"Communication" was a concern noted by many of the Strategic Planning Task Forces, as well as by the Faculty Morale Task Force. One proposed solution is to create an "intranet," an electronic site open only to members of the USP community, that would house needed documents, policies, procedures, and processes. A USP portal would be the entrance to the intranet.
Robert T Ferrilli the acting Director of Database Management and
Mignon Adams Director of Library and Information Services has assembled
the Portal/Intranet Committee. This committee is charged with defining
audiences, identifying compelling content and web parts, site structure,
authoring and publishing workflows, search engine development, workspace
management, end user experience, and defining the process, procedures,
and controls necessary for successful Portal / Intranet development.
The initial goal of the Portal / Intranet Committee will be defining a first generation Portal / Intranet for USP's Faculty and Staff for a beta roll out during the spring semester.
The Portal/Intranet Committee consist of the following representatives; Amy Christopher; Brian Kirschner; Carolyn Vivaldi; Chris Gradel; Dianna Collins; Ed Addis; John Masciantonio; Joann P. Gonzalez-Major; Joseph Muscella; Katherine Wright; Ken Leibowitz; Karla Castro; Kasia David; Leslie Ann Bowman; Lorraine C. Smith; Marty Beckerman; Mary-Kate McGinty; Sue Pettus; Terry Park; Mignon Adams and Robert Ferrilli, co-facilitators.
The Portal/Intranet Committee members have been working hard gathering feedback and educating the end user community on the benefits of a portal. Recently, the committee published a short presentation explaining how a portal works, which is followed by a brief survey. The presentation can be viewed at http://blackboard.usip.edu/portal/. The feedback from the survey and information gathered from the individual committee members will be used to help make the USP portal/intranet a compelling user experience.
The Database Management team assessed a number of vendors for the technological architecture of the portal/intranet and it was decided that Microsoft Sharepoint 2007 integrated best with our environment. When that decision was made the software was only available as a beta release but the production version was recently released by Microsoft. We have been working with the beta version since December and will be loading the production version within the next couple of weeks. Once the production software is loaded we will begin implementing the beta version of the USP portal/intranet.
Currently the Database Management Team is currently focused on four tasks. We are converting the current Information Technology website to a departmental intranet site, developing a beta home page for faculty and staff, creating a comprehensive search engine, and implementing page personalization features.
Along the same lines the University has made the commitment to redesign the usip.edu website. The Database Management Team is working with the Communications to assess the impact that purchase has on the USP intranet.
Our next steps are to gather the information from the Portal/Intranet
Committee, the Database Management team, and Communications and
develop a comprehensive project plan. Once the plan is complete,
we will have a date of when the beta site will be released. It is
Database Management’s hope to have the beta site up by late
March or early April.