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How is web support/development/strategy & branding  handled at your institution?

Who owns what piece?


Our web marketing team reports to the VP for Institutional Advancement.  There is also another unit “Communications and Marketing” reporting to the same VP.  Basically, the folks on campus have two people to talk to for marketing which causes confusion from time to time.


We still struggle with content management and ownership issues resulting in outdated pages.  The team’s primary focus is recruitment/enrollment marketing so other intranet web efforts and custom web apps development take a backseat or are low in priority on the laundry list.


I’d like to get some feedback/opinion/insight on alternative structures.


Chief Information Officer

Information Technology
phone 305-899-3600 • 800-756-6000, ext. 3600
fax 305-899-3600
11300 NE Second Avenue
Miami Shores, FL 33161

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Barry University - Miami Shores, FL (


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At Macalester, the entire Web Services group is a part of our Communications and Public Relations office.  They handle strategy, development, branding and most Web support.  There are content maintainers in many campus departments who keep their specific sets of pages up to date (or should do so).  Currently our Web Services group is migrating our Web pages to a new design, one department at a time.  This offers opportunities to re-think information architecture and remove outdated content. 

David W. Sisk    Associate Director for Administration, Information Technology Services
Macalester College    /    1600 Grand Avenue    /     Saint Paul, Minnesota  55105-1899                Voice (651) 696-6745,  FAX (651) 696-6778



At Texas A&M University – Commerce we went through changes to following structure:


1.       Communications and marketing owns the look and feel of the web, no support from this area

2.       IT manages the CMS systems and develops templates for users; IT also provides training to content contributors/web authors and some/occasional help with how tos

3.       Individual departments are responsible for content update and site design (with in the limitation engineered by IT in the CMS solution)




Anwar Karim

Chief Information Officer

Information Technology

Texas A&M University – Commerce

Tel: (903) 886-5550





At Roberts, the web team (programmer and graphic artists) work within the IT organization. Over the past two years, we have adopted a strategy of support versus leadership of the college’s Internet presence and development efforts. We provide the technology and the graphical development support to the institution.


The strategic ownership of the Internet presence lies with the campus Marketing department and the PR departments of the major schools. Most of these people are very well informed with respect to the value and potential of the Internet and have a good understanding of the technologies that can be leveraged. We help implement their strategies and in that sense the Web Team works with them very similar to the way any of the other IT teams work with campus stake holders.


We used to try to do everything till about a few years ago. This was becoming very difficult to manage and control from our end. By using the current model, we can allow the marketing folks to do what they do best and we can come and implement what they come up with, in the Internet realm. They do not have to worry about the “how” as we handle that part and we do not have to worry about the “what”.


The only challenge is that we have a primary marketing department and then several smaller marketing departments who handle individual schools and programs. Sometimes it becomes difficult to handle work prioritization to the satisfaction of all. We obviously give preference to the primary Marketing folks and that makes the smaller marketing departments unhappy. Something we need to work on (as an institution hopefully).





Pradeep (Peter) Saxena

Chief Information Officer

Roberts Wesleyan College and Northeastern Seminary

Rochester NY

(585) 594-6430


At Columbia College, we mirror what is being done below at Roberts with the web team (programmers and graphic designers) in the IT shop. We differ with the presence of a Marketing Advisory Committee (MAC) that provides oversight of the look and feel of the web presence. The MAC has executive level representation from Marketing, Enrollment Management, PR, Academic, and Technology. We are in the process of establishing a working committee that will be comprised of individuals actually accomplishing the work in the functional areas. Best, Kevin Palmer CIO - Columbia College ________________________________
At Maryville the responsibility for the web site recently moved from Institutional Advancement to the Enrollments area and all of the web support personnel report to Enrollments. With this change the primary focus of the external web site is recruitment of prospective students and much of the content that pertains to internal constituents (e.g. current students, faculty, staff, alumni ) is being transitioned to an internal "Portal" based on Sharepoint. At one point early on (seems like eons ago) Web reported to IT but with this evolution now the only role IT plays in all of this is keeping the servers up and running. Rick. Rick Kubb Director of Technology Services 314-529-9606 Gander Hall, Room 215
Our communications department is responsible for our site. IT helps with SIS integration, analytics, etc. Richard
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At Miami University, we've been working to address this as well.  Originally, central IT had responsibility for the university's web presence but it moved to University Communications after a few years when it became apparent the focus should be on prospective students. They and Admission have worked closely together.  We worked hard over the years to adequately define the delineation of duties.  As an artifact of merging in the legacy Audio Visual department, we managed the web designers who offered web design services for a fee to departments across the university.  As part of our IT organizational redesign, we moved those folks over to University Communications for the synergies.


Now, it's apparent that a broader strategy is needed.  Prospective and current students, families, and others expect a seamless web experience.  We have a joint project with University Communications to implement a web content management system (Cascade).  This is requiring us to address resource needs, an overall strategy, and clearer delineation of responsibilities. We had an initial consulting engagement to assess readiness to roll out a web content management system, and that helped both groups see that further work is needed.   University Communications just released an RFP to select a firm to help at a deeper level, and we'll again work jointly with them.


It became quite apparent to me through our joint efforts that we need an over-arching web strategy, including the business aspects of the web site.  As one example of the need, we've ended up with three or four ways for students and families to pay their bills and it's confusing.  Without someone in charge of the university's overall web environment, we'll never get where we need to be.  While IT definitely needs to be at the table and needs to provide excellent infrastructure and service support, I advocated that IT not be in charge of the web strategy.  (Of course, this will differ depending upon the institution.)  We don't expect University Communications to become the experts on the administrative systems, but we will look to them for the guiding principles about how web-based services will integrate with the overall web environment.  Prospective students and families are savvy enough to pick up "cracks" in the ability to provide seamless service.  In other words, we've found there isn't a clear border between what prospective students care about and what the current students, families, faculty and staff care about when it comes to the web.


Until we elevate the web to its rightful place as a strategic university asset, we'll struggle with the same issues you are currently dealing with (outdated pages, confusion about who to call for support, missed opportunities, etc.).  I'm encouraged that we're tackling this even though we have some significant work ahead.  No easy answer here to your question.  What we found is resolving the initial questions generated a lot more.  It may help to think of this as a maturation process with multiple phases.  I think of it as the web seeking its rightful place as an adult in the higher ed family.  ;-)






Debra Hust Allison

Vice President for Information Technology and CIO

Frye Leadership Fellow

Miami University

Oxford, OH  45056

513.529.8338 (phone)

513.529.8339 (fax) (division web site)

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We take a back seat to the marketing folks. They lead and we support the technology. Sent from my iPhone
Yvette, Good morning. So glad we had a chance to meet at EDUCAUSE Southeast. Furman's web support is very similar to what Anwar described for Texas A&M commerce. In addition, our Marketing and Public Relations team does use student workers to help departments convert to the CMS. I'll be happy to provide details on staffing and such if you like. Best wishes, and have a great weekend. Fred On 9/14/11 2:39 PM, The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv wrote: > Yvette, > > > At Texas A&M University – Commerce we went through changes to following > structure: > > > 1.Communications and marketing owns the look and feel of the web, no > support from this area > > 2.IT manages the CMS systems and develops templates for users; IT also > provides training to content contributors/web authors and > some/occasional help with how tos > > 3.Individual departments are responsible for content update and site > design (with in the limitation engineered by IT in the CMS solution) > > > Regards, > > > Anwar Karim > > Chief Information Officer > > Information Technology > > Texas A&m University – Commerce > > Tel: (903) 886-5550 > > E-mail: > > > > > > > > *