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KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee has expanded its Knoxville campus Web site through a trial partnership with a Kansas-based Internet technology firm.

Dr. Dwayne McCay, UT vice president for research and information technology, said the six-month agreement with Framecast Communications provides UT students, staff and faculty with improved services such as national news, weather and research links and search engines.

Framecast also creates opportunities for UT to earn revenues from Web-based advertising, sponsorships and partnerships without changing the UT Web site’s academic and university image, McCay said.

“As the state moves into the 21st century, the university has to provide the leadership to make that move effective,” McCay said. “One way to do that is to take advantage of all appropriate revenue sources that are available. Framecast represents one example of that.

“This is a subtle, tasteful addition that could enhance the university’s Web presence, offer additional services, and provide UT exposure and opportunities for relationships with outside partners.”

McCay said UT will test Framecast for six months and make a recommendation to UT President J. Wade Gilley on whether to continue the service.

The trial period will include input from the university community, technological evaluation to see how it interfaces with UT’s Web infrastructure, and assessment of revenue opportunities.

About 130 Web and information technology specialists from all the UT system campuses discussed the Framecast service and other information technology issues at a recent statewide meeting, McCay said.

“This will be a fluid, dynamic evaluation process,” he said. “We will be taking input, modifying links and choosing what services and benefits are best.

“At the end of six months we will be prepared to recommend the path we should move toward.”

The Web address for UT’s Knoxville campus is http://www.utk.edu/.

The Framecast banner across the top of UT’s Web page contains links to The Wired College Network, a Framecast site created specially for colleges and universities.

The network offers e-mail, search engines, calendars and scheduling tools, news links, forums, chat groups and live streaming broadcasts, which can be used without ever leaving the UT Web site.

“We’re pleased to be partnering with the University of Tennessee in a relationship that offers them new Web resources and sources of revenue from their existing Web properties,” Framecast CEO Don Peterson said.

“Our technology dramatically impacts the means available to the university’s administrators to convert their substantial Web site investment from a cost center into a potentially lucrative revenue source.”