Drupal is a popular choice for universities these days. It’s particularly appealing for organizations that currently maintain a custom CMS or use proprietary solutions. Universities often have a large number of distinct web properties, whether it’s for different departments, colleges, faculties, or even individual students and staff members. For large universities, these sites sometimes number in the hundreds.
Some institutions take a top-down approach, and moving to Drupal means transferring all sites to a new platform while trying to enforce a consistent look-and-feel. Each Drupal site might be limited to a list of approved of modules, and a style-guide might be in place. Other institutions use a variety of platforms for different web properties and only a few departments or faculties will adopt Drupal. In either case, the switch to Drupal seems to be as much a cultural shift as a technical one.
Universities have a huge influence over Drupal adoption. In many places, universities host local Drupal user groups and camps. In Montreal, the McGill web services team is a driving force behind organizing the annual Drupal Camp, and the event has been hosted at the school for the past two years. Drupal adoption also means that students and staff are familiar with the platform, and Drupal usage is likely to spread to the local academic and business communities.
McGill has been moving a large number of sites to Drupal over the past couple years, including the alumni website and faculty websites such as the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. McGill’s new Drupal theme is really attractive, so the shift to Drupal is quite visible as more and more sites move to the new platform. (Full disclosure: Evolving Web worked on moving McGill’s undergraduate course calendar to Drupal.)
University of Windsor
University of Lethbridge
University of Calgary
University of PEI
University of Waterloo
University of Guelph
The University of Guelph is using Drupal on some of their web properties. Craig Hyatt from UofG presented on
using the Single Sign-On module at Drupal Camp Montreal.
Brock University recently moved its main website to Drupal.
University of Toronto
Royal Roads University
Royal Roads University is a small University in British Columbia. Its main site is powered by Drupal.
For more information and discussion on using Drupal in a university context, check out the Higher Education Group on Drupal.org. And if you know of any other Canadian schools using Drupal, drop us note in the comments and we'll do our best to keep this list current.