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At NC State, we are one university … One voice, one message, one common goal

NC State’s Chancellor-elect, Randy Woodson, is in town again this week.  In between meetings and events, he had a chance to wander campus a little on his own, and lo and behold, he wanderd into Agriculture Awareness Week on the Brickyard.  A number of students recognized him and Chancellor Woodson had a great time with the group; though he declined the opportunity to milk a cow.  “Done that before,” I think he said.

Last night the new Chancellor was at the annual Founder’s Day Banquet where he and his wife Susan had an opportunity to meet about 400 of the university’s staunchest supporters.  Jay Dawkins and Shanna Rose received the 2010 Mathews Medal, the highest non-scholastic award an NC State student can receive, during the event.

The University also recognized Kenneth M. Bryant, Hou-Min Chang and H. Frank Grainger with the Watauga Medal.  The Watauga recognizes those who have made significant contributions to the advancement of the University.

Woodson is clearly excited about joining NC State and he let the crowd know that during brief remarks.  He also hinted that change may be afoot at NC State.  He has said this before during earlier visits.

“This is a university for a reason,”  he said.  “It’s not nine or 10 colleges. I really want to stress the idea that we are one university. There needs to be strong collaboration across colleges, and our students need to benefit from the breadth of educational opportunities at this university – regardless of their major. So, it’s really stressing the idea that this is one university. We have a lot of individual colleges and departments, but we share one common goal.”

One voice, one message, one common goal.  Music to my ears.

But the most exciting aspect of the new Chancellor’s comments is that we’ll all have an opportunity to work with him and follow his lead to define that common goal.  Excellent timing for our Strategic Communications Planning Process don’t you think.

Passion Rules!

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1 Q { 03.10.10 at 7:50 am }

Music to my ears too!

2 David Hunt { 03.10.10 at 10:33 am }

I understand the importance of the university having a strong brand. But I also recognize that there are times when it makes sense to sing the praises of our colleges. When I recently wrote a feature story on a design student who won a national car design competition, I was proud to say that the exceptional people and programs we offer in the College of Design helped him win that contest. Because one of the audiences for that story was prospective students, I definitely wanted them to know that we have one of the best design schools in the country. In fact, every time I have heard Chancellor-elect Woodson speak, I have heard him extol the College of Design.

I guess I feel that there is room for some nuance. Of course NC State should always be front and center in our communication efforts. At the same time, we should look for opportunities to promote individual programs that may appeal to a select audience.

But to keep from diluting the NC State brand, I think we need to be smart about how we do this. If we promote an aspect of the College of Design, for example, it should work within our strategic communication goals and should contribute to building the overall brand of the university. Whether or not we need to identify the college by name depends on the goal and focus of the article, in my opinion.

3 Joe Hice { 03.10.10 at 1:11 pm }

David: I’m with you on the importance of maintaining an independent identity for the colleges and units on campus. Design should not look like or sound like Agriculture & Life Sciences and Agriculture & Life Sciences should not look or sound like Physics. But it’s important that they reflect the overall mission and values of the university. In a practical sense that means when we write about research and discovery taking place at NC State, we talk about the University, but we should probably give credit to the college as well.

Let the nuance roll.

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