UT Lists

Posted on: June 29, 2018

I wanted to share some great work going on behind the scenes on our list services.  Even in this era of cloud-based web applications and social media consumed on our mobile phones, we still rely on email and mail distribution lists for many purposes - including the very message you are reading right now!

The UT Lists mailing list service has offered self-managed mail distribution lists to anyone with a utexas.edu address since 2006.  UT Lists was created as an open platform for students, faculty, and staff to use mail distribution lists in support of their role at the university.

UT Lists currently hosts 5,948 lists, 5,747 list archives, and 613,404 individual mailing list subscriptions.  As the numbers suggest, the openness and flexibility of UT Lists have led to a dizzying array of uses along the way:

·         Scholarly communities of international scope

·         Classroom discussions

·         Research groups

·         Special interest forums

·         Internal business processes and customer support teams

·         IT service and system administration

On Saturday, June 2nd, UT Lists was upgraded to use the latest release of the SYMPA mailing list manager and is now operating in a modern containerized service delivery environment.  Every effort was made to make the service upgrade as transparent as possible.  All mailing lists, user accounts, and archives were transferred to the new environment and no user action was required.

The upgraded environment offers several new features of note for list owners and subscribers:

·         An upgraded, responsive web interface

·         Methods for handling message verification systems such as DMARC

·         List activity logs

·         Bug fixes, performance gains, and security enhancements

Although the immediate focus of the upgrade is on stability and identifying post-upgrade hitches, the UT Lists service now has an up to date platform that can take advantages of future improvements and developments of the SYMPA software.  Please see https://ut.service-now.com/utss/KAhome.do?number=KB0016573 for details on the upgrade.

Special thanks to Mic Kaczmarczik for his support of this widely-utilized campus service and to Victor Olivo for his technical contributions to the upgrade project.  Carol Lee and David Moss also assisted with project management and communications support.  Great job, team!

This week I am pleased to welcome our new CIO, Chris Sedore, to our weekly update.  All should have received the announcement that Chris has joined UT Austin and will start on August 1st.  Please help me welcome Chris!!