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Distributed January 21, 2004
Contact Tracie Sweeney

New online calendar of events debuts on Brown Web site

The University’s new online calendar of events – at – offers a variety of user-friendly features and enables members of the Brown community to post events directly into the calendar database.

Calendar PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Brown University has a new online calendar of events, located at The new service, updated constantly and searchable by date, event category or keyword, makes information about lectures, concerts, athletic contests, exhibitions and other events available throughout campus and to the extended Brown community of alumni, parents, campus neighbors and friends.

The calendar offers a number of features that go beyond those included in the online event calendar maintained for many years by the Brown University News Service. For example:

  • The calendar allows anyone from the Brown community to submit events directly into any of several dozen constituent calendars (subject to the approval of each calendar's administrator). A drop-down menu makes it easy to enter recurring events, update event information, or provide a link to a relevant Web page.
  • By subscribing to one or more calendars, users can automatically receive e-mail when the calendars and events of interest to them change. They can also request to be reminded of events in advance.
  • Users can choose to view each calendar in a monthly, bi-weekly, weekly, or daily format, and can select a calendar page view or a list view.
  • Using industry-standard technology, the calendar lets users point, click, and insert any event into a personal desktop calendar application, such as Microsoft Outlook, Palm Desktop, or Apple iCal.
  • Users can click on the "Print" icon from any calendar view to instantly create a graphically simplified, ready-to-print version of the current view.
  • The calendars are searchable by specific keywords.

The new calendar is expected to meet the needs of students in particular. “Brown students live extraordinarily busy lives, engaging in demanding academic programs while leading hundreds of cultural, political, arts, athletic and social organizations,” said David Greene, interim vice president for campus life and student services. “The new University calendar will make it possible for students to promote their activities and will generate greater awareness of the rich mix of programs available on campus every week.”

The calendar replaces the News Service events calendar, which has been on the Web since the mid-1990s. A calendar implementation team whose membership grew to include representatives from the News Service, Computing and Information Services, Human Resources, Campus Life and Student Services, and the Dean of the College began meeting in March 2003 to evaluate Web-based calendar software and determine which products best matched the University's needs. In mid-May, the team submitted its recommendation to Ellen Waite-Franzen, vice president of Computing and Information Services, and Laura Freid, then executive vice president of Public Affairs and University Relations. Waite-Franzen and Freid approved the purchase of software from WebEvent, an Andover, Mass., company whose Web-based calendar products are used by other colleges and universities around the nation.

The team worked through the fall semester to design pages and protocols and to prepare the technical functions of the calendar. In mid-December, when the number of events tapered off as the semester came to an end, entries remaining in the News Service calendar database were exported into the new online calendar.

“On behalf of the entire University, we want to thank the talented implementation team that has worked on the calendar project for a number of months,” Waite-Franzen and Melanie Coon, interim vice president of PAUR, wrote in a recent memo. “They may make minor changes as awareness about the new calendar grows. In the meantime, please feel free to contact [email protected] with suggestions or questions.”

The members of the implementation team were Christine De Cesare (News Service); Bill Dennen (CIS); Star Ferrin (Human Resources); Huiling Xu (CIS); Kate James (PAUR); Patrick Laverty (CIS); Marylou McMillan (Campus Life and Student Services); Bob Morse (CIS); Jed O'Connor (Dean of the College); Marsha Rice (Human Resources); Tracie Sweeney (News Service); Kate Wolford (Campus Life and Student Services).


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