An Academic Achievement
Washington University in St. Louis | artsci.wustl.edu
With 600 faculty and more than 5,000 students, Arts & Sciences is the intellectual hub of Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL). Encompassing the undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education divisions, A&S is a diverse mix of students, faculty, and staff. It is their goal to foster a Web presence that binds all of these elements while at the same time celebrating their uniqueness.
What They Needed
Palantir and WUSTL have enjoyed a prosperous relationship that dates back to 2006. Initially WUSTL needed a complete overhaul of the university’s main administrative and school sites. More recently WUSTL was in need of a system where they could create and customize department sites at their discretion.
How We Helped
With design partner Petrick Design, Palantir completely overhauled the Arts & Sciences (A&S) site and replaced their old CMS with the Drupal content management platform. Along with updated versions of existing content, their site now features searchable faculty profiles that have photos, course overviews, research, publications, and contact information. The home page displays upcoming news and events. An RSS feed allows news junkies to stay constantly up-to-date. Modules were designed that allow for the creation of dynamic sitemap pages and increased administrative flexibility when controlling Drupal’s page caching system. Rotating human interest stories (called “possibilities”) about people, programs, and research going on in the various A&S schools lend a fresh feel to the site. With the success of this venture and the newfound strength and flexibility provided by Drupal, WUSTL set their sights on an even more ambitious project. Once again teaming with Palantir, A&S wanted to make it possible for the various departments within their schools to quickly and easily build their own sites. Palantir was able to provide this by utilizing Drupal’s multisite infrastructure. We combined Drupal’s framework and four interchangeable themes in a configurable install.
Impact, Connect, Chronicle, and Captivate are the four themes designed by Paradowski Creative. Impact has a dramatic look that features a large image space. Captivate relies heavily on photography, and has the ability to use slideshows and rotating photos. The Chronicle theme is text-based, which gives it a journal or newspaper feel. The Connect theme provides a more relaxed, almost blog-like quality. These themes make it possible for the A&S information technology staff to create department sites with individual personalities while staying consistent with WUSTL’s overall branding. To date, nearly 50 departmental Web sites have been launched using this infrastructure.
The work Palantir and WUSTL have done together has allowed Washington University to present a bright new face to the world. At Palantir, our goal is to uncover the most direct shot to meeting our clients’ needs. Creativity is where we find it.
- Beautiful, functional site built in Drupal, an open source CMS
- News module keeps students, faculty, and staff up-to-date
- Calendar module allows users to filter and search events
- Searchable faculty profiles include photos, course overviews, research, publications, and contact information
- WUSTL’s information technology staff is now able create and customize department sites as necessary
Faculty, Students, General Public, Prospective Students
Solaris, Apache, PHP, MySQL, Drupal
- Drupal content management platform was used to streamline content creation and maintenance
- Drupal’s multisite infrastructure was used to easily generate department sites
- Interchangeable themes were used to customize the look and feel of each department site