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Commonwealth University Set to Unveil Unified Website

The Strategic Communications and Marketing Division of Commonwealth University is conducting a website consolidation project that will replace the three legacy websites of Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield into a single web experience at CommonwealthU.edu.

The project comes about two years after the integration of the three universities. The current Commonwealth University website acts as an admissions microsite, which was designed to recruit prospective students who are applying to CU, and not the legacy institutions anymore. Since the integration, trying to integrate the online web experience seems to be the best move.

Website Consolidation Timeline: January 2023 – June 2024.

Stephen Filipiak, associate director of web and digital strategy discussed how the goals will meet the needs of the CU community.

“Not forcing visitors to locate information across various website domains will be a major outcome along with providing a cohesive and easy to navigate experience,” Filipiak insighted.

Filipiak explains how the university’s website(s) are the number one marketing tool, so prospective students are their main focus in the development of the new website. He suggests that understanding what programs are offered at what locations makes it easier to understand what programs are offered at which location of the university.

“My primary role during the website consolidation project is to co-project manage the website implementation. This includes overseeing and coordinating various aspects along the consolidation timeline,” Filipiak described.

The annotations graphic that hosts the various annotated designs for the new CU website.

Ryan McNamara, senior director for university marketing and brand management says one of the many benefits with this project is to make information easier for current and prospective students to find.

“Students have been at the forefront of how we’ve approached the new commonwealthu.edu website. Students have also been involved in the project through focus groups, surveys, and as student workers building content.”

McNamara discusses the various types of marketing strategies that are being used within the consolidation process.

“Having a single website experience greatly improves the university’s marketing efforts. The new website will not only streamline information for the user but will also allow our marketing campaigns to be more effective,” McNamara implied.

Although the university has merged in July of 2022, the work is not finished, according to McNamara.

“We continue to build and refine various aspects of the integrated university. The website consolidation is a good example of how the work still continues to provide the best possible experience for our students, faculty, staff, and constituents. We were thrilled to see an increase in incoming first-year students last year and projections show that we are on track for another successful recruitment cycle.”

Many concerns within the student body is the change of branding among the three legacy institutions. McNamara brings some clarity relating to branding.

“The Commonwealth U logos leverage the brand equity developed by the legacy institution marks over many years. This has been an important aspect of the transition from three individual universities to an integrated Commonwealth University as we seek to maintain and honor local campus traditions. There are no plans at this time to change logos.”

The Figma Design application that hosts the new layout(s) of the CU website.

The new Commonwealth University website will utilize the Drupal content management system (CMS), which the current Bloomsburg website and CU microsite is operating under. Filipiak says the website will not be undergoing a redesign, but instead a refresh of the current microsite.

The consolidation is in its final stage before launch, which is the ‘content development’ stage. After content is implemented, the team will prepare for final checks and launching the new website. The project is aimed to be completed in late June of this year.

More information about the consolidation can be found at the website consolidation webpage.

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