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Web Communication Holly Sitzmann

Central Web Team: Building a Sustainable Web Environment

By Holly Sitzmann,
Executive Director of Strategic Communications

This past year has proven to be one of significant transition for the central web team. I recognize that the rate of change has been challenging to navigate at times, so thank you for your continued patience throughout this process.

Over the past few months, we have focused on rebuilding our WordPress architecture to ensure it is scalable and sustainable.  With your help, we have already made great strides. Another step toward reaching this goal is identifying a permanent lead for the central web team. Today I am thrilled to announce that Danial Bleile has accepted the position of web development director. Under Danial’s thoughtful leadership, the central web team will remain focused on the rebuild, as well as continue to work toward developing a sustainable, user-focused web environment – regardless of platform — for which WSU can operate and communicate effectively and efficiently.

As the central web team looks ahead, we also want to equip web designers, developers and content owners with the tools they need to feel empowered to manage their own sites. We must ensure that:

  • WSU’s web structure and hierarchy are healthy and strong
  • Our web standards are clearly defined and articulated
  • The web community has the features and functionality needed to make dynamic, robust websites
  • We implement web accessibility tools and standards and adopt best practices that support ADA compliance
  • All have access to self-serve training materials and in-person training opportunities

This is a new way of doing business for our central web team. With the recent launch of additional templates as well as the design system effort now underway, we have transitioned away from offering custom website builds. That model was not sustainable. Instead, we will provide you with the tools you need to manage your own sites. Please know that we will still be available to consult on new sites, share best practices and collaborate on system-wide efforts that will make all of us more effective and creative.

I am confident that with assistance and support from the web community, we have the right people in place to achieve the priorities we’ve outlined:

  • Jeff Hanson will continue to be our lead .net developer as well as serve as back-up for WordPress applications
  • Our web coordinator, Erik Solveson, will create and deliver training, comply with web accessibility standards and provide support for university websites
  • We are in the process of hiring for a new WordPress Developer. The position was posted earlier this week and can be found at WordPress Developer job posting

As always, weekly open lab sessions will continue every Friday morning at 9:30am. Please contact our Jira Service Desk if you have any questions or issues or feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any questions regarding this new model.

Web Communication Team Update

To ensure continuity on all the great web work already underway, Danial Bleile will serve as the interim technical lead for the WSU web communication team. In addition to his current responsibilities as the senior WordPress developer, he also will manage the priorities of the web communication unit as well as oversee the newly formed web governance team.

Jason Bittle will serve as the lead designer for the new web design system. Eric Limburg and Danial Bleile will partner closely with Jason to continue the positive momentum that already has been done on this important effort.

Thank you to Danial, Jason and Eric for taking on these additional responsibilities. I will reach out again as we get closer to determining a permanent solution for the web communication team lead. As always, weekly open lab sessions will continue to be scheduled every Friday morning at 9:30am. Please contact our Jira Service Desk if you have any questions or issues.


Personnel Announcement — Congrats and Best Wishes to Clint

It is bittersweet that I announce Clint Young’s resignation from his position as Senior Project Manager and Interim Director of Web Communication at WSU. Clint has accepted an awesome opportunity as Senior Global Marketing Project Manager at Itron, a global company that specializes in technology and services for the energy and water resource sectors. His last day in the office will be Friday, April 5.

Clint’s impact to the university throughout his more than seven-year tenure reaches far and wide. His limitless energy and fervent passion will be greatly missed. The web community and our team’s project management efforts have gained a tremendous amount of positive momentum under Clint’s leadership these past few months. Over the next three weeks, we will build a detailed transition plan to keep those efforts already underway moving forward. In addition, we intend to appoint an interim lead for the unit, with the goal of a permanent solution determined by fall 2019.

As Clint takes on new professional challenges, please take some time to thank him for all of that he has done for WSU. We are all better because of his contributions. Please reach out to me if you have any immediate questions or concerns. Otherwise, I will be in touch again soon.

All the best,

Web Communication Team Update

Good afternoon. I wanted to provide an update on some of the progress being made on the central web communication team. 

First, late last week we posted for a Senior Word Press Developer. This important position will be responsible for full-stack WordPress development at WSU. It closes on December 2. I encourage all of you to share with your networks, as appropriate.

Second, we are kicking off a project later this month that will be of interest to all content managers, designers and developers across WSU. This project will expand the default spine template offerings available on the WSU WordPress platform. This effort will be led by Clint Young, Eric Limburg, Jason Bittle and Danial Bleile.

As always, please remember to visit us at open lab every Friday morning or our service desk portal if you have any questions or want to learn more.

Web Communication Team Update

Thanks again for all of your continued support during this time of transition for WSU’s central web team. As we rebuild the web communication unit, Clint Young will serve in an interim capacity as WSU’s web director.

In addition, Danial Blaile from CAHNRS will provide WordPress development support on an interim basis. For the next three months, he will lend his skills and expertise halftime to assist the central team in platform maintenance and addressing critical needs.

I would also like to thank Phil Cable for his contributions to the web team over the past few years. We wish him continued success and all the best in his future endeavors.

As always, if you encounter any issues, have questions, or want to learn something new, please visit us at open lab every Friday morning or visit our service desk portal.

Web Communication Update

Good afternoon. As many of you know, WSU’s Web Communication team is currently undergoing some changes. With the departure of Jeremy Felt and Stephen Locker, as well as the reassignment of Clint Young, we currently have little capacity to focus on new web features and site builds. Instead, our team will primarily be focusing on maintenance of current systems right now.

As with any transition, there will be some hiccups and pain points. We hope to keep those to a minimum. If you encounter any issues, have questions or want to learn something new, please visit us at open lab every Friday morning or fill out our contact form

University Marketing and Communications remains deeply committed to maintaining a strong web presence. Updates regarding the Web Communication team will be posted here.

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding.