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Faculty website modernized to encourage mentoring

In August, the UNC Center for Faculty Excellence in August unveiled their new web site, created by the Chapel Hill-based advertising firm Rivers Agency.

Eric Muller, law professor and director of the Center for Faculty Excellence, said the center was required to hear public bids to redesign the site because the project cost more than $5,000. 

Muller said the site now has a more people-focused look and better reflects the group's mission to promote access to teaching, research and leadership resources.

“It had become a very sleepy, impersonal presentation of a dynamic, highly-personal organization,” Muller said. 

The new gives faculty a warmer, more interactive experience, he said. The homepage now features a rotating faculty spotlight, a scrolling banner to showcase upcoming events and a portal for faculty to share their stories of how the center has helped them reach their goals.

Chairman of the Faculty Bruce Cairns said the site will help faculty take advantage of the program.

“It’s so important to engage faculty across campus and to have access to resources to be the best that they can be,” Cairns said.

Muller said the change was made with human interest in mind.

“It’s about people,” he said. “That’s what we do. For teachers, researchers and leaders, it’s all about personal contact.”

Muller said Rivers Agency quickly grasped the center's mission and how to represent it, while also modernizing its text-heavy site.

The site's interface is now much more visually appealing, intuitive and user-friendly, he said. 

It is a fully responsive site, optimized for any size device, said Sarah Lamm, a spokeswoman for Rivers Agency.

“It’s an opportunity for the center to showcase itself as a resource-heavy organization,” Lamm said.

The company has worked with several other campus organizations to build their online platforms, including Carolina Performing Arts, the Carolina Union Activities Board, and the General Alumni Association, she said. 

The website also gives a greater focus on mentoring, Muller said, which is an emerging issue for the center. Faculty can register online to attend a campus-wide conversation on mentoring Oct. 6, at which Cairns will be speaking, as well as at several other workshops and series. 

“It’s extremely important, especially in today’s academic environment, to have university-wide mentorship,” Cairns said. “It really differentiates us as a research university. I’m delighted to see the changes, and I think it’s a reflection to that commitment.”

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