New Online Gateway Reflects a More Vibrant University


Easier to navigate and filled with rich content, more audio and video. Launched in mid-February, the new website is a powerful media tool designed to provide fast, efficient links to a host of useful services for students, faculty, staff, alumni and increasingly, the world. More than one million visitors a month rely on the University's premier information source, searching more than five million page views.

The transformed is a gateway to the CUNY portal, where you can log in to carry out your University business, including applying for admission, registering for classes or accessing Blackboard. With one click from the home page, you can check the CUNY catalog for available courses; find office telephone numbers for faculty and staff at every campus; sign up for e-mail alerts; and apply for jobs across the University.

Above the site's main navigation bar are the "role-based pages," where you'll find information, updates and links customized to specific audiences -- future students, current students, faculty/staff and alumni. Click "Current Students," for example, and you'll see student news, events and links to online apps like eSIMS course registration, financial aid information and student services from child care to counseling. Or click "Faculty/Staff" and you can check out CUNY's Citizenship and Immigration Project or look for the latest changes in University benefits and policies.

There are lots of fresh images throughout the site -- starting with the home page "billboard," a multimedia showcase of slides and videos, featuring top news, special events, campaigns and achievements around the University. Click on "CUNY Channel," and there is a constant stream of new videos being produced on campuses across the University. There are also easy links to the websites of the colleges and professional schools as well as resources like library journals and databases. Looking for something in particular?

The improved Google search function is customized for CUNY data, returning more relevant results, including suggested links. The "About" section offers a bigger, broader source of general information about CUNY. And the "Find It" section features the most popular topics searched by users.

Designed by the University Relations Web Services Team, the new site was developed with wide involvement from the CUNY community, says Senior Vice Chancellor for University Relations Jay Hershenson. "We have made it a priority to reach out across the University to incorporate the community's needs," he says . "and we welcome continuing public comment."

The Office of University Relations began redesigning more than a year ago, first gathering opinions and ideas to develop a deeper understanding of users' experiences. Data, comments and suggestions were assembled through a user-satisfaction survey, and through dozens of meetings with students, faculty, staff and friends of the University.

These intensive outreach efforts, directed by University Web Services Manager Daniel Shure, have produced a fifth-generation website that extends CUNY's reputation for service and innovative design, inspired by ideas generated from across the University.