|MSU STRATEGIC INVESTMENT PROPOSAL FOR INSTITUTIONAL PRIORITIES|
|Title||Staffing for Web and Digital Communications||Request Date||2012-12-02|
|Cross Depts||It will benefit all colleges, departments, offices and projects that have a website, mobile Web, social media, email communications and video development.|
|Proposed Dates||Start: As soon as funding is secured.||End:|
|Web and Digital Communications (WebCom) touches nearly every aspect of the strategic plan and current MSU operations through websites, online video, email, web forms and mobile applications. Demand for WebCom services grows by more than 20 percent annually and now nears 16,000 requests a year -- handled by 1.8 FTE. Meeting these requests inhibits the advancement of the MSUís strategic priorities. Without an investment, WebCom will only be able to make short-term fixes to MSUís existing communication enterprise. Initiatives to develop products that are commonplace at competing universities will stall and MSU will fall behind its peers.|
|While Web and Digital Communications (WebCom) impacts nearly every aspect of the strategic plan for MSU, its most direct impact is to the objective, ďA.1: Educate more students while maintaining the quality of programs.Ē
WebComís primary functions:
1. Support the recruitment of students by increasing the effectiveness of our digital communications to prospective students.
2. Support the retention of students by increasing awareness and audience engagement with university resources (offices, programs, events, etc.).
The staff requested in this proposal would enable WebCom to increase support to units like Admissions and Student Success while greatly enhancing its ability to better engage and support the colleges and other offices that we currently cannot service in a timely manner. This would also allow WebCom to advance MSUís Web and digital needs to address the goals that have been established in the strategic plan.
Without the staff to focus on the programming, design, content development and videography necessary to support and advance projects, WebCom will be stuck in a support cycle and be unable to act strategically. Balancing ongoing work with the lack of skillsets in its staff, WebCom will not be able to support the university with the services and expertise they require to accomplish their objectives within the strategic plan.
|COST AND REQUIREMENTS|
|Funding Type:||One-Time Only Funding||Base (3-yr Recurring) Funding|
|FY13||FY14||FY15||Base ($)||OTO Startup ($)||FTE;|
|Materials & Supplies|
|Please comment, if necessary, regarding cost and requirements.||
1 FTE Web Programmer at $40,000 / year + benefits
1 FTE Web Graphic Designer at $30,000 / year + benefits
1 FTE Web Content Developer and Community Manager at $30,000 / year + benefits
1 FTE Web Multimedia Specialist at $32,000 / year + benefits
|Describe the Proposal|
WebCom differs from ITC in that it does not work directly on infrastructure issues such as servers, Banner, data security, or other enterprise-level data, software or hardware issues with the notable exception of Web Content Management.
WebCom currently has 1.8 FTE dedicated to advancement and support of the university’s Web domain. In the spring of 2012, WebCom was given funding for a Web Content Management System (WCMS) with an additional 1.0 FTE to train and support the system. When the WCMS is fully implemented and integrated, its costs savings to the university will be spread throughout the university, but it will likely increase the support requirements on WebCom’s staff even with the dedicated 1.0 FTE.
Due to its expanded responsibilities since its formation in 2004, the demand for integrated and strategic digital communications services, expertise and support from WebCom has increased every year by more than 20 percent. This increased demand has stalled WebCom from advancing strategic initiatives and now its operations are primarily reactive to the most immediate needs.
WebCom is at its maximum workload capacity and will be unable to meet new demands on its services without an increase in FTE. This investment is critical to meet its audiences’ expectations in the digital world as MSU works towards its strategic goals.
Web Programmer – With a focus on writing code for complex Web development projects for internal and external communications and integrating MSU’s online tools and services with its communications efforts, this highly technical position would facilitate a more in-depth strategy in mobile Web, audience engagement, and user-experience for Web pages across the MSU website.
Web Graphics Designer – With a focus on visual design that makes MSU’s website look polished and professional and with making pages easy to navigate, this position would work closely with the colleges, departments and offices across the university to improve the university’s public face on the Web both aesthetically and for ease of use.
Web Content Developer and Community Manager – With a focus on writing Web content for MSU websites and enhancing engagement through social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, this position would work closely with the colleges, departments and offices across the university to increase the effectiveness of their online communications and develop deeper relationships among the university, students, alumni and the MSU community at large through social media.
Web Multimedia Specialist – The multimedia specialist will play a key role in advancing the university’s mission through use of video, audio and still images for web-based media. The multimedia specialist will shoot, edit and produce video for MSU’s website, social media and all other forms of electronic communication platforms. Current examples of work that would be done by a multimedia specialist include the videos on Admissions virtual tour page at http://www.montana.edu/tour/
|Describe the broader impacts and benefits of this proposal|
If funded, this proposal will provide Web and Digital Communications (WebCom) the staff to broadly support and advance the strategic efforts of the university in recruitment, retention, teaching, research and outreach. This investment is needed to simply remain competitive with other universities. MSU will fall behind its peer universities in digital communications if current funding and staffing remain unchanged.
An expanded WebCom team will work across the university’s Web and digital communications efforts to:
In the last year, WebCom responded to nearly 16,000 requests for assistance on fixing Web pages, updating content, building new pages, creating forms, and other Web and digital communications work. Because of the work volume, current staffing only allows WebCom to keep pace with fixing the most urgent problems and small incremental changes. Instead of days or weeks, the average wait time for new development is three to six months.
Without this proposal, there is no excess staff time to advance the university’s digital communications – which in the competitive environment of Web communications; means the university is falling behind.
Assessment should occur with involvement from the team’s partners and internal stakeholders to assess the success and productivity of the positions.
Critical Success Factors:
|If assessed objectives are not met in the timeframe outlined what is the plan to sunset this proposal?|
Should the investment in the Web and digital communications team be evaluated poorly, the strategy to sunset the resources would be to avoid filling vacancies as they arise in the Web and Digital Communications unit.
|Dean/Director:||Jake Dolan (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|Executive/VP:||Thomas Calcagni (email@example.com)|