University will alter Web address as part of global marketing plan

By Pamela Nisivaco

The University’s ongoing marketing and research of the way people find their way to its Web site has led to the development of a plan to change its current Internet address, uiuc.edu, to illinois.edu. Currently, both addresses allow users to access the University’s home page.

The University wants to develop its brand among national and international audiences, said Robin Kaler, University spokesperson. Changing the address is a step in that direction. Kaler said the process of changing approximately 200,000 University Web pages, including every page linked to the home page, is a long-term project. Changing the domain on the e-mail addresses of all those associated with the University from “at” uiuc.edu to “at” illinois.edu will be another major part of the project. The plan will take many months before it is in full effect.

“This is a very large and complex process requiring a lot of thought and planning first,” Kaler said.

While the University sees the new address as projecting a better image, some students seem unsure about the change.

Eryka Waggoner, junior in LAS, said she thinks the new address will be confusing for people accustomed to the old one, though she said it could be “easier for outside users to find us.”

“I like how short the UIUC URL is,” Michael Dejesus, sophomore in Engineering, said.

Dejesus also said because there is more than one University of Illinois campus, illinois.edu may cause more confusion for users.

“The new address should be a gateway to all three University of Illinois,” he said.

The uiuc.edu Web address developed when shorter addresses were more popular than longer ones, but some people do not realize that it is a marketing tool, Kaler said.

Currently, uiuc.edu sends the message that the University is a regional campus rather than a major research university, she said. The chancellor and the provost at the University want the URL to reflect the University as a global campus.

“This is a wonderful university, and there’s no reason we shouldn’t be known around the world,” Kaler said.