Academic Staff Communications Committee
Academic Staff Communications Plan
January — December, 2010
Note: Version as of August 9, 2010 for Committee Review of Progress of Existing Items, as well as Recommendations for New Items
The Academic Staff Communications Committee (ASCC) has been charged with developing a plan to effectively manage communications for UW-Madison Academic Staff (AS). The aim is to encourage involvement and instill pride in AS by keeping them informed and motivated about issues of concern to them.
AS perform many valuable job functions, but we are largely invisible relative to faculty, students and other campus constituencies. We are professionals. We teach and help students achieve. We do research. We serve as administrators. We care for the community (health care and active volunteer efforts). While AS ‘insiders' are well aware of the value and work of AS, many other constituencies—among them the 7,500 AS at UW-Madison—are not.
There are many symptoms of this problem. News about the good things being done by AS is largely unreported. Benefits shared with AS are not always obvious to them—especially those who are new AS. Basically, both internal and external university audiences are unaware of the value AS provide to the community.
We want to change that.
Goals of the Communications Plan
Through this plan, we will accomplish the following.
1. Raise campus awareness of the value of AS.
2. Motivate AS to greater involvement in their organization.
3. Garner appreciation of and support of academic staff from senior UW administration, the legislature and statewide supporters of the UW.
The Audience of the Academic Staff
The primary audience is the 7,500-plus Academic Staff. Secondary are the Academic Staff Assembly Representatives and members of Academic Staff governance committees. Tertiary audiences include those future academic staff hires, faculty and staff at UW- Madison and on other UW System campuses, as well as state citizens and the legislature.
The Academic Staff Executive Committee (ASEC) and all academic staff constituencies are to be served in the plan by providing content for many of the communications.
Our main message is simple: Academic Staff are valuable partners in teaching, research and service at the UW-Madison. A secondary message to AS is that the AS organization helps maintain their standing in the university. They would do well to engage and support it.
Strategies and Specific Action Items of the Communications Plan (to be carried out by members of the Communications Committee, as well as by key partners of academic staff governance, as appropriate)
1. Create and maintain a web site that is easy to understand, navigate and update. The site uses a content management system (CMS) with a hosting service originally created by DoIT and now maintained by Donna Silver, Secretary of the Academic Staff. ASEC members, Standing Committee Co-Chairs, and other authorized members of governance serve as as content editors. Web content should be secure and backed-up at regular intervals. Regularly promote and market the website to academic staff and key constituencies. [Brian R., Bob A., Donna Silver, Mary Johansen]
2. Collaborate with University Communications, specifically, to develop and publicize stories about AS contributions. Also collaborate with UW state relations staff and other high level campus communicators. [Renee M., Bob. R.]
3. Maintain a fact sheet of the who, what, when, where, how, and why of AS. [Greg I.]
4. Coordinate publication of articles and news about AS in a variety of formats (text and video/media, etc.). Work with Wisconsin Week to re-use published pieces, anticipate new ones and write original stories when practical. Collect AS articles about AS accompishments and profiles from various campus communicators in the departments and schools/colleges. Also work with communications staff in schools and colleges to share AS accomplishments and strategies. Catalog these AS stories and contributions on the academic staff website. Develop a video about academic staff and showcase the video on the academic staff website and other relevant media outlets. [Renee M., Dick G.]
5. Create and send a ‘welcome' email to new AS, pointing them to the "what, who and why" of AS found on the web site. [Mark L.]
[UPDATE/NOTE: ASEC has created an Academic Staff Welcome and Orientation Committee. One of its goals is to work on similar items. Greg I. is the Communications Committee representative to this committee.]
6. Facilitate establishment of guidelines for communications between the Secretary of the Academic Staff, ASEC, Standing Committees, governance bodies, and campus administrators and constituencies to make sure they are communicating in accordance with the plan. [UPDATE/NOTE: Renee M. and Greg I. worked on a communications matrix with Mary Ray from ASEC, which was a snapshot of communications flow between and among all key parties of governance and appropriate administrators and constituencies.]
7. Survey the Academic Staff for its input and feedback on various communications themes, and issues. Make recommendations based on the outcome of the survey. [Bob R., Bob A., Sonya S.]
IDEAS AND GOALS FOR 2010-2011
1. Decide which of the above items to continue to do or not.
2. Develop new items based in part from feedback on Academic Staff Survey, priorities of our committee, as well as the Planning Meeting of ASEC and Standing Committees (that will occur on August 11, 2010).
3. Profile Assembly Representatives?
4. Plan informal conversational sessions (brown bags?) among Assembly Representatives so that the Representatives can better get to know each other.
5. More ideas?