University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma | the Worx Company

University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

Celebrating a century of service as Oklahoma's only public liberal arts college, the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma – nationally ranked for quality and value – is a recognized leader and innovator in interdisciplinary studies. Randy Talley, Director of Media and Community Relations, is proud of what the University has accomplished with so little funding.  For example, USAO recently received an award from US NEWS as being ranked No. 1 in the category for the Best Colleges: Best Values: Baccalaureate Colleges (West).

Randy was formally trained in public relations and is well versed in the function it provides.  However, when the name of the department changed from Public Relations to Media and Community Relations, it represented the new way of communicating which thoroughly embraced the Internet.

“When we expanded into media that we have never touched before, which included the web, my background as a designer, writer, photographer, professional communicator, I realized I can’t do it alone.  That’s why we have a team of talented people which includes Cody Dracars, web developer, who we inherited from Information Services.”

Randy says, “Cody’s knowledge and ability is good but to mount a website effort with 10,000 pages would be outside his reach as well – until Drupal.  Even though Cody came from IT, you are seeing this all over America because the Internet used to be Technology driven.  Now, Media departments drive the Internet so IT personnel are moving into communications to support this transition.”

“With a small budget and small staff, we need smart affordable ways to deliver what we deliver.  In this office, with a great team of 8 people, we deliver a lot of great stories, ideas, media, video and photographs.  And the web is absolutely integral in doing that job well.”

“We have other media but the web is absolutely core.  We must deliver this media on the web and it’s got to be great and manageable. Cody comes along and brings us Drupal and hooks us up with the Worx Company and that has been very good for us.”

“We were a unique customer for the Worx Company because we didn’t want your team to create and imagine the website.  We wanted help bringing us up to some kind of speed because we wanted Worx to help build the chassis and engine of a car, but we didn’t want the Worx to design the car.  We wanted to do the design work ourselves and the Worx Company has been great in making us successful.”

“A lot of your traditional clients want to imagine a whole new site, and they might have weeks, or months, or years for the whole conceptualization and build out of that vision but we were not that client.  To meet our goals in admissions marketing, we were telling Cody we want a new website in three months and with 10,000 pages, it became a fearsome thing to even have a conversation.  It was not humanly possible.”

“But we asked the Worx Company to help us re-conceive the top of our website so the users would have a new experience even though 8,000 pages below the top two levels were from the old site.  Together we have accomplished this goal. What we have started we are very proud of and we get compliments on the site daily.”


Cody Dracars Quotes

“What I found in my research of the open source content management systems is that Drupal has the largest community, by far.  This meant that they would have the best support, helping me learn the system and implementing it here at USAO.”

“It was overwhelming having 10,000 static pages maintained by one department, that’s why we looked into a Content Management System, where every department on campus can maintain their pages.”

“We approached the Worx Company with three main areas for our website: our front page, our admissions page, and our prospective students page.  We really wanted to get the three main goals of our admissions marketing transferred.   This way we could get dynamic content moving so all of our news would be updated and events could be easily posted on our admissions pages.”

“The testimonial videos would be on our prospective student pages so we can get them posted and communicating.  This way we have trained these departments who own this content learning how easy dynamic websites work.”

With Drupal, I use the community on an hourly basis because I use the community to research my own development issues here at USAO.  The wonderful thing about Drupal is that it’s based on standard PHP so it’s incredibly easy to change, manipulate and work with.  It’s easier to ask the question: What can’t Drupal do? Instead of: What can Drupal do?  With the Drupal Community, you have the world backing you project instead of a closed proprietary CMS which has small group support.”

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University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma Athletics
University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

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