Morrisville Directory

{ Morrisville :: Website Design }

Morrisville Directory
April 2009 :: Click Image to View
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About Morrisville Directory
This directory web page is included less for its visuals than as an example of one of the most complex system designs I worked on at Morrisville. From a web management perspective, I had a big problem: for most of my tenure as web administrator, Morrisville's online directory was a static web page that required direct editing any time a change was required. With more than 600 faculty and staff members at the school, the human resources department and I couldn't keep up. It was almost never up-to-date.

As serious as this was, it was just one tiny piece of a much larger issue: how the college managed its personnel information across multiple departments. Personnel information at the college was stored across several different data sources, none of which could easily communicate with the others. Making the online directory into a dynamic system required far more than simply writing code and connecting to a database. It would require a complete overhaul of the college's systems and procedures for entering new employees into our personnel system, editing individual's information when needed (for promotions, name changes, etc.), removing people from this system when appropriate, and publicizing information that needed to be public. Though I couldn't resolve every issue with Morrisville's personnel systems, I could and did make a major impact on the aspects of it that related to online presentation of directory information. As it happened, this project also let me make a major impact on our systems to create email user accounts for new employees.

The website shown here is just one front-end view of an extremely complex directory system. This system allowed our human resources department, individual academic departments, IT staff, and individual faculty and staff members to add, edit, and delete publicly available directory information. It was an enormously complex system to design, since it required careful structuring so that individuals could edit exactly what they needed to edit, but would be unable to make changes beyond their purview. For example, an individual faculty member could edit his or her contact information and job title. Their dean (in reality, the dean's office staff) could make similar changes, but for every individual within their school (Morrisville has four schools: Business, Liberal Arts, Science & Technology, and Agriculture & Natural Resources). The human resources department could manage the public information for virtually everybody. At the same time, the directory system also standardized the way that email accounts and passwords were generated for new faculty and staff at the college and subsequently displayed online.

Morrisville's directory system, complex as it was, was a tremendous success. It streamlined processes for many departments across campus and is still in use at the college today. It was one of the last projects I completed before my departure to study for my PhD. I am tremendously proud of the work I put into it, as well as the positive impacts it had around campus and for visitors to the website.