STAs help faculty members update their profiles on the COLA website. When assisting professors, it’s very important that STAs have a good grasp on the importance of these profiles and are articulate when explaining to professors why they should work with LAITS. Faculty profiles receive a huge amount of hits online, so we know that prospective students and the rest of the world are looking at these profiles. It’s very important that when they explore the COLA website, they don’t just find blank profiles.
The first thing an STA should do to invite a professor to work with LAITS is draft an email template that is sent to professors, explaining to them why their profile is important and what LAITS wants to do to help. Example from Summer 2015:
“My name is ______ and I’m a Student Technology Assistant for the College of Liberal Arts’ LAITS program. I’m contacting to tell you about our Faculty Profile Initiative and invite you to visit our office for a quick interview about yourself.
Since information about faculty and graduate students accounts for 25 percent of the 10 million page hits the College of Liberal Arts website receives in a year, we want to help professors like yourself showcase the incredible work you do here at the University of Texas. We are currently redesigning and updating your COLA webpage, which can be found here. On our new and improved faculty web pages, we will highlight your research, achievements and interests– thereby allowing perspective students to get to know you.
Please let us know when you will be available to stop by the LAITS Development Lab to answers some questions about yourself and your work. If you have any questions, comments or concerns about the initiative please feel free to contact me, and make sure to include Suloni and Andre.
Thanks and have a great day,
Next, invite professors to the Development Lab and work with each professor individually. Before professor’s arrived, be sure to read their biographies and take note of what their webpage already looked like / if they had an independently made website. Once professors are in the lab, try to follow a basic script to figure out three things:
- 1) how important their webpage was to them,
- 2) who they hoped to engage on their page and
- 3) what information they would be interested in including on their page.
Fill out a Word doc that addresses all of these things:
Questions to ask during interview:
- How important is you site for:
- Attracting high quality and competitive grad students
- Representing work to colleagues
- Promoting courses
- Promoting related programs
- Social media
*During this part, walk the faculty member through the back end of the DB. Show them how to log in and then go over each tab.
- Fill in the small stuff right away
- Ask for biography content
- Auto generate, but can override with description
- Research opportunities for undergraduate students
- Can be found at cola/urop
- Listing of all publications
Possible other custom tabs:
**During this part, maybe show them an example of a profile that has already been made. Suggested: Jeremi Suri or Arthur Markman.
- Former grad students
- Current grad students
- Info for perspective students
- Books and links to buy
- Fieldwork / Research
- Graduate programs
- News (internal and external)
- Do you have a professional photo for your profile image?
Immediately after professors leave the lab, make sure to take note of everything you talked about on a Word document, and save it into your own folder. Then send the professors a follow-up email going over what you talked about.
“Hi Professor Pedulla,
Thanks for stopping by the Development Lab today, it was a pleasure meeting with you! We really appreciate you working with us to make your faculty webpage the best that it can be. As discussed this morning, here is a list of the custom tabs you liked and what information we need from you to make those tabs happen:
– Courses: Any syllabi you would like included on the courses tab.
– Publications: A list of articles and editorials you’ve written.
– News: Links to any news articles about you.
Here are the two examples of some really nice faculty profiles I showed you:
If you get any ideas that you would like me to help you with, just let me know!
Also, you can access the COLA database here, in case you ever want to make any small updates yourself.
Thanks again! As always, if you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact me and be sure to include Suloni and Andre.”
Eventually, professors will respond with the information they wanted updated to their profile. Depending on what they want you go into the database and make changes from there. Anytime you have an issue with coding, go to the HTML of Arthur Markman’s tabs and see how the last STA created it.