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Message from the President

Message Sent to the University Community

from President Tony Atwater
May 2, 2006

The university's website and how it is managed will soon change with a new design and implementation of a content management system.  This marks the first step forward on a new integrated marketing and communication initiative.

Representatives from across the university met over the course of two years and, after careful study, concluded that the university's web needs a fresh design, that employees need an easier way to maintain web content, and that more flexibility is desired for specialty sites that communicate on behalf of auxiliary activities.  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.  Those who participated in the study concluded that the university needed help in accomplishing these tasks. As a result, we are proceeding with two initiatives.

We will 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.  Ciber, Inc., has been retained to assist us with implementing Ektron, a CMS used at many university campuses across the country.

We will redesign our main website and provide a fresh set of templates for content that resides on official university pages.  Stamats Communications, a nationally known firm that specializes in the higher education sector, will provide this service, as well as consultation on ways to communicate in other media as part of the integrated marketing effort.  Stamats will help us to improve our web's usability and general appearance of content.  The company's work will include providing a new set of templates for departments and offices, as well as a set of basic design elements to be incorporated in their more free-form exhibit pages.

Both of these companies began work this month, although changes may not be visible or obvious for several months to come.  The university community will be updated as the project progresses.  I know we all look forward to communicating our university's story in a way that is consistent and useful to our constituencies and that reflects the great things that happen here every day.

If you have any questions about how this effort will affect your department's website or work, for now please contact either Regan Houser in the Communications Office or Dan Yuhas in the Technology Services Center.