Every faculty, adjunct, and staff member in the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) has a user account on our web infrastructure. These user accounts are used to generate dynamic directory pages, display individual user profiles (biography pages), and allow each user to edit their personal information. When new people come to the CLA they receive an account and when they leave the CLA their user accounts are deleted. In the vast majority of cases this system works very well, however there times when someone has authored posts that display the authorship on the publicly visible side of the website. This authorship is associated with the user account of the person who authored the post. When a user account is deleted this authorship is incorrectly attributed to another user (as all posts must have an author in WordPress). In many cases even this isn’t a problem as many sites are only publishing pages in which the authorship isn’t relevant, nor is it displayed publicly. However, for things such as blogs, news, or magazines its important to retain the original authorship.
The solution that we’ve developed for this problem is to archive users instead of deleting them. This is not a standard feature of WordPress, so it needed to be developed, but users can only be archived/unarchived by CLA Web Services. Once a user account is archived, all of their privileges are revoked and Site Managers will no longer be able to remove them from their site. Archived users will also no longer show up in directory listings (that use the CLA People plugin) and only limited information will show on their profile page. Lastly, an additional column of information has been added to the Users page to show which users are Archived, which will show when the user was archived and who archived them.
If any user needs to be archived please contact CLA Web Services.