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Article from the 3/31/05 edition of Inside

IUP’s Web: Changing and Enhancing the University’s Electronic Image

The university’s website and how it is managed are expected to change over the course of the next year with an anticipated new design and expected implementation of a content management system.

Initiated by former interim President Diane Reinhard and Matthew Hughes, interim vice president for Institutional Advancement, a committee composed of representatives from many sectors of the university, including members of the university’s technology committees, met last summer to map a new direction. According to Mark Piwinsky, vice provost for administration and technology, the group’s consensus after researching a variety of options was to pursue a fresh design that would provide more flexibility for individual university units, as well as an easier way for each of those units to add and maintain content for their websites. The study was initiated as a result of feedback from the campus’s various technology committees and an obvious need to deliver information in a more efficient way to all of the university’s constituents. A copy of the preliminary report and the charges to the various groups are available on the web.

The original committee then broke into subgroups, adding more representation from the university. The groups met during the fall semester and during part of the spring semester to formulate plans on how to approach a redesign and how to better manage content. As a result, the university will proceed with two initiatives.

One will be to identify, purchase, install, and implement a content management system. Commonly referred to as a CMS, such systems allow maintainers to access, manage, manipulate, and add content to the web with less training and to share common content more easily.

The second will be to seek the services of a design consultant to assist IUP in developing design standards for our web site and in improving usability and general appearance of content. This would include a set of different templates from which departments and offices may choose for their standard pages as well as basic design elements to include in their more free-form exhibit pages.

As these efforts proceed, current procedures and policies will be studied and changed to accommodate how the university’s website is managed.

Members of the university community may submit questions about the effort to

As plans are formulated and finalized, details will be shared with the university community.