Higher Education Summit Detailed Schedule

Higher Education Birds of a Feather pre-summit meet-up!

Tuesday, 6 June 

Room 327, Table 1 

Join the DrupalCon Higher Ed Summit Committee to collaborate on ideas that will shape this year's summit experience, connect with peers in Higher Ed.

Run of show

When: 8 June, 2023 @ 9:00am - 4:00pm

Where: Room 303-305

Thank you for joining us for the Higher Education Industry Summit at DrupalCon Pittsburgh 2023! Here you will find the detailed schedule for the day. Please note schedule details are subject to change, and additional content will be added as it becomes available. 





8:00am-9:00am Registration + Coffee Break Join us at the 3rd floor coffee station kick off the day and find our way to the session room together. Check-in with our committee at the registration table outside of room 303-305.  
9:00am-9:15am Welcome & Introduction Our amazing committee members and our partners at Platform.sh will open the summit with some introductory remarks and an overview of the day.

Higher Education Summit Committee


9:15am-9:30am Ice Breaker We'll get our brains going with a little opening activity! Higher Education Summit Committee
9:30am-10:30am Keynote: Building a community of practice for digital standards compliance (it's more fun than you think!)

When McGill University revised our digital standards in 2019, our objective was simple: We wanted to compile our web-related policies and best practices in a concise and well-organized document. In doing so, we hoped to make it easier for our web management community to create better websites.

Since then, this resource has grown to impact more than just the way our sites are built. Our digital standards are a cornerstone of our governance framework, a key reference guiding departmental web strategies and cross-departmental collaborations, and an established mindset by which members of our community - leaders, web managers and site visitors - share a common understanding of what makes an exemplary website.

Beyond producing a resource, we’ve established a community of practice for digital standards compliance.

Joyce Peralta

Digital strategy and governance, McGill University



Case Study: Georgia Tech Library Rebuild and Upgrade: In Review

Sponsored by Evolving Web

Looking to learn about a successful website redesign project? Join us for a session on the rebuild and upgrade of the Georgia Tech Library website, where we will walk you through the team's process for bringing fresh new designs and custom features to the site using Drupal 10.

In this session, we'll cover everything from the initial project goals and objectives to the risks and challenges we faced, as well as the core project management principles that helped us succeed. We'll also discuss the needs of the university and the process of discovery and design, including unique features we developed to enhance the user experience.

Learning Outcomes: 

- How to identify client objectives

- How to optimize project budget to meet said objectives

- How to apply risk management principals to ensure an on time and in scope delivery

Target Audience: 

Designers, RFP writer, Sales, Project managers, Account managers

Heather Jeffcoat

Georgia Tech Library - Web & Discovery Management Librarian

Rukmini Halliwell

Senior Project Manager at Evolving Web

10:45am-11:45am Presentation: Onboarding Developers at a Large University

Great employees are hard to find. Finding employees that can be productive immediately is nearly impossible. Through our work supporting 100s of websites, the University of Missouri works with many developers of differing backgrounds. Git? IDEs? Local Development? Find out how University of Missouri Digital Service team takes on the task of getting our developers up to speed so they can be productive as soon as possible.

John Boyer 

Backend CMS and Hosting Architect, University of Missouri


Case Study: Supercharging WebOps with Flexible Workflow

Sponsored by Pantheon 

Web Services is a unit within UCLA IT Services that maintains the university's Drupal distribution called SiteDen, in use across dozens of administrative sites on campus. The group also provides support for a variety of campus departments who use Drupal. The team has honed its toolset, empowering it to achieve great results despite its diminutive size.

In this session we'll discuss how we leverage GNU Parallel as a force multiplier to boost the performance of Drush, platform APIs, WebOps pipelines, and so much more. We'll share how we implemented a code management approach inspired by trunk-based development, and outline examples of how we actively adapt our workflow to support different types of projects.

Learning Objectives: 

- Use GNU Parallel to increase task performance by 90% or more

- Apply a trunk-based development approach to streamline code management operations

- Adapt development workflows based on project demands

Target Audience: 

Owners or developers working with large multisite or containerized installations of Drupal

Seth Hill

Lead Web Developer, UCLA Web Services
12:00pm-1:00pm Lunch Break    
1:00pm-1:15pm Welcome Back!    Higher Education Summit Committee

Case Study: Higher Ed + Mercury Editor: Easy-to-Use, Drag-and-Drop Content Editing for Drupal

Sponsored by Aten Design Group 

Mercury Editor is a suite of Drupal modules that combine drag-and-drop editing, Drupal core's layout API, and the Paragraphs module to provide an accessible, easy-to-use authoring experience. Designed to empower marketing and editorial teams everywhere, Mercury Editor offers a WYSIWYG interface for publishing highly visual, long-form content.

In this session, we'll show how we’ve used Mercury Editor to empower marketing and editorial teams from colleges and universities to build beautiful landing pages in Drupal.

 Learning Outcomes:

- Learn what Mercury Editor is and how it can help marketing and editorial staff more easily create visual, long-form content.

- Determine which types of content are best suited for component-based authoring and might benefit from Mercury Editor.

- Publish dynamic, long-form pages using Mercury Editor – without requiring developers or an outside agency.

Target Audience: 

This session is for two specific audiences: first, marketers or editors who publish long-form digital content; second, developers serving the needs of online publishers.

Justin Toupin

CEO, Aten Design Group

1:30pm-1:45pm Lightning Talk: 1000 battles, 1000 victories-the process of moving 1000+ University sites out of Drupal 7 

For over a decade, most University of Waterloo’s websites have been in the Waterloo Content Management System (WCMS), a custom install profile running on Drupal 7 multi-site that grew to host over 1000 websites. During the last few years, their web development team has been working on moving this to the current version of Drupal. Today, sites are starting to launch in the new system, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

This presentation will talk about some of the challenges along the way, including moving to the cloud to finding replacements for contrib modules that never got updated for modern Drupal (or work completely differently), along what was done to empower users with more flexibility when creating content without compromising accessibility or visual standards. It will also cover the University’s 4 primary site types and the goal of consolidating them into a single base, and what’s been done and what is still to come.

Kevin Paxman 

Lead Developer, University of Waterloo 

1:45pm-2:00pm Lightning Talk: How we reimagined Yales Sites as a Digital Product in our move form D7 to D10

Yale University adopted Drupal over a decade ago, and today runs over 1,200 distinct instances to support the wider campus community, mostly based on Drupal 7. This session will explore the changes they’ve made in organization, process, and technology as they developed their next-generation platform based on Drupal 10.

This project incorporated years of learnings into a new Digital Product based perspective with the following principles:

* Unified identity and Design System

* Inclusive and accessible to all customers and devices

* User-focused experience and design

* Standardized practices for development (where needed)

* Sustainable governance

We will explore the decisions the team made in terms of Drupal architecture, release process, service models, product tiers, and delivery standards to significantly improve the lives of their stakeholders on campus, and the quality of the site visitor experience overall.

Jim Vomero 

Senior Engineer, Four Kitchens

Kara Franco

Accessibility Engineer, Yale

2:00pm-2:15pm Lightning Talk: Web rebuild-the good, the bad, and the ugly 

As some of the earliest adopters of the internet, Universities often find themselves in the position of having web properties approaching 30-40 years old. During this time period many technologies and strategies for maintaining these sites have gone through massive change. Change is great. Change can feel bad. Sometimes change can get ugly! Join the University of Missouri as we discuss moving our oldest and most important web properties into a modern CMS (Drupal).

Tammy Stovall

Web Developer Team Lead, University of Missouri

John Boyer

Backend CMS and Hosting Architect, University of Missouri

2:15pm-2:30pm Panel/Q&A: Migration in Higher Education Join our Lightning Talk speakers in a panel style Q&A, where you can have all your questions around migration in the higher education industry answered. Whether you are migrating from D7, from a non-Drupal DXP, or deciding between self-migration vs. vendor-migration, our panelists have the answers you seek. 

John Boyer

Kara Franco

Kevin Paxman 

Tammy Stovall

Jim Vomero 

2:30pm-2:40pm Coffee Break    
2:40pm-3:50pm Attendee-driven table topic discussions   You! 
3:50pm-4:00pm Closing Remarks & Wrap-up   Higher Education Summit Committee


Thank you to our Higher Education Summit sponsors!