We recently conducted an informal survey of higher education institutions to get a sense of the range of support offered for the personal websites of faculty. We thought this information would help us and others decide which services to offer.
We asked the uwebd email list to participate in the survey (see survey). There were 21 responses, from a wide range of schools. These schools showed a considerable amount of diversity in their offerings for faculty sites.
Most schools offered some support for faculty sites, and "raw" server space for hosting their site. No other individual services were offered by a majority of institutions, although a majority of schools (71%) offered at least one service other than simple server space. Very few schools offered custom design, development, or content maintenance. Interestingly, support for maintaining faculty sites in a CMS slightly outpaces support for desktop HTML editing software (like Dreamweaver), 38%-33%.
Another way to look at the data is to see how many services are offered per school. Diversity reigns here; even among schools that offered the same number of services, the specific services available varied considerably from school to school. We asked about a total of 8 services in our questionnaire; significantly more respondents offered 0-3 services (67%) than 4-8 services (33%) – with none offering 7 or 8 services.
We also asked about faculty profiles, as they represent an alternate way for faculty to publish information about their professional and personal accomplishments and interests. Responding schools were about evenly split between those that do offer faculty profiles and those that do not.
It is worth noting that faculty profiles are offered by all 4 schools that did not offer any personal site support. Among schools that offered personal sites, only 41% offered faculty profiles. This suggests that institutions may feel they need to support at least one of these methods of web publishing for faculty, but not necessarily both.
While the number of respondents (21) was small, they represented a fairly wide cross-section of institution types. We did not identify any significant correlations between institution type and services offered, but that may be due to the small sample size.
Download the Data
If you'd like to see and/or play with the raw data, you can download an anonymized dataset (xslx).
Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey.
If you did not participate, you can still fill out the survey, and (if we get sufficient data) we will update this report. Fill out the survey here.