The uWaterloo home page has evolved significantly from the default uWaterloo template. When I began my position with Communications & Public Affairs in 2007, the home page looked like this. In early-2008 we made several adjustments to align with new marketing objectives:
It's always difficult to make changes to such a high profile page. Many people use the home page regularly as part of their work and studies. They have come to expect things to work in a certain way, and links to be placed in a certain location. Changes need to made gently and gradually, with respect for the people who use this site every day. If something is working for users, we need to think carefully about changing it.
This also demonstrates the difficulty in compromising user needs with organizational objectives. While the organizaiton may prefer to de-emphasize these internal utilities (such as email), users depend on these links being in a prominent position. The diversity of user audeinces makes design for a university home page very difficult.