Holly Ellman, associate director of strategic communications management, said the reasons for the redesign were to improve promotion of the university, and website efficiency and navigation.
“Ultimately, the goal is to provide a better user experience for both internal and external audiences,” she said.
The changes are being applied by the web and marketing teams of the marketing and communications department, along with the help of deans and department chairs.
The website redesign has received criticism from some professors in multiple departments, including theater, Spanish and Hispanic studies and English.
Krista Scott, an associate professor in the theatre department, said the theatre program has lost potential students because of the changes.
“We’re losing applicants daily,” she said. “We’re losing very talented students.”
Students applying to the BFA theatre program are required to submit a portfolio and other information to a specific online program in order to receive an invitation to audition.
David Bedford, an instructor in the Spanish and Hispanic studies department, said it seemed like information was removed from his department’s website, but he said it might be related to the navigation changes.
“I had to guess where they might have put things,” he said. “It can be frustrating. Part of the frustration is the loss of control.”
He said the marketing department has listened to their requests to upload information and has a feeling things are working out.
Steven Sloan, the chair of the Spanish and Hispanic Studies department, said he has been working with Taylor Quales, the marketing representative for the Addran College of Liberal Arts, to address problems.
“She’s already addressed a number of issues that we had,” he said.
Ellman said the website redesign is a constantly ongoing process and the marketing department has already learned lessons.
“Thanks to faculty feedback, we have worked quickly to address issues,” she said. “Such feedback, in addition to website analytics and user testing, will help us identify any other potential problems and courses of action to solve them.”
Sloan also said the redesign was in a transition period but was beginning to improve.
“We all have to be patient with each other,” he said.
The marketing department is working with the faculty senate executive committee to address complaints and consider faculty suggestions.
“The most effective websites are constantly being monitored and improved in order to achieve the best possible results,” Ellman said.