Database driven Faculty pages

Discussion of plan and activities involved in creating new look and feel for UNL website. Archived Jan. 17, 2007.

Database driven Faculty pages

Postby dsockrider » Thu Apr 20, 2006 8:49 am

What is the current plan for faculty pages? I've heard from several faculty members that they would like the ability to update their own pages as needed. Is there a system that we could use so that they could do that?

Is there going to be a central database for faculty information? I'm just curious to see if there is any system being planned for the faculty pages or are we going to continue to use standard html pages for that?
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Postby saltybeagle » Thu Apr 20, 2006 12:58 pm

There hasn't been much talk, as of late, but I'm very interested in linking up results for people within PeopleFinder with data about them.

For example, you search for Harvey Perlman, and in addition to his contact info there is a link to his 'homepage' and/or CV info.

Some preliminary work was completed for a project of this type, and is currently running in the background of peoplefinder. The basics of it were an interface any person at UNL could build an hr-xml compliant cv/resume out of, and after creation a link would show up on their peoplefinder record.

The system I was working on was not going to be a be-all to end-all solution... it was built with the capability of linking to cv/resume/homepages not stored in hr-xml format and stored on external sites etc.. ( eg: Community of Science pages). Although the best way to store this info would be in a standard format (which is why I started using hr-xml) which we could generate reports for superiors on how many books were published by the faculty of department X, for example. And from this hr-xml file they could xslt it into any format they wanted... pdf, styled web page, or take the raw xml and plug it into any number of hr solutions that use the hr-xml format.


Unfortunately it stalled a while back... and I haven't had time to pick it up. The coding group may be able to tackle a project like this and fully integrate a faculty homepage solution into the UNL templates/online directory... at least, that's where I think it should be (or at least linked to from).

We may be able to talk more about this in tomorrow's coding group meeting.... is that kind of what you were referring to?
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A directory for faculty that is editable by faculty.

Postby dsockrider » Mon May 01, 2006 6:54 pm

Is it possible to have a system like blogger that would allow faculty members to update a section or all of their own page as they needed?

...Let them post what they want about themselves, but be formatted in a template to ensure consistent layout and fonts.

Then the faculty pages could be linked to various departments, groups, activities and the digital commons.
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That's the Idea

Postby rcrisler1 » Thu May 04, 2006 9:50 am

As Brett mentioned, this project has been mothballed for a while. It is something that needs to be on the radar as a priority ... but given the complexity and scale of the systems that the coding group is working on, they'll need to focus on the events system and then go on to other priorities. Obvisouly, given the good work that Brett has already done on this system, we think it's a very high priority.

In addition to all of the public ways we can expose this data when it's complete, there has also been talk of building a reporting system for academic administrators that would, for instance, build reports out of the data in the system. Say, Publications between (date) and (date) for all professors in such-and-such department.

Something like that would not only assure that professors are properly credited for their contributions, it would compel them to keep content up-to-date.

This app should be authenticated through LDAP, like anything else we do going forward, so that access is as transparent as possible for authorized users.

A blog system is probably a nonstarter, at least if the point is to have the flexibility of a database, along with a recognized schema, behind the data. A blog system is just a sort of limited CMS; too much of the data in a blog system is free-form. To make this truly flexible and to build good data, we need something more structured. (Yes, I know that sounds like a contradiction in terms.)
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Re: CBA faculty system

Postby nhummel » Fri May 05, 2006 1:44 pm

astueckrath wrote:It started with just general bio info, and now we've tacked on a system for expertise areas, journals/books/articles, document uploads and additional links.


Adding on document uploads and the like, seems like a good use of
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/.

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