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Distributed Management for a Large- Scale Campus Events Calendar Copyright Elizabeth A. Evans, Kathryn M. Nasser, and Ashlyn Goldberg 2003. This work is.

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Presentation on theme: "Distributed Management for a Large- Scale Campus Events Calendar Copyright Elizabeth A. Evans, Kathryn M. Nasser, and Ashlyn Goldberg 2003. This work is."— Presentation transcript:

1 Distributed Management for a Large- Scale Campus Events Calendar Copyright Elizabeth A. Evans, Kathryn M. Nasser, and Ashlyn Goldberg 2003. This work is the intellectual property of the authors. Permission is granted for this material to be shared for non-commercial, educational purposes, provided that this copyright statement appears on the reproduced materials and notice is given that the copying is by permission of the authors. To disseminate otherwise or to republish requires written permission from the authors. To obtain permission, write Elizabeth A. Evans,

2 Distributed Management for a Large- Scale Campus Events Calendar Elizabeth A. Evans, Kathryn M. Nasser, and Ashlyn Goldberg University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

3 Today’s Presentation What we wanted to do and why Where were we? Decision-making process The implementation Some special notes Questions and discussion

4 The Question: How can events be publicized so that the public (on- and off-campus) can easily find them, but so that the work of entering the events is distributed?

5 Beneficial Side Effects Community-building among event publishers Collaboration between central IT and many, many other departments (a UNC initiative, not just an IT one) An appearance of more cohesiveness to the outside world

6 Why Change? 1997 Report on the Intellectual Climate (

7 “There is no central clearinghouse for information about upcoming events. Students often feel uninformed and unwelcome at campus programs.”

8 “Create a Central Clearinghouse for Intellectual Events that will receive information about all events at the University and distribute this information efficiently to students, faculty, and staff.”

9 “Include more information about the theme or purpose of events that are listed on calendars in campus publications.”

10 “Create better communication among organizers or student and departmental activities (through e-mail networks and other contacts), so that the leaders of various organizations know what others are planning and when the events of other groups will take place.”

11 Emphasis in intellectual climate report was on the campus community, but we broadened that to include the public.

12 What Were We Doing? Home page had link to calendar list –different formats –no UNC Chapel Hill look-and-feel –URLs might die without warning Link on home page featured an event of the week (and still does)

13 First Steps: Create working group of people who sponsor and/or publicize events Academic Affairs Library Black Cultural Center Bulls Head Bookshop Center for Public Service Center for Slavic Studies Center for Undergraduate Excellence College of Arts and Sciences Faculty/Staff newspaper FPG Child Development Center Friday Center for Continuing Education General Alumni Association Health Sciences Library Office of Institutional Effectiveness Office of the Provost

14 First Steps: Create working group (cont’d) Playmakers Theatre School of Pharmacy School of Public Health Student Affairs Student Body Vice President Student radio station Student Union UNC News Services A few techies for good measure And anybody else!

15 Working Group Charge: If wishes were horses, what would a campus events calendar do?

16 A Few Items from the Wish List: Distribute workload of adding events Require certain fields Categorize events Standardize some fields Archive/delete old events automatically Handle multiday events Comply with standards Use kerberos Use a database Run under Unix And many, many more

17 True Confessions, Though... Not everyone on the mailing list attended the meetings. We suspect not everyone on the mailing list read the meeting notes. (We were not surprised.)

18 And from a cast of thousands... … came consensus!!!

19 Working Group Outcomes Wish list of “requirements” Short list of vendors Demonstrations Pilots

20 And… Ultimately… A vendor and a product

21 Time Line Discussion began: fall 1998 Working group met: November 1998 Spring and summer 2000: pilots August 2000: purchased April 2001: Implementation

22 Preparing for Implementation Pilot testing by users

23 Preparing for Implementation Small policy group formed CIO Associate vice chancellor for university relations Project manager College of Arts and Sciences News Services

24 Preparing for Implementation The policy group worked on Subscription add-on (requested by SBP) Graphics design Naming conventions Starting list of calendars, topics, interest groups Master calendar guidelines (very simple: )

25 Preparing for Implementation Implement decisions Required fields Renaming of fields (type of event became title) Topics, interest groups, calendars Setting up directory space for supplemental files (documentation, splash pages, etc)

26 Preparing for Implementation Advertise vendor-supplied training Campus communicators Working group members Campus Webmasters N=85

27 The Implementation Letter from Chancellor to deans, directors, department heads

28 Extract “The technology employed to create the calendar enables us to have individual calendars for each school, even down to the departmental level. But more importantly, it will feature a master calendar of events with broad interest to the public. “Although the calendar is a work in progress, we need you to begin using it and entering events on it now. A number of people in schools and units across campus have been trained to use the calendar and to enter data, and I ask that you encourage your calendar designee to begin posting events immediately.”

29 Implementation Go-live date: April 5, 2001 Reminders to publishers Additional training sessions for publishers (February and May)

30 Ongoing Work Training (one-on-one and group) Evaluate calendars, topics, interest groups (revise as needed) Publishers’ meetings (about every quarter) Online documentation (publishers/managers) Technical support (mostly for publishers) Public support (mostly for Qs about the calendars) Documentation for users Testing and installation of new versions

31 What Makes a Distributed Model Work for Us? Administrator for each calendar to add and manage users Extremely good options for permissions Ability to have subordinate calendars and a master calendar Cross-posting functions between any calendars (with permission)

32 What Made the Process Work? (We Think…) Many, many people involved from beginning Faculty support Administrative support Staff support Student support ie. Almost everybody wanted a campus events calendar

33 Don’t Throw Caution to the Wind! The more people, the longer it takes Needs change, the calendar will, too Technology changes, the calendar will, too We struggle to hook the hold-outs There are urgent requests to enter events

34 (Cautions…) Total support (training, first line support, etc) should be provided early The isolates (centers, institutes, programs on our campus) don’t fit in a neat organizational scheme

35 (Cautions…) Vendors can always do anything you want-- today Techno-phobes do exist. Some of them publicize events. It takes time and effort for the calendar to become instinctive (get it on the radar screen)

36 Special Notes Guest submit: student organizations Athletics Remedy and ITRC support Listservers for calendars, topics, departments, etc

37 The Future: A Brief List Built-in venue information Parking Formal evaluation of topics, calendars, interest groups Improve searching: recommendations to vendor Test import/export tool

38 The Future: A Brief List Test APIs Transfer responsibility for training to central IT training group

39 Questions? Comments? Comparisons?

40 Contact Information: Elizabeth A Evans,, 919-962-6344 Kathryn M. Nasser, Ashlyn Goldberg,

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