Posted Aug. 5, 2021
The following is an update on the status of the comprehensive project to transition department websites in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences into new, updated templates to visually match the College’s website and university branding, as well as an update on immediate actions being taken to ensure security and accessibility on College sites.
As you will recall, research and feedback from the MGT audit last year showed that the Texas A&M AgriLife web presence is one of our greatest weaknesses. The audit of more than 800 websites under the AgriLife umbrella noted a clear lack of cohesion and consistency in branding and messaging. Additionally, the MGT report found a lack of relevant news or current events, many broken links, and outdated information on the department sites. This work also shed light on security, server and accessibility issues on many of our websites (including some department sites). As our department sites are considered Key Public Entry Points for the University and College, it is imperative that we focus attention on department sites as soon as possible.
The goal of the College website transition project, building upon the work of New City, is to elevate the reputation of each department and the College among target audiences through an improved digital presence. The project scope includes:
- Improving the technical performance of each site and ensuring compliance with state and university standards for accessibility and security;
- Displaying accurate, updated and engaging content about the department’s academic programs and expertise in teaching, research, extension and outreach;
- Creating a cohesive digital environment that identifies each department with Texas A&M University and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; and
- Enhancing navigation, user experience and engagement among target audiences.
The following is a summary of the transition process our team will execute for department websites and a tentative timeline with the anticipated start time for each department.
Each department website will go through three phases: planning, development and launch/delivery. For each website review and update, a marketing strategist will work with department leadership to review the website’s content, navigation and registered users. All proposed changes to content, navigation and user access will be documented in a delivery plan and approved by leadership. During each phase of the project, we will work with individuals within the department, as identified and approved by leadership, to help gather and review content and navigation needs.
The estimated time from project start to completion is 20 weeks. Delays in approvals, gathering content, technical site issues could hinder project progress. You may notice that there is overlap in these transitions. This outline assumes that each project will have no delays and that the planning phases can overlap.
Department sites were prioritized based on critical need to address sites that posed a threat to: 1) security, 2) user accessibility, 3) the credibility of the University, agency, College or department, and 4) brand enhancement or awareness. Please note that even sites previously updated to a newer template will go through the same process to ensure all of our department sites convey a cohesive, consistent brand. The timeline for these transitions are as follows:
June – October 2021
July – November 2021
Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications
Soil and Crop Sciences
August 2021 – January 2022
Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences
October – March 2022
Food Science and Technology
Rangeland, Wildlife and Fisheries Management
Plant Pathology and Microbiology
November – April 2022
Biochemistry and Biophysics
Biological and Agricultural Engineering
Ecology and Conservation Biology
If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to reach out to Carrie Baker, marketing strategy coordinator for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at email@example.com.
Associate Vice Chancellor for Strategic Communications and Engagement