Community Group Participation Guidelines

Updated April 23, 2021

EDUCAUSE provides Community Group (CG) discussion lists to support dialogue, networking, and information sharing among members of the higher education IT community. Groups are open to the public to encourage wide participation. Subscribers benefit from responsive interpersonal connections that frame a wealth of professional experience and resources.

The following participation guidelines are intended to maintain the professional focus and educational value of subscriber interactions. The guidelines reflect the wishes of the primary subscriber base—EDUCAUSE members. Your observance of them will enhance the quality of the experience for all.

Discussions are monitored by EDUCAUSE staff and volunteer Community Group Leaders for adherence to the guidelines. Subscribers who operate outside of the guidelines will receive notice from EDUCAUSE and/or from a CG leader and the post(s) in question may be removed at the sole discretion of EDUCAUSE. Individuals who do not follow the guidelines may be blocked from subsequent participation at the sole discretion of EDUCAUSE.

Disclaimer
The Community Group discussion lists are a service of EDUCAUSE. The opinions expressed in list discussions are those of individual subscribers and are not necessarily those of their institutions or companies. Neither EDUCAUSE nor CG leaders are responsible for any opinions, data or other information posted in the Community Group discussions. Neither EDUCAUSE nor CG leaders verify the accuracy of content posted or provide warranties or guarantees of any kind with respect to any of the information posted. Neither EDUCAUSE nor CG leaders express an opinion about or endorse products or services in the Community Group discussions. Neither EDUCAUSE nor CG leaders shall be liable for any damages whatsoever resulting from the use, communication or performance of any information posted on the site, including, but not limited to, any special indirect, or consequential damages.

Discussion Rules

Queries and dialogue should be focused on leadership, managerial, technical issues, and/or community group topics and should be conducted in a courteous, professional tone. Before posting a query, please search the group archive to catch up on past discussions (see more in the Archives section below). In addition:

  • In all discussions, EDUCAUSE has prioritized support for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging as a core value and urges all list posts to be sensitive to DEIB
  • Discussion rules are based on the fundamentals of common sense, respect, and tolerance.
  • Postings should not contain material that is illegal, defamatory, threatening, invasive of privacy, abusive, obscene, or otherwise injurious or objectionable.
  • Copyrighted material, trademarked material, or trade secrets shall only be posted with the permission and consent of the rightful owner.
  • All postings must be signed with the subscriber's name, institutional/organizational/corporate affiliation, and email address.
  • When commenting about a solution, product, or organization, any relevant affiliation (e.g., conflict of interest) must be disclosed (e.g., “I have done consulting work for [name]”).
  • Postings should not be written in all-capital letters or classified as “Important.”
  • Personal messages should be sent directly to an individual's email address, not to the list.

Remember: When you use the REPLY function, you are replying to the entire list. When appropriate—and especially for brief messages like “thanks for the information”—please reply to the sender, not the full list.

Improper Uses

Please note that the following actions are considered unacceptable and will result in a warning or removal from the CG. This list is not exhaustive and is for illustrative purposes only,

  • Use of obscenity, profanity, or inflammatory language.
  • Use of the lists to conduct or forward contests, pyramid schemes, or chain letters.
  • Use of the lists for marketing or product sales, including contacting individuals regarding a posting off-list or as a means to gather email addresses for these purposes.

If you as a subscriber are concerned that any of the above have occurred, we encourage you to direct a complaint or protest directly to the offending subscriber, to the CG leader(s), and/or to EDUCAUSE staff for appropriate action. Please do so through private correspondence.

Archives

All public CG list discussions are indexed and archived in a publicly searchable format in keeping with the association's commitment to open sharing of ideas, issues, and practices involving information technology in higher education. This allows quick review of past discussions. Archives for each list can be found from the individual CG homepage. Use of the CG archives for commercial purposes—including but not limited to searching archives for potential customers, email addresses, or similar—is in violation of these guidelines. EDUCAUSE reserves the right to remove a post, a thread, or other items from the public archive.

Promotional Messages and Advertising

EDUCAUSE Community Groups are educational in nature and not intended for promotional announcements, advertising, product-related press releases, or other commercial use. Please note that unsolicited commercial communications to community group participants as a result of postings to a CG violate the promotional messages and advertising provisions of these guidelines and may result in the loss of access to the CG in question.

Announcements

EDUCAUSE Institutional Members may occasionally use CGs for announcements of non-commercial conferences, publications, and other resources of general interest to other subscribers. The subject line should clearly identify the topic of the message; the message body should be kept short and should contain contact information for more details.

Endorsements

Endorsements are acceptable if made in the context of a request for information or sharing of an experience. When the endorsement comes from a representative of a corporate member, non-member corporate representative, or consultant, any mention of company products or services should be in the context of a reasonable answer to a question posed by another subscriber and should not be blatantly commercial; such postings should include the identifying signature of the person posting the message. Endorsements must include a clear disclosure of the poster’s relationship to the event, product, or organization that is the subject of the post.

Job Postings

We encourage those who are looking for broad reach and visibility to post and browse the EDUCAUSE Career Center; list participants who have specific postings of relevance are allowed to post individual positions of interest to the CG.

Surveys

Informal professional opinion or use surveys are acceptable but should be brief and should encourage off-line responses. In keeping with the educational spirit of the group, you are encouraged to note how the responses will be used and share a synopsis of any information you gather.

CG Leaders

CGs are led by volunteers from the EDUCAUSE community. CG leaders may organize, moderate, and direct their CGs in different ways, but will always support and adhere to the guidelines and rules set forth here.

News Media

Media professionals are welcome to subscribe to stay informed of the latest campus IT issues. Interaction on the list should be in the spirit of the educational nature of the groups, with these media-specific guidelines:

  • Media representatives are welcome to pose questions and to participate in discussions intended for the community groups subscriber community. They may NOT, however, ask questions or invite separate follow-up to the full list expressly for the purpose of soliciting contributors to pending articles or other editorial content. Out of respect for the purpose of community groups, we ask that media or corporate representatives do not solicit input to develop content or quotes for their own publications via the CGs. NOTE: This guideline does not preclude media or corporate representatives from following up directly with individual subscribers who post to a list.
  • All postings to a community group list by a media representative should clearly identify the representative's media status and affiliation–not just through a signature block.
  • No posting to a community group list may be quoted or reprinted, whole or in part, by a media group or representative without the explicit consent of the poster. Such consent should be requested off-list and must be established with an email to that effect from the author.
  • When group content is quoted or referred to in an article, or when a story is based in whole or in part on group discussions, media representatives are requested to note that the source was an EDUCAUSE Community Group list.

For more information about EDUCAUSE Community Group participation, please contact [email protected].