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Employee Listserv Protocols

The Shepherd University Listserv is a communication service available to all employees of the University. It allows us to expand the effectiveness of our communications when messages are appropriate for substantially all of the University community. In order for this Listserv to be effective, it is essential that participants comply with these Protocols.

The University has established the Listserv in a manner that will allow any employee to post a message to all employees. There are actually three lists: all employees, faculty only, and staff only. This will also allow staff to send messages to the staff only, and faculty to send messages to the faculty only. Staff will not be able to post to the faculty-only list, and likewise faculty will not be able to post to the staff-only list. Both the use of the Listserv and the content of the Protocols are subject to review and amendment by the University President.

The Shepherd University Listserv was created to increase efficiency and to reduce costs of photocopying memos.  The Listserv would be subject to closure if it degenerated into a marginally useful program that functions primarily as a distraction.

  1. The purpose of the Shepherd University Listserv is to exchange information and ideas that are of broad interest or applicability to nearly all University employees or to nearly all of either the faculty or the staff. This should be restricted to items that actually relate to the business of the University and/or the professional work or activities of an employee that is done ‘in the capacity of’ being an employee. Personal business, in which the University community as a whole has no real interest, should not be sent through the Listserv.
  2. Commercial promotions or advertising or any other content that would be remunerative to the sender or any other specific person is not permitted in the Listserv. Charitable fundraising is not permitted in the Listserv unless authorized by the University President.
  3. Shepherd University strives to be a kind and gentle place. Please make sure that discussion is pleasant and professional, even in the midst of disagreements that might be expressed. Personal attacks, put-downs, and swearing have no place on our Listserv. If you differ with the position being taken by another employee, please do so politely.
  4. When posting an inquiry or a comment to the Listserv, always include your name and job title as a signature in the body of the message. Your name as it appears in the “header” of an email message cannot always be easily translated.
  5. You may never rely on your messages being confidential or private, even if addressed to only one person. Remember that Listserv messages and, indeed, all internet messages can be forwarded.  Never send anything via internet that you wouldn’t share with the general public. However, if you wish to forward any Listserv emails outside the University community, please first delete all identifiers, including headers, footers and non-relevant portions of the text.
  6. Be brief and precise in your postings. Remember that the written word shows no emotion, so double entendres, humor, cynicism, or slang usage should be used only with great caution. Please also remember that you are asking your fellow employees to take the time to read your message. Make sure your message clearly states the exact point that you want to share, or the precise question that you want answered.
  7. Limit your postings to one subject at a time and include a meaningful “subject line”. This makes responses more relevant and makes threads of conversation easier to follow.
  8. When you have an answer to a substantive question posed or a comment about a proposed analysis, it is proper to share it with the entire campus in a concise statement. Please include citation to authority if appropriate. You can then offer more substance to those who inquire of you through direct contact or telephone. Responses that are of interest only to the individual requester should be sent by direct communication, rather than sending to the entire network.
  9. If you have posed a survey question and gotten responses from around the campus, please write a brief summary of what you have learned and share it across the entire campus if it has campus-wide interest.
  10. Please do not repeat or copy the question posted by someone else in your response unless absolutely necessary. Such repetition clogs the mail of your colleagues with material they have already read. When quoting another person, edit out whatever isn’t directly relevant to your submission, and simply show that editing has occurred.
  11. You should never post a message to both the all employees list and to either the faculty list or the staff list. This would result in many employees receiving the message twice.
  12. The Shepherd University Listserv is not the preferred method for advertising planned events. These should always be referenced to the Office of University Communications for posting on the Web page.
  13. You should never send a message over the Listserv to warn the University about a computer virus. Anytime you have a concern about e-viruses, please contact the Help-Desk and let them handle the issue (ext. 5457 or
  14. The faculty list will include all faculty and the staff list will include all staff, but each list will also include a number of the members of the other classification.
  15. A posting to all employees should be addressed to, postings for faculty only to, and postings for staff only to
  16. For assistance in managing your listserv e-mails (e.g., placing them in a separate subfolder or marking them as read), please contact User Support. Please remember that you are still responsible for any critical information communicated only through the listserv, even if you filter out these messages.
  17. Individuals who breach the protocols in a significant way will be given warnings by the Human Resources Office. Highly egregious breaches or repeated breaches of the protocols may result in the suspension of that individual’s privilege to post messages to the List.