Archive for February, 2010

| posted by Joe Hice |

Do rankings follow leadership or does leadership result in higher rankings?

Yesterday’s discussion about NC State’s rankings in social media usage has generated a considerable amount of discussion. (see yesterday’s post and the attached comments.)

Lots of people believe we shouldn’t care about the rankings, instead, we should focus on providing innovative solutions and uses in the social media sphere.  But I’m taking a much more basic approach and want to know where the paths cross.  Do rankings follow leadership or does leadership result in higher rankings?  An interesting conundrum if you will.  And there may not be an acceptable answer.

High rankings attract attention, attention attracts talent, talent attracts funding.  True leadership attracts talent, talent attracts funding, funding attracts attention.  Huh.


For now I think its fair to challenge NC State to be a leader in technology and social media.  Not just in the rankings and not just in the PR, but a leader in how we utilize all of this stuff and in the stuff we create.  I know Tim and our web guys think this should be the case because they all either responded to the blog or sent me an email expressing their opinions (thank you very much, BTW.)

I think that could be one of the key message points that we’re working on as part of the strategic communications planning process.  As TJ suggested; position the university as the system-wide leader in the field (we’ve got enough stuff already to make this claim with the open source code, mobile framework project, twitter, YouTube, our Facebook plans, DELTA, and the list of start ups, plus some of the projects we’ve been considering), and then as one of the Higher Ed leaders?

If it weren’t politically incorrect, I’d say just skip the system-wide stuff and claim national leadership.  The system can follow our lead can’t it?

So, the Key Message might read:

NC State is a leader in …

You tell me.  Just how would we phrase it? You’ve got one paragraph, or 140 characters.  Gotta be true to the technology ya know.  Interesting possibilities.

Passion Rules!

81 of 100


| posted by Joe Hice |

Social Media Leadership at NC State University; Why can’t we be No. 1

Our office has been talking the last couple of days about our Top 40 ranking among North American universities when it comes to the use of social networking.  I think that’s a great accomplishment, but as usual; always asking for more.

Why can’t we be in the Top 10.  Why can’t we be number One.  Well, there are a number of reasons that make sense, but no harm in trying.

The talk has created a great discussion at the office.  Thought I’d share some of that today and ask everyone to comment.  What would it take for NC State to be among the Top 10 in social networking.  What would it take for us to be No. 1?  How can we implement a plan to make it so.  The following comments have been edited so please bare with me.

Matt S.:  we were just named #38, among social media innovators at U.S. universities. They singled out our Twitter feed:  Nothing to scream about, but pretty cool.

Joe H.:  That’s great, but why can’t we be No. 1?

Matt S.: It would be a challenge. (Let’s look at how the rankings were determined.)

The site that assembled the Top 50 list (College Surfing) was looking at overall social media presence: Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.

Our Twitter feed is doing remarkably well, and growing at a nice rate. We appear to have made the top 50 based almost solely on the Twitter feed, and I expect that to continue to be a strength.

Our Facebook presence is pretty weak, which means there is a lot of room for improvement. Right now there are dozens of various NC State Facebook pages, which is fine — but there is no central NC State page. Actually there are THREE “North Carolina State University” pages, each with varying numbers of fans/members. The largest of these pages has approximately 20,000 members — but is explicitly “not an official NCSU site.” We need to have a centralized presence there, but we don’t want to (annoy) 20,000 people by taking their site away. Perhaps we talk to the current operator …? Or perhaps we create a new page and get their cooperation in driving members there? (more…)


| posted by Joe Hice |

Vancouver, G’ville, Raleigh: Back in town!

Back in town from a trip to Vancouver then to Gainesville where the wife and dogs came back with me.  Had two days of very interesting meetings at the University of British Columbia, a place of mind.  UBC is deep into a new branding project and they are doing so many things right it’s hard to list them all (but I’ll attempt that in a future blog.)

They are also sitting right on top of one of the largest events in the world, the Winter Olympics. And as I always say, when things like this happen, you’ve got to seize the moment.  UBC is doing just that with banners, signage, press, on-site media center, experts, etc.  They are also hosting a number of hockey events on campus.  Sure there are going to be challenges, but hundreds of millions of eyes will be on Vancouver for the next month and UBC will be quite visible.  What is the cliche, you can’t buy that kind of visibility!  Indeed.

And I’m still searching for circus dogs.  Not much luck there so if you know anyone who has performing dogs who don’t require a lot of space for their routine, please let me know.  I want to make them stars!

All for now.  So much to do after a few days away.

Passion Rules!

79 of 100


| posted by Joe Hice |

Campus Beautification & Circus Dogs


I attended a Chancellor Liaison meeting last week where students were talking about ways to beautify campus and “sandwich boards” came up.  I was thinking Subway or Quiznos, but the sandwich boards people were talking about are those leaning sign boards you see on campus.  All around campus in fact.

That day there were 40 sandwich boards around campus.  Or should I say, 40 sandwich boards around campus on the way to and from the TSC.  That’s certainly not the way to beautify campus.

I was impressed that our students were concerned enough to bring this up with the Chancellor and even more impressed when I realized the wanted to do something about it.  Just what has yet to be decided, but I thought I’d weigh in. (more…)


| posted by Joe Hice |

Alumni Stars Part Two:

My first post regarding the Alumni Association’s Evening of Stars was so long it was a little overwhelming.  I don’t want to overwhelm anyone — just entertain and inform — so I’ve broken the original post in half.  Part two follows.

And be on the lookout for tomorrow’s N&O feature on the new NC State Chancellor’s Residence.

78 of 100  — yes I’m goig to count it.  It has been very busy lately:-)

Butch Blanchard:

Life is an amazing journey!  I am honored to be included among the high achievers recognized here tonight.  Perhaps my selection is more based on variety, persistence, and longevity, than upon singular achievement, rather like the Long Leaf Pine.

The Forestry Foundation has afforded me the opportunity to work in the support of the College of Natural Resources for student scholarships and other needs, and with special alumni who bring positive changes. The Foundation entrusted me for 23 years with the development, nurture, and growth of the world-unique Hofmann Forest, which became an asset of all-time highest value. (more…)


| posted by Joe Hice |

An Evening of Alumni Stars and memories of NC State University

On Friday night, in the midst of a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow, the NC State Alumni Association Evening of Stars recognized 18 individuals for their outstanding contributions to the university, the state and the nation.  The recipients may well be the rocks that form the foundation of this university, but in no way are they islands unto themselves.  In every case, the relationships they built through the university helped make them the men and women they are today.

Their pride for NC State is evidenced in their comments.  While I don’t have comments from every one of them, I’d encourage you to take some time and read what this august group had to say about NC State.  They will make you smile, they will make you cry.  They will make you proud to be associated with NC State University.

Passion Rules!

77 of 100

I’m proud to present the comments made by the winners of the College Distinguished Alumni Awards, the Wolfpack Club’s Ronnie Shavlik Award and the Alumni Association Awards:

Dr. Calvin McNeill:

I am honored, humbled and still amazed standing before you this evening,  and truly thankful to CALS and NC State for this award. I profusely thank all of you who made this possible. I especially thank  Dean Wynne, Chancellor Woodward, Mr. Peter Daniel and Mr. Scott Troutman for seeing fit to recognize me as a recipient of the 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award.

Coming from rural NC- Raeford, which is located about 100 miles south of here- expectations were low. We were dirt poor, probably some of the last of the so-called share croppers.

I applied to only one college, and luckily got accepted. That was one of my best decisions, for NC State proved to be the nurturing environment I needed. I realized this further by actually spending a semester away from State at Howard University- only realizing NC State was the place for me.

I thank my family for its nurturing and encouragement; and also my NC State mentors, professors and role models. These individuals, the likes of Dr. Gerald Hawkins, the late Dr. Augustus Witherspoon, Dr. Tom Stafford, Dr. Banks Talley, my advisor Dr. Carl Lytle, and Dr. George Barthalmus. These individuals, some of whom have buildings named after them, dedicated their careers to developing students by astutely recognizing individual student needs, their strengths and encouraging them to succeed.