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Field Notes from the Digital Prairie

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Web in the Higher Ed Org Chart

At next month's HighEdWeb Michigan conference, I'll be presenting a talk titled "The Dream Org Chart," in which I'll examine some of the different organizational models within which institutions of higher education place their web teams, and suggest a model that I believe would solve some of the challenges that institutions face in the maintenance of a high-quality web presence.

To gather data for the first part of the presentation, I set up a Google form and turned to my colleagues on Twitter and the UWebD mailing list. Exactly one hundred responses rolled in over just a few days, far more than I had planned on or even hoped for. I am no longer surprised by the kindness and generosity of spirit that resides in the higher ed web community, but I continue to be thrilled and humbled by it.

Sifting through all of this data will take some time, but I will continue to post here as I analyze it, and will of course post my final presentation here as well. Clearly, there is a hunger for this information in the community, so I am happy to make the responses public (please note that I have had to update this link). I have stripped as much identifying data as possible.

So without further ado, some initial numbers are below. How these numbers relate to your expectations? Any surprises, or suspicions confirmed?

What size is your institution?
  • Under 1,000 students: 5% 
  • Between 1,000-5,000 students: 40% 
  • Between 5,000-10,000 students:14% 
  • Over 10,000 students: 41% 
How centralized is the production and maintenance of the web at your school?
  • 1 (very centralized): 21% 
  • 2: 17% 
  • 3: 29% 
  • 4: 24% 
  • 5 (very decentralized): 9% 
The group that does *the majority* of your institution’s web work is part of:
  • Marketing/Communications/PR: 59% 
  • IT: 23% 
  • Some combination of the above: 12% 
  • Other: 6% 
How many people work for that web group?
  • 1: 14% 
  • 2-5: 60% 
  • 5-10: 17% 
  • Over 10: 9% 
Are you a part of that web group?
  • Yes: 91% 
  • No: 9% 
What kind of tasks does that web group perform?
  • Website Development 94%
  • Information Architecture 87% 
  • Visual Design 87%
  • Content Strategy and/or Production 77%
  • Social Media Management 61%
  • Application Development 58%  
  • Server Administration 36%  
  • Other 9% 
To whom does the head of the web group report?
  • VP or Dean: 31%
  • Other: 28%
  • CIO: 16%
  • Assistant VP or Assistant Dean: 14%
  • President or equivalent: 9%
  • CTO: 1%
I also asked one follow-up question of those who had shared their email addresses with me, namely:

Does the group that you identified as  performing the majority of web work at your institution charge other departments at the institution for its services? (n=26 27)
  • No: 81%
  • Sometimes/It depends: 12 11%
  • Yes: 8 7%

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