President Elson S. Floyd, Ph.D. - 2/10/09
Internal Communications' Vital Role
Recently we announced that, for budget reasons, all internal communications at Washington State University will be shifted from paper to electronic formats.
I view this as one important step toward saving money and resources. However, I certainly do not view it as an attempt to downplay the importance of robust internal communications. Never has it been more important for people around the university to be informed of and included in the decisions we are making.
Experts have been predicting a transition to a paperless society for years. Meanwhile, it seems, that the piles of papers that cross our desks keep growing. We plan to reverse that trend. I expect this change will spur creativity as we look toward new media alternatives to keep us informed about our university, its goals, challenges and accomplishments. New approaches should increase the sharing of news and information across all WSU locations.
I have asked University Relations to develop an electronic version of WSU Today that will provide daily headlines through e-mail. WSU Today is the news website for faculty, staff and graduate students; it can be found at www.wsutoday.wsu.edu.
The University Relations group is working on the WSU Today e-mail format and expects to have it ready to go in the next few weeks. WSU Today discontinued its print version on Feb. 6, but will strengthen and expand its website to assist members of the WSU community in sharing news and information throughout the university.
University Relations also is modernizing WSU Announcements to enhance its contributions to internal communication. Both WSU Today Update and WSU Announcements will be delivered to all employees’ e-mail boxes each day. I encourage you to use these vehicles and others to stay informed about university news and events. Using WSU Announcements and WSU Today will also reduce the use of individual mass e-mails by providing a mechanism to deliver information to the entire WSU system.
These Perspectives columns will continue. We will also continue to use specialty websites as needed to keep everyone informed on particular issues. The University Budget Committee website and the U-District website are two good examples. Our experience with both those sites has shown that people find them valuable as a place to gather information and offer suggestions. The two-way nature of web communications makes it particularly valuable to us, especially at a time when resources are constrained.
And, of course, we never want to become so dependent on the Web that we forget the importance of face-to-face communication.
In expanding internal communication throughout the WSU system, I am certain that we will find creative and innovative means to keep information flowing. Your thoughts, opinions and observations are strongly encouraged as we move forward.