Bemidji State University
University Initiatives Tracking Form

Planning Committee:                       CTLR                                                 


Initiative Proposal/Recommendation and Code Number:

(Code number consists of committee initials.fiscal year.initiative number, e.g. AAC.03.01.)


CTLR.04.01  Recommendation attached.


Consultation with Relevant Groups:

(Planning committees should send initiatives to student senate, bargaining units, alumni, other planning committees, community, etc. as appropriate for feedback before an initiative is brought to University Council.  A Planning Initiative Listserv which includes all bargaining unit heads, the student government president, and university council members is available at


Please indicate which organizations you have consulted with in preparing this initiative as well as the date the initiative was sent to the Planning Initiative Listserv:


Sent to Listserv 9.24.03 for distribution to all listed groups.


Date Initiative Brought to University Council:      10/13/03 and 10/27/03                                  

(Submit in writing to University Council through the Sr VP for Academic Affairs at least one week prior to regularly scheduled meeting.)


Date of University Council Action/Response:                    10/27/03                                             


(Please check one.)

__X___ Recommended, forwarded to the Executive Council

______ Modified, returned to the planning committee

______ Returned to the committee for reconsideration

______ Other



10/13/03 – moved that all co-chairs bring this initiative to their planning committee members seeking their recommendation for support, requesting receipt within two weeks before University Council meetings scheduled for October 27.


10/27/03 – motion that University Council submit to Executive Council the recommendation that WAG/WIG be implemented as soon as possible and the hiring of a webmaster be implemented when funds become available.


Date Recommendation Brought to Executive Council:                11/7/03 by e-mail                   

(Submit in writing to Executive Council through the President’s office at least one week prior to regularly scheduled meeting.)


Date of Executive Council Action/Response:                     11/20/03                                             


(Please check one.)

11/20/03 Recommended, presented to the President

______   Modified, returned to University Council

______   Returned to University Council for reconsideration

______   Other


Comments:  Positive recommendation from the Executive Council to implement WAG because the WEB Master has been approved.

University Initiatives Tracking Form


Dates Forwarded to Bargaining Units/Student Senate:   November 25, 2003


BSUFA Meet and Confer                               12/10/03         

MSUAASF Meet and Confer                         12/10/03         

AFSCME Council 6 Meet and Confer            11/26/03         

MAPE Meet and Confer                                 11/25/03         

MMA Meet and Confer                                  11/25/03         

MNA                                                              no response    

Commissioner’s Plan                                      no response    

Classified Managerial                                      no response    

BSUSA Student Senate                                                         





Date of President’s Action/Response:                     January 2004                                                  

(Please check one.)

    X      Initiative Approved

______ Returned to Executive Council with suggested revisions and feedback

______ Denied

______ Other


For approved initiatives

Date notice sent to all bargaining units:                                                                                              

Date posted on BSU web page:                                                                                                         

Signed, dated copy of initiative placed in archival file in the Library                                      

The CTLR committee proposes the following:

  1. The BSU move immediately to allocate resources necessary to hire a webmaster.
  2. That the Web Advisory Group be formally recognized as the recommending group to the CTLR committee concerning priorities for the top-level pages of the BSU web site.  The WAG will work with the Academic Computing Committee and report to the CTLR committee.  The WAG will be comprised of members as listed in the attached plan dated August 15, 2003.
  3. That the Web Implementation Group be formally recognized as the group that will be responsible for designing and overseeing the creation of the entry-level web, addressing the priorities defined by the Web Advisory Group.  The WIG will be comprised of members as listed in the attached plan dated August 15, 2003.
  4. Both the WAG and the WIG will function as stated until such time as a webmaster is hired, and may continue beyond that point if appropriate.

Plan for Developing and Maintaining BSU Entry-level Web Pages

Rev August 15th, 2003

In lieu of a webmaster, the ACC in cooperation with CTLR will establish consultation groups and procedures for the continuing development and maintenance of the BSU entry-level web pages ( and the parallel pages of the next level).  Our plan involves two groups: a Web Advisory Group that draws up and prioritizes the needs that the entry-level pages will serve; and a Web Implementation Group that coordinates the design and maintenance of the pages.  Both groups will be overseen by ACC.

The Web Advisory Group will be responsible for defining the needs of the various university stakeholders.  As an all-university group, they would draw up a list of priorities that the top-level pages would be designed to meet.

The Web Advisory Group will include the representatives from the following units:

  • Administrative Services
  • Faculty Representatives of Colleges
  • Computer Services
  • Library Services
  • Information Services
  • IMS and Online Services
  • Distance Learning/External Studies
  • Academic Technology Center
  • Student Senate
  • Student Services
  • Enrollment Management
  • University Advancement
  • Foundation/Alumni

Web Advisory Group will consolidate their recommendations and priorities and provide them to the Web Implementation Group for implementation.  These could be drawn up as a set of requirements and a wish list, or a set of criteria and suggestions.  The exact form will be negotiated by the Web Advisory Group and the Web Implementation Group.

The Center for Research and Innovation has the capacity to facilitate the web advisory group process until such time as a full time webmaster can be brought onboard.

The Web Implementation Group will be responsible for designing and overseeing the creation of the entry-level web that addresses the needs and priorities defined by the Web Advisory Group.  The WIG will have the following responsibilities

  • design the architecture and develop the specification for the site and the pages
  • designate and oversee the site construction and tie-ins to other university web and network systems
  • designate and oversee beta and usability testing, gathering and incorporating usability feedback from users
  • establish a procedure for updating the site
  • establish a feedback procedure that ensures WAG’s input is gathered at strategic points in development

The WIG will be made up of 3 – 4 BSU faculty and staff with expertise in

  • Information architecture / logical design
  • Usability
  • Software design / scripting / programming
  • Visual design
  • Backend / network systems

WIG members will be appointed, advised, and overseen by the ACC.

Feedback, responsible development, and good faith.  The development cycle will include gathering and responding to substantive feedback from the WAG while the pages are under design and development. Development will also include on-campus usability testing involving campus constituents throughout the process, with revisions before release. 

This proposal is based on the belief that it is possible to design entry-level pages that will suit and serve all members of the BSU community, not just a majority or a single constituent.  Members of both groups will seek to work in concert and in good faith, with the understanding that the development of the shared commons is a social matter, not a technical one, and is based on mutual trust among those who share it.

We see this recommendation as a stop gap measure that will move the University web development process forward until such time as a full time webmaster can be hired. The web advisory group provides for a broad representation of the University community and should remain intact once a Webmaster is hired.

September 18, 2003

To:       Computer Technology Learning Resources Committee

 From:  Michael Wellcome, Web Advisory Group Facilitator

As discussed during 2002-2003 Computer Technology Learning Resources Committee (CTLR) committee meetings, The Center for Research and Innovation facilitated a Web Advisory Group (WAG) to "draw up and prioritize the needs that entry-level [University] pages will serve" and provide recommendations to the CTLR and the Web Implementation Group (WIG).  The WAG effort is a direct result of the plan for developing and maintaining BSU Entry-level Web Pages (attached). 


The WAG met in June, July, and August of 2003.  Minutes of the June and July meetings are attached.  This document serves as the minutes from the August meeting.


During the June meeting, two critical tasks were accomplished.  First, the WAG defined the purpose of the Bemidji State University web presence and second, identified specific users and grouped them in major categories. 


The group indicated the purpose of the BSU web site should be to [for]:


  • Communicate information
  • Marketing
  • Research
  • Promote programs
  • Electronic (virtual) presence
  • Connectivity/Networking


Based on these attributes, the WAG reached consensus that the purpose of the Bemidji State web presence is to Create and maintain relationships with the University to the following entities (listed in priority order):


  • Prospective Students, Secondary School Advisors, and Parents/Guardians.
  • Current Students
  • Distant Learners
  • Alumni & Donors (friends)
  • BSU Employees & Prospective Employees
  • People looking for directory information
  • People Looking for Academic Research
  • Prospective Student Employers, MnSCU, Targeted (or specific) external audience, and Security Risk Agents.

The July meeting focused on identifying the perceived needs of the users.  The list of needs did not consider availability of resources such as technical support, hardware, software, or funding; rather, the needs provided a detailed list of what the WAG thought users would like to have available on the University web site.  The WAG identified specific applications for the following categories:


  • Information and Research
  • Services and Commerce
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Communications


The August meeting was set aside to prioritize user needs, identify recommendations and discuss any follow on action.  However, after much debate, the WAG stopped short of prioritizing the needs.  Some members of the WAG felt that we (the University) were reinventing the wheel and the only way to solve the web presence issue was to hire the web master and develop a web plan, possibly using the WAG/WIG concept, to make the University presence on the Internet “world class”. 


It became clear during the facilitation process that through the institutional planning process, the University must make a conscious decision to make the University web presence a priority.  To do this, the WAG recommends:


1.  The University allocates the appropriate funding to HIRE A WEB MASTER.  This may be through a formal initiative from the CTLR (via the planning process) to the Budget Resource Allocation Committee (BRAC).

2.  As soon as possible formally sanction the Web Advisory Group and Web Implementation Group. Use the initial WAG/WIG document as an attachment to the formal CTLR recommendation.  As in recommendation number 1, this may be a formal request from the CTLR through the planning process.

3.  Implement a process to conduct physical and use audits for sites linked off of the Level I and II pages: those pages that are indices to content on the BSU sites. The audit will confirm the perceptions of the WAG. With this information the WIG will be able to take the necessary action to develop the first and second level pages. This may be the first order of business of the WIG.



Michael Wellcome

Associate Director

Center for Research and Innovation


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