5.20.3 Web

Background

Since 1994, SCSU has been a leader in the use of the Web as a communication channel for delivery of information and education. Early use of the Web was marked by rapid growth and exploration. The first policies governing official university Web pages (Web Guidelines) came into existence in 1996-97, being approved by the Faculty Senate and discussed as part of the Meet and Confer process. Delivery of information via the Web continues to grow, and this use is critical to the functioning of the university, affecting virtually every aspect of the campus. New Web-enabled applications, such as extensions to ISRS, provide many interactive possibilities. The role the Web plays in outreach and in shaping the view of SCSU beyond the university cannot be overstated.

In an effort to address a growing number of Web-related issues (including ADA compliance, usability, browser compatibility, branding, and maintenance/overhead), in Spring 2001, the creation of an SCSU Web Council was proposed to President’s Council (and later approved), with the group charged with overseeing the development and use of the Web on campus. In August 2002, the new SCSU Web environment was launched with the goal of more efficiently managing the growing number of official SCSU Web sites.

Many issues still need to be addressed, including how to better-manage Web content, how best to incorporate third-party Web-based applications into official sites, and numerous factors related to use of Web-based Instructional Management Systems (see section 5.4.5).

Goals

In the next five years, use of the Web will continue to evolve. SCSU must to respond to this changing environment by

  • institutionalizing the SCSU Web Council, clearly establishing it as the body to govern use of the Web on campus for official pages. This process should include examining the composition and structure of Web Council, and establishing terms of membership.
  • creating comprehensive policies for providers of content.
  • creating processes for reviewing and updating Web policies and official pages so they remain relevant and useful to all users.
  • investigating and implementing a content management system that provides a balance between control of sites and freedom for content providers.
  • providing services that end-users expect, including e-commerce capabilities.
  • coordinating with the MNSCU Web team to ensure interoperability and integration of Web-based applications.
  • examining environmental options, include portal approaches and wireless access to the Web.

Specific Actions and Timeline

The Web Council, which will be responsible for the goals of this section of the Technology Master Plan, will use the following schedule rather than the standard timeline:

  • During Spring 2003 and Summer 2003, the Web Council will review content management systems and report back options to TLTR no later than October 15, 2003.
  • Based on available resources and funding, SCSU will implement a content management system by August 20, 2004.
  • By Fall 2003, an appointed, joint TLTR/Web Council subcommittee will begin a review of the Web Council composition and function and will suggest any revisions to TLTR, Faculty Senate, Academic Affairs Council, and President’s Council, due no later than February 2, 2004.
  • By the end of calendar year 2003, SCSU will finish moving all Web-related functions from Tigger and Condor, so the servers can be decommissioned.
  • By February of 2004, the Web Council will establish review and enforcement mechanisms so that official SCSU Web sites are reviewed for content and usability at least twice per academic year.
  • Beginning in Spring 2004, the Council will identify all processes and procedures needed to manage and best utilize resources for SCSU intra- and Internet sites.
  • By the end of calendar 2004, the Council will develop and implement a comprehensive campus intranet plan, to more efficiently provide information needed by all categories of users on campus.
  • On an ongoing basis, the Council will compile and review SCSU Web statistics, including uptime and page-views for specific departmental/administrative sites.

Resources

A highly reliable infrastructure must be in place to support SCSU Web initiatives. Redundant systems, backup power, etc., must be acquired/developed to minimize down time.

The proper tools and training for Web management must be provided to personnel and all end-users.

As more applications become Web-based, additional personnel, such as Web developers, database coders, and graduate assistants, must exist to provide proper support.

Web-based information must be available to deliver information to all levels of decision-makers.

Web-based information must be widely accessible to all types of users, including via wireless connections by PDAs, Web-enhanced cell phones, etc.

Evaluation

  • Has the Web Council composition been examined and adjusted to provide the proper level and type of oversight for the Web at SCSU?
  • Has the Web Council created comprehensive policies for providers of content and marshaled those policies through the appropriate decision-making processes?
  • Has the Web Council created processes for reviewing and updating Web policies and official pages so they remain relevant and useful to all users?
  • Do all stakeholders have input into the decision-making process?
  • Has SCSU implemented a content management system that provides a balance between control of sites and freedom for content providers?
  • What is the level of uptime availability and redundancy of Web-based systems?
  • Are the proper Web tools available to the developers to do their jobs?
  • Has SCSU provided services that end-users expect, including e-commerce capabilities?
  • Has the Web Council coordinate with the MNSCU Web team to ensure interoperability and integration of Web-based applications?
  • Has the Web Council examined environmental options, include portal approaches and wireless access to the Web?
  • Are sufficient personnel provided to properly support use of the Web at SCSU?
  • Is Web-based information available to all types of devices/users?
  • Has the Web Council completed a final report?
  • Has the Web Council developed recommendations for the next technology planning cycle?

Revised: May 2003