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Message from the President

President Tony Atwater

A New On-Line Face for IUP

In the last edition of IUP Magazine, you may have read Michael Powers’s description of our new website, scheduled to be launched early in the Spring semester.

This momentous launch did occur on January 31. IUP’s new web design is producing tangible results that our many constituents can see and use. This latest advancement reminds me of something Mahatma Gandhi said: “We must become the change we want to see.”

So many positive developments are happening at IUP—positive changes that will secure a positive future for IUP in future decades. Our website represents the evolving IUP, the university that holds good memories for so many and yet is changing to meet the needs of today’s students and society.

What makes this website so special?

Cutting-edge technology: We have deployed a content management system—in effect, a database—to manage the more complicated design and assembly aspects of the site, allowing our many departmental contributors to concentrate on what they know best, which is the content.

A contemporary design that also reflects our heritage: With its clean lines and simple page layout, we are able to better tell our many stories—past and present—through strong photography and well-written content. We also are deploying more video products.

Greatly improved navigation: Our students, faculty members, and alumni spoke up and told us we were not doing a good job with organization and usability. We listened. The new site employs several new navigational techniques, and we have reorganized our structure to accommodate audiences rather than have it reflect the organizational structure of the university.

Customized design features: During the early fall months, we surveyed our faculty and staff and students about their user habits to make sure the needs of our largest audiences in this medium were addressed. In the year before that, we used focus groups and other research techniques to nail down what prospective students and alumni thought. We have taken that research seriously and used it to create the new www.iup.edu.

An expanded on-line community: In today’s Web 2.0 world, teens to forty-somethings use products like Facebook to communicate with friends and family. We recognize this fact. In addition to the new www.iup.edu, alumni will find in the coming months an increased capability to enhance communications with their on-line community. We anticipate that this improvement will bring about numerous opportunities to network and socialize with your immediate IUP family here on campus and your extended IUP family across the country.

The end result is to instill pride in those who have a relationship with us and to make the best possible impression on those who are just getting to know us.

We are interested in knowing about your impressions of our new web design. I hope that it meets and exceeds your expectations.