The design for the new Information Technology
at Emory website (http://it.emory.edu),
officially launched on Sept. 15, was inspired by the need for a
centralized, online tool for accessing the IT resources offered
by the Information Technology Division (ITD) and other units across
Rather than only redesigning the ITD website, it was our desire
to create something that would allow for easy navigation across
the entire University with respect to IT resources, said Don
Harris, vice provost for IT and chief information officer.
Emory offers a complex array of IT products, services and facilities
for instruction, research and administrative functions. The intellectual
community stays connected through audio and video streaming, Eagle
and LearnLink e-mail, Emory Webmail, Webdrive, course conferencing,
teleconferencing and Internet-based videoconferencing services.
For students, the OPUS website offers online tools for 24/7 bidding
and course registration; adding and dropping classes; viewing gra
des, records and accounts; financial aid services, and viewing and
changing demographic information.
Administrative IT systemssuch as Resource 25, the PeopleSoft
systems and the Donor Records Systemstreamline and automate
business, human resources, alumni/development, purchasing, web application
development, document management and space and resource management
Contemporary computing labs and kiosks, multimedia production facilities,
and more than 50 technology-enriched classrooms make hands-on course
and project-development tools and digital resources readily accessible
to faculty and students.
To make it easier for the campus community to locate and distribute
information on these IT services and facilities, the new website
was designed with end-users in mind.
When we started looking at a new website design, three things
guided our planning, said Alan Cattier, director of the Academic
Technologies Group. We were concerned with ease of use; we
wanted a more consistent look and feel; and we wanted a site we
could update quickly.
Visitors to the sleek new website will find products and services
grouped in user-friendly categories, such as Desktop Computing
and Academic Computing, as well as by user group. An
About IT at Emory section points to general information
on University computing policies, Internet 2, the Office of the
Vice Provost/CIO website (which also was redesigned), and to helpful
links to IT units around campus, including those of the schools
of medicine, theology, public health, law and business.
The home page also features an IT news column with timely articles
ranging from programs and event schedules to the latest information
on security and virus incidents, such as the recent W32.Blaster.Worm
The site sits atop a browser-based content management system (CMS)
built by ITD web developers. The CMS requires no specialized web
skills, knowledge of HTML or web development software on the desktop
computers of those who contribute basic text or images.
If you can cut and paste text, then you can publish and update
content on the web using this system, said Lee Clontz, ITD
web developer. The hope is that this tool makes web publishing
available to anyone who wants to contribute content.
While still being fine-tuned, the CMS eventually will be programmed
to automatically expire outdated content and notify content owners
in advance when aging content requires review. It also will drive
an expanded Help Desk feature with self-service technical
support for common computing problems.
The CMS, affectionately known to its current users as Ducman,
Cattier said, was intended not only to serve as the foundation
for the IT website, but its also a prototype for allowing
other organizations to bring content to the web with unparalleled
ease of publishing.