November 22, 2017

University Directory Makeover

Many of you have found the new UMW directory and been excited by the increased functionality and flexibility. It’s great to be able to break out of the old and into something fresh.

This new tool has also triggered a great many questions. Answers to these questions have been compiled and are provided below:

Does this new directory replace the old employee directory search? Yes. All employee information is now stored in the new campus directory.

But the old employee list on our department site is now broken…yes, we know, and we’re sorry. It was unavoidable. If you’ll visit that page and use the “Report a problem” link at the bottom to let us know, we’ll clear that up for you. There are so many instances across roughly 30,000 pages on the old site that it’s essentially impossible for us to catch them all without your help.

My information is incorrect. How do I update it? Please complete the form at http://www.umw.edu/directory/changes/updates/.

I’m not in the directory at all. Please help! No problem. Just complete the form at http://www.umw.edu/directory/changes/updates/ and we’ll get you in asap, usually within 24 hours.

What about Meet the Faculty and Faculty Experts? Those two features have now been integrated into the new directory. They were separate, though highly intertwined, tools before. Now we’re working to provide a single point of management and distribution for all of that information. “Meet the Faculty” will eventually be phased out and replaced in all locations by information pulled from the new directory. We don’t expect to do that until around June 2016.

Are you keeping track of changes I make to my Meet the Faculty profile? Unfortunately, no. We’ve migrated most (if not all…we might have missed a few) profiles into the new system over the summer. If you’re making changes, you’ll need to submit them to us at http://www.umw.edu/directory/changes/updates/ so they can be reflected in the directory.

I don’t see course listings on the new directory pages. Will those be brought back? In short, not for a while, if at all. One of the primary reasons for this entire change is one of technology. We could not port the old directory tools over to the new site. As is done at many institutions, we will be adding a space on the new directory to encourage faculty to add their teaching focus areas rather than pulling (often incorrect) lists of courses out of Banner. For example, you can now have “Women in Renaissance Literature” rather than “LIT 304 XYZ Official Class Name.”

My site/blog RSS feed is gone! Truth. Based on your feedback, we’ll have it back online shortly, and will ask anyone with a feed they’d like displayed to submit that to us.

Can I update my own profile? Not yet. We will eventually open the system to users, but it will likely be something we do summer 2016. In the meantime, we’re processing most requests within 24 hours.

What other directory features are you launching? The new directory already contains a great deal more information than the old one. We’re now able to include social media profiles, links to lists of employees in departments and buildings, maps to locations, recent articles from both UMW News and Eagle Eye, and more. We’re implementing a keyword search and tag system to tie people together by things like task/job focus (think a list of admissions counselors across departments or all faculty who teach FSEM courses), areas of expertise, committee service, awards, professional organizations…the possibilities are endless. We can then pull those managed lists into any part of the website.

I have an idea for a feature/use for this tool. Whom do I tell? Email it to webmaster@umw.edu. We’ve already had several great ideas submitted and are working to plan for their implementation.

Thanks for your suggestions and your patience as we work diligently to improved umw.edu.