A biweekly publication for faculty and staff
February 1, 2017

Message from Leadership: Chancellor Dorothy Leland

September 14, 2012

It’s a pleasure to welcome everyone back to campus this year with something new – a revamped e-publication that represents another step in the initiative we announced last year to strengthen internal communication across our growing campus.

Beginning this semester, staff and faculty will receive Panorama twice monthly. In addition, based on input University Communications received from members of the campus community, more business-related information will be included with the customary news features.

Once monthly in Panorama you will also hear directly from the campus’s top leaders, from the vice chancellors and the deans to the chair of the Academic Senate and the president of the Staff Assembly.

Why are we making these changes now?

Since I joined the campus last year, the need to improve internal communication has emerged as a clear and compelling campus priority in nearly every conversation I’ve had with faculty and staff. The communications survey we conducted this summer, which many of you completed, confirmed that impression and helped identify a number of challenges related to how we share (or fail to share) important information across the university.

While we’re still working on plans for more comprehensive improvements in internal communications, it’s clear we need to act quickly where we can to ensure all internal audiences – staff, faculty and students – understand the mission, goals and priorities of the university and are routinely provided news and information we all need to succeed in our respective roles.

Another step we’ve taken to that end is to shift an administrative staff position in my office to an internal communications coordinator position in University Communications. In that role, the coordinator, Donna Birch Trahan, lends assistance to administrators in several divisions to help them communicate in a more timely and routine fashion. Some of the divisions that tap into Donna’s time and expertise include: Budget Office, Business and Financial Services, Human Resources, Information Technology, Library and Transportation and Parking Services.

We’ll have more progress to report on this front in the coming months. As many of you already know, internal communication is not the purview of only one administrative unit. To the contrary, the real key to effective internal communication is a commitment on everyone’s part to understand the information needs of those with whom you interact most closely and to meet them on a timely and consistent basis. Sometimes a simple phone call or a brief email is all it takes.

By strengthening internal communications – among ourselves, within our individual teams and across the university – we will enhance our ability to address other challenges much more effectively and ensure the entire organization understands where we’re headed.

I hope you enjoy this second issue of a revamped Panorama and will join me in embracing the spirit of improved communication it embodies.

As always, I am open to your suggestions for improvement, and I invite you to join one or more of the upcoming brown bag “Lunch with the Chancellor” sessions for informal conversation, information sharing, problem solving and idea sharing. You can see the schedule on my website