This afternoon at 1pm CST/ 2pm EST I will be on Friday After Class (#FAC). This is a “live chat series with higher education industry experts who will engage audience members in a discussion of tips, resources, and strategies related to smart marketing in higher education.” I will be talking about my favorite topic, web governance in higher education.  (See for details.)

Most colleges and universities struggle with how to manage their websites.  Resources are scarce, priorities are often based on who yells the loudest, authority is not clearly defined, policies and standards are not enforced, and web strategy is vague at best and non-existent at worse. It’s time the web is taken seriously on college campuses and given it the appropriate resources and structure.  I believe the way to achieve this is through web governance.

The Wikipedia definition of web governance is “an organization’s structure of staff (each with well-defined roles, responsibilities, and authorities); technical systems; and the policies, procedures, and relationships such staff have in place to maintain and manage a website”.  My simpler definition is “deciding who gets to decide.”

I hope you can join me for a lively chat.  Some of the ideas I’d like to explore include:

  • Where the web team should report (hint: it’s not IT or Marketing)
  • Why interdisciplinary web teams must replace the “web master”
  • The difference between policies, standards and guidelines; and why we need all three
  • The true role of the central web team on a large campus
  • How true web governance can eliminate campus politics
  • Why web governance is not the same as IT governance
  • Why implementing a CMS without web governance is building a bridge to nowhere
  • Why higher ed does web committees all wrong
  • When consensus decision is a good idea and more importantly, when it is a very bad idea
  • Identifying risks associated with a sub-par website
  • How to eliminate HIPPOS (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion)
  • Why web governance is not about control but about enabling success
  • The key skill needed to create a great website