Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Dear UNT Faculty and Staff,

In late 2019, University Brand Strategy and Communications (UBSC) began working with campus partners to create a better user experience for visitors to and all sites within our domain. The process included a thorough review of Drupal - the university's current Web Content Management System (WCMS) - as well as other potential enhancements that could make our sites more accessible and provide better site search. UBSC and ITSS also hosted two web town halls to provide information and answer questions regarding the upcoming process and goals for the project. 

Following a comprehensive review of two finalists - a process slightly delayed due to the global pandemic - I am pleased to announce the purchase of Modern Campus Omni WCMS. Under a slightly different name, Modern Campus has been serving higher education for more than 20 years, and a review committee comprised of representatives from several campus divisions determined that its WCMS will make editing sites easier and allow for a more consistent look across our domain following implementation. In the near future, we will begin transitioning away from Drupal, and you will soon hear more about the move. Please know that the process will extend into 2022, and our team will keep you updated along the way.

While the WCMS is the largest of the three web projects underway, we also purchased an automated accessibility and compliance service last year. This service already has made dramatic improvements across our web domain by allowing us to better monitor and mitigate accessibility issues. In fact, our UNT homepage consistently maintains an accessibility score 20% higher than the industry average, and our primary recruitment websites improved their scores by 16% since the service was launched.

The third web improvement project will involve an enhanced search feature that will allow for customization of search terms and make it easier for prospective students, for example, to find individual and interdisciplinary programs across our domain. We will be working closely with representatives from campus units to develop the appropriate search terms when implementation begins later this year.

Finally, UBSC also will soon launch a new homepage and, during the transition away from Drupal, work with units to begin using a new web template. The consistent template across most sites will enhance the user experience as visitors learn more about UNT.

The university's web presence was in need of a major overhaul, and the projects outlined here will significantly improve the user experience for our most important marketing channel. While the work cannot be done quickly because of the complexity involved, we are confident the end result will benefit the university and our efforts to recruit and retain students. We look forward to working with you in the coming weeks and months.


Jim Berscheidt
Vice President
University Brand Strategy
and Communications