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Home page features fresh, functional look

by Cindy Abole
Public Relations
Starting Oct. 24, the MUSC home Web page will unveil a fresh, redesigned look. The redesign project serves multiple purposes by providing accessibility to all MUSC employees, students and the general public.
The new look reflects MUSC’s progress especially following the addition of Ashley River Tower in February, plus reorganization of new clinical programs to promote quality and patient care, advent of campus building projects and statewide collaborations through partnerships. It also promotes the institution’s new logo—a visual identity that symbolizes a new era of health care for South Carolinians.  The information architecture of the site features updated landing pages that are geared by topic, audience and navigation options; drop-down links to secondary-level landing pages; changing flash images and a new navigational search engine located at the work bar on top of the page.
Overall, this new gateway site delivers a clean, organized and functional look for MUSC, according to Linda Austin, M.D., director of the Office of University Communications, who led a team of graphic artists, Web and systems developers, plus campus leadership in collaborating on this redesign project.
“We’ve created a dynamic, new home page that features changeable (flash or slideshow) photos that are reflective of current news stories, activities or progress affecting our MUSC faculty, staff and students,” said Austin. “This change reflects new activities and progress that is ongoing and stimulating.”
Austin worked with a Web redesign team that included Mary Mauldin, Ed.D., director of the Center for Academic and Research Computing, and CARC staff members Kristy Adams and Kathy Downey, regarding the redesign. Josh Staples and John Dell of the Office of the Chief Information Officer Information Services, also made important contributions to programming needs of the site.
“The new MUSC Web site is the perfect example of individual team members bringing their unique talents together to create a product that far exceeds anything we could have developed on our own,” said Mauldin. “We owe special thanks to those administrators, faculty, staff and students who continually reviewed the Web site and provided invaluable information. Although our tasks were sometimes challenging, working closely with Dr. Linda Austin and the Web team kept the project fun. It has been a real honor to work on this project and its success is a result of Dr. Austin’s vision, creativity and leadership.”
Additionally, a tool bar highlights patient information linking users to the MUSC Web pages. The MUSC directory provides a quick listing of phone numbers and contact information categorized by name, college or department. A separate A-Z Web registry allows users to search an alphabetized and cross-reference list of campus Web sites, other home pages, departments and programs registered in the campus Web registry. The site also is designed to function properly across various computer and browser configurations.
The right side of the front page identifies the Web pages of each of MUSC’s six colleges—Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. Another menu item features a brief slideshow highlighting both the institution and medical center. Also displayed is a brief audio podcast featuring MUSC President Ray Greenberg, M.D., Ph.D., describing MUSC’s mission to improve health disparities around the state.
At the home page’s center is a section called MUSC headline news, which displays current campus news, information and announcements that convey the institution’s tripartite missions of research, clinical and academic information. 
The home page redesign was created by Adams and Downey and based on a concept by Greenberg. A critical piece of the redesign is the deployment of a new search engine, which was programmed by Staples in consultation with Dell and Sujit Kar, systems administrator for Business Development & Marketing Services. The new Google search application will be refined in the coming months and will allow users easier access to information including clinical trials. The project will be managed and maintained by the Office of University Communications.
Throughout the design and approval process, Austin and the Web redesign team sought continuous feedback and approval from MUSC leadership, including the deans from each of MUSC’s six colleges. Valerie West, Ed.D., associate provost for Educational Programs, conducted meetings with students to improve the student pages.
“The new MUSC home Web page represents a great window to our university,” said Perry V. Halushka, M.D., Ph.D., College of Graduate Studies dean. “I am pleased to see how rapidly Dr. Austin was able to get the new page constructed and functional. It will be an extraordinary asset to our university.”
“I believe the new MUSC Web page will be the first, completely focused institutional Web page we’ve had (the others were put together like patch-work),” said Tom Basler, Ph.D., professor and director of MUSC Libraries and Learning Resource Centers. “ It will take into consideration the needs representing the hospital/clinical enterprise but also allow for the expression of the colleges—both en masse and individually.  It will use new technologies, while making it easy on us for the users—the public, the prospective students and eventually the internal workers—staff, faculty and present students can reach all the resources needed.  It’s an excellent team under Linda, working closely with Mary Mauldin’s Center for Academic & Research Computing group to represent us all.  It should be a grand success!”
To see MUSC’s new Web site, visit To leave feedback about the new home page, visit

Friday, Oct. 24, 2008

The Catalyst Online is published weekly by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. The Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to The Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.