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Good afternoon,

My organization currently uses Google Groups exclusively for sending bulk email to various constituent groups on campus. We have a limited-access OU where the Group app is available to a select few. Only those in the Group OU can send university-level bulk email. We have an identity management tool that creates and updates the constituent populations with data from our ERP so they are always up-to-date. This has worked well for us to use Group exclusively for this purpose. People are not allowed to unsubscribe from these groups as we wish to ensure that we can always reach everyone in these groups when we send email to them.

Now it has been requested to deploy the Groups app to the entire campus. The repercussion is that the members of the blast email managed groups would be able to unsubscribe themselves since a member of a group (that has access to the Group interface) can manage their membership. If only there was a setting in Groups to have admin-managed groups where we could prevent this and mandate membership, but I do not see this option. I experimented with creating a Group in a separate domain and adding members with their email addresses from our primary domain. It appears that this sort of works (where the recipient receives the email but can't unsubscribe) but it seems a little kludgy and requires us to create separate accounts on the alternative domain to manage the lists.

Can anyone recommend the best way to parcel out Groups functionality for managing mailing lists administratively and still allowing our other users the ability to user the Groups app as a collaboration tool?

Thank you so much of any information you can provide. I'm scoured every resource I know of but can't seem to find any real information on the best way to do this. Alternatively, suggestions on a alternative application would be appreciated.



55 W. 13TH ST., 7TH FLOOR, NEW YORK, NY 10011
P | 212.229.5300 x4568 E | URL |

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We run a process to update special groups, like all staff, daily.  The logic is such that if a user should be subscribed but is not we add them, and vice versa.  Excluding members that have owner rights or are listed in the "skip list" of that process.  

So even if they did unsubscribe themselves, the next day they would be subscribed again.  I doubt they would take the time to unsubscribe themselves every day for very long.  Not perfect and they could still change their subscription to "no email", but it's also true that they could use a filter directly in their email account to delete messages from this group.   Verifying absolutely a person received and read an email still proves elusive for us and I expect others as well.  Even with read receipts there is no guarantee they actually read the email, they could have clicked then deleted.  

At some point users should have some personal responsibility, IMHO.


Hi All

    We do what William is describing for a few of the distribution lists. Faculty Staff Discussions and announcements, Student group as well as a Community group which are used very carefully and sparsely by the President's office and Public Affairs and everyone has been told that this is our official communications channel. By refreshing the list every day, we put back anyone who unsubscribes.

    When they send an email to the group with the address in bcc: the received emails (we subscribe all accounts to receive emails immediately, rather than going to the Groups interface) show the bcc: with the group email address (this is weird, but harmless). They are worried that this means everyone can now email to the group, though we have assured them that the group settings will not allow for that.

    We also maintain a few contact groups in an account used by the President's office. These are a bit more granular and it is really not clear why and when this would be used, but this is for their comfort if they ever want to use this over a group.

    BTW, Google folks, when can we have the new Groups interface? Please, let us have it now!

-- Ravi
CIO, Wellesley College
Google Voice - 860-631-RAVI

Hi Ravi - 

The new Groups is rolling out now. Check out this page for more:


Learn more on the Google in Education website
Follow our Edu Google+ Page for news & ideas
Get started with Google Apps for Education
Check out Google Apps Users Groups
Jordan Pedraza | Global Community, Google Apps for Education |  +jordanpedraza |  @jordanpedraza

We use sympa for similar needs. We have some lists automatically populated by directory values (resident students, undergraduate students, all students, etc.).  We're moving to GAE in under a month and don't have plans to change the sympa setup yet.

-- Scott