Academics are not restricted to the university campus anymore. The already ongoing digitization of education had been expedited by the current pandemic. At this juncture, every professor needs a personal website, through which they can connect better with their students and the academic community at large.
Why is your university webpage is not enough?
You may think you already have a page for yourself on your university website, and a dedicated professor website would be redundant. In that case, you need to read the following list of benefits that professor websites offer when compared to those posted on the university website.
Your departmental website lets you add only certain kinds of information that is relevant to the institution. You can put forth your complete profile and your additional achievements if you have your professor personal website.
Starting from the layout and theme to the range of content, you have absolute freedom to craft your professor website the way you want. On the other hand, your content has to fit into a rigid template when it comes to a university webpage. And the worse part is that most university website designs are dull and unappealing.
You can promote your work by highlighting your individual achievements rather than getting lost in the long list of professors in the department.
Updating the content on a university webpage involves long procedures and takes time. On your website, you can add your latest publications in no time.
As a new-age professor, you need to be in touch with your students in all possible ways. A professor website is the best place to do that. You can share your course syllabus and study materials through your site. You can even link your social media profiles to your website, which you can hardly do on any university website.
You can explore additional teaching opportunities such as online courses and webinars through your website. This will let you grow your network, and get sponsorships for your projects from sources other than your institution.
You can attract better Ph.D. and postdoc candidates to work with you through your professor website. When candidates search for professors working on their topic of interest, a personal website will let them find you easily and know more about your personality.
What to write on a professor website?
Now you know what a professor personal website offers on top of your existing profile on your institution’s website. Let us look at some essential features you need to add to your website to make it fruitful.
Give your audience a short introduction about your background, areas of interest, projects, and achievements. You can keep the language a bit casual unlike on your university page. Include a list of publications such as peer-reviewed papers on academic journals and books. In the case of books, remember to add links to websites where your readers can buy them. You can also write a few words about your current and previous institutions, detailing your team and work there.
When you want to have a strong online presence, you need to project a consistent digital identity. This is achieved by keeping your profile uniform on different platforms such as your professor website, social media pages, academia.edu, etc. For example, use the same profile picture on all these platforms. Use the right faculty website template that matches your personality and field of study.
You can connect with your students better by sharing your course syllabi and digital study materials as downloadable links on your professor website. This will make students’ lives easy and will make you their favorite professor for sure. For those students who are interested in exploring topics in-depth, you can also include details of your reference books and journals.
Though you are already teaching in an educational institution, you can reach out to more students through online courses. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) have been gaining popularity in the past decade and it is a great avenue for earning some extra revenue by doing what you love to do — teaching.
A lot of students are looking for expert guidance regarding choosing specialization and college. Being a person of authority in your subject, you would be the right person to guide an aspirant regarding the suitability of a degree or program, and preparation to get admission. Though this may not be remunerative, it will improve your visibility and fetch better candidates to work with you eventually.
As an academician, you may not be interested in writing non-academic articles. But, writing blog articles every once in a while on a quasi-academic topic is a good strategy to connect with your audience. This will make more people read your works and understand them better, even if they are not from an academic background. After all, isn’t knowledge sharing the purpose of education?
Include a detailed curriculum vitae (CV) on your professor website, mentioning all your projects, awards, publications, etc. Though it may look like a repetition of what you have already written in different sections, it is good to add a properly formatted CV. Sponsors who may be interested in your work will be able to quickly download your CV and circulate it for consideration. Press and award juries may also find it useful to get all your details in one place.
Make it easy for people to contact you, be it students, the press, or funding agencies. Provide your email address, both personal and from university. If you have multiple email addresses, make sure you give those addresses that you check at least once a day. You can also add a contact form on your professor website.
Providing a personal phone number is not mandatory when it comes to academics websites. But, if you have an office phone, be sure to show the number on your website.
Professor website examples
Strikingly is home to professor websites of several reputed academicians. The ready-made academic website templates provided by Strikingly make it a favorite among busy professors who don’t have the time to build their websites from scratch. Here are a few professor website examples that you can take inspiration from.
Prof. Vera Gluscevic
This is a really cool professor website put up by Prof. Vera Gluscevic, a Gabilan Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy, at the University of Southern California. Her profile picture greets us as soon as we enter her website, and sets a friendly tone to the entire page. Her contact information is shared in two prominent places - her email address in the landing view and her complete contact details at the bottom of the page. An important thing to note here is that the email address is clickable, making it easy for her audience to write to her without having to copy and paste from one window to another.
Prof. Gluscevic has shared a link to her full CV and publications. She has also written about her works, her students, courses she is teaching, etc. These things make it easy for interested candidates or students to understand her work in-depth. The best thing about this website is that the professor has shared information about a weekly Zoom class that she teaches, and invites all interested students to participate in it. This website is one of the best among the many academic website examples you can see on the internet.
Dr. Minh-ha T. Pham
This website is built by an Associate Professor in Media Studies at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. Along with researching and teaching subjects such as fashion labor, capitalism, gender, etc., she is also an eminent speaker and author.
The website showcases all her publications including peer-reviewed papers, academic books, and general audience articles. A list of events and conferences that she has spoken in and the media citations she got are also provided on the website. This helps the reader understand her expertise in her chosen field.
Dr. Anelise Farris
Dr. Farris is an Assistant Professor at the College of Coastal Georgia. She teaches English literature and her areas of interest include folklore, mythology, and popular media among others. This academic website design is user-friendly, with a floating navigation bar on the left side.
The website displays her skills, experience, publications, and awards. Added to this, a link to her CV in PDF format completes the website, giving all the information her audience may be looking for. The tone of her website is cheerful and she has made it easy for interested students to contact her by providing multiple channels for communication.
Strikingly has been at the forefront when it comes to giving the power of the internet to academia. When the covid-19 pandemic disrupted the education of millions of students across the globe, Strikingly offered its free online solution to enable students to continue with their learning and research. Build your website using the best professor website templates on Strikingly, and join the digital revolution.