How UVA Transformed 170 Outdated Faculty Profiles Into Research-First Websites

The Opportunity

University of Virginia

At the University of Virginia’s College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Digital Communications team implements a central digital strategy for the College, and oversees its network of websites, email outreach, mobile and social media presences, and the daily management of the College's main website.

Digital Communications and the Dean's Office wanted to upgrade several generations of outdated faculty websites to:

  • Have a consistent look and feel to enhance the UVA brand
  • Be mobile-responsive to look great on phones
  • Showcase current faculty research to attract students, grant funding and press

The Director of Digital Communications surveyed faculty about their website needs and learned that they wanted a customizable online presence without requiring too much time, effort or expense. He quickly learned where faculty had websites, what technology they used, who maintained content and what their goals were.

Maintaining an inviting and informative online presence for a scholar’s work has grown increasingly essential. Professional and lab web pages are often the first place that current and prospective students, academic colleagues, funding organizations, journalists and the general public look to learn more about you and your work.”

The Solution

OpenScholar launched 170 UVA faculty websites, doubling the school’s faculty site footprint.

Here’s how the rollout worked:

  • OpenScholar designed two mobile-responsive UVA specific website themes
  • In 3 weeks, OpenScholar built new websites for the first 68 faculty who requested new sites
  • OpenScholar launched a dedicated site where UVA faculty can request new websites, see best practices and get help: https://uva.theopenscholar.com/get-a-website/home
  • UVA announced the OpenScholar partnership to faculty on the blog and over email
  • OpenScholar trained the Director of Communications and the group's web developer on platform support

Ongoing, OpenScholar supports UVA with website migration and creation, 24/7 customer support, and online resources to inspire faculty to update their sites.

The Results

In one year, the College’s Digital Communications Office transformed how they launch, update and support new websites.

Today they have 170+ UVA-branded and personalized faculty sites and:

  • A scalable way to add hundreds of sites annually without new team members
  • A single dashboard to view OpenScholar websites, users, posts, visits and more
  • Happy faculty who have easy tools to showcase and publish their research
  • New UVA Sites

  • New UVA Sites

  • New UVA Sites