The internet continues to evolve as an increasingly important platform for networking, for teaching and learning, and for public relations and marketing. The pace of this evolution has been rapid, requiring us to make fundamental changes in how we communicate, search and present content, both internally and externally. At the same time, our ability to support internet communication has not kept pace with these shifts, nor have we positioned ourselves to take advantage of emerging technological opportunities. As we seek to communicate more effectively and extend the reach of all our programs to a more global audience, the need for a clear internet strategy has become paramount.
In the spring of last year, we formed a Task Force that wrote an internet strategy for Middlebury, and we are now ready to act on the recommendations of that group. The website makeover team will re-conceptualize Middlebury’s approach to the web to meet our communication goals going forward. We anticipate the following actions and results: selecting a new technology platform to deliver the contents of our website; updated design and information architecture of our web properties; the roll out a new set of templates to provide the extended Middlebury community — including Monterey, the Language Schools and Bread Loaf programs — with more flexibility in presenting content; provision of a suite of interactive and media capabilities that allow us to take advantage of the full expressive capability of the web; and, most importantly, the challenging work of re-envisioning at the micro level how myriad departments and individuals create content, and interact with that content and with each other. In all these areas, we need to identify and address resource issues and organizational challenges, including prioritization, communication, and matching needs with staffing.
Initial recommendations are expected by February 1, and a launch date for the first phase of the project in September 2009.