Posted on March 31, 2009
We received many questions after our recent announcement. Here are a few:
Correct me if I am wrong, but didn't you just redesign the website?
Yes and no. We redesigned the Wheaton home page last summer, and we've heard compliments from many people. But, while the home page is important, it's just one of the 15,000 pages on the Wheaton web site. In this comprehensive renovation of the whole Wheaton web site we want to extend the good thinking that went into the home page to all the pages, making the whole site easier to use, more engaging and more useful.
I think the new home page looks great, but why so little blue?
When we talk about a "redesign" we don't just mean selecting the colors, photos and fonts--this is much more than a graphic redesign. We want to reconsider the navigation, the overall site organization, and the information and services that are available. Throw out any junk that has accumulated over the past fifteen years. Add new features when we think they would add value for students, prospective students and potential donors. Help college departments communicate with their constituents and deliver services efficiently. Let the world know about the great things that are going on at Wheaton.
Why would you put more resources into the web site? Why is the college doing this instead of making Wheaton more affordable?
We don't think we can do one without the other. The trustees recently committed to adding another $2 million to financial aid for next year, while holding the comprehensive fee increase to the lowest level in many, many years. At the same time that the college is making these major efforts to be more affordable, we also need to make sure that we continue to attract a new classes of excellent students and an ongoing stream of gifts to support the work. The Wheaton web site, as the primary place prospective students and donors look for information about the college, is an essential part of that effort. And besides, most of the cost of the redesign is the energy and effort of the staff, faculty and students who will take the time to participate in the process, and the considerable effort of the web and communications staffs. Those funds we are using come from reallocation of existing budgets which have already been reduced as part of the college's cost reduction initiative.