Managing MCommunity Groups that You Own

Learn how to manage groups you own in the MCommunity Directory in this overview of the parts of your group and your responsibilities as a group owner.

You must be a member of the University of Michigan community with a uniqname and UMICH (Level-1) password to create and own groups in MCommunity.


What Is an MCommunity Group?

A group in the MCommunity Directory is a list of people and/or groups that can be used for sending email and for authorization.

  1. Email: Directory groups are used primarily for sending email.
  • Mail sent to an MCommunity group is delivered to each member of the group. 
  • If you send a message via GMail to more than one MCommunity group, and a person is in more than one of those groups, that person will only get one copy of the message.
  1. Authorization: MCommunity groups are also used for authorization; many groups control access to online services and resources (e.g., Google, Active Directory, unit resources).

The MCommunity Directory is a public directory, but group information is only available to people logged in with their uniqnames.

Responsibilities of Group Owners

  • Have a clear purpose for your group. It is helpful to state this purpose in the Description part of the group profile.
  • Respect the privacy expectations and preferences of your group members. If you make the member list of your group visible to anyone, anyone logged in with their uniqname can look up the group in the directory and view its members and owners. While this is appropriate and preferable for many groups, there are situations where it is more appropriate to make the member list viewable by members only:
    • Groups with an ethnic, gender- or sexual-identity, or religious focus
    • Groups of students in a class. To avoid violations of FERPA, a federal law that protects the privacy of personally identifiable information from student education records, member lists of students in a particular class must not be public. Use MCommunity course groups instead.
    • Groups focused on a controversial topic or area.
    • If group members ask you to make the member list private. Please honor requests for greater privacy from members of your group.
  • Include group members only with their permission. In some cases you should notify potential group members and give them the option to decline membership. In other cases, like university business groups (for example, a list of staff members in a particular department), membership may be required by the unit.
  • Remove group members who ask to be removed when appropriate
  • Provide a valid mail-forwarding address in your own MCommunity profile. This allows group members to contact you with requests and allows you to receive automated email reminders to renew your group before it expires.
  • Renew your group on a yearly basis if you wish it to remain active. Groups expire after one year unless they are renewed. You may renew your group as often as you wish.
  • Consider setting more than one owner for your group. This is particularly important if you will be away for any length of time and will need to have others maintain the group in your absence. It is strongly recommended that groups used for university business have more than one owner. You can have a group own a group.
  • Delete your group from the directory when it is no longer needed. This prevents members from receiving unwanted mail.
  • Don't leave orphaned groups. If you leave the university, either delete your group(s) or designate new owners as appropriate.
  • Set your group appropriately to meet the members' needs and reduce unwanted mail. For example, if the group is for discussion among group members only, set it so only group members can send messages to it.
  • Do not use the group for sending spam. It is a violation of university policies to create an email group with the intent of sending out what would generally be regarded as spam (unless the group owner received permission from the members of the group). Advertisements or solicitations for commercial events or endeavors are prohibited.
  • Familiarize yourself with how to restrict email for your MCommunity Group, which can be reviewed here
  • Familiarize yourself with the Appropriate Use Guidelines for MCommunity Groups, which can be reviewed here.

ITS reserves the right to immediately disable any directory group that is being used inappropriately and has generated complaints from group members.

Groups Are Synchronized to U-M Google and Dropbox

MCommunity groups are synchronized to U-M Google and U-M Dropbox to be used for sharing resources and sending calendar invitations. For details, refer to MCommunity Group Synchronization to U-M Google and Dropbox.

To use a group for sharing resources in U-M Google or Dropbox, you must set it so that anyone can send mail to it. Otherwise, Google and Dropbox will not be able to send sharing and calendar invitations and notifications to the group members.

Finding Groups You Own

To see a list just of the groups you own, use MCommunity's Advanced Search page.

  1. At the top of any MCommunity page, click My Groups second from the right.
  2. Groups you own will appear under the Owned Groups tab.

Note: You will see groups that you own directly as an individual and groups that you own as a direct uniqname member of an owning group using this search.

Making Changes to Your Group

Want to create, renew, or delete a group? See Creating, Renewing, and Deleting MCommunity Groups for details.

Note: You must be an owner of an MCommunity group and logged in to the directory  to make changes. 

  1. Go to the MCommunity Directory and log in with your uniqname and UMICH password.
  2. Find the group you want to modify and view its profile. You can use the Search box to find the group, or click the My Groups link to see a clickable list of your groups.

Your group profile is organized much like an individual MCommunity profile. There are several fields and settings you can update.

Group Description

To update your group’s description, click the edit button to the right of Group Description near the top of the profile. The Description appears in search results as well as on the group's profile page.

Contact Information

You can provide additional email contacts for requests and errors; additionally, you can add aliases for your group. In order to update any of these fields, click Edit to the right of Contact Information near the top of the page.

Parent Group/Subgroup Settings

If you want a parent group to manage subgroups but not receive their emails:

  • You must be a member of the parent group.
  • The parent group must be an owner but not a member of the subgroup.


If your group has a website or page, you can include a link to it in your group profile. In order to do so, click Edit next to Links near the top of the page. Click Add Link below Links, then provide a name for the page you are linking to, enter the URL, and click Save.


You can add or edit members using the Add Members and Edit Members buttons near the middle of the page, above the members list. U-M Members can be added using a uniqname or a group name. If you want to add an owner, check the box labeled owner underneath the U-M Member field. 

External Members can be added using an email address, optionally prefixed with a display name (e.g., “A. Person” <[email protected]>). External members cannot be granted owner status. Remember to click Save when finished. 

You may also narrow the member list by typing in the Filter Members field below the add and edit options. This can be very helpful if you are managing groups with large memberships. You can quickly filter by name, or affiliation (e.g., by department for faculty and staff).

Next to Edit Members, the Export Membership link will generate and download a CSV file containing the list of members and owners.

Let Members Join & Resign

Under Settings near the bottom left of the page, you can choose whether to allow people with UMICH accounts to add themselves to the group or to let only group owners change membership.

Note: Owners must always add groups and people with external email addresses as members; they cannot add themselves, even to self-joinable groups. 

Whenever possible, given the purpose of your group, allow people to choose for themselves whether to be in the group or not. In order to update this setting, click edit to the right of Settings. Then, under Who can add members select Owners or Self-joinable

  • Note that if a group is self-joinable, it's self-leavable. 
  • In the case of a self-joinable group, you'll see "Join" when not a member and "Leave" when already a member.

Member Visibility (Privacy)

See Privacy Settings for MCommunity Groups for details on setting who can see the members of your group.

Important! Please respect the privacy expectations and preferences of your group members when selecting how visible the member list should be.


Who Can Send Mail to the Group

Refer to Restricting who can Email an MCommunity Group for more information. 

Where Errors and Requests Go

By default, mail sent to your group that results in an error (e.g., notices that mail could not be delivered to a particular member) and mail sent to [email protected] (where "groupname" has been replaced by your own group's name) are sent to all group owners.  You can change who receives these messages by clicking Edit next to Contact Information.

Last Updated: 
Wednesday, October 25, 2023