January 8, 2001
New OUCP site opens
By Eric Rangus email@example.com
Determined to expand its service database and website, the new Office
of University-Community Partnerships sought last year to overhaul the
When the renovation was over, the website that emerged turned out to
be a thorough, yet easy-to-use tool for users to learn aboutand,
perhaps, eventually participate inEmorys community service
Last spring, Associate Professor of Political Science Michael Rich, in
his new role as OUCP director, met with representatives from the Office
of Governmental and Community Affairs (GCA) and the Office of Institutional
Planning and Research (IPR) as well as ITD in order to redesign the community
partnerships website and database.
The database was originally created in 1997 so GCA could track Emorys
various volunteer and service projects. It wasnt that the information
the database contained was badthere just wasnt enough of it.
Nor was there any sort of a context concerning why the database even existed.
What we wanted to do was provide an umbrella over the database
that would provide users both within Emory as well as outside Emory with
some basic information on the university-community partnership initiative:
some of the kinds of programs we had to offer, services, who we were,
how to contact us and the like, said Rich, who was named OUCP director
in February 2000, one month after Provost Rebecca Chopp announced the
The result of the effort is an informative, easy-to-navigate and attractive
(albeit text-heavy) site that offers a wealth of community-related work
at Emory. A database search provides a list of programs relevant to the
categories selected. Clicking on a project displays its title, description,
a University contact, the school and any applicable telephone numbers
and e-mail addresses.
The technical development and design for the OUCP web application
took four monthsbeginning in June and completing in early October,
when the new site went live, said Linda Erhard of ITDs administrative
services unit. Erhard led the project and designed the site.
Where before there was just one entry point to the systemservice
projectsnow there are six. Projects are grouped into service, teaching
and research, and users are divided into faculty/staff, community and
students. An extensive list of links has been added as well, not only
to University organizations, such as Volunteer Emory, but also to community
organizations outside Emory like Hands-On Atlanta.
Other additions include pages that list community-related job openings,
announcements, upcoming events and an introduction to the Atlanta Outreach
We kept the functionality of the database, but we broadened it
in terms of the depth of querying you could do, Rich said. Then
we layered the content on top of that.
As of Jan. 1, the site listed 489 projects in 36 issue areas, ranging
from environmental justice to substance abuse to immigra nt communities,
in the metro area. The most listings are in health care (76) and education
(70), but thats just because researchers and instructors in those
areas have been the most responsive in telling OUCP what they are doing.
That, in fact, OUCPs biggest challenge: simply finding out whats happening on campus. Right now, I dont think theres a lot more we want to add [to the site] other than more information about what folks are doing, Rich said. Were going about that as gently and persistently as we can. The block is getting people to take 10 or 15 minutes to provide some information about their activities.
Rich estimated there are more than 600 projects ongoing.
Contacting OUCP is simple. Project information can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
orthe preferred manneruploaded to the system via an electronic
form located at oucp.emory.edu/New
While ITD maintains the technical infrastructure, the system is designed to enable the OUCP and its partners, GCA and IPR, to quickly and easily manage its content, Erhard said.