Why now?

Given the financial turmoil within the College, the country, and the world, we’ve been asked by many people on campus: why are you doing this project now? Is this really the right time to be re-doing the website?

Here are some reasons why we think it is still the right time to do this:

  1. We have to change the underlying platform for our main website. Microsoft has declared that they  will no longer provide technical support, bug fixes, or security patches for content management system we license from them, and so we have no choice but to change to a different system.
  2. Our preference would be to choose an open-source system to manage our web, and while such a system is not free we do think the overall costs of an open-source system will be less than a commercial system. An open source system requires no purchase costs, and will have a broad-based support system of developers and users from around the world. The labor costs for designing and maintaining such a system are far less than comparable commercial systems like the Microsoft system we’ve been using, with no outlays for upgrades or bug fixes.
  3. As we enact attrition within the workforce through a hiring freeze, we will need to become ever more efficient in how we conduct business, provide services, communicate, share materials, etc. We think that an improved website can allow the various offices on campus work to work more efficiently, and will focus our efforts on achieving these sorts of goals.
  4. A more effective website will in turn reduce our reliance on print, which we think can save money in the long run and also help reduce our impact on the environment.

There are no doubt other reasons why moving forward on this project is a good idea for Middlebury in spite of the budget situation, allowing for better alumni, donor, and prospective student outreach, and further positioning Middlebury as a global and forward-thinking institution.

— mike roy



One Response to “Why now?”

  1. Yes! Open source is the way a lot of communities are going now! I think the long-term benefits of open-source systems is much greater than short-term, although the short-term benefit can also be huge as long as adoption and integration are well-planned-out.

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