Internal Communications in the College
Welcome to a new academic year. The start of a new school year always bring a little excitement and anticipation, but it also requires a shift in gear as the pace picks up. If you’re like me, you didn’t sense that the pace ever diminished, but it certainly does seem to pick up as the new year gets under way with all its excitement and promise of new beginnings.
This fall, the College is reviewing its plan to implement the University’s framework to foster diversity. We have been successful in the past with promoting a well-considered diversity agenda in the College, and now we are making plans to be even more successful in the next five years.
In the next couple of weeks, study teams focusing on different aspects of the College’s diversity planning process will be holding open meetings. I invite all members of the College community to attend these meetings and contribute to the discussion. You can learn more about this planning process and the specific meeting times on our Diversity Planning Web site.
One aspect of diversity planning involves making sure that the College community is friendly and inviting to new as well as continuing students, faculty, and staff. We also want to make sure that all members of the College feel that they are a part of this Community and can make important contributions to the whole.
Effective communications within the College can aid in this process. As part of our diversity planning, the College is undertaking a survey of internal College communications, with an emphasis on the Connections newsletter, to make sure we are communicating effectively.
I encourage you to participate in this online survey, which should not take longer than 5 minutes to complete.
There are many ways we can communicate important information in the College. The most visible is probably the digital signs we have installed over the last 18 months. We have digital signs now in key locations throughout the four buildings occupied by the College: Chambers, CEDAR, Keller, and Rackley.
The messages on these signs are also viewable on the College Web site.
The signs have been used to promote lectures, technical training sessions, and student organization meetings. We have also used them to welcome special visitors and congratulate our graduating students during commencement time. I hope we never need to use these signs for an emergency message, but I am glad we have them for that purpose as well.
Another aspect of College internal communications includes Web sites that provide accurate information for members of the College community. Current faculty and staff can view the recently redesigned Web site intended for them.
It is also available from the main College Home page under the link "For Current Faculty and Staff."
There are also Web sites with helpful information for undergraduate and graduate students in the College. Both sites are accessed from the For Current Students link off of the College home page.
We also provide Connections, the electronic newsletter of which this column is a part. Connections is sent via e-mail bimonthly during the academic year. The internal communications survey places special emphasis on Connections and solicits suggestions about what we can do to improve this communications tool.
Communication is a two-way street. I reference above ways the College can communicate to you, but I hope you will also take advantage of available ways to communicate your ideas and opinions back to me and the College administration. One way is to respond to the communications survey. Another way would be to attend some of the diversity planning sessions in the next couple of weeks and to become involved with one or more of the study teams.
Faculty can work with their representatives on the Faculty Council, and students can pass ideas and thoughts on to the Student Advisory Forum as well. And, of course, you can also e-mail me directly.
I wish you all the best with the start of the new semester and new beginnings. And I hope we will be hearing from you soon.
David H. Monk