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Farewell Dawn

After 10 years heading up the University Website Programme, Dawn Ellis left the University in December 2015. During this time, Dawn has overseen huge change in the University’s online presence.

When she joined the University in January 2006, Dawn’s remit was to head up a new project to develop and roll out the institution’s first corporate content management system.

At that point Dawn and her small team were based within Communications and Marketing. After two years and an initial launch of a new central web presence, Dawn and co. moved from CAM to become an established programme within Information Services.

The following five years saw a steady uptake in the use of the Polopoly CMS across the University, with approximately 75% of schools and virtually all areas of support services coming on board.

In the past three years, Dawn’s focus changed to lead the planning, development and uptake of a new CMS, EdWeb – purpose built for the University using Drupal and informed by the experiences of developing, rolling out and supporting Polopoly.

During this growth in uptake of the corporate CMS, the University’s web presence significantly evolved and improved, with two redesigns since the initial launch and the current version driven by the needs of a diverse yet connected range of business activities and evolving user behaviours. In particular, the rapid growth of small mobile devices.

UWP grew under Dawn’s leadership from a team of three with support from CAM and IS development, to the current operation, devoted to managing the central University website and advocating best practice in website management and development.

In addition to leading this service, Dawn has been involved in other areas including:

  • IS BITs magazine, as editor
  • Supporting University wide initiatives such as SEP, Edinburgh Global, Edinburgh Research Explorer, ELIR and others
  • Supporting the Higher Ed web management community in collaboration with peers across the UK, including hosting the 2012 IWMW conference at the UoE
  • Participating in the Scotland Advisory Committee of the British Council on digital matters.

Dawn leaves the University website, its support processes and the web publishing community in a far stronger position than she found it on arrival – in the pre-mobile, pre-social media days – and with the new EdWeb CMS about to complete its takeover from Polopoly, in a solid position to continue to grow and thrive.

Stratos Filalithis has taken over from Dawn as acting Head of the University Website Programme.

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