Ed Gutierrez, Thesis Office Director*

As the director of the Thesis Office at his university, Ed saw the benefits of switching from his school’s legacy system to Vireo, which supports the unique needs of electronic theses and dissertations, from online student submission through the approval process set out by the graduate school, and finally to publication in the Institutional Repository.

Ed led the process of switching to Vireo and worked in conjunction with the TDL to get the system set up and all those affected by the decision — students, faculty, and staff — ready for the change. He consulted the TDL Wiki documentation for help in understanding what issues he would need to plan for in implementing Vireo.

First, he gathered all the stakeholders from the graduate school and library, as well as relevant information technology staff, for a Vireo demo with the Texas Digital Library program coordinator. The group identified policy and technology needs that would have to be met prior to implementation.

Ed then worked with his school’s librarians to set metadata policies for ETDs, as well as procedures for publishing the documents to the Institutional Repository once the approval workflow was completed. In addition, he worked with his IT staff to ensure that Shibboleth federated authentication software was set up, so that students could log in to Vireo using their university credentials.

Once these initial pieces were in place, Ed made sure that all the necessary thesis office and library staff received training on Vireo, through the TDL’s training program. Once the school’s Vireo installation was availabe, the thesis office staff assigned as administrators determined what Vireo configuration settings would work best for his institution’s workflow.

Ed determined that two semesters of testing Vireo would help his staff work out any procedural issues and provide an opportunity for easing students and faculty into the new process of submitting ETDs online. In the summer semester, the thesis office used a test group of two departments and expanded the group to seven departments in the fall.

In the spring, satisfied with their educational efforts to ready the university community for the switch, the graduate school put Vireo into full deployment. Now, students can easily submit their theses and dissertations online using a simple interface, and the thesis office staff shepherds each ETD through the approval process. Once the ETD is approved, the library takes the document and publishes it the university’s Institutional Repository.

*Ed is a fictional character.