For my first post, I want to briefly describe a recent change to an instance of WordPress at Southern Methodist University that will help faculty promote their work on the Web.

First of all, here at SMU, we have two separate instances of WordPress running. The first, hosted at, is used primarily as an official administrative communications platform for SMU-related activities. Staffers can use this instance of WP to promote the work, services, and activities related to their organizations, departments, and centers at SMU.

A good example of this use is my wife’s site, Off the Shelf. On this site, Cindy Boeke, who manages the CUL Digital Collections, posts monthly updates about the latest digital objects available online to the general public and any related digital collections stories. She’s been doing this site for many years now. Take a look at just one item in the Collection:

film still from a newsreel in the Tyler Film Collection

Film still from By-Line Newsreel #3, in the Tyler, Texas Black Film Collection

The other WP instance is hosted on SMU’s personal website server, This site you’re reading now, is one such site. This webspace is designed and set up for more personal – unofficial – web content. It can be about SMU or not. In any event, the webspace is available to anyone in the SMU Community to use for free. Thanks SMU!

Oh yes…the recent change to WP. Just in the past couple of weeks, OIT, our information technology department, installed a new theme on this WP instance for faculty to use to make their more, if you will, personalized websites. It’s fantastic! The theme, Faculty, Avato Studio’ s responsive academic WP theme, is specifically designed for college professors to use to promote their academic work on the web. It is highly customizable, yet simple and easy-to-use.

Faculty Websites on WP

Again, this website was made with the Faculty theme, but check out a real SMU professor’s site: OK, so Prof. Haynes is a real WordPress aficionado and quite an expert, but the Faculty theme is designed for both experts and newbies alike. WP with the newly installed Faculty theme is up and running to help busy professors, like David Haynes, publicize their important scholarly activities, research advances, teaching successes, and more.

I will be working this summer to promote the use of WordPress on, and help SMU profs discover the joys of WordPress and this new Faculty theme.

More to come…


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