July 24, 2013
To: CLA Chairs, Directors and Unit Administrators
CLA Web Contacts
From: Scott Elton, Interim Chief of Staff
Subject: Update on CLA web communications and web team
As many of you know there is significant planning and anticipated changes underway in the College and at the University related to web communication. I am writing to update you about two aspects of this work:
- Ongoing transition of CLA's web team and its services and operations from CLA-OIT to CLA Media & Public Relations, and
- University planning for the implementation of Drupal, a new enterprise content management system (CMS), in fall 2013.
CLA Web Team
The CLA Web Team, which had been partially aligned with both CLA-OIT and Media and Public Relations for several years, is now fully under the M & PR umbrella. The move provides efficiencies in the way we advance communications from the College, however, you should see very few changes your interactions with the team.
- The same ticketing process is in place to request service on your website. Continue to send requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Lisa Miller is the temporary supervisor for the web team. She will be the first point of contact for website service requests that go beyond basic site updates. Again, please send all service requests to email@example.com.
- The web team currently consists of two extremely talented student designers, Natasha Wright and Sam Gordon, who are working full-time this summer.
- We look forward to searching for a web coordinator position this fall.
The University has selected Drupal as the enterprise-level content management system (CMS). This decision has implications for all websites at the University.
CLA's websites do not currently use a CMS. Rather we have generally relied on static HTML pages. The current estimate is that the Drupal platform will be ready for widespread University use in late fall 2013. We are in the process of analyzing what the migration will look like in the College and the steps we will need to take to complete it. We will continue to update you on this transition as we move forward.
The Drupal migration will be a complex process, but we are very excited about having a University-wide CMS. This change will allow us to:
- More easily share content between the college and departments, and across the University;
- Better track the analytics that help us understand our web visitors;
- Provide a better web experience for people who visit our sites, so as they move from one site to another they can easily find the information they are looking for; and
- More easily customize features for each site.
You can learn more about this University initiative at http://z.umn.edu/drupal.
CLA Web Communications Service Implications
In order for our small team to focus on Drupal assessment and the issues associated with the transition (including the migration of the many sites CLA has), we will continue to be limited to "maintenance mode." This means we must extend our current moratorium on website redesigns and new site development at least through Fall semester.
What we'll continue doing while we're in transition
· update text you are unable to access or edit
· fix broken code, pages, etc.
· make limited changes in visual design (on a "need to" basis)
What we won't be doing for now
· site redesigns (reorganizing information, changing graphics, etc.)
· making changes to website navigation
· adding pages (unless they are critical--such as for a new major or minor)
What you can do in the meantime
· Review your site
· Test all links
· Remove old and outdated content.
We welcome your questions about this initiative and ask for your patience as we move through this transition. Contact Kelly O'Brien (4-4109) or Tessa Eagan (5-3781) if you have specific questions. We will continue to be in touch with updates as they arise.