The illegal killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe in July 2015 sparked international outcry culminating in over £1.6m of donations from 13,375 donors for the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) at the University of Oxford. The process of securing this support and maximising the interest required quick thinking, planning for the short, medium and longer term and effective team working across advancement disciplines and across a range of teams and departments.
The 2016 CASE (Council for Advancement of Support of Education) Grand Gold Award for Interdisciplinary Advancement projects recognises the work across WildCRU, UODO, the North American Office, Public Affairs and IT Services to make the most of what was a singular event in wildlife conservation. They are highly competitive and the Grand Gold award is the highest accolade. To put this in perspective, this year there were 3356 entries from universities around the globe, 323 awards, and only 17 Grand Golds.
IT Service’s DARS Functional Support Team work closely with colleagues in IT Support to ensure the smooth running of Oxford University’s fundraising campaign website, Oxford Thinking. Following the surge in web traffic and the subsequent failure of the site, this team, alongside colleagues in IT, were able to identify that the main issue was being caused by memory not being released by the servers. In response to this, Technical Services added additional memory to the webservers that host the Oxford Thinking site.
For further information view our entry summary on the CASE website.