University Web Developers

University Web Developers

I control the website, portal, and all other Web based applicants that our small (1500 FTE) university handles.  I started in the development department and then was moved to the IT department.  That has worked great for a number of years however it seems I help people with other issues more than I have time to work on the Website.  I was just curious how other colleges/universities have their websites ran and what department you "belong" too.  We recently introduced dotCMS but I am pretty much a one woman show when it comes to applications. Please send suggestions! 

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Here is our department breakdown,

IT Help: This is where staff/faculty from our college call for computer issues, new programs and stuff like email setup. We have 2 staff and 1 or 2 students in this group.

Web Dev Team: I am part of this team of 2, soon to be 3, people. We handle all of the websites and choose what CMS to use for certain projects. We also handle any external web apps to integrate or create.

Communication Team: One aspect of this group plays a key role for our website. Our comm team is in charge of what is presented to the public whether it be from a website/twitter/facebook. Our graphic designers work on this team as well so any designs/logos come from this team.

I am often asked where the web should report, IT or Marketing. My answer - none of the above. It should report directly to senior leadership. As Zeldman says - Let There Be Web Divisions
Mark, do you know of any universities that have successfully implemented the Zeldman suggestion? Just curious :3


What an excellent question. I'm surprised there aren't more responses!

I think we at Eastern Mennonite University have successfully implemented Zeldman's suggestion. We have had a Web Work Team in place for nearly 10 years. It's now comprised of a team of awesome web programmers (currently there are four) and the director of IS, as well as the director of marketing and her web content manager/strategist (me) and designer/social media coordinator. We meet monthly and also process issues via email and IM frequently.

The campus community goes to the IS helpdesk with issues like computer problems, new programs, email admin. We in marketing have a similar hotline to the web programming team (Application Development, they are called, or AppDev) except the programmers are not viewed as a vendor. Rather, our hotline activates a ticket within their project system and they can then track it and resolve it in a priority fashion. It's another way we communicate in between meetings, since our offices are across campus. We also talk frequently via IM. It's mostly used for smaller site issues.

The marketing department maintains the public website and cotent, while the AppDev team maintains the portal site. We interact frequently with each other on both, though, and do not have an issue with territorial behavior. Maybe we're too busy.  :-)  We have an amazing set of people working here, with many different skill sets and responsibilities, and really have come to rely on our Web Work Team structure since it brings us together and seems to work well now.

By the way, the selection and implementation of our CMS was a real test and turning point for our team. We all struggled with the outdated html/Dreamweaver system we used before Radiant, and now, as I said, things are going well. A CMS is a must.

We started in IT and moved to Communications/Marketing. Because of the way this particular university runs, it was a good move for us (IT is understaffed and underfunded). I still yearn for the Greenfield/Zeldman concept of an independent division - but realistically I don't see it happening here any time soon.

I know there's been at least one large survey on this topic but now I can't find it. :/

The internal site, student tools, etc are still with IT. So we end up dealing with only the public site... and there's then a poorly-understood division for our current community between what's managed by us and what's managed by IT.



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