Carmen Whalen to lead planning for third iteration of Claiming Williams

As part of the College’s ongoing administrative reorganization, departments involved with communication functions are being reorganized under the new Office of Communications.

As the office begins to merge and move to the same physical location, the staff will also work to streamline, repair and reorganize the College’s website.

“Once [the communications and web technical services] exist in one place, we hope to revamp the website,” said Jim Kolesar, assistant to the president for Public Affairs. “We would like the new website to be quicker, nimbler and more effective in telling College stories.”

The Office of Communications is moving toward formatting the College website in WordPress, a content management system, with the dual goals of improving technical support for academic departments’ websites and creating a centralized calendar of events for the College.

According to Kolesar, people viewing the site will not notice much difference until the new Office of Communications and web operations team have been up and running for some months.

In the long run, however, these moves will make it easier for departments and offices to develop and maintain their sites.
Kolesar cited a number of reasons for updating the website, including fixing broken links and dead pages, making the site more accessible for Google searches and streamlining individual academic department web pages, incorporating them on one College site.
Under the new communication system, OIT will only have to manage one web platform, rather than all the individual web platforms that host different academic departments’ websites.

“In time, you will notice a different feel and focus of general College Communication,” Kolesar said. Eventually, the reorganized Office of Public Affairs hopes to better communicate with students, faculty, staff, alumni and prospective students online.
In its eventual form, the Office of Communication will include personnel from the Alumni Review, Sports Information and Public Affairs, along with Rob White, director of communications for Alumni Relations and Development and Suzanne Silitch, director of communications at strategy and the Williams College Museum of Art.

The office will be lead by a director of communications, who will be hired in coming months following a nationwide search.
“The College communications department is decentralized, especially for an institution our size, and it has been for the past 200 years,” Kolesar said. “The [new] department will support the whole campus. Both technical support and web office will work closely with the communications.”