Web site profiling U faculty members gets a make over

by Anna Weggel

A 4-year-old Web site aimed at establishing better teacher-student relationships recently received a facelift.

The Faculty Expertise Web site was established to help students, media and the general public search for College of Liberal Arts academic subjects

and professors specializing in those areas, Genie Smith, CLA external relations coordinator said.

The site was revised to give professors the ability to update their information at any time. The new revisions began appearing on the site Friday.

“It’s more user-friendly, up-to-date and reliable,” Smith said. “If you can figure out a way to allow the faculty to keep their own information updated that makes it so much easier.”

People interested in an issue can type a keyword in a search box and receive a list of CLA faculty that can address that particular subject, Smith said.

Some professors include self-descriptions, Smith said.

“It’s a very good way to find out more about the professors,” Smith said. “I think it does a good job of showcasing our faculty.”

Geography professor Judith Martin, who is on the site, said she has not received any responses. She said she believes people outside the University use the site most frequently.

“Students don’t know about it,” she said. “If they knew about it they might use it because it gives people more information about individual faculty members.”

But, Smith said, because of the changes, the site might be gaining popularity.

“Every day we find some way to refine it further,” she said. “We’re hoping people will begin to see how much breadth and depth we really do have in the College of Liberal Arts faculty.”

Julie Cohen, CLA external relations executive assistant, said her department is trying to inform students of the site so they can benefit from one-on-one time with their professors.

“Our biggest goal of the project is to increase the time professors and students can spend outside of the classroom,” Cohen said. “It makes the learning experience that much better.”

Cohen said people can also access contact information, University research and awards professors have received.

“We want students to feel like they can have an open conversation with one of their professors,” Cohen said.