Case Study: University of California, Merced



Why the University of California, Merced upgraded from open source to full service OpenScholar websites.

UC Merced Case Study


UC Merced had hundreds of outdated faculty websites running on multiple platforms, including WordPress and Drupal. The university has a lean and centralized IT team that had three reasons for needing a new approach to provisioning faculty websites:

  • As a small team, they were having trouble keeping up with requests for faculty site upgrades and new websites.
  • There were security vulnerabilities from running older versions of faculty site software that needed to be eliminated.
  • They wanted to unify university branding across faculty sites.


With a small IT team, Joan Holmquist, the Director, Academic & Emerging Technologies in the Office of IT, chose OpenScholar to consolidate faculty websites onto one Drupal platform.

OpenScholar was able to take the load off the IT team and leverage their managed services to make the transition and upgrade as easy as possible.

The process included the following key steps:

  1. OpenScholar developed three modern website themes consistent with UC Merced's brand guidelines.
  2. OpenScholar migrated existing faculty profiles from Wordpress and Drupal sites onto OpenScholar.
  3. OpenScholar built new faculty websites that were in the backlog and lightened the load on the IT team.


Within three months, UC Merced had hundreds of updated faculty websites. The Communication team at UC Merced reported seeing major improvement in faculty sites that now adhere to their style guide and branding specifications. The Faculty are delighted with their modernized and research-centric sites which help them collaborate and attract more research funding dollars.

By bringing in OpenScholar to manage the site migration process, ongoing site management, support, system administration, help desk and hosting, the UC Merced IT team was able to gain back a significant percentage of their time to now focus on higher profile projects. They also saved money by not needing to hire in any additional FTEs to support an expanding website platform.