Mailing List Management

Access and administration of group email lists for Columbia's users.

Also known as Google Groups, Listserv lists, Grouper lists, distribution list; formerly known as Mailman lists, simple mailing lists.

CUIT offers mailing lists to the Columbia community to facilitate email communications, to be used either as a distribution list to communicate with a larger group, or as a contact address that directs mail to the individuals responsible for handling inquiries for a larger entity. Depending on your needs and affiliation, three types of lists are available: Simple Mailing Lists, LionMail Mailing Lists (Google Groups), and Listserv Managed Mailing Lists.

Simple Mailing Lists: Best suited for 30 or less recipients.

LionMail Mailing Lists (Google Groups): Best suited for 100 or less recipients.

Listserv Managed Mailing Lists: Best suited for 100 or more recipients.

After you determine the best fit, CUIT will create your mailing list with the name of your choosing (if available), allowing you to populate and administer the list yourself.

Please note that all Columbia University Students that wish to request and administer a mailing list, will need faculty or staff sponsorship to do so. Once the list is created, both the student and faculty/staff member will be designated an admin so we can avoid having an 'orphaned' list when students matriculate.

Please note that all CUIMC users must contact the CUIMC IT Support Desk to request a mailing list. Please visit the CUIMC mailing list webpage for more information.

Mailing list options

Simple mailing lists are very basic mailing lists that are best used for smaller lists with fewer than 30 recipients because anyone can send email to the list (no limitations can be set). The Simple Mailing List is managed via Grouper where one or more individuals are assigned as administrators who can manage membership using the Grouper web application. Note that with a Simple Mailing List, you cannot manage who is allowed to send mail to the group, there is no mailing list archive, no defines inbox, and there is no automatic handling of subscribing.

Note: Over subscribing the lists past 30 recipients, will cause mail delays and possibly undeliverable messages. If your mailing list needs more than 30 recipients, please look at a LionMail Mailing List (Google Group) or a Listserv.

LionMail Mailing Lists are Columbia's implementation of Google Groups. Administrators manage membership using the Grouper web application instead of the Google Groups web application. Administrators can control who is a manager or a member of the LionMail Mailing List by assigning privileges in the Grouper app. All other mailing list settings (posting permissions, moderation, etc.) are still controlled by the LionMail Groups web application.

LionMail Mailing Lists are good for groups up to 100 members. Users without Gmail or a email address may be added as members to LionMail Mailing List, but LionMail Mailing Lists are best suited for groups of LionMail users so that the Google Drive and the collaborative inbox features can be leveraged.

LionMail Mailing Lists can also be used as a collaborative inbox to distribute and track responsibility for topics among the group's members. These features are especially useful for technical support or customer service teams. For example, you can create a group with the address [email protected], add your support staff as members, and allow people outside your organization to send messages to the group. Your support staff will receive your customers' messages, and they can do any of the following from the group's Topics view:

  • Assign responsibility for a topic to a member of the group
  • Mark a topic as resolved
  • Edit the tags associated with a topic
  • Filter topics according to tag, resolution status, or assignee

For more information on using a LionMail Mailing List as a collaborative inbox, visit

Managed mailing lists are best for groups with many recipients (100+) and provide more features than Grouper lists, such as subscribe/unsubscribe functions for members, archiving, and moderation of who can send emails to the list. These lists are run using the Listerv software package and administrators use a web page interface to control list management.

Request a mailing list

To have a mailing list created, please use the appropriate Request Fulfillment link below:

Please have your faculty or staff sponsor create the request if you are a student.

After your mailing list has been created, the list administrator (you or whoever is set as an administrator by the list requester) will need to add the group's members to the list and continue to manage that list going forward.

If you have any additional questions, please submit a ticket to the CUIT Service Desk and include the following information:

  • Type of list you need (LionMail/Google Group, Listserv, or Grouper)
  • The approximate number of list recipients
  • Group name (e.g., Columbia Checkers Club) and email address (e.g., [email protected]); must be at least four characters long
  • Purpose of the mailing list
  • UNI(s) of the administrators of the mailing list


  1. In Grouper, an administrator must designate the group members that should be allowed to send mail as administrators.This will update their LionMail Group role to manager.
  2. In LionMail Mailing Lists (Google Groups), a manager must open the relevant group's settings.
  3. Navigate to Permissions in the left-hand navigation menu, and select Posting Permissions.
  4. Update the Post and Reply To Author sections to Managers of the group.
  5. Click Save at the top of the page.