Don’t forget to fall back: Daylight Saving Time ends Nov. 3, 2013

Office of Information Technology

SMU OIT to implement user preferences for bulk e-mail lists

Originally published Aug. 20, 2013.

SMU bulk e-mail list usage, 2010-12

This graphic shows the increase in campus bulk e-mail messages over the past three years, 2010 to 2012 (via SMU Office of Information Technology).

SMU’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) has responded to requests from the Student Senate and the faculty-led Information Technology Advisory Council (ITAC) to let users take more control of their campus e-mail subscriptions.

The President’s Executive Council reviewed a revised University bulk e-mail policy that allowed individuals to opt out of certain types of information. This policy was approved in August 2012. Implementation of the new subscription management solution will begin Monday, Sept. 9, 2013.

As part of its implementation plan, OIT has developed a portal, mylists.smu.edu, that will allow each user to manage all nonessential e-mail preferences with a single login.

The new service helps the University to achieve two goals:

  • Ensure that essential messages are delivered to faculty, staff and students, while also enabling those recipients to opt out of nonessential messages they do not wish to receive.
  • Improve the effectiveness of essential communications by empowering recipients to limit nonessential messages to their own areas of interest.

University bulk e-mail lists sent out more than 3,200 messages in the 2012-13 academic year. The volume of e-mail has decreased the effectiveness of these lists in communicating critical information to appropriate audiences, according to the OIT. The new system will group SMU e-mail lists as follows:

Essential Lists

Current e-mail lists for faculty, staff, undergraduates and graduate students will be maintained, and membership to these lists will continue to be mandatory (users may not opt out of receiving messages). However, only essential messages related to safety and health, and those related to personnel and academic business, will be delivered. In addition, the ability to send to these lists will be restricted to a select group of accounts.

Managed Lists

New lists will be created for the communication needs of departments, programs and schools. Initially, these lists will be populated with all campus e-mail addresses. However, individuals will be able to unsubscribe from a managed list through an automatically generated link in each e-mail message, or to adjust their subscription preferences through mylists.smu.edu. These preferences can be changed at any time.

Departments are encouraged to review their current communication plans and strategies to help encourage individuals to remain subscribed to their lists. These strategies may include increased use of social media such as Twitter and Facebook to distribute updated or time-limited information.

For more information, contact Rachel Mulry in the Office of Information Technology.

> Find more information at SMU OIT’s Bulk Lists information page

September 4, 2013|News|

SMU explores the legacy of Aaron Swartz and ‘guerilla open access’

Aaron Swartz

The late Aaron Swartz, co-founder of Reddit and a leader in the open access movement, is the subject of a panel discussion, “Jailbreaking Information,” hosted by SMU’s Central University Libraries. Photo credit: Sage Ross.

Computer programmer and political activist Aaron Swartz posted his Guerilla Open Access Manifesto on the nonprofit Internet Archive in 2008. On Jan. 11, 2013, at age 26, the Reddit co-founder took his own life, apparently despondent over his imminent federal prosecution and the threat of up to 50 years in prison.

Almost two years to the day before his suicide, Swartz had been arrested and charged with two counts of wire fraud and 11 violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for hacking MIT’s computer network and downloading nearly 5 million articles from the JSTOR digital library.

Yet he was no ordinary accused thief. A Fellow in Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics and a longtime friend of its director, Lawrence Lessig, Swartz was also a well-known and well-liked figure in the open access movement – a worldwide effort to provide free and unrestricted access, via internet, to scientific and scholarly research.

> Find a timeline of the open access movement at the Earlham College website

SMU’s Central University Libraries has organized a panel discussion of Swartz’s legacy and how his actions could impact millions of students, teachers, researchers and publishers around the globe. “Jailbreaking Information: The Legacy of Hacktivist Aaron Swartz” begins at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 7, 2013 in the Science Information Center Mezzanine, Fondren Library Center.

Nathan Huntoon, director of the Innovation Gymnasium in the Lyle School of Engineering, will moderate a panel of SMU experts including:

> Read more from the SMU Central University Libraries news blog

March 7, 2013|Calendar Highlights, News|

Fall back this Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012

Stock photo of clock with second handThe cool fall evenings are about to begin much earlier: Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. this Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012.

Don’t forget to set your clocks one hour earlier in observance of Standard Time. In addition, check your home and office computers and other electronic devices to be sure they’re displaying the correct time.

November 2, 2012|News, Save the Date|
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