Managing websites with Cascade CMS

To maintain the content of our primary websites, the University uses Cascade CMS, a Web content management system.

Cascade allows users to edit and update webpages for their area. Changes exist only within the CMS until they are published to the live Web server that delivers content to our website visitors.

User inputs content to Cascade, hits publish to send to live website.

Who needs access to Cascade?

You do, if you want to update website content in:


Cascade access is subject to the Marketing & Communications Department. 

Gaining access to Cascade

Cascade access means you can change a public University website.  As this 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: Users who trained on Cascade Server (version 7 or earlier) are required to complete additional training on the newer, renamed product, known as Cascade CMS (also known as Cascade 8).  Cascade CMS, launched at Detroit Mercy in early 2020, is significantly different from previous versions.

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 (MarCom) 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

MarCom staff oversees website contributors and periodically audits all website pages to ensure adherence to web, brand, design, and content quality standards.

Always contact MarCom with website questions or to request a site quality review. We often find issues on sites that you may be unaware of. It's better to be safe than sorry, and MarCom is always happy to help improve University websites.

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

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

Access to the Cascade CMS website content management system is granted at MarCom's discretion. (See "Gaining Access" information.)  MarCom may suspend any Cascade user's access at any time for any reason. This may be necessary, for example, when a user fails to correct issues in a timely manner, or a user fails to follow guidelines for content, design, branding, usability or technical issues. Such suspensions will remain in effect until the user completes additional training at MarCom's direction, or until further notice.

Cascade users will receive notifications of system changes, training and other information related to your website contributor role. Usually, MarCom sends these notifications via email. It is imperative that you follow all directions and schedule training as prescribed.