Q&A: How new email distribution list policy affects you

Published: Tuesday 19th April 2016

Find out how the new email distribution list policy affects you through a series of frequently asked questions.

What is a DL?

A DL is an email ‘distribution list’ that has been created by IT to enable an email to be sent to a group of email recipients. The ACU DLs are listed in the Global Address List (GAL) in Microsoft Outlook and begin with the prefix ‘DL’. There are 2 types: ‘Dynamic’ (used for general communications) - automatically populated and updated using data from HR systems. ‘Static’ (used for a specific purpose e.g. for members of a committee) – manually populated and updated.

Can I create my own DL?

No, as these are centrally created and managed. However, staff members can create personalised contact lists for a particular purpose utilising their MS Outlook account. These lists can be managed by staff members in their own ACU email account. See how to create your own ‘Contact Group.’

What is the difference between a ‘dynamic’ and ‘static’ DL?

‘Dynamic’ DLs are used for general communications. They are automatically populated and updated using data from HR systems. ‘Static’ DLs are used for a specific purpose e.g. communication with the members of a committee such as the Executive Planning group. They are manually populated and updated.

Why is the new policy being created?

Until now there was no single, whole of university approach to creating and maintaining DLs. There were far more DLs than were required and no means of determining whether they were current, their memberships were up to date and they were used. This resulted in some 630 DLs (including 200 Dynamic) being created, with the list growing. An added problem has been that ‘dynamic’ or automatic generation of distribution lists is not supported by Office 365. As a result, work-arounds were happening across ACU (notably faculties) to produce locally designed / monitored / edited DLs with Service Desk support. This was an administrative burden and not sustainable.

How will this policy affect me?

Staff communications will be enhanced because there will now be a Dynamic DL for all organisational groups, from Research Institutes and Schools to Faculties, Directorates and Portfolios. Use of the various DLs will be restricted to authorised staff and these are set out in the policy (Appendix 1). If you are not authorised to use a DL, you will need to liaise with the DL Owner or DL Manager for your communication needs.

What happens to the old DLs?

The existing Dynamic DLs will no longer be accessible in the Global Address List in Outlook from 30 April 2016 and will be fully deactivated by 6 May 2016. The policy will not impact on the existing Static DLs.

Will there be new DLs?

There will be new Dynamic DLs available from 30 April 2016 that reflect the University’s organisational structure, i.e. there will be a staff DL for every Research Institute, School, Faculty, Directorate, Portfolio as well as Student DLs (see Appendix 2 of the policy)

How do I access the new DLs?

A list of the new DLs can be found in Appendix 7 of the policy and will be accessible via the Global Address List (GAL) in Microsoft Outlook, from 30 April 2016.

Where is the link to the DL Policy and Procedure document?

The new DL policy is located here

I have a special DL to distribute important information to senior staff on a weekly basis. How can I recreate this DL?

You can create your own Contact Group in Microsoft Outlook. You might request the approval of a member of Executive Planning Group to create a static DL. This approval is required to be included with your request to Service Desk.

I am still not receiving emails sent to DL groups I should be part of?

Dynamic staff DLs are derived from information stored in the HR system. The accuracy of a Dynamic staff DL is therefore dependent upon the accuracy of HR data. HR Advisory Service (hr@acu.edu.au) should be contacted to update or correct information on HR data. You can check you HR details on Staff Connect.

How do I get support for my IT problems relating to the new DL groups?

You can contact Service Desk or your IT Relationship Manager. For queries regarding the policy – contact the Service Matters Improvement Team (SMIT - email Service.Matters@acu.edu.au).

What are the benefits of the new DL policy?

  1. A single, official end-to-end   DL process that:
  2. applies to the entire ACU   Community
  3. identifies the roles and   responsibilities relating to the creation, maintenance and distribution of   official ACU DLs.
  4. Allows for the automatic   population (addition to/editing of) of DLs following once-off manual build.
  5. Alleviates the administrative   burden on ACU staff (faculties etc.)/Service Desk to manually create and   maintain DLs.
  6. Reinforces the importance of   the accuracy and timely updating/ maintenance of HR data to enable the   automatic population/ maintenance of DLs.
  1. is consistent (agreed naming conventions, business rules etc.)
  2. defines the governance arrangements for DLs including organisational roles and responsibilities and the authority and delegations to create, maintain, edit and/or distribute DLs.

Can’t I just request Service Desk to create a DL?

The Service Desk will not process requests for DLs that do not comply with the policy.

How can I get approval to use a DL to circulate a group email?

You can contact the DL Owner or Manager (refer to Appendix 1 of the DL policy). Anyone, other than those authorised in Appendix 1, who wishes to use a DL from any level must first seek permission in writing from the List Owner.

My faculty/institute is holding a seminar with a special guest speaker on X Campus. Can I use the new email DL for X Campus to promote my event?

Yes. You will need to liaise with the relevant office of the AVC or Campus Dean, or with any other approved sender (refer to Appendix 1 of the policy).

I am holding first aid training on X Campus. Can I use the DL for X Campus to promote my event?

Yes. You will need to liaise with the relevant office of the AVC or Campus Dean, or with any other approved sender (refer to Appendix 1 of the policy).

I have a message I want to distribute to a large group of students. How do I do this?

In the first instance contact the Student Strategies Coordinator (Communication) who can provide information about the range of internal student communication channels available for communication with all students on all campuses or all students on a single campus - and which of these channels is suitable for your particular message and audience. For Faculty-based communications contact the Faculty Office.