Archive for February, 2010

| posted by Joe Hice |

A coming together of NC State communications professionals

Communications professionals from CALS Communications Services and University Communications will be working more closely together soon.  Literally.

The Creative Services Group and Web Communications from University Communications will be moving from their offices in the Creative Services Building into the Butler Communications Services Building on Friday, March 26.  For those who aren’t familiar with Butler, it is at 3210 Faucette Drive, across from the campus police station.  The facility was dedicated in April 1999 and is named after father and son Tait and Eugene Butler, prominent figures in the area of agricultural reform.  Both focused on careers in journalism and are known for their work as writers and editors of publications such as Progressive Farmer and Southern Living.

The move is designed to concentrate communications talent in one place.  More opportunities to share resources, and equipment, to collaborate and be creative, if you will. (more…)


| posted by Joe Hice |

I’ve been hacked by Paris Love!

Was just sitting down to write an informed, engaging, insightful blog post about social networking when the email went crazy.  My HiceSchool Twitter account had been hacked by Paris Love and all of my followers were under seige (sorry followers.)  How appropriate.  All of a sudden I was 24 and hot.  Ahhhh, I remember the days.  I was also female.  Now there’s an interesting twist.

Anyhow, I’ve been distracted and must deal with the hacker (Paris) and put an end to the nonsense.  Time for a new password.

Can’t help but wonder why Paris selected HiceSchool to hack.  Could it be the similarity to high school and all the naughty imagery that must come to Paris’ mind.  Or is Paris a really bad speller; she tried to find high school and found instead, hice school.  Perhaps she has seen my traditional sign off…Passion Rules!  Kind of risque, don’t you think.  Perhaps it’s my twitter photo…old guy running powerboat; rich playboy.   Right Sandra…my true love.  Who knows.  Hacked. (more…)


| posted by Joe Hice |

Water-Cooler Effect: Internet Can Be TV’s Friend

By Brian Stelter
Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company

Remember when the Internet was supposed to kill off television?

That hasn’t been the case lately, judging by the record television ratings for big-ticket events. The Vancouver Olympics are shaping up to be the most-watched foreign Winter Games since 1994. This year’s Super Bowl was the most-watched program in United States history, beating out the final episode of “M*A*S*H” in 1983.

Awards shows like the Grammys are attracting their biggest audiences in years. Many television executives are crediting the Internet, in part, for the revival.

Blogs and social Web sites like Facebook and Twitter enable an online water-cooler conversation, encouraging people to split their time between the computer screen and the big-screen TV. The Nielsen Company, which measures television viewership and Web traffic, noticed this month that one in seven people who were watching the Super Bowl and the Olympics opening ceremony were surfing the Web at the same time. (more…)


| posted by Joe Hice |

Holding colleges accountable

Wow. Parts of this make my blood boil because it is such an obvious attempt to slam higher education.  Can it really be Time Magazine!

But the column gives me pause.  Is there a veil of secrecy around higher education?  Are colleges given too much  respect?  Are we really doing our job?

I know how I’d answer those questions, but increasing, people are telling me I may be in the minority.  As we move ahead with our strategic communications planning initiative — sans veil of secrecy — we need to recognize all sides.  Hold your breath, or should I say nose, and read on.

Passion Rules!

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Holding Colleges Accountable:  Is Success Measurable?

With almost 40% of the nation’s college-age students in some form of post-secondary education — and tuition costs as high as they’ve ever been — we don’t really have a handle on what students learn at university. Or whether they’re learning anything at all. Kevin Carey, the policy director at Washington think tank Education Sector, believes that many colleges do a bad job of (a) teaching students and (b) getting them to graduate. An essay he wrote for the December issue of Democracy is making waves in the higher-ed world because it describes how lots of colleges are keeping confidential a lot of student-assessment data. He spoke with TIME education correspondent Gilbert Cruz about why parents — and public officials — should demand more accountability from colleges.



| posted by Joe Hice |

Web2.0 presentation

Met with students at the kick off to Communications Week today.  Had a good discussion around social media; it’s advantages and disadvantages.

As suspcted, only two students in the audience were not on Facebook. More were not on Twitter, but that’s not a surprise. Stats show that Twitter is a mid-30s phenom.  The biggest surprise is iPhone usage.  Few students have an iPhone and fewer still think the iPad will be necessary on campus.   The feeling is that if you have a laptop, and almost everyone does, why to you need an iPad.  Time will tell.  I think the iPad will revolutionize the way we communicate, but then I’m not a student.  Who knows.

Anyway, it has been a very busy day so I’m going to just post my powerpoint presentation here (8MB) for your review…and comment.  Don’t let the opening mislead you.  I intentionally try to make people uncomfortable with the Web and the “don’t tase me bro” video does a great job of doing that.  It still chokes me up 18 months later.  If you haven’t seen it, please watch.  It demonstrates the dark side of social media.  Eight million page views in 24 hours!

Passion Rules!

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| posted by Joe Hice |

Looking for suggestions

Wow.  It has been busy, but looking forward to the Wolfpack vs. Wake Forest game tomorrow.  New Chancellor will be taping the coach’s show in the morning, doing an interview on court pre game, then he and his wife Susan will meet Mr. & Mrs. Wuf at center court during the first half to greet the crowd.  Rumor is that the Wufs have a special presentation for Mr. & Mrs. Woodson.

But looking for ideas.  Ideas on how to introduce the new chancellor to the campus community and North Carolina.  Where to go, when to go, who to see, what to say.  And what about a theme.  That sort of thing.

So what about themes; American Living tour, taken. Listening tour,  taken. Learning tour, taken.  Back Home tour, taken.  Get a Grip tour, taken (one of my favorites.)  Connections tour, taken. Bridges to Babylon tour (the Orlando stop was awesome,) taken.  Hum!?  What to do, what to do.

Send your ideas. Please.

Passion Rules!

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| posted by Joe Hice |

NC State University will bring focus to a world of high-speed technological and human change

In January I talked a little about a report created by the Art & Sciences Group about NC State.

Recommendations in the report were based on hundreds of interviews on campus and with “opinion leaders” around the nation.  The report has helped me understand some of the bigger issues facing the university and  while I don’t agree with everything they suggested, I do think the information may be very useful in our strategic communications planning efforts.

Here, in abbreviated fashion, are more of those observations and recommendations:

  • North Carolina State University is poised to become the leading land-grant institution on the east coast of the United States. A comprehensive university centered in the sciences and engineering.
  • NC State is a place of uncommon focus: students focused on service and career, a research enterprise focused on the great issues of our time, and a faculty that welcomes its responsibility for both.
  • The times call for leadership from a major university located in one of the world’s great research and industry hubs in the population center of the U.S., yet also keenly attuned to the opportunity divide separating city from small town, and haves from have-nots.
  • NC State, in partnership with its great neighboring universities, is the engine that continues to power the Research Triangle. We are applying our research and educational resources to five issues of surpassing importance to the nation, the world, and every county in North Carolina. Together, our unusual constellation of colleges and Centennial Campus—our pioneering community integrating the work of the university, industry, and government—will focus on:
  1. producing leaders for the state, nation, and world
  2. energy and environment
  3. health and well-being
  4. educational innovation across all grade levels, and
  5. economic development and social equity
  • NC State will be an international leader in those fields of science and engineering, humanities, arts, and social sciences where we can contribute to breakthroughs of understanding and application focused on these issues.
  • NC State’s faculty are delivering an education matched to the particular needs of a society and economy dramatically shaped by technology and constant innovation. We know we will depend, for example, on scientists adept with demographics, art, and policy; on lawyers, entrepreneurs, and doctors who think like engineers; and on graduates in every field who as students already have experience in the global workplace.
  • The people of North Carolina State University bring focus to a world of high-speed technological and human change.

Wow.  That’s how others see the potential of NC State University.

I am proud to be part of that university.  I am proud to be part of NC State.  We’ve just got to make it happen and it all starts with a vision. We’ll work with our new chancellor to help craft that vision then take it to the masses, creating disciples along the way.

Passion Rules!

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| posted by Joe Hice |

Comments re: Advancement Retreat

Many of us attended an all-day program a few weeks back sponsored by University Advancement.  It was a great chance to “network” with peers from a variety of offices and a good chance to begin setting the stage for an NC State capital campaign in the future.

Like it or not, fund raising at public universities is every bit as important as fund raising at the privates.  Government support is falling and we need outside funding to accomplish our mission.  Be that as it may, comments from the group were far ranging. If you have additional comments after reading this, please post them to the Blog.  We will be having more group meetings and we want to do everything possible to make them worthwhile.

Below you’ll find a sampling of comments ranging from good to bad.  I screened all the ugly.  I should note, these are not all the responses because there were just too many.  Now, my favorites:

  • Joe Hice’s afternoon presentation was great. Very informative and inspirational:-)
  • In planning the next quarterly meeting it might be helpful to include more college‐based staff in setting the topics for discussion.
  • I would like to hear from the new chancellor about what he wants and expects. (Rest assured, that will happen before any new campaign begins.)
  • It would be helpful to know what the central unit’s plans/budget etc. are for going forward—what do we have to work with? Also, I think if there were any questions that emerged with frequency from the breakout sessions, they would be good to explore in depth. For example, there were lots of questions in the Advancement Services session I attended about data collection and pulling lists etc. I know there are always questions about blogging/new media strategies etc. (more…)

| posted by Joe Hice |

Woodson visit generating excitement in town

I can already feel the excitement among the students, faculty and staff here at NC State. The new chancellor will be visiting for the next three days and spending time with more people on campus and around town.  His schedule is a whirlwind, but make sure to be at the Reynolds Coliseum tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. for a welcome reception and to hear what he has to say.

Thursday and Friday are consumed by Board of Trustee meetings, but Randy and his wife, Susan, will be back in the spotlight on Saturday during the Wake Forest men’s basketball game.  The Woodson’s will be introduced to the crowd during a television time out near the end of the first half  and Mr. and Mrs. Wuf will present them with Wolfpack jerseys.  Go Pack!

Back at Purdue, the university announced Woodson’s replacement.  Timothy Sands was named executive vice president for academic affairs and provost.

Sands, 52, has been at Purdue since 2002 when he was hired for a joint appointment in materials engineering and electrical and computer engineering.

The appointment of Sands must mean Woodson’s arrival is not too far away. Right!  Right.  We’ll know soon.

Passion Rules!

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| posted by Joe Hice |

One NC State competitor spent $275 million last quarter to market their university!

I had the opportunity to speak to the team at DELTA, NC State’s Distance Education and Learning Technology Applications group, last week and answer questions about the university’s efforts to create a strategic communications plan.

DELTA has played an active role in the planning process and they clearly understand the changing climate of higher education today.  Be that as it may, I think more than a few were shocked when we talked about the money “for-profit” institutions are spending to market their degree programs and classes.

For the three-month period ending Nov. 30, 2009, University of Phoenix’s Apollo Group holding company spent $275 million on “selling and promotional” expenses according to a report in The Chronicle of Higher Education.  That’s not a typo.  That’s $275 million ($275,000,000) last quarter.

Holy cow.  University Communications won’t spend that much marketing NC State during the next 300 years given the current budget situation.  Let me say that in another way, it will take NC State almost 300 years to spend what the University of Phoenix spent last quarter (that’s just three months) marketing itself to potential students.

I hope that number scares you as much as it scares me and I’ve been afraid for a few years now.  My eyes were opened when the University of Florida football team played for a BCS National Championship — and won — back in 2006.

The stadium in Glendale, Arizona is named the University of Phoenix Stadium.  Makes sense, right.  University of Phoenix must be close by.  Well, Apollo Group Inc., is based in Phoenix, but the stadium is not part of a physical campus; at least not as we think of a campus.  It’s a marketing tool used to promote the University of Phoenix.  Apollo Group paid $154 million for the 20-year naming rights!

PhoenixStadium (more…)