The Old L&S Handbook and the New Administrative Gateway
The L&S Administrative Gateway was preceded by the L&S Handbook; this document discusses a few of the changes, and hoped-for improvements, to be found in the new format.
Welcome to the L&S Administrative Gateway.
The College of Letters and Science first provided a handbook of administrative tips, tools and documents to department chairs in 1981. Over the years, the Handbook was updated and its audience grew: no longer restricted to information used by department chairs, substantive revisions were made to increase the document's utility as a day-to-day guide that not only serves departmental chairs and program directors, but department administrators, faculty and staff. The three-ring binders were passed from chair to chair and carefully updated each August before the new semester began. Twenty years after the first handbook was published, the online edition debuted. With it, the editors and L&S Administration could share information even more widely than before. The Handbook ceased to be a tattered, coffee-stained binder for a select group of administrators, but expanded to become a compendium of administrative information that might be useful to many people both in, and outside of, the College.
The transformation of the Handbook into an Administrative Gateway represents another substantial reformulation of the information L&S Administration compiles and shares about the work we do, and how we do it. The Gateway is built on the university's KnowledgeBase technology. This highly searchable database will help users quickly find information using keyword searches and links to relevant documents. We've tried to make sections short and to the point - and we've tried to anticipate what users will find most useful. Perhaps most important: it's a collaborative work in progress. As documents are used, readers can provide feedback to the authors: was the document helpful, or not? Do you need to ask another question? Is what you're looking for not there? Do you want to suggest a different document, using different resources? As questions come in, if they seem like the sorts of questions others might have, we'll add more information to the database.
- "Custodians" of the information will usually have direct access to the tool we use to share it. A broader range of L&S Administration staff will be able to update documents in the Gateway when the need arises.
- Wherever possible, the Gateway links to university and other documents. In some cases, information may be presented in the context of "how it works in L&S", but usually, we will try to go right to the source for most information on policies and procedures.
- Topical, full text, and keyword search features will help users to find what they need.
- If users can't find what they need, they should be able to find out who in L&S Administration will know the answer.
- If users find errors or have questions, each page will have a link to contact information, so they can ask the custodian of that information about updates.
The document supersedes all previous paper editions, and is more up-to-date than documents that reside still at www.ls.wisc.edu/handbook. Generally, users should consult the Administrative Gateway before contacting colleagues in L&S Administration - often, the answers they seek have been addressed here.If you find errors in this document, or see aspects that can be improved, please let us know what they are. We are always interested in your suggestions and comments; please direct your comments to Elaine Klein, though the link at the bottom of this page.