Email Distribution Lists

Distribution Lists

Distribution Lists are a useful way to send messages to a group of recipients. There are over 3000 such lists maintained either by CIS or by delegates within each department across campus.  Some of these lists have restrictions applied to them to hide the membership of the list, hide the list, and/or restrict who can send to the list.

List Management

Department Managed Lists

Many distribution lists have been delegated to staff in the relevant departments, empowering them to add and remove people from the lists for which they are responsible.  Management of these lists is handled through the SPU Security Group Toolbox.  If you need to be added to a list you think may be managed departmentally, you may try contacting an administrative assistant or office manager in the area.  If you are unsure who to contact, please contact the CIS HelpDesk, and we will help route your request accordingly.

CIS Managed and Automated Lists

There are a number of lists managed either directly by CIS or for which CIS maintains the criteria for automating their membership based on employment or student data in Banner.  These lists are updated nightly based on changes in job records, hire dates, student registration, academic dates, etc.  There is occasional need for exceptions to the predefined criteria, and CIS can manually apply such exceptions to ensure people are included in appropriate distribution lists.

If you are a manager for one of these groups and received notification of an unexpected change in membership, it is often due to a change in the person's employment status according to what is recorded in Banner.  If you need assistance in determining what changed, please contact the CIS HelpDesk.  We will verify what we can, but may end up routing you to Student Employment or Human Resources for next steps.

Campus-Wide Lists

There are number of lists used by many different departments to communicate with employees, students, and various subsets within those groups.  Please see the table below for pertinent details regarding some of the most commonly used lists.

Campus-Wide Email Lists 

Email List Alternatives


listserv is a specialized email list created to host discussions concerning a particular subject via email. Sending email to one address, that of the listserv, automatically sends an email message to everyone on the list.

CIS provides a small number of these lists for the purposes of allowing existing functionality to continue working, but is not creating new lists at this time.  Viable alternatives include Email Distribution Lists (as outlined above) or Office 365 Groups, depending on the use case.  Please contact the CIS HelpDesk if you would like to understand your options better.

Personal Contact Groups

You can also create distribution lists for personal use, more commonly called a Contact Group.  This allows you to quickly address an email to the same group of people repeatedly, but it will only be available to you.

  1. Open Webmail or Outlook
  2. Click on People at the bottom-left corner of Outlook.
  3. Click the New Contact Group button
  4. In the window that appears, click on Add Members. In the menu that appears, choose From Address Book to select members from the list of all SPU email addresses. Choose From Outlook Contacts to add a personal contact, or New Email Contact to enter a new email address for the list.
  5. Click Save & Close when all members have been added to the distribution list.

To use the list, compose a new email. Type the title of distribution list in the To: field of the new email message and press [CTRL]+[K] on your keyboard. This will connect the text with the list of recipients in the contacts list.