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.


Additional Documentation

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. To send email to a directory group, send it to (where you have substituted the actual group name for groupname).
  2. Authorization: MCommunity groups are also used for authorization; some groups control access to web sites, wikis, and other online resources.

The MCommunity Directory is a public directory. Group owners can hide the members, moderators, and owners of a group. The group name will appear on the group's profile page and in search results.

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 with web access can look up the group in the directory and view its member list, as well as owners and moderators. While this is appropriate and preferable for most groups used for university work, 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. Some members of such groups may not want their membership in such groups made public, and group owners should respect this by making the member list private.
    • 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. Your group members may not want their membership in such groups made public.
    • 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. It is best to get permission from people before adding them to a group. We recommend notifying potential group members and giving them the option to not be in the group. However, owners of groups used for university business (for example, a list of staff members in a particular department) may be required by their unit to include certain people.
  • Remove group members who ask to be removed. Owners of groups used for university business, however, may be required by their unit not to remove people from those groups.
  • 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 to be members-only; that way, no one else will be able to send mail to the group.
  • 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.

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 Box

MCommunity groups are synchronized to U-M Google and U-M Box so they can be used for sharing resources and sending calendar invitations. For details, see MCommunity Group Synchronization to U-M Google and Box.

To use a group for sharing resources in U-M Google or Box, you must set it so that anyone can send mail to it and so that it is not moderated. Otherwise, Google and Box 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 tapage, click Advanced Search.
  2. Near the bottom of the Advanced Search page, next to Owner matches exactly, type your uniqname. Then click Search Groups.
    Screenshot of searching for all groups owned by a particular uniqname.
    Note:You will only see groups that you own directly as an individual using this search. Groups that you own as a member of an owning group will not be listed. To see groups you own as a member of an owning group, click the My Groups link at the top of any MCommunity page (you must be logged in). In the list of all the groups you are in, those you own as an individual will have a yellow star in the Roles column. Those you own as a member of an owning group will have a blue star.

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 list of your groups then click the one you want.

Your group profile has three tabs with things you can change:

  • Group Info. General information about your group.
  • Members. Members, owners, and moderators,.
  • Settings. Whether your group is joinable and who can send mail to it.
    Screen shot of group tabs for making changes.

Group Info

Click the Group Info tab in your group profile, then click the Edit link in the section you want to edit.

Contact Information

You can provide additional contact information for your group, such as a phone number, fax number, and address; you can also choose who can see it (everyone, U-M only, or group members only).


Change the Description for your group and choose who can see it. The Description appears in search results as well as on the group's profile page.

Also Known As

You can add names for your group that can be used to help people find your group when searching the directory.

Also Known As names can be used when sending email to your group, and are treated as reserved group names. This means that other groups cannot be created with the same name as an Also Known As name assigned to your group. An Also Known As name must be more than nine characters long to avoid conflicts with uniqnames.

  1. Click the Add Alias link.
  2. Enter your group's Also Known As name or Alias, then click Save.


Enter text for your group notice, select members who will be granted viewing rights from the Viewable by menu, then click Save.


If your group has a website or page, you can include a link to it in your group profile. Provide a name for the page you are linking to, enter the URL, select who you want to be able to see it, then click Save.

See Also

You can add group names and uniqnames that are related to your group. People will be able to click these to go to the group or person profiles.

  1. Click the Add See Also link.
  2. Enter a uniqname or group name, select who you want to be able to see it, then click Save. Click the Add See Also link to add more.


Let Members Join & Resign

You can choose whether to allow people to add or remove themselves from the group or to let only the owners change the membership. Whenever possible, given the purpose of your group, allow people to choose for themselves whether to be in the group or not.
          Screenshot of the options for adding and removing members. You can have only the owners do this or allows members to join and resign themselves.

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

See Privacy Settings for MCommunity Groups for more on managing who can send mail to your group. 

Where Errors and Requests Go

You can choose who will receive error messages concerning mail sent to the group, i.e., notices that mail could not be delivered to a particular group member.

You can also choose where mail sent to (where "groupname" has been replaced by your own group's name) goes. This address appears as a contact address on your group's profile page.
         Screenshot of the settings for where errors and requests concerning the group are sent.

The Do Not Spam List

When this is turned On, mail sent to your group from known spammers is rejected. See Using the Do Not Spam List to Reduce Spam for details. It is recommended that you leave this turned on.

Last Updated: 
Monday, February 26, 2018