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CALS Website Rethink Project

The CALS Website Rethink Project will help us build an advanced and intuitive web presence designed to increase the recruitment of high-quality academic talent and the awareness of our people, our areas of expertise and our impact. We’re also aiming to align the CALS website with Cornell’s commitment to meet web accessibility standards by the end of 2019.

Partnering with the award-winning website development firm Primacy, we worked throughout 2018 and 2019 to discover, design and develop an improved interconnected digital experience that will meet these goals. The new site launched in November 2019.

Throughout the project, we continue to work closely with CALS’ more than 140 content editors who help maintain our 60+ websites to do so.


We are aiming to design a new web presence that will allow us to:

  • Increase recruitment of high-quality academic talent, including prospective undergraduate and graduate students, post-docs, and prospective new faculty
  • Solve web accessibility obstacles for those with disabilities and meet Cornell deadlines for compliance
  • Increase interest in funding Cornell CALS initiatives and research by alumni, friends, partners and stakeholders
  • Increase awareness of our people, our impact and our expertise
  • Create an infrastructure that supports and sustains better information organization and flow 


What will success for this project look like? We'll start to see: 

  • Visitors to the CALS website intuitively find the information they’re looking for and then some
  • An increase in quality student applicants, across all programs
  • Increased top faculty recruitment
  • An increase in research funding distributed to CALS
  • Elevated CALS alumni, donor and stakeholder engagement
  • Improved program rankings–QS World University Rankings by Subject, U.S. News and World Report rankings, and others
  • Strengthened cross-campus collaboration
  • Increased frequency and quality of placements in the media, highlighting groundbreaking faculty research
  • An enhanced reputation as a thought leader through increased requests from groups outside of agriculture to participate in future-oriented conversations
  • Increased engagement of and service to New York state residents by improving access to CALS’ purpose-driven scientific findings and advancements

Process and timeline

The first phase of the CALS Website Rethink project involved three main phases for all sites currently within the CALS Drupal 7 Content Management System (CMS): discovery, design and development. 

The second phase encompasses the migration of the remaining 45 websites into Drupal 8 and is scheduled to begin in February 2020.