I’ve just posted a summary presentation from my listening sessions.

Between December, 2007, and April, 2008, I conducted visioning sessions with thirteen groups of students, staff, alumni, and faculty. The groups were:

  • Advancement staff
  • Alumni Council (San Francisco)
  • Area coordinators
  • Arts steering committee
  • Academic Affairs
  • Admissions
  • Marketing staff
  • Parents (Maine)
  • Parents (NYC area)
  • Students – open session
  • Students – residential staff
  • Web oversight group
  • Web roundtable (content developers

My primary question was this: please envision what the next-generation Bates public Web presence might be like 5 years from now. Over 100 people had a chance to share their needs, hopes, and aspirations for the next Bates Web.

Please note that the limitations of using a “Web” oriented framework became apparent early on in the sessions. Instead, accessing content and collaboration through multiple media, multiple devices, and multiple places was paramount. For that reason, future discussions will be organized around the idea of an “online media environment” that supports all kinds of communications — collaboration, information, transaction, and persuasion — with the goal of drawing people into the face-to-face experience that is at the heart of Bates

Few of the following goals and objectives can be accomplished with our current staffing and budget. They need to be offered to the President and Planning Steering Committee prioritized into categories: recommendations that can be acted upon using current resources, those that will require additional funds, and those requiring further study.

The next step will be an online survey prototype, to be tested by online media professionals and associates here at Bates. It will be available for further testing when needed.

Jay Collier