Email distribution lists, also known as mailing lists, listservs or discussion lists, allow people with common interests to easily share information and participate in discussions by using a dedicated email address. For more information about distribution lists, see the Email Discussion Lists page.
KU IT offers two list serving methods: 1) KU Group Lists, and 2) Mailman. Carefully review the differences between the services to determine which option best suits your needs.
KU Group Lists
KU Group Lists (Microsoft Exchange Distribution Lists) are housed on one of the university's Exchange servers. Exchange also handles university email. By creating a KU Group List on this server you can link multiple addresses to one simplified address or list of addresses. This list can be used for other purposes including group calendars and assigning rights to folders. Only KU faculty, staff and students with a KU Online ID can be included in a KU Group List.
Features of KU Group Lists
Course Group Lists
- Instructors of Record can create course-related KU Group Lists by visiting KU Group Management and selecting "Add New Course Group" from the top menu.
- When creating a new Course Group, all enrolled students for the selected course will automatically be added as members of the Course Group.
- You can choose who can send email to your Course Group (i.e., closed, instructor only or special). Information on the Course Group request page explains each of these options.
- You can add or exclude additional members for the Course Group. This gives you the flexibility to customize your Course Group’s membership as needed. For example, you can add a GTA as a group member.
- You can preview group members to determine who is actually a member before updating the Course Group.
- You can view your Course KU Group Lists by selecting “My Groups” in the upper left at KU Group Management
- Course KU Group Lists automatically expire after the semester ends.
Non-course KU Group Lists
KU Group List Glossary
||If a group has an Authorized Sender(s), then only email sent from an Authorized Sender’s email address will be sent to the group.
||The Group Maintainer is responsible for determining who should or should not be a group member.
||In most cases, a Group Moderator is not needed. If there is an assigned Group Moderator(s) for a group, then all email sent to the group will go to the Group Moderator first. The Group Moderator will approve the email before it is distributed to all Group Members. A group member must use their KU email address (i.e., @ku.edu) to act as a Group Moderator.
||An assigned Group Viewer can view the membership of the group – even if the membership of the group is set to "Hidden."
||This refers to a group’s membership. If a group’s membership is set to "Hidden," this means that group members will not be able to see who else is a member of the group. The exception is the Group Maintainer and Group Viewer, who will be able to see the group members of a hidden membership group. If a group could be used to determine if a student is in a particular class, major, school, etc, then the group needs to have hidden membership.
||This refers to a mail-enabled group being displayed in the KU Global Address List. If a group is listed, this means that the group can be found in the KU Global Address List. If a group is unlisted, then the group will not be displayed in the KU Global Address List.
||The Primary Contact for a group is required so that KU IT knows who to contact if a question or problem occurs with a group. The Primary Contact and Group Maintainer can be the same person.
||The Secondary Contact for a group is required so that KU IT knows who to contact if a Primary Contact is not available to answer questions or make decisions for a group.
Mailman Mailing Lists
Mailman is an email distribution list service that allows KU faculty and staff to create mailing lists that include external subscribers. Mailman offers a convenient, web-based interface for list owners to configure their lists, manage subscription settings, approve messages if a list is moderated, and more. List subscribers also can manage their individual preferences through a similar web-based interface.
|KU Group List
||Mailman Mailing List
|Only uses KU email addresses
||Can use any email address
|Only for official KU departments, classes and organizations
||For other informal groups on campus and groups involving non-KU email addresses
|Automatic creation and subscription
||User/Owner creation and subscription
|Enhanced capabilities with Outlook
||Stand-alone system, no functionality with Outlook
Which Option is Best for You?
Do you want the list membership to be maintained from Human Resources and Student Records data, without any manual input? Yes = KU Group List
Do all list participants have a KU email address? Yes = KU Group List
Do you want list members to be able to subscribe and remove themselves from the list? Yes = Mailman
Will your list contain members who are not directly affiliated with KU? Yes = Mailman
Are you requesting a list for use by an informal group, club, or some other organization which is not recognized by KU in any official capacity? Yes = Mailman
Creation and Subscription Methods
KU Group Lists - Offer the ability to have a nightly program manage the membership of the list. This removes the need for anyone to manually maintain the list. Once created, the list is automatically maintained, and the list owners can be assured that it always contains the correct people. For departments and classes, this is a big advantage. However, the automatic nature of the lists, by centralizing the control of the membership, makes manual upkeep more difficult than Mailman. Any person who wants to be a part of an existing list would first have to go through channels.
Mailman Lists - Membership configurations are very flexible. List owners have control over adding and removing list members, or even opening up the list for "self-subscription." In a self-subscription list, any person who wants to join a list can do so by subscribing online (or, sending a subscribe request for closed lists). Because of this flexibility, Mailman is the best choice for informal discussion, hobby, and interest groups.
KU Group Lists offers enhanced capabilities with Outlook (both Mac and PC) Advantage: If the vast majority of the list members have Exchange accounts, they will be able to take advantage of the other ways which KU Group Lists can be used from within Outlook, including Calendaring features. Disadvantage: Any members of the list with non-Exchange registered email addresses will miss out on all the KU Group List usage, and can only make use of the list's email capabilities.
Allowed E-mail Addresses
Only people with a KU email address (i.e., @ku.edu) can join a KU Group List. However, other resources in the KU Global Address Book, such as conference rooms, can also be added to a KU Group List. If a mailing list needs to include anyone outside the university, that list must use the Mailman service.
Types of Groups Supported
KU Group Lists can only be made for departments, classes, and officially approved and recognized university organizations. Campus clubs and other unofficial groups must use the Mailman service, rather than KU Group Lists. If a group attains official status, they could, upon receiving approval from the appropriate channels, request an KU Group List. Most faculty and staff requesting lists for university-related purposes are eligible for KU Group Lists.
Faculty & Staff
Graduate Research & Teaching Assistants