Case Studies: Syracuse University

One of the core tenets of the official vision of Syracuse University is to be a leading student-centered research university with faculty, students and staff sharing responsibility and working together for academic, professional and personal growth. In 1987, when LISTSERV itself was only a year old, Syracuse installed their first copy of the email list management software on an IBM 3090 computer running the VM operating system. At the time no one realized that online communities would become so widespread. LISTSERV proved to be an unanticipated benefit in that regard.

"I like working with L-Soft's software – for what it does, it is economical and effective."

At this point Syracuse University hosts about 2,000 lists on its server, and statistics for the month of April 2004 showed nearly 25,000 messages delivered. While the lists cover the gamut of university and human experience, class lists are the most popular. Of the 600 new lists created in the past year, over half were for class use. Syracuse University has also found that temporarily created LISTSERV lists are ideal for notifying large populations of recipients.

"I am one of the millions of people who have been impacted by LISTSERV," states Nelson R. Pardee of the Computing & Media Services department at the university. "On a professional level, I am serving my second stint as list manager for Syracuse University, a task which I enjoy on many levels. I like working with L-Soft's software – for what it does, it is economical and effective. And despite the available complexity, most people seem to be able to use it, both as list members and owners. During busy times it takes one or two hours per day in administration duties, which is pretty remarkable given the number of lists and the volume. I readily admit I've written a bunch of scripts to automate routine tasks, but those would not work without an architecture that enables it. When I have needed technical support from L-Soft, I have found them to be extremely responsive and competent."

On a personal note, Nelson R. Pardee continues, "More than anything else I have appreciated the people-related benefits from being involved with LISTSERV. A current example: I co-own a flute list (although I don't even play the flute), which has engendered an eight-year friendship with co-owners located in two other countries. That in turn has resulted in visiting those places, and the benefits just multiply. And I haven't even touched on the impact of the list on its participants, which include a broad cross section of the top and amateur flute players worldwide."

Case study written in May 2004 with the help of Nelson R. Pardee, Computing & Media Services, Syracuse University.

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