The University of Rhode Island is the principal public research university for the state of Rhode Island. Its main campus is located in southern Rhode Island. Additionally, there are other smaller campuses dispursed throughout the state. The University currently enrolls about 12,900 undergraduate and 2,900 graduate students.
Naturally, there's a lot going on at the University of Rhode Island (URI), and a lot going on in technology. URI's old calendar wasn't keeping up.
Their old calendar was homegrown, and was built nearly ten years ago. The web, and people's expectations, had changed, but the calendar's user and administrative interfaces were showing their age. Beyond front-end challenges, the internally built technology was difficult to upgrade. Without a team of content developers and IT folks dedicated to pushing the calendar forward, its design became dated, and it was missing out on opportunities to integrate with quickly evolving technology such as mobile devices, Google Maps, Facebook, and Twitter.
These hurdles led to low adoption. Very few students used the old calendar, and not many administrators were using it, either.
It was time for a change.
On average, there were sometimes only one or two events listed per day — nowhere near reality for this bustling university.
Initially, the University of Rhode Island was deciding whether to move to an open-source online calendar maintained internally, or a hosted solution. After evaluating their options, they realized that the resources needed to bring in, configure, develop, and support a sophisticated, socially connected calendar put the open-source calendar options out of reach.
When URI began searching for a hosted calendar solution, they found Localist. Because of Localist's unique technology and understanding of college campuses, the contract was sole source—speeding up the bidding process and URI's time to a new calendar. URI still weighed some other calendar solutions, but decided that Localist was the right fit and here are some reasons why:
Student adoption of URI's event calendar is soaring, while staff maintenance time is spent on developing content, not wrestling with technology.
Overall, Localist turned URI's event marketing calendar from stagnant to super. Here's URI was able to do thanks to Localist:
Localist has made our online event calendar ultra-usable, and relevant to our users – members of the URI community and our neighbors. It has definitely saved staff time and resources. Now, we can focus on the content, and not the tools, while enjoying state-of-the-art features. And most importantly, students love the social connectivity, and we are seeing adoption like never before.