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Ball State U Web Sites Now Managed with Sitecore

Ball State University in Muncie, IN has gone public regarding its deployment of a Web site content management system from Sitecore. Ball State chose Sitecore's software to revamp its 220-plus sites, integrating common new media applications and garnering a next-generation user experience that has won several awards from education and new media marketing organizations. Now, Ball State maintains uniformity across all university Web sites and said it has enhanced its recruiting efforts through the site's new look and interface.

The school said 600 people across the 20,000-student campus participate in editing the Web sites, representing a spectrum of departments, faculty, staff, and students. Sitecore, which works on both PCs and Macs, provides an interface that mimics Microsoft Office 2007, which many campus members were already using. Sitecore is integrated with Ball State's Google Search Appliance and an internally developed calendar. The school expects to integrate other community-oriented applications.

"Sitecore has allowed us to push the envelope further than we ever thought we could," said Nancy Prater, university Web coordinator. "We are extremely proud of our new site and how it reflects our story, who we are as a university, and where we are going. We are now able to get our message across to various audiences and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. With the aid of our revamped site, we have already seen a 17 percent increase in applicants."

Since the Web site launch, Ball State has received four awards, including the eduStyle Award for Best Overall Web site and the Circle of Excellence Award from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

Sitecore, built on Microsoft's .NET 3.5 technology, provides tools that enable non-technical users to update their parts of the Web site and design pages without coding. Additional tools enable users to send out newsletters, create and manage forms, and track site usage. The software is in use at the University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business and the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication.

Campus Technology has also adopted Sitecore and will relaunch on that platform this fall.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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