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Electronic internal communications

LSE has regulations applying to use of its IT and email systems, including unsolicited emails, and the School also observes the Data Protection Act 1988. These rules can be read at http://www.lse.ac.uk/resources/schoolRegulations/, or in the School Calendar, available in each Department, on the P: drive, or in the Resource Centre of the Secretary's Division on the 10th floor of Tower One.

Mass, unsolicited emailing policy



This policy is designed to provide a framework for the authorisation of mass, unsolicited emailing; it is a 'working' policy because mass, unsolicited emailing is a rapidly developing area and it is expected there will be amendments to the policy in the coming years.


The School wishes to promote the flow of information to its members through electronic means but seeks to minimise use of mass, unsolicited emails to all or most members of the School because :

  • many members of the School find their presence on an email mailing list without their permission is an intrusion into their privacy
  • other members find that receipt of mass emails is an annoyance in that it wastes their time
  • it is necessary for the School to take a firm position against abuse of the email system by those who would use it for mass mailings of a nature unsuitable for a university, such as commercial mailings, personal abuse, and pornography

For these reasons, mass, unauthorised emails are not permitted, as specified in the IMT regulations.

Main areas where permission for mass emails may be authorised


The following are purposes of mass emails for which permission may be authorised.

  • Urgency such that a hard copy circulation would have been impossible - requests where there is no justification for failure to use hard copy circulations will be refused
  • Providing information about operational use of the School's IT system
  • Helping students or staff comply with School operational requirements (e.g. new registration and orientation arrangements, examination information, information about viruses etc)
  • Academic research
  • Mailing lists consisting of staff groups where authorised for professional purposes by the relevant head of area
  • Creation of special opt-in mailing lists through the approved procedure (see below)

If your query falls into one of these areas, for authorisation, please contact the Press Office (pressoffice@lse.ac.uk or tel: 020 7955 7060). 

Mailing lists


First - before sending out an authorised mass email, think about who you really want to reach and target your message accordingly, via the best route, for instance:

  • To reach all staff - there is already an electronic mailing list which goes to all PC-linked LSE staff, academic and administrative, every Thursday during term time. This is the electronic staff newsletter called Briefing.

  • To reach all students - every week the Students' Union general secretary sends out an email to all students, in which it is possible to put information notices, email su.gensec@lse.ac.uk

  • To other sections of the School - before sending out, please check in the Address Book section in Outlook to see if any other groups already exist of the people you want to reach. Alternatively, think which other colleagues may already have sent messages to a similar group of students or staff
  • Login box - this is the grey box which appears when you first switch on your LSE-networked PC. To put a message in here, email e.avery@lse.ac.uk but see criteria for use first at login box

Q. Do you still need to create an opt-in mailing list?

Members of the School may create their own authorised internal email mailing lists provided that :

  • Their reporting officer , tutor or supervisor - or in the case of a Students' Union society, the general secretary of the Students' Union - certifies to the LSE press officer's (or, on appeal, the deputy secretary's) satisfaction what the purpose of the mass emailing is, and that it is appropriate in the context of other School policies
  • The intended sender of the email agrees by email or in writing any conditions reasonably imposed. A standard condition will be that the mailing list provided by the School is used only once - to enable the sender invite recipients to opt in to a long term mailing list which the sender then maintains - and is then destroyed. Any list must also tell receivers how to unsubscribe from the list
  • The academic registrar authorises the release of student information
  • The head of Human Resources authorises the release of staff names
  • The deputy secretary only authorises release of the information if the reporting officer or equivalent, as well as the academic registrar and/or head of Human Resources as appropriate, agrees 

Mass academic emails



Academics or students wishing to send round an email to students or staff for the purposes of academic research may be authorised. They should contact the LSE Press Office on 020 7955 7060 or at pressoffice@lse.ac.uk   with:

  • A draft of the email they wish to send around, explaining about the survey, who they wish to target, the deadline date, a suitable mechanism for how people should respond, and the name of the contact person for any queries
  • In the case of a request by students, they should also send written confirmation from their project supervisor supporting the case for a mass authorised email.

Academic messages

As an academic institution, the School recognises the potential benefits from the free flow and interplay of ideas, and does not wish to obstruct the circulation of messages from academics to their colleagues.

However, the School is not obliged to circulate all material that may be presented to it. By doing so, the School might appear to be giving official sanction to the information contained in individual messages (which could contain views which other colleagues might find distasteful). Additionally, the email traffic generated by an unrestricted circulation policy may rise considerably, and colleagues might prefer not to receive further quantities of unsolicited emails.

There are therefore two options available to colleagues wishing to circulate mass, unsolicited email:

  • Do-it-yourself - academics are free to individually address the message to colleagues identified from the list of school staff and students provided by the Outlook software, provided that the message observes School regulations on email use: http://www.lse.ac.uk/resources/schoolRegulations/
  • VCAB - academics who request that their message is circulated by the School, must agree to their message being vetted by the vice chairman of Academic Board (VCAB). Where the VCAB is unavailable, the message will be vetted by a deputy director. This circulation option is open to members of the Academic Board only. The VCAB (or deputy director) will check the message for

    o Appropriateness (i.e. the message does not violate School codes or regulations, or infringe legislation);

    o General as opposed to sectional interest to the School's academic community;

    o Appropriate length.

If you wish the School to circulate a mass, unsolicited academic message you may either contact the LSE Press Office, (pressoffice@lse.ac.uk) or the VCAB directly (vcab@lse.ac.uk)

All mass, unsolicited academic messages circulated by the School on behalf of staff will carry the following as a standard rider:

'The opinions expressed in the following message are not necessarily those of the School, but are being circulated to cultivate the benefits derived from the free flow and interplay of ideas.'

April 2003