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Web integration Project, Project Team, FAQ

Frequently Asked Question about the Web integration Project

Send your questions to brian.clark@wsu.edu.

What is the Web Integration Project (WIP)?

Dan Bernardo, vice president for agriculture and extension, initiated the project as the next step in the integration of CAHNRS and WSU Extension. The immediate charge is limited to integration of the CAHNRS, WSU Extension, CAHNRS Academic Programs, and other top-level college and Extension sites. The goal is to create a web presence that presents research and extension in an integrated way and that makes information easy for the public and stakeholders to find.

What are some of the features it will offer that don’t already exist?

The first priority is to build an integrated site that gives our users much easier access to content based on their interests rather than the administrative structure of our organization. Check out http://wine.wsu.edu for an example of bringing college and extension resources into a single, topic-based site.

Another priority is to build a site that has fresh content on a regular basis to pull users back on a regular basis – primarily news, photos and video. Other features in the works include a centralized calendar function and an interactive map.

A key feature will be ensuring that the site is mobile device friendly.

Why is it important to CAHNRS and Extension?

The web is a critical tool in how CAHNRS and Extension communicate with stakeholders. Having a site that is user-friendly, content rich, dynamic and fresh is one of the best ways to strengthen and build engagement with growers and producers, legislative staff, donors, prospective students – graduate and undergraduate, and other key audiences.

Who’s working on the WIP team?

Web developers from WSU Extension Computing and Web Resources and from CAHNRS/WSU Extension Marketing, News, and Educational Communications have been combined into a single team within MNEC. Brian Clark leads a team comprised of Phil Cable, Don Pierce and Leila Styer.

We just finished switching our web presence to the SharePoint-based system developed by WSU Extension last year. Do we have to switch again to the new integrated system?

The short answer is no. The team is in the process of developing the technology that will allow content to flow between the SharePoint-based system and the new system, which is being built in WordPress.

Will support be provided to move content into the new system?

The team will be providing training on how to input content into the new system. No additional staff time will be allocated, however, for moving existing content.

What’s the time frame for completing the integration?

The team is hoping to roll out an integrated site in early 2013.

Will everyone be switching to yet another web system once the university adopts and implements a content management system?

IT Vice President Viji Murali has indicated that participation in whatever university-wide CMS is adopted will be voluntary. That doesn’t preclude CAHNRS and WSU Extension from making the switch, but we will not be early adopters.

Message from Vice President Bernardo

Dear Colleagues,

It has been three years since President Floyd initiated integration of the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences and WSU Extension. Thanks to the good work of many of you, we have made significant progress in enhancing external grant and contract awards and in streamlining our administrative organization, policies and procedures.

A critical next step in our journey to further integration has just begun. I have combined the web professionals who worked on the current Extension project with those in Marketing, News, and Educational Communications. Their charge is to ensure that our public face via the web reflects the integration we are working so hard to achieve. We want our stakeholders to be able to easily access our information regardless of whether it emanates from Extension or research.

Given the sheer scope of our organization, this may be one of the most complex steps in the integration process. However, I consider it a top priority. Please know that the web group has my full support. It is my expectation that each of you will work cooperatively with them as well.

Initially, the team’s immediate charge is limited to the integration of the CAHNRS, WSU Extension, CAHNRS Academic Programs, and other top-level college and Extension sites. I have asked them to create a dynamic, content-rich user experience that incorporates social media and video and that is mobile-device friendly.

Additional information about the project is posted below. Please direct any questions you have to team leader Brian Clark at brian.clark@wsu.edu.

Best regards,
Dan Bernardo
Vice President for Agriculture and Extension
Dean, College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences