updated 10/19/2004, rev. 02/07/2008 05:17:44 PM )

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SECUSS-L  A Brief History

How to Manage your SECUSS-L Account

SECUSS-L Disclaimer

Please carefully consider the way you address issues on SECUSS-L. Remember the list is public, archived and everything you say will be maintained for years to come.  As with your campuses, institutions, organizations, and even ISP's there are appropriate use rules that you should consider in your use of email, personal/professional interactions on SECUSS-L, etc. Although it is difficult to predict what will appear or be said during conversations or in the media it is clear one should seriously consider the implications of what is said on SECUSS-L. CAREFULLY THINK ABOUT YOUR POSTINGS BEFORE SENDING THEM.

SECUSS-L has over 3000 members as of May 2006 in over 44 countries and in a range of professional affiliations.  DO NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT THE MEMBERSHIP OF THIS LIST. 
Therefore please read the following carefully:



Formatting your comments and information









  1. Do not use the SECUSS-L network for messages intended for an individual receiver. It is not professionally appropriate to carry on detailed, judgmental discussions about individual programs on a public network such as SECUSS-L.  In addition such discussions cannot be permitted for legal reasons.

  2. The primary purpose of SECUSS-L is information-sharing and professional discourse among the membership of SECUSSA. Advertising and program information is not permitted on SECUSS-L TOPIC: DISCUSSIONS.  This prohibition represents the overwhelming consensus of current subscribers, as confirmed by a user survey conducted in May, 1996, and approved by the SECUSSA Team during the Phoenix NAFSA Conference.
  3. Subscribers seeking to post or receive announcements about established or new study, work, internship, etc. programs, deadlines, significant changes in direction, location, structure, and the like, should sign-on to the SECUSS-L TOPIC: PROGRAMS sub-list.  In this way all interested parties can give or seek further information about programs.  [See below for information on how to sign-on to this sub-list]
  4. Stay on topic and use the topics! Do not post messages that are not directly related to your work in international education.  Messages about dying boys, internet taxes, computer viruses, etc., are not appropriate to professional listservs.
  5. Be nice to one another. Bear in mind that your posting will go to a very wide international audience, representing many different languages and social, cultural, religious and ethnic sentiments. Most list participants will know you only by the words they see on their screens. What kind of impression do you want to make? Be aware of your "tone". Email messages often come cross more bluntly than their senders intend. Avoid sarcasm, which is even more easily misunderstood.
  6. Respect the time and other resources of your colleagues. Remember that every time you send a posting to you are -- in essence -- forcing thousands of your very busy colleagues to download and spend perhaps 5-10 seconds of their time determining the initial worth of your message to them. In practical (and conservative) terms, a single message sent to the entire list in early 1997 came at a "cost" to international education of at least 225 minutes/3.75 hours of corporate time!

    In addition, some of your colleagues -- especially those in other countries -- are paying dearly for their Internet access. It is not unusual for them to pay for every minute it takes them to download postings. In some areas, they pay by the character for e-mail that is downloaded (even if it is unread).
  7. Never send anything by email that you would not be willing to see published on the front page of your local newspaper or in a professional journal. Remember that email is not private or secure and can easily be copied or forwarded to others - even after you have deleted it from your email account.
  8. Remember that using ALL CAPS is the Internet equivalent of YELLING! Mix cases as in standard English style. Uppercase text should only be used occasionally, if needed for STRONG EMPHASIS. More often than not, it is better to use the asterisk key to *emphasize* key points.
  9. OUT OF OFFICE REPLIES - these cause serious clutter and strain on the system. Either set your email software to not automatically reply to messages from SECUSS-L or reset your account to NOMAIL in the settings and this will avoid your automated OUT OF OFFICE REPLY from going to 3000 members every single time there is an email posted to SECUSS-L.  Alternatively you may want to reset your SECUSS-L settings to DIGEST, this will allow you to get one email per day, however remember do not set your email to automatically reply to messages from SECUSS-L with an OUT OF OFFICE REPLY.  The list managers reserve the right to modify your account in the event you forget to reset your settings, this includes removing your account from the list.

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One good rule is to remember that what you say in person or over the phone verbally is one thing, however often similar discourse or expressions are often not proper within the written forms of expression. Similarly what might be appropriate in one context in writing may not be appropriate in other written contexts. For email responses especially in a real time context or for issues which evoke an immediate response a useful suggestion is for one to think about the response for 24hrs, then write the response and again read it several hours later or even the next day. Responses to surveys can be more accurate, responses to hot topic issues can be more reflective and most importantly the writer has a chance to ensure that the appropriate use rules are adhered to for whatever the context such remarks are made for.


  1. The SECUSS-L list managers acknowledge that there are many differing professional and personal opinions about many subjects and issues.  However SECUSS-L is a moderated forum that adheres to some basic rules of appropriate use and structure which does not include posting opinions, statements on political issues, debates, comments or discussions on issues that would be considered unethical, personal, defamatory, or outside the boundaries of professional standards. Please consider the following instead:


  1. If you would like to talk to colleagues about a specific opinion, practice, business dealing or any other hot topic issue you are encouraged to post an announcement (under the appropriate topic) that you would like to hear from or talk to anyone working with, doing business with, interested in discussing a particular viewpoint, or who has a particular interest in "such and such" and include your email address. All further comments (again good or bad or otherwise) should be made off the SECUSS-L listserv.


  1. If you have a book review, opinion about a given subject/program, business dealing, etc.,  your most appropriate professional venue for such remarks, opinions and comments would be to post those remarks to a web site other than SECUSS-L such as on your institution's server or that of your Internet Service Provider and then send an email to the list with a message such as FYI - I have posted some comments, summaries, etc.. at "" regarding the following topic: XXXXX. Your comments/remarks should be brief and directional without including "statements" or similar remarks
  2. Specifically if you have a business dealing with a colleague, agency, institution, etc. that you are having problems with you should NOT post your personal or even professional comments about such dealings on the listserv - GOOD or BAD or OTHERWISE. If you have a problem with a law, regulation, or policy by any given institution or organization appropriate use rules would deem that your opinion be shared in an appropriate forum, through NAFSA ethics committees, etc. and not on SECUSS-L.   Equally if you have a summary of remarks and feedback regarding any given business or service (regardless of the nature of the feedback, positive, negative, or otherwise) you should offer to share these with colleagues by posting a message indicating that you will send a summary to anyone wishing a copy.  Alternatively you could post such a summary as noted above on a web site
  3. All subscribers should be advised that these guidelines include as a violation of appropriate use the forwarding, replying to and/or posting of messages from private conversations taking place off the listserv. Said postings of remarks, opinions, etc. shared through personal conversations are NOT to be forwarded to the list in any way unless those individuals have expressed their written consent for such postings.
  4. Replies to the list are not allowed and such should be sent directly to those posting the message or topic of interest. For more information go to: managing.htm#replies


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For guidance on ethical and professional standards please carefully review the NAFSA code of professional ethics and the SECUSSA case studies posted at: and


For additional codes of ethics and professional standards please check with the international education, registrar, admissions officer and other professional organizations appropriate to your area of specialization.  Such codes and standards provide the basis for management of SECUSS-L and its diverse membership. Additionally, be AWARE that SECUSS-L policies continue to be based on the guidelines under which SECUSS-L was originally established with limited updates and modifications.

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The primary purpose of SECUSS-L is information-sharing and professional discourse among the membership of SECUSSA.  When a colleague or member of SECUSS-L posts a request for information all the REPLIES should go the person or individual requesting the information.  Program providers, institutions and others in the field should refrain from posting replies to the list that can be construed as advertising or marketing. 

AGAIN, advertising, marketing and program announcements are not permitted on the SECUSS-L topic DISCUSSIONS (DISC:). This prohibition represents the overwhelming consensus of current subscribers, as confirmed by a user survey conducted in May, 1996, and approved by the SECUSSA Team during the Phoenix NAFSA Conference. In regards to announcements of new professional resource books, training opportunities and calls for journal articles, your listserv managers and your SECUSS-L colleagues ask you to consider carefully whether your post might be construed as "marketing"; in most cases, posts of this type should be made to the PROGRAMS Topic.

Subscribers seeking information in specific program information, seeking to post or receive announcements about established or new study/ work/internship programs, extended application deadlines, significant changes in program structure, and the like, should sign-on to the SECUSS-L TOPIC: PROGRAMS sub-list.  Such REQUESTS should be posted to SECUSS-L using the TOPIC called PROGRAMS or PROG.  Announcements of book reviews, conferences, workshops, study abroad fairs and calls for papers may be distributed over PROG: using the general format below. We ask that messages of this kind not exceed one word-processed screen (60 lines)

In the subject line, write:

PROG: (Event/Program name)

In the message area, write:

(Name of institution/organization) is pleased to announce (name of event/program).
[Brief description of program change, or workshop particulars]
If you would like to receive further information, please contact (contact person) at (address or web-site).

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How do we as list managers address these issues? What are the standards of actions by the list managers behind the scenes? -- When we receive a posting that is determined to be a breech of the appropriate use guidelines we contact the list member directly. In our contact we advise the person who posted the message of our determination that the posting crossed the threshold of appropriate use and to take any further discussion off the list.


FIRST VIOLATION: The user is warned that further violations can lead to several actions.


SECOND VIOLATION: For a second violation the user may be put on a period of "review" whereby all emails from a given user are monitored before being posted. Depending on the violation and if there are questions about professional standards the notice could be taken to the professional leadership colleagues for further review.


THIRD VIOLATION: A third violation of the list protocols could then subject the member to removal from the listserv for a given period of time. Further violations could lead to permanent removal from the list.


SUBSEQUENT VIOLATIONS FOLLOWING RETURN TO THE LIST:  The list managers reserve the right to permanently suspend anyone who continues to violate the appropriate use rules of SECUSS-L following warnings and previous suspensions.


We do not discuss such actions publicly as there are privacy as well as professional standards that must be followed.  Additionally depending on the nature of the violation we do reserve the right to immediately restrict user access to the list following the first posting.

Again, although many members of SECUSS-L are not members of NAFSA we would urge you all to read the NAFSA code of professional ethics as many of us are members of this organization. Furthermore many professional organizations have their own code of ethics as well. This code of professional ethics provides a good background as well for any professional discourse on the SECUSS-L listserv.

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Many of you are also members of institutions or even ISP's with "Appropriate Use" rules for your email, web and technology systems. We would urge you to review such rules. You may find that a posting of certain types of messages could subject you to actions by your institutions, ISP's, etc.


With respect to Copyright laws, please be aware that there are many copyright rules associated with not only paper publications but also with news and informational items posted on the web or through web access to news and other publications.


As mentioned in the welcome message subscribers receive, one of the suggested uses of  SECUSS-L is : "Offering succinct summaries of new articles, books, essays, and other writings on education abroad, perhaps with comments for discussion.  Please give full documentation.
Respect 'fair use' copyright laws.  Please do not post whole articles."  Posting of entire articles to SECUSS-L clearly does NOT follow the appropriate use rules.

Prior to posting any articles you should check  the copyright rules for the specific item you are reading.  Posting a title, date, author and a very brief summary plus a link to the article online would be appropriate.  If the site is password protected, one should note this so colleagues can be ready to either use or create their own login or to look for a hardcopy in print.  For instance the following are the copyright notices from the sources of some recent postings on SECUSS-L:

EXCERPTS of Copyright statements from popular sources that members use:  NYT Copyright Notice

"Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of The New York Times Company. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. However, you may download material from The New York Times on the Web (one machine readable copy and one print copy per page) for your personal, noncommercial use only. For further information, see Section Two of the Subscriber Agreement. To contact other Times departments, see the Site Help area of our Member Center. "  Chronicle of Higher Education: Copyright and Reprint Requests

"All material on this World Wide Web site is copyright © by The Chronicle of Higher Education. Permission is required, in most cases, to redistribute information from The Chronicle, either in print or electronically. Following is information about reusing material from this site and the printed Chronicle.
USE ONLINE In almost all cases, we prefer that other organizations link to articles on our site rather than reproducing them online. Permission is not required for linking. Permission is required to post Chronicle articles, or the contents of Chronicle e-mail reports, on Web sites,
newsgroups, or electronic mailing lists (either restricted or general). Permission is not required for sending an occasional copy of an article to a few people. "  NYT Copyright Notice
"Educators may not sublicense the foregoing limited and non-transferable rights. Except as specifically set forth above, the Content may not be published, broadcast or reproduced without the prior written permission of The New York Times Company.

Educators may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the Content or otherwise alter or modify the Content. Any reproduction of the Content is limited to the number of students to whom the lesson is directed."


Be aware that although authors of articles may give you permission to reprint or post their specific articles such permissions may also be controlled in part or in whole by the PUBLISHER of the article, book, newspaper, web site or other location in which the information appeared.  The author in fact may NOT have full permission to authorize unfettered circulation of the document published.  Check with the publishers as well as the authors.


When making an authorized posting of such information note at the beginning of the posting who authorized the posting, name of the affiliated organization, date of the authorization and LIMITATIONS of further circulation of said documents.  For instance:


“XYZ LNAME author and/or WXY ORGANIZATION on MM/DD/YEAR authorized the circulation of the following article in its entirety.  Please be aware that this is a limited approval to circulate the information only to SECUSS-L and not for further circulation by others.  If you wish to further circulate this document please contact XYZ/WXY directly.”


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SECUSS-L DISCOURAGES THE POSTING OF LISTS, SUMMARIES AND COMMENTARIES on SECUSS-L.  Be aware that when posting commentaries, summaries or creating lists for distribution to members you should clearly identify any criteria you used to create the information and indicate any endorsements.  For instance include statements such as “There were no or were XXXX criteria for selection of the information included in this document. This is a list, summary or review, just like the IIE catalog,, or the phone book. For anyone who sees, gets, reads, passes on the list:  NO ENDORSEMENTS WERE/ARE IMPLIED or EXPLICITLY STATED.”  Also be aware that many professionals include confidentiality statements in their emails as footer or in their signature files.  Unless the sender has specifically approved distribution of the comments or information shared the receiving party should refrain from circulating said information. 







If you feel that a member has violated the SECUSS-L appropriate use guidelines you are welcome to make a written complaint to the list management.  Such complaints should be made in a timely manner and specify the exact nature of the concern and include a copy of the specific posting, emails, etc.  It is highly recommended that if you feel that you have been inappropriately commented about that you take your complaints directly to the sender of the posting as SECUSS-L takes no responsibility for the views, opinions or comments made by those posting to the listserv.  Be aware that such review may take up to a week or longer depending on the time of year and nature of the complaint.


The posting of apologies to SECUSS-L by those who may have inappropriately commented or otherwise erred in their posting must be succinct, professional and must refrain from further commentary. 


The SECUSS-L management team reserves the right to refer professional complaints to the sender of any posting and where appropriate to appropriate professional organizations such as NAFSA, ACRAO, etc. professional ethics team for review.  Although the SECUSS-L will manage all actions as confidentially as possible we cannot guarantee total confidentiality for all cases when actions are required.


To contact the listserv managers please email:


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With the exponential growth in free email accounts as well as similar growth in ISP’s many members of SECUSS-L use email accounts that end,, etc.  Furthermore individuals may use account identifiers such as “” therefore when when making remarks to the list or in posting requests for information it would be most useful to have your name, title and institutional affiliation signed in the text at the bottom of the email.  Please be careful NOT to attach "signature" cards or to implement HTML code in formatting your email or signature as this may be rejected by the listserv.




We understand there are on occasion very fine lines of distinctions on many subjects and we are not interested in blocking discourse, freedom of expression, etc.. however we also realize there are 3000 members on this list around the world with as many different approaches to every topic as there are members. The SECUSS-L membership has over the years expressed a desire for a managed environment for professional discourse and exchange of information under certain appropriate use guidelines which are agreed to when subscribing to SECUSS-L.


Again be aware that violation of the SECUSS-L appropriate use guidelines can lead to warnings and suspensions from SECUSS-L



If you wish to contact only the list owner(s) for a specific request, send your email to:


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