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University Web Services (UWS)

University Web Services, University of Colorado Denver


University Intranet Project Timeline

Project Overview


This project was developed in response to numerous requests for intranet functionality and in response to usage data and feedback from users about the University's public website. The following challenges provide a background and business justification for implementing a university-wide intranet.


Challenge #1

The public website serves too many audiences to serve the most appropriate ones well. Information for the public is not segregated from internal information for faculty and staff.

Solution: Faculty & Staff Internal Website

Create an internal website, portal, or gateway, organized as a "one-stop-shop" that provides better internal campus communications and easier access to the information and services faculty and staff need to get their work done. This will free the public website from serving internal faculty and staff information needs and allow it to be re-designed to target prospective students, patients, alumni, donors and other audiences. This intranet will provide secure web access to internal university information for faculty, staff, and approved external users and links to other portals.

Challenge #2

Many schools, colleges and units have expressed the need for a local intranet to conduct the internal business of their organization.  They have a need for departmental document collections, discussion groups, calendars, committee websites and other typical intranet functions. Some have launched their own intranets or contracted with others to provide them.  This is not as cost effective, creates duplication of effort, and provides more institutional risk from both security and data availability considerations as compared to providing unit intranets as a central service.

Solution: Unit Managed Intranets (UMIs)

Provide a free service to host a unit intranet, based on the central SharePoint Enterprise infrastructure, for those schools/colleges and senior level administrative units (VCs) that desire and can support them. Participation is 100% voluntary. The service will be based on the campus SharePoint Enterprise infrastructure and the service model for these intranets will be similar to securing such service from a vendor, only with no charge.

Challenge #3

The University has many ongoing activities and project needs that require multiple people to work collaboratively across units and with other people in different locations, often asynchronously.  The work of these groups can be conducted much more effectively if they have better information management and technology tools and web-based collaborative workspaces for sharing and communicating rather than relying on just email and telephones.  Furthermore, these cross-unit activities, such as standing university committees and projects (e.g., P20, IPE, etc…), often do not have access to technical or LAN admin support to provide these tools for their group. 

Solution: Collaborative Workspaces

Deploy intranet websites for all university-wide committees, projects and initiatives. These sites will have collaboration, discussion boards, document management, and similar features which create web-based work environments for teams, collaborators, and business and academic support units to share and conduct business together electronically. 


  • Increased productivity through better organization and search tools enabling faculty and staff to locate information quickly and easily.
  • Reduced information redundancy by creating a central content repository.
  • Targeted and more effective communication through an overhaul of existing communication pieces and channels.
  • Increased collaboration through the use of current tools such as communities, blogs and wiki.
  • Increased faculty and staff engagement through the use of leading edge social media tools, new branding and identity of the intranet.


Phase I:

  • Provide an internal website or "portal" in Sharepoint 2013 for top faculty & staff tasks/information, linked from the university's homepage at
  • Select two pilot websites to migrate content from intranet to internal website. The Intranet Working Group recommended Human Resources and Faculty Resource related websites.
  • The internal website would provide global navigation, landing pages (where needed) and authentication services.
  • Remove internal business related information from public homepage; phase II outlines working with stakeholders to migrate content from to new  internal website site.
  • Begin planning for centralized taxonomies/metadata to provide for greater findability of key university information.
  • Identify and write requirements for one centralized "killer app" that adds value for users and introduces Sharepoint 2013's intranet functionality. The Intranet Working Group recommended MySites, Communities and Single Sign-On features.
  • Provide new master page design theme for both the internal website and for those in the UMI pilots. The UMI pilot master page theme would be provided to link back to the overarching internal website.
  • Provide feedback mechanism for faculty and staff to provide insight into the internal website.
  • Conduct faculty & staff satisfaction survey.
  • Provide self-paced and instructor-led introductory level SharePoint training courses for all intranet users.
  • Provide support services in accordance with the university internal website (UIW) SLA to all UIW users and unit managed intranet (UMI) administrators.
  • Develop and communicate roadmap for future phases.
  • Identify for internal website business objectives that are both actionable and measurable.
  • Develop an operational governance structure with clear authority over the purview identified in their charge.

Phase II & Beyond

  • Roll-out "killer app" to be available to all internal website & UMI users.
  • Conduct a usability assessment of the internal website homepage to determine how well it's working for faculty & staff audiences.
  • Work with stakeholders to remove employee-related information from the public website and migrate appropriate content to the new internal website.
  • Establish new channel to communicate strategic initiatives that have a global reach throughout the organization and provides an opportunity for employees to keep up-to-date with the strategic focus of the organization.
  • Remove all employee related links and content from public facing university homepage by fall 2013.
  • Retire Faculty and Staff "Network" gateway by fall 2013.

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Intranet Project



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