Broadcast email

About broadcast emails

Broadcast emails are used by the university’s senior leadership to communicate time-sensitive, campus-wide messages to faculty, staff and students.

Broadcast emails may be used to communicate the following:

  • Large scale announcements such as the UBC Strategic Plan
  • Updates on high profile topics such as UBC’s Sexual Assault Policy
  • Formal notices from the Board of Governors and/or Senates
  • Executive appointments/changes
  • Organizational changes that affect significant numbers of faculty, staff and/or students
  • Campus safety updates/emergency planning
  • Messages from the President

While broadcast emails can be an efficient means of distributing information, it is critical that the university is sensitive to the needs of the community and keeps broadcast emails to a minimum.

Broadcast email differs from ordinary email mailing lists in that messages are sent to individuals, regardless of whether or not they have subscribed to receive the message.

When and how broadcast emails are sent

Broadcast emails are typically issued Monday to Thursday, between 11am and 1pm (allowing time for messages to make their way through the system), with a maximum of one broadcast email permitted each day.

Depending on the number of recipients, it can take several hours for broadcast emails to reach all individuals within an intended audience. Slowing the rate of email delivery (also known as throttling) is necessary to prevent external hosts from blacklisting our servers. If smaller groups are targeted, it can be expected that delivery will take less time.

UBC uses an on-premise email distribution tool for broadcast emails.

Ownership and approvals

Broadcast emails are owned by the UBC Executive. Internal Communications acts as the steward/facilitator of this channel.

All broadcast emails must be approved by a member of the UBC Executive or their designated AVP. Internal Communications adopts the role of advisor around message content and timing.

If you have any questions about broadcast emails, please do not hesitate to contact the Internal Communications team.


To be considered for broadcast email, the subject matter of your message must adhere to the following criteria:

Timeliness: The information must be timely and must have significant importance for the majority of individuals within the intended audience (faculty, staff, students), and/or the operations of the university.

Approval: The message must have approval from, and be attributed to, a Vice-President (VP). On occasion, it may also be attributed to an Associate Vice-President (AVP), in addition to the VP.

Relevance: Unless they are of significant relevance to university operations, announcements and the promotion of events are typically not suitable for broadcast emails.

Adherence to existing policies: All existing UBC policies governing communication shall be applicable to broadcast emails. See in particular Policy #96: Communications (PDF) and Policy #104: Acceptable Use and Security of UBC Electronic Information and Systems (PDF). The text of these policies are available on the University Counsel web site.


Broadcast emails can be sent to all, or a combination of the following groups: faculty, staff, student employees and students in Vancouver and the Okanagan.

Broadcast emails sent to faculty, staff or students in the Okanagan only, should be sent via the Global email system. Contact the University Relations team for more information.

Broadcast emails for faculty, staff, and student employees are sent to the primary email address listed in the Human Resource Management System (HRMS).

Broadcast emails for UBC students are currently sent to the primary email address listed in the Student Information System (SIS).

Limitations of broadcast email

Not all UBC faculty, staff, and students check the email address listed in the Human Resource Management System (HRMS) or the Student Information System (SIS). Therefore, it should not be assumed that the entire UBC community will be reached if a broadcast email is sent.

Emergency broadcast email

An emergency broadcast email is a message that is of immediate, critical importance to the health and safety or wellbeing of the university community. Examples include university-wide alerts regarding snow closures, water quality or wide-area power/systems outages, or natural disasters.

Please note that due to system limitations, broadcast emails are only used as a supplementary channel in the event of an emergency.