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Institutional Messaging (Policy 8100)

University Policy 8100

Download a Printable Version of Policy 8100

Effective Date

July 1995

Last Revision Date

August 16, 2023

Responsible Party

Office of Communications and Marketing, (208) 426-1577

Scope and Audience

This policy applies to all members of the University community.

Additional Authority

University Policy 12090 (Timely Warning for Crime Prevention)
University Policy 12010 (Emergency Notification)

1. Policy Purpose

To provide the requirements for sending mass communications to University students and/or employees in a controlled and responsible manner.

2. Policy Statement

Boise State University recognizes the importance of using mass communications to provide timely information to members of the Boise State University community on critical University business matters such as activities, events, emergencies, and important employee and student announcements.

Mass communications should only be used when the subject matter and message is of legitimate concern and interest to the recipients and the communication is in compliance with any applicable federal or state law and/or University policy. All mass communications must be properly screened and authorized in accordance with this policy.

3. Emergency Notification System

a. An emergency notification system that automates messages across various media to communicate emergency and urgent messages to faculty, staff, and students will be utilized under the direction of the Associate Vice President of Public Safety. Urgent or emergency information will be delivered by voice message, text messaging, and/or other means as determined by the Associate Vice President of Public Safety.

b. In the event of a disaster or other emergency, University employees and the public should visit the Department of Public Safety website to check on the University’s current status.

4. “Must Know” Information

a. “Must know” information includes information about criminal activity or a dangerous situation or emergency with immediate impact to life or property (e.g., “Due to bad weather the University will close at…”)

b. “Must know” information will be delivered through the Emergency Notification System.

c. “Must know” information is authorized by the President, Provost, Vice Presidents, Chief Communications and Marketing Officer, or the Associate Vice President for Public Safety.

5. “Should Know” Information

a. “Should know” information includes important employment information (e.g., “Employee benefits open enrollment will close on …”) or information that is critical to student success (e.g., “Registration for spring classes begins on…”).

b. “Should know” information will be delivered by email or may be delivered via SMS (text message) to students who have opted into receiving text messages from the university. It may also be shared on social media.

c. “Should know” information is authorized by the President, Provost, or Vice Presidents.

d. Supervisors of employees who do not regularly access University email are responsible for notifying their employees of the content of relevant employee messages.

6. “Want to Know?” Information

a. “Want to know?” information includes information that may be of interest to a broad range of individuals within the University community (e.g., “Student government elections will be held tomorrow at…” or “Tonight’s basketball game will…”).

b. “Want to know” information will be delivered on web pages or similar software dispersed throughout the University’s web presence.

c. Anyone at the University may request “Want to know” information to be posted through the Office of Communications and Marketing, or may post to department or division web pages in accordance with general University standards and department/division protocols.

7. “Push” Information

a. “Push” information is information that a prospective sender believes will be of interest or value to a group of recipients (e.g., “Please remember to check your faculty mailbox for…” or “All program majors in our department are invited to…”).

b. “Push” information will be delivered by targeted email distribution or other targeted means (e.g., Canvas).

c. The sender of “push” information must have an identifiable, legitimate organizational interest and relationship with the group of recipients. The sender may designate another party (e.g., an administrative assistant or other colleague) to compose or deliver the message.

d. The distribution of targeted, unsolicited electronic communications should occur only where the sender has a supervisory or quasi-supervisory relationship with the recipients, or where the sender has been authorized by the appropriate individual who has such a relationship with the recipients. For example, the faculty advisor for a student organization has a quasi-supervisory relationship with the student members. Absent any formal role (e.g., Department Chair or Advising Coordinator), a faculty member does not have a quasi-supervisory relationship with every undergraduate major in a departmental program.

8. Student Information

In addition, information intended specifically for students that is not related to a specific course or program should go through the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management or designee. The Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management routinely sends electronic communication to all students and will coordinate such messaging.

9. Related Information

Department of Public Safety (information on the University’s current status during a disaster or other emergency)

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management (contact Information)

University Data Request Form

Revision History

September 2009; March 30, 2021; August 16, 2023