General Information

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UCSF IT provides electronic mailing lists (listservs) to authorized members of the UCSF community to facilitate University communication; making it more timely, cost effective, and accessible (Note: There are circumstances in which it is necessary to mail paper).

In order to keep our listservs functional and useful, they need to adhere to the following guidelines and requirements:

Campuswide Listserv Guidelines

Background: Communication coordinators and analysts in all areas of the UCSF enterprise frequently receive feedback that the amount of “blast” messages need to be reduced significantly; however, the number of requests received by central administration to promote content and events to “the campus” via a “campuswide” email message are many. The terms “campuswide” and “everyone” often fail to accurately identify the target audience. Is the message relevant and appropriate for ALL academics, staff, and students? If not, then the responsible campus unit should be contacted directly in order to determine an effective communications strategy.

Objective: In order to increase awareness regarding requests for campuswide announcements and notifications as well as to be responsive to reports of excessive broadcast email activity, the following guidelines and information were developed for consistency of response to said requests; and in so doing reduce administrative burden on administrators and faculty while allowing for sufficient and efficient communication. Please convey this information to individuals exploring the possibility of sending a campuswide message.

Current contact for campuswide messages:

  • Brenda Gee DePeralta
    Communications Coordinator
    Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

The individual listed above is among those who have authority to send messages to all campus constituencies from select accounts.
(NOTE: UCSFPD has its own mechanism for safety and security purposes only.)

  1. Content must be applicable to all academics[1],staff[2], students, and housestaff(residents).While the entire campus community may be welcome, consider whether all constituencies would be interested in participating. Remember that UCSF is over 20,000 strong but only a small percentage will have a vested interest. Utilize local departmental as well as school mechanisms and websites to communicate your information and event. The UCSFCommunicators Network may also be a valuable resource for distribution.
  2. When making a request to any of the individuals above to send a campuswide message, please confirm that the appropriate unit head and dean/vice chancellor has approved the content indicating that it warrants a wide distribution.
  3. The originating unit must provide a draft message and content. Do not use attachments. Embed the flyer or include all relevant information in the body of the message. Large files will disable the listserv server. Post the same information on an appropriate campus website.
  4. If the message is in regard to an event, utilize the campus and featured academic events calendars available at ,, Synapse, and other news syndicates.
  5. The text should be thorough but concise and must include contact information.
  6. Ensure that all links work.

[1] The “allacad” listserv includes but is not limited to faculty.

[2] “All staff” consists of two separate listservs: campus and Medical Center. Not all announcements are intended for Medical Center staff and must be cleared through Medical Center Internal Communications Manager Laurie Itow.

Campuswide Listserv Guidlines (pdf version for printing) (application/pdf, 119.8 kB, info)

Types of Listservs

The are four basic types of UCSF listservs:

  • Academic Listservs

    These are used primarily by the Chancellor's Office, the Executive Vice Chancellor's Office and the Academic Senate to communicate with the academic community at UCSF.  Subscription to many of these listservs is automatic based on predetermined payroll criteria.  It is not possible to manually add an employee to an automated listserv.
  • Administrative Listservs

    These are used by UCSF Administration to communicate with the UCSF community.  Most of these communications are meant to be shared with other employees, but because every employee does not have email access, recipients may need to print email communications to share them with such employees. See more...
  • Computing and Application Related Listservs

    These are used to communicate information on computing and technical issues, UCSF applications, software, etc. See more...
  • General Use Listservs

    These are available to and used by any person or group actively associated with UCSF. Their purpose is to assist in serving the mission of UCSF and to assist in serving the faculty, staff and/or students who are serving the UCSF mission. There are currently more than 700 Listservs used by the UCSF community.
    General use listservs must be owned by at least one current member of the UCSF faculty, staff or students.  Student-owned listservs must have a sponsor.  For Registered Campus Organizations (RCOs), Office of Student Life may sponsor the listservs.  For all other student-owned listservs, a current faculty or staff member must be the sponsor.

Request a list of UCSF Listservs

To request a list of the non-confidential UCSF listservs (confidentiality is determined by individual list owners):

  1. Send an email message to: [email protected];
  2. Leave the Subject field blank;
  3. In the body of the message enter: list 

Listserv will send an email message to your Inbox containing the names and descriptions of the non-confidential UCSF listservs.

Listserv owners should contact the IT Service Desk to have their lists added to or removed from the UCSF listservs list.

Go to Subscripter Information for information on how to subscribe to a listserv.

Posting to Listserv

To send a message to a Listserv, compose your email message as you normally would and send it to: (where listname is the name of the Listserv to which you want to send your email).

This is called "sending mail to the list," because you send mail to a single address and Listserv makes copies and sends those copies to all the people who are subscribed to that list.

Depending on the set up of the Listserv, you will receive one of the following response types:

  • By default, the Listserv requires a confirmation of your intent to post, authorized senders to a list will receive a "Confirmation Required" response from the Listserv server.
    • To review your posting prior to approving it, click on your original posting in the Attachment field of the Confirmation Request email.
    • To approve your posting via email, click Reply on the Confirmation Request email and type "OK" without the quotes (") in the body of the email and send it.
    • To approve your posting automatically, click the approval link at the bottom of the Confirmation Request. Keep in mind that this link will immediately post the message to the Listserv, so use this link with care.
  • If you are not authorized to send to an editor-controlled Listserv, you will receive a notice that your posting has been sent to the Listserv's moderator for review and approval. Your email will then only be posted to the Listserv at the moderator's discretion.
  • If you are not authorized to send to a closed (private) Listserv, you will receive a notice stating that your are not authorized to post to the Listserv. If you wish to pursue sending an email to a closed Listserv, then you may attempt to contact the Listserv owner by sending an email to: listname[email protected]

Tips for Posting to a Listserv

  • To post to a listserv, an authorized poster sends email to:
  • Include a meaningful Subject line.
  • When applicable, request that the message be circulated to those without email.
  • Keep the email brief; include a link to a web page if detailed information is required.
  • Avoid attachments except small PDF documents. Provide a link to a web page for any other documents.
  • Limit the size of the message to 4MB, including all attachments. Messages larger than 4MB will not be processed by the Listserv server and will bounce back to the sender.
  • Generally, send the email as plain text only. Stylized and HTML text formats and graphical web pages can be sent, but may requires special technical skills.. 
  • To ensure that all recipients receive a notice in the format and style the sender intended, it is recommended that more complexly formatted notices be posted to the web and a link to that web page be sent to the listserv.
  • When applicable, indicate on whose behalf the message is being sent and specify whom to reply to with comments or questions.
  • Confirmation request delays or posting delays of more than ten minutes should be reported to the IT Service Desk.