University Seeks IT Vendors for Website Update

The University of California, Berkeley has issued a request for proposal looking for contractors to refresh the online presence of one of its entities.

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One of the state’s most well-known university campuses is seeking assistance from IT vendors in updating a website.

In a request for proposal (RFP) released May 3, the University of California, Berkeley “invites proposals for the creation of a Drupal 9 website on behalf of the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing.” The Simons Institute, per the RFP, was established in 2012 with a $60 million grant from the Simons Foundation and a renewal $35.5 million grant last year; it’s a leading venue for “collaborative research in theoretical computer science.” Among the takeaways:

  • The Simons Institute seeks to “revise” its website, which was developed in 2013, to enhance user functionalities, refresh its look and feel and improve its technologies. The site’s current version is Drupal 7 – which, according to the company, “goes end of life in November of 2022.” The current site “meets many of the Institute’s functionality-based needs and would be ported into Drupal 8 if that were a practical strategy.” But considering the differences between Drupal 7 and Drupal 8, the university seeks respondents to “(u)pgrade straight into Drupal 9 as Drupal 8’s end of life is also November 2022,” according to the RFP. Other needs include choosing and creating a new look for the site “with emphasis on colorful, image-driven navigation”; making the site mobile-responsive; and redesigning the home page to boost ease of content access and functionality.
  • The new website’s target audience will include members of the “scientific/technical community” – visiting researchers, long-term visitors who might take part in the Institute’s research programs and short-term visitors who might attend workshops. The audience will also include funders – industry partners, private foundations, federal agencies, the Simons Foundation itself, as well as members of the public, and Institute staff and faculty.
  • Minimum/mandatory requirements for bidders include “extensive and proven experience” in brand and website development; experience managing “complex projects” with “a committee process that is informed by academic, research institute or nonprofit brands and principles”; the ability to meet the university’s “brand, licensing, WCGA 2.0. AA, IT and security requirements” and having “an appropriately-sized team” to meet deadlines and budgets. The RFP evaluation process will be based on University of California Policy BUS-43, and criteria will include having at least five years’ experience on projects of similar size, scope and complexity; and in the area of design qualifications, having experience and success creating “innovative academic, research institute or nonprofit brands that include functional guides” that have served thousands of people.
  • The contract’s term and value are not indicated. Proposals are due May 24 and will be evaluated May 31 with bidder interviews being conducted June 1-11. Interviews will be evaluated June 14-18 and “top rank bidders” noticed June 21-25. An intent to award notice and contract execution is expected from June 28-July 9.
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Techwire.