Managing websites with Cascade CMS

To maintain the Detroit Mercy websites listed below, the University uses a Web content management system, Cascade CMS. In most cases, people should use the Web Request form to ask for help on website changes. Exceptions include catalog updates. (See Do you need access? below.)

With Cascade, changes exist only within the CMS until they are published to the live Web server, which in turn delivers webpages to our site visitors. (See diagram of how Cascade works.)

Cascade access is subject to Marketing & Communications Department (MarCom) policies and procedures. The following domains are managed in Cascade:


Do you need Cascade access?

With one big exception, you do not need Cascade access to do occasional website updates. Such infrequent updates can be requested of MarCom using our Web Request Form. The big exception, however, is that all catalog editors must have Cascade access, even if the catalog is the only editing they do on the site. (See catalog notes below.)

Catalog notes

In addition to various Detroit Mercy websites, the University's academic catalogs are also maintained in Cascade CMS. To perform the annual catalog update, Cascade access is required for all catalog editors (regardless of non-catalog activity). It's important to note:

  • MarCom does not handle catalog issues.
  • All catalog-related issues (including Cascade use) are coordinated through ITS in collaboration with the Registrar.
  • Catalog access is separate from access to other areas of University websites.

Frequent updates

For institutional areas that prove to need frequent website updates, MarCom may decide that one or more people in that area must take on that responsibility, which includes Cascade training and access, as detailed below. MarCom reserves the right to determine when update frequency calls for a new Cascade user. We encourage you to use the Web Request Form until such time that MarCom asks that you train a Cascade user in your area.

In all cases, MarCom may refuse or revoke Cascade access at any time, for any reason.

Gaining access to Cascade

Catalog and frequent updaters need Cascade access to maintain their own site content. Cascade access means you can change a public University website, which is a risky and important task. There are two main steps you must take before you can be approved for Cascade access:

  1. Submit an account application form to the Information Technology Department (ITS).
    (After ITS processes your application, they then send it to Marketing & Communications.)
  2. Complete our Cascade training, which is available online.

Details on each are below.

Submit ITS account application form

Step 1: Specify Action on form

To get Cascade access, an authorized supervisor must first follow the ITS Employee Account Application Process. This includes submitting a supervisor-signed application to the ITS Department. (Note: The Account Application form is used for other purposes besides Cascade access. Contact ITS if you have any questions about the Employee Account Application form or process.)

For Cascade CMS access, fill out the form as instructed here.

In most cases, as the form's "Action," you'll select "Change to Account" (see image). The exception is if you're applying for a newly-hired employee, in which case you'd select "New Account". In either case, then continue to Step 2.

Change of Account form example

Step 2: Fill Web Development section

Find the "Web Development" section on page 2 of the form (shown below). First, put a checkmark in the "Content Management System" checkbox.

Web development section on form example

Then, under, “Identify site for management”, specify what in particular the employee needs to edit, such as the address from your Web browser. For example, for access to:

  • the entire College of Business Administration website, put in:
  • the undergraduate Accounting section, put in:
  • a single page, put in the page's address from your Web browser.


Successful completion of our Cascade training is required before Cascade access will be granted. Cascade is simple to use in some ways, but there are also many ways to get confused. (You can do training concurrently with submitting your ITS Account Application.)

Please note: MarCom may require users to retake Cascade training. Examples include when there is a significant update to Cascade, or when a user has been inactive for a long time.

Video series

Training for Cascade CMS is provided via our tutorial video series.  This series is appropriate for new Cascade users, as well as existing Cascade users who have not yet trained on the newer Cascade CMS version.  The training videos are embedded below on this page, and are also available on YouTube.


The Cascade training quiz must be passed by new Cascade users before editing permission is enabled.

Marketing & Communications always happy to answer questions.  Contact us

If you think you require in-person training, please email

Cascade training video series

1: Our websites & Cascade

2: Navigating Cascade

3: Editing basics

4: Page layout options

5. Making Accessible PDFs

Keith Bryan - video link to Making Accessible PDFs

Cascade permissions

Marketing & Communications can enable you in Cascade only after:

  • ITS has approved and processed your account application.
  • You've successfully completed our Cascade training.

All users are given the minimum Cascade access and abilities needed to update the website content they are responsible for. (This prevents the possibility of users making big mistakes.)

Most Cascade users should only update existing pages. The following activities carry additional complications or requirements, and so we ask you to contact MarCom and let us help you:

  • Add pages to a site
  • Add files to a site (such as images, PDF documents, etc.)
  • Move, rename, or delete pages or files

Some other complications you may not think of involve things like:

  • filename requirements and conventions,
  • site structure and navigation issues,
  • asset publish status,
  • orphaned files or pages, etc. 

Again, MarCom is happy to help you with tasks beyond updating individual pages that are already in the website.  Please contact us to do things the right way, and avoid causing problems that will take time to clean up or even make our site unusable.

Web Oversight and Assistance

The Marketing & Communications (MarCom) Web staff oversee University websites generally, including the work of website contributors outside of MarCom. We periodically audit all website pages to ensure adherence to brand, design, and content quality standards, as well as all technical requirements including accessibility.

Note: MarCom does not oversee the academic catalog. Catalog editors will work with ITS Help for annual updates.

MarCom's online Web Request form should be your first resource for website needs. You can also contact MarCom with questions or to request a site quality review. We usually find issues that you may be unaware of. MarCom is always happy to help improve the Detroit Mercy websites.

When MarCom staff finds any issues on any University website, at our discretion, we will either:

  • ask website contributors to correct the issues, or
  • correct the issues directly, according to MarCom Web standards, with or without notice.

MarCom strongly encourages the use of our Web Request form to ask for website changes. This is the best way to get a quick response. Catalog editors: work with ITS to make your updates to the academic catalog.

In special situations, non-catalog access to Cascade CMS may be granted, at MarCom's discretion. MarCom may refuse or revoke Cascade access at any time, for any reason. Cascade users will receive notifications of system changes, training and other information relevant to website contributors, usually via email. It is imperative that all Cascade users follow all such directions.