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The Connected Campus: Why Universities Choose LISTSERV

Why Universities Choose LISTSERV

Did you know that LISTSERV was created and first used in a university setting and has been powering campuses worldwide since 1986? Its trusted reliability and the flexibility to run both internal and external communications make LISTSERV a mainstay for university and college communication. Searchable and web-accessible list archives, the new responsive web interface with three viewing options and ready-to-use responsive newsletter templates make LISTSERV web-, mobile- and email-friendly.

See how campuses are keeping their communities connected with LISTSERV in this series of snapshots:

Examples: Powering Education with LISTSERV

Announcements, Newsletters, Blogs

University-student communication
Administration, department and program announcements

Alumni, donor and parent outreach
Events, fundraising, news

Expertise and recognition spotlights
Sharing of publications and honors

Special program and group announcements
Colloquium, fellowship, teaching assistant (TA)

University system collaboration and updates
Leadership communication across multiple campuses

Emergency alerts and other campus safety communications

Student life announcements and alerts
Residence hall, dining, financial aid, billing and campus services updates; health center notifications

Event and opportunity announcements
Artistic, cultural, political, career, volunteer service, sports

Tip: Be sure your organization's digital communicators know about the ready-to-use newsletter and announcement templates, available on the LISTSERV 17.0 web interface

Discussion Forums, Online Communities

Teacher-class communication
Assignments, course materials, Q&A and peer support

Professional development
Inter- and cross-departmental curriculum discussions and announcements

Research collaboration, innovation and invention

Student club and organization communications
Sorority/fraternity, culturally specific, clubs, support groups

Staff discussion forums and topic-focused groups

International student discussion communities

Research grant/proposal development discussions

Honors and other special program forums

Tip: Communicate with subscribers about the dedicated home page of each list and the searchable archives with forum view. Add a link to the web archives in your list's bottom banner.

Top Three LISTSERV Features Used by Universities

LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol)

  • Universities use it for login authentication because it provides easy integration with existing campus network resources.
  • LDAP support for authentication and dynamic queries.


  • University customers use sub-lists to prevent issues when sending identical messages to multiple lists in a short timeframe. Otherwise, this could cause messages to be quarantined by LISTSERV and senders blocked from sending for 48 hours, and most university communications are time-sensitive or urgent.
  • Sub-lists allow universities to group discussion sections into class lists and to group students, faculty and staff by department or college (engineering, business, etc.) or any other natural grouping.

DQL (Dynamic Query Lists)

  • University customers pull information from Active Directory (directory services database), to automatically populate mailing lists for classes, departments, etc.
  • DQL is read-only by design, but the key feature is that it allows the use of existing data resources without the need for data format conversion. DQL can be based either on LDAP or SQL queries.
  • Because the data source is queried in real-time with DQL, it is always as up-to-date and as accurate as possible, which is important in the ever-changing academic environment.

LISTSERV Solves Challenges: A Scheduled Digest Keeps a Campus Community in the Know

Problem: Students ignoring the many email list messages being sent at any arbitrary time

Solution: L-Soft Training and Consulting helped the university design a system where all non-emergency notifications by departments or organizations would be sent to one list. That list would assemble these messages into a LISTSERV digest and then post all of that day's notifications to all students, once per day and at a specific time.

Results: This new system trained students to expect the notifications at only one time and significantly increased readership. The student distribution list is a DQL list, so it's always up-to-date with the current student roster.

"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."

Nelson R. Pardee
Computing & Media Services
Syracuse University

"I must say that LISTSERV is among the most stable and trouble-free of the heavily used software packages we run here. It is well worth every penny. And you can quote me!"

Frederick D. Ullman, Ph.D.
Director of Computing Services
SUNY College at Fredonia

Key Advantages of LISTSERV

  • Scalability, efficiency and stability: LISTSERV can deliver high volume on modest hardware
  • Searchable web archives and responsive web interface that are customizable, easy to navigate and include online help
  • Flexibility to move between licensed software and cloud hosting as needs evolve
  • Integrated virus protection. LISTSERV also supports external virus protection.
  • Extensive expert tech support, training and consulting options
  • Networked spam checking across the LISTSERV backbone
  • Flexible DBMS support
  • ODBC compliance
  • Available on a wide variety of operating systems

Educational institutions like colleges and universities need to stay connected at all times. So they count on LISTSERV for effective, efficient and engaging email newsletters, discussion communities, alerts, announcements, blogs and more.

Next Steps

Contact L-Soft to discuss your organization's communication needs and challenges:

Check out the LISTSERV 17.0 Upgrade Center:

View LISTSERV on Campus interactive map:

Subscribe to LISTSERV at Work.

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