BY WATCHING ADAMS STAFF – 10/19/18
In mid-September 2018, Adams State University (ASU) launched a redesign of its university website. The site features a more sleek, visual interface on the front end. But buried deeper within the site are a large number of missing documents, page images that no longer load, and countless broken links that return a 404 Error. As a result, many faculty and staff have found the site to be cumbersome and difficult to navigate in order to perform their job functions.
So many of these links are broken that it is difficult to determine the precise number. After performing a few random site searches and clicking on the results, between 30-40% of the links Watching Adams tested on multiple occasions turned up 404 Errors. We have compiled a partial list of examples at the bottom of this article.
In other cases, different versions of the ASU Faculty Handbook are available from different locations on the site, including a hyperlinked PDF of the August 25, 2017 version and a separate Google Drive link to the May 11, 2018 version.
While visitors to the page are initially greeted with smooth graphics and large interactive buttons, many critical functions of the site appear to have regressed to an outdated, crude interface. To use one example: the ASU Campus Directory previously loaded within the same font and color scheme as other pages on the ASU site, but now redirects and displays the directory on a separate page running on Ellucian’s Banner interface.
A source familiar with the Banner interface stated, “The reason for the directory having the Banner interface is because employees are now able to update their contact information themselves.”
“While the front end of the ASU website appears ideal for modern smartphones and tablets, many of the critical site features feel like taking a time machine back to 1997” one site user observed.
One ASU employee stated, “Clearly the designers did not think about the user. They did not think about how an academic institution works. And to my knowledge, nobody from Academics was consulted prior to the design. This is yet another example of the tail wagging the dog. I wonder how much money was spent on this wretched ‘redesign’ and how much more will be spent trying to correct it.”
An ASU faculty member said, “I haven’t spoken to a single person who is happy with the new site – out of about a dozen faculty, students, and staff. The woman responsible for changes is overwhelmed. I wonder how much time has been wasted across campus and by prospective students and their parents. I’ve wasted hours trying to relocate information.”
A PARTIAL LIST OF OFFLINE PAGES
The largest site-wide problem on the new ASU site appears to be broken links that use the PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) scripting language. Almost every link Watching Adams tested, as generated by ASU’s own site search with the .php domain extension, failed to load and instead returned a 404 Error. Many links to PDF files also failed to load.
Examples of news articles now offline:
Adams State receives $3.4 million Title V grant – Oct 18, 2005
Adams State College Nursing Program supports new organization – Feb 27, 2007
Biology prof Brink helps third graders – Apr 26, 2010
Adventures in Backpack Filmmaking is next ASC faculty lecture – Feb 1, 2012
Great Stories Celebration looks forward – Sep 19, 2012
Adams State News – June 2014
Adams State University welcomes new faculty – Sep 5, 2014
First responders to stage mock incident drill at ASU Aug. 12 – Aug 3, 2015
Adams State offers resources to aid communities – Sep 25, 2015
ASU News: November 2015
Black Lives Matter Movement discussed at Adams State – Mar 3, 2016
ASU President McClure honored in La Voz – Apr 7, 2017
McClure placed on administrative leave – Feb 12, 2018
McClure resigns from office – Apr 4, 2018
Examples of informational pages now offline:
Research Guides – Nielsen Library
Entry Forms, Policies & General Rules – Student Life
MLK Week – Student Life
Adams State University partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute
Approved Meeting Minutes Board of Trustees for Adams State – Apr 2, 2015
Approved Meeting Minutes Board of Trustees for Adams State – Dec 16, 2016
Revised – Adams State University Board of Trustees Agenda
Adams State University Executive Council Meeting Minutes Summary
The Grizzly Testing and Learning Center Placement Testing Policy
The Grizzly Testing and Learning Center Fee Schedule Summary
Concurrent Student Dual Enrollment Application
School of Science, Math and Technology Student Job Listings
Past Productions – Theatre – Adams State University
HPPE Graduate Thesis Resources
HPPE Undergraduate Degrees