Spain's third largest city, Valencia, is home to the renowned Valencia University. The University's faculty and support staff use more than 600 email lists, managed via L-Soft's LISTSERV® software, to communicate with one another and the approximately 55,000 students who attend the University.
"LISTSERV's user-friendly Web interface has enabled professors and other list owners, mostly non-technical staff, to manage day-to-day list administration. The IT department oversees only the general administrative tasks that LISTSERV requires. This enables us to spend more time on strategic IT work and less time on list administration and support."
Email lists, managed on different software, were first used by professors to make daily communication with colleagues easier and faster. Professors knew that messages they posted to email lists were immediately received by colleagues, prompting faster responses.
Within the University, word of email communication's benefits spread fast, and the demand for email lists in other departments grew. By 1997, internal department lists were implemented. These lists proved to be a good way to distribute information within departments.
The next addition to the University's email communication platform was lists for course-related communication. The Faculty of Physics was first to implement email lists for electronics and computer science studies. These lists have enabled professors and lecturers to communicate with students in the form of alerts and dynamic discussions on various course-related topics.
When the demand for email lists among professors and students increased and the total number of list members reached 48,000, Fernando Durá, System Analyst and email list expert at the University, and the computer department felt an overwhelming administrative burden. Not only had the administration of email lists become extremely time-consuming, but the University's software and servers were significantly slowed as a result of the existing insufficient email list manager program. There was a pressing need to find scalable mailing list software. The new program would have to meet future expansion needs and would have to include sufficient list capacity in terms of the amount of lists and the number of growing list members.
The University's IT team evaluated L-Soft's LISTSERV and found it met the desired specifications. The IT department's workload eased almost immediately after LISTSERV's installation, largely thanks to the software's Web interface.
"LISTSERV's user-friendly Web interface has enabled professors and other list owners, mostly non-technical staff, to manage day-to-day list administration," Durá said. "The IT department oversees only the general administrative tasks that LISTSERV requires. This enables us to spend more time on strategic IT work and less time on list administration and support."
Moreover, professors and other list members appreciate the online archive function that LISTSERV offers. It allows them to search multiple lists located on the same server and easily locate previous messages posted to the lists.
LISTSERV has automated many of the otherwise time-consuming manual list administration tasks and has proved to be a fast and easy way to communicate. Durá is confident that LISTSERV will be able to meet the University's future email communication requirements.
"Today, 644 email lists, some with over 3,000 subscribers, are managed at our University," Durá said. "The average list has about 80 subscribers. Both the number of lists and list members steadily increase. I am confident in allowing LISTSERV to work on all the difficult and challenging tasks that list management at our University entails."
Case study written in December 2002 with Fernando Durá, University of Valencia, Spain.
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