Participation Guidelines

DET/CHE provides Community GoogleGroup discussion lists to support dialogue, networking, and information sharing among members of the higher education Distance Educators 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—DET/CHE members. Your observance of them will enhance the quality of the experience for all.

Discussions are not monitored by DET/CHE staff. Subscribers who operate outside of the guidelines will receive a cautionary notice. Individuals who continue to disregard and violate the guidelines may be blocked from subsequent participation.


The opinions expressed in list discussions are those of individual subscribers and are not necessarily those of their institutions or companies. DET/as an institution neither expresses an opinion about nor endorses products or services and is not responsible for the opinions expressed on any of the discussion lists it supports.

List Etiquette

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

  • All postings should be signed with the subscriber’s name, institutional/organizational/corporate affiliation, and email address. 
  • 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. Please check the TO field one more time before you send.

Unacceptable Use

Please note that the following actions are considered unacceptable and will result in a warning or removal from the CG.

  • Quoting a posting to a community group without the explicit consent of the poster. 
  • 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 has occurred, we encourage you to direct a complaint or protest directly to the offending subscriber, to the DET/CHE leader(s), and/or staff for appropriate action. Please do so through private correspondence, rather than aggravating the situation by focusing group discussion on it.


All public 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 a quick review of past discussions. Use of the archives for commercial purposes—including but not limited to searching archives for potential customers, email addresses, or similar—is in violation of these guidelines.

Promotional Messages and Advertising

DET/CHE 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 violate the promotional messages and advertising provisions of these guidelines and may result in the loss of access to in question.


Members may occasionally use 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 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.

Job Postings

We encourage those who are looking for a broad reach and visibility to post; list participants who have specific postings of relevance are allowed to post individual positions of interest.


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.