New portal, website promise accessibility

Equipped with a new email system, Gannon University’s Informational Technology Services (ITS) has turned to a new project: a new portal and website. By Monday, students and faculty will have access to both new systems after a weekend conversion.

Mark Jordano, director of Gannon’s ITS, is working with both Mike Gorski, university webmaster in the Marketing Department, who is leading the conversion to the new website, and Kurt Spence, applications manager in ITS, who is leading the conversion to the new portal.

The main goal of these conversions is to provide greater accessibility for current students and faculty as well as prospective students, faculty and parents.

Jordano said that since information on the current Gannon website is aimed at many different audiences, the new website and portal will seek to streamline online activities. In other words, the new website, according to Jordano, will feature information targeted at prospective students, parents and employees.

“Much of the information of interest to current students, faculty and staff has or will be moved into the portal,” Jordano said. “These changes are aimed at reducing confusion by targeting information on to individuals outside of the university community and information on to students, faculty and staff.”

The new website, once unveiled, will be completely redesigned with a more appealing visual look, Jordano said.

“The navigation was reorganized across the entire site in order to make it easier to find information, and the layout of top-level pages was changed to more effectively present the information on the website,” Jordano said.

Included in the changes is a site map that will provide a direct link to all of the information contained in the website, and the website will also be completely compatible with nearly all major browsers, unlike the current one. With this newer technology comes the ability to build a mobile web browser in the future as well.

Jake Cawley, a sophomore history education major, said that he is hopeful about the changes and that he thinks having a more organized website will greatly benefit both the Gannon faculty and students.

“Oftentimes, with the current system there can be a lot of miscommunication,” Cawley said. “This new website launch can hopefully cut down on those issues.”

All of the former features of the portal will still be available after the conversion but a few changes will be made, Jordano said.

The new portal will feature changes including, but not limited to, better integration with the new [email protected] email system and integration with the more-used features of GUxpress.

Departmental information including policies, FAQs and online forms will also be available on the portal once the conversion takes place in order to move toward a “greener” paper elimination.

Jordano said that the student calendar will be featured on the portal home page, and there will be simply one click to the [email protected] mail.

Another feature of the new portal is that the Gannon announcements section will not simply be posted for a broad audience, but can be tailored for a more narrowed audience, as well.

Rachel Litwin, a junior business administration major, said that she thinks the new portal has a lot of potential to be better than the current one.

“I enjoy the idea that you can get to all of the links in just one or two clicks rather than being transferred to several different pages,” Litwin said. “Trying to get to my email with the current portal is irritating, and I usually bypass the portal altogether and simply go to”

Another difference between the current and new portals includes a 30-minute timeout after inactivity for on-campus users and a 10-minute timeout for off-campus users. Currently, there is no difference in time between on-campus and off-campus.

Because the older technology will be replaced with newer features, the website and portal are designed to be compatible with several different browsers, mobile devices and operating systems — providing greater accessibility and efficiency for students and faculty alike.

More information about the conversion can be found on Jordano also warns that the initial visit to the new portal will require patience, as it will take awhile to build a profile. As always, if a problem occurs, students are encouraged to contact the ITS Help Desk.


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