A Philosophy of Transparency for the New Wheaton Website

Posted February 23, 2017 by Academic and Institutional Technology
Tags: Updates

A Philosophy of Transparency for the New Wheaton Website

Wheaton College can look forward to the launch of a new website during the summer of 2017 that will ultimately bring together the public Wheaton website and the Intranet.

Marketing Communications' Web Team began the three-phase redesign project in 2015. With input from AIT and Technology@Wheaton governance, the process included designing a new information architecture, selecting a new web content management system (CMS) to replace Sitecore, and partnering with consultants to create new design templates.

“We’re so excited for this upcoming launch,” said Rebecca Larson, Director of Web Communications. “TerminalFour, the new CMS, brings significant improvements including a more intuitive interface, as well as in-page editing, analytics, work-flows, and a photo editor. And the new templates will provide clearer pathways to information and a more up-to-date design which will allow us to reach prospective students, parents, alumni, and the broader community even more effectively.”

A Philosophy of Transparency

The new website architecture will incorporate Intra content into the rest of the website, and allow for authenticated pages, which will be accessible via Wheaton network login both on and off campus.

“As we merge Intra content with wheaton.edu, we are adopting a philosophy of increased transparency,” said Larson. “Our goal is to make the majority of information available on the website publicly. Of course, sensitive or proprietary information, information related to individuals’ privacy or health, or anything which could compromise security will remain behind a firewall. But in general, we hope by merging the two sites that a significant portion of current internal information be made publicly available, making it easier to find and allowing for more transparency in our community.”

Retiring intra.wheaton.edu

This change will also allow the College to retire Intra, an outdated system that relies on legacy software. Intra's retirement will happen in two phases:

  1. On June 30, Intra will be essentially frozen. Content owners will not be able to directly make changes to any pages. Mission-critical changes after June 30 can be sent to Craig Taylor (craig.taylor@wheaton.edu), who will make all updates.
  2. On December 31, Intra will be completely shut down. Intra will not be accessible starting in 2018.

Between now and the end of 2017, the Web Team will work with departments that have Intra pages, helping them determine what information should be public, where it should fit within the new website, and consulting on options for housing secure content, including the Wheaton Portal, ThunderCloud Storage, Schoology, and authenticated pages on wheaton.edu. AIT will also be available to answer technical questions and provide system training as appropriate.

Those who manage Intra pages should expect to hear from the Web Team in the coming weeks with more information about training in TerminalFour and transitioning content off Intra to the new website.