Web policy and server update

 


From Tom DiLorenzo, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Susan Walton, Vice President for University and Public Affairs

To the Campus Community:

We have recently heard from some faculty that  questions and concerns remain about the proposed UND Web policy and the planned migration to a new server. Over the past several days, we have spoken extensively about these issues with each other, with several faculty members and deans, with members of the Web team within the Division of University and Public Affairs who manage UND’s website, and with President Kelley. We’d like to share with you some plans we believe will help address the questions and concerns. These plans have been approved by President Kelley, and we appreciate his support as we move through this process.

  • First, we plan to defer the June 30 implementation date for the server migration while we facilitate some additional discussions with faculty in early Fall 2014.  

While the server migration will, as noted above, be deferred for a time, we need to emphasize that the current server is aging and unreliable. This is the situation that initially prompted the effort to migrate to a new server, and that situation has not changed—in fact, it will likely become more severe as additional time passes. As we continue to develop longer-term solutions based on these faculty discussions, faculty can certainly move websites into OmniUpdate at any time. Websites not moved into OmniUpdate will need to undergo an upgrade process due to the unreliable state of the current server. The Web team will initiate this effort.

  • Second, the approval of the new Web policy will also be deferred until these discussions take place.

We appreciate the feedback from the faculty as well as the hard work of the University’s Web Team to develop a secure, reliable website. Several of you have also asked about the feedback processes that have been in place as this initiative has progressed. Here is some background:

As you may recall, in late 2012, UND announced the planned revision to its Web policy. A two-week public commentary period and campus open forum were held in Spring 2013, preceded and followed by communications in the U-Letter and other campus communication vehicles.The initial plan underwent some changes based on feedback received from the open forum and public comment, including the creation of a standard faculty profile where faculty can easily enter academic information and link to their own websites.You can find the faculty profile at UND.edu/faculty.

In December of 2013, UND made the related announcement of the need to transition away from and decommission our current server, which is aging and diminishing in reliability. Several additional communications followed, including the establishment of a server decommissioning protocol at UND.edu/web-support/server-decommission.cfm.

We have now arrived at the next chapter of the process. We hope our willingness to adjust the schedule illustrates our appreciation of faculty feedback. We would also like to emphasize that we couldn’t make these changes without the hard work and expertise of the Web Team.

We welcome the additional opportunity early this Fall for members of the campus community to be involved in these discussions. We are partners in this process, and we will work together to find good long-term solutions. As faculty members ourselves, both of whom have served in full-time positions and who have attained tenure, we appreciate the importance of gathering, sharing and disseminating important research, and we are committed to finding ways to do that effectively and consistent with disciplinary methodologies. We will communicate more specifically about how the early Fall 2014 input-gathering process might look as that time draws closer, and we will both be personally involved.Please let us know if you have any suggestions for that process. We look forward to hearing from you.

Tom DiLorenzo
Susan Walton