phone.

6.7 SMS can also be provided to staff and students as a user pays service where staff and students have opted in for this service.

7. Compliance

7.1 Messages sent by electronic communication must be consistent with existing University policies and statutes.

8. Use of Bulk Messaging

8.1 Broadcast communication must be used for University purposes only. The sender of broadcast communication is construed to be a representative of the University.

8.2 The email address provided by the University to authorised users is not a private facility over which the staff member or student has exclusive control to decide what will or will not be sent to him/her.

8.3 The University reserves the right to communicate to its staff and students, through its authorised managers, information which:

  • Is relevant to the University as a whole (for messages to all, or large groups of staff or students) or to sections of the University such as Faculties, Schools or Divisions; and
  • Is required for the effective functioning of the University or the relevant organisational unit; or which covers issues, policies, corporate events or decisions with a direct connection to the work of the University and its key organisational units.

8.4 Generally, advertising of events, or causes or services, should be communicated electronically through facilities such as my.UQ, web pages and subscription email lists or subscription SMS lists. For special circumstances, authorisation may be received from authorising officers (see '11. Authorisation' below).

9. Sending Bulk Messages

9.1 It is possible to send messages to all staff or students in particular groupings (for example, all staff in the University, staff in a particular school or organisational unit, or students in a course). Messages can be sent to staff either by personal addresses at the University or role/function addresses at the University where an email alias/account has been set up for that role (such as Head of School, Course Convenor, Faculty Finance Officer).

9.2 Recipients of bulk messages should remain anonymous to each other except where the recipients are in a role/function which are likely to already be known by each recipient (such as Institute Directors). It is recommended that the distribution group is identified in the contents of the message (eg. Distribution to all Institute Directors).

9.3 Only designated and authorised staff members (as indicated in the tables in “11 . Authorisation” below) are to send bulk email messages except where staff or students subscribe to this service.

9.4 A central system is also available to send bulk SMS messages. The sending of bulk SMS messages is also restricted to authorised staff (as indicated in the tables in “11. Authorisation” below) except where the staff or student subscribes to this service.

9.5 The student username (including email addresses with the abbreviated student number), student number and student name should not be displayed together in the public domain including bulk emails which are accessible by other students.

10. Subscribed Broadcasts

10.1 The broadcast of communication messages to sub-sets of student or staff members (for example: members of UQ Sport, specific Student Union clubs and societies or Communities of Practice mailing lists), other than in circumstances outlined in 9.1, should occur only where:

  • The recipients are subscribed members of a discussion group or other form of voluntary association that has been approved by the Chief Operating Officer;or
  • Members can remove themselves from the list-server voluntarily.

11. Authorisation

The following tables indicate the relevant authority for broadcasting of messages at The University of Queensland.

Table 1: Authorisation of Broadcasts to All Students and/or Staff (unlimited access)

Electronic Communication concerning

Email

SMS

Authorised by

  • All Students

For the purposes of student and academic administration (e.g. Health Services, Enrolments, Student Union)

þ

þ

Academic Registrar or nominee

  • All Students

To provide alerts regarding critical incidents 

þ

þ

Chief Operating Officer

or nominee

  • All Students

To provide information about UQ IT services

þ

 

Director, Information Technology Services

or nominee

  • All Staff

þ

þ

Director, Human Resources

or nominee

  • All Staff

To provide alerts regarding critical incidents

þ

þ

Chief Operating Officer

or nominee

  • All Staff

To provide information about UQ IT services

þ

 

Director, Information Technology Services

or nominee

  • All Operational Staff

To provide information about UQ IT services and to maintain the effective operations of services through Information Technology Services

þ

þ

Director, Information Technology Services

or nominee

  • All Library Users

þ

 

University Librarian

or nominee

  • All Staff and All Students

To provide information regarding property and facilities matters

þ þ

Director, Property and Facilities or nominee

Table 2: Authorisation of Broadcasts to a Particular Group of Students and/or Staff (limited access)

Electronic Communication concerning

Email

SMS

Authorised by

  • Academic/faculty matters

e.g. messages to students enrolled in a particular academic program; personnel involved in Centres associated with the faculty; or all postgraduate research students.

þ

 

Executive Dean, Dean, UQ Graduate School or nominee

  • Students in a designated course

þ

 

Course Coordinator for the designated course or nominee or program Director or nominee

  • All staff in an organisational unit

þ

þ

As agreed by senior management within the Organisational unit.

12. Communication not covered in Section 11

12.1 Where communication is required to groups which are not wholly comprised of staff and/or students e.g. UQ Alumni, or external parties, the communication needs to be approved by the Chief Operating Officer.

12.2 Commercial Electronic Messages must comply with the Spam Act 2003 (FAQ) which requires:

  • either express consent for the communication to be sent, or an existing relationship, and
  • the communication contain clear and accurate identification of the sender and how to contact them, and
  • details on how to opt-out of receiving further messages from this sender.

13. Seeking Authorisation to Approve Regular Broadcast of Electronic Communication

13.1 Where authorisation for regular broadcasting on matters additional to those identified above is required, permission must be obtained from the Chief Operating Officer. Areas should provide information on who would be authorised to send the message, the justification for requiring the service and the target audience.

Custodians
Chief Information Officer
Mr Rob Moffatt
Custodians
Chief Information Officer
Mr Rob Moffatt