5P5 Communicating Between and Among Institutional Levels
Communication at Western occurs between and among different levels of the University. A process that demonstrates this involved launching a new branding initiative in 2004. Throughout the entire consultation and decision-making phase, employees attended informational meetings and expressed opinions. Posters and fliers communicated the branding message, and the institution’s web site provided additional information and background. Drawings and contests increased interest in learning about the brand.
The institution values shared governance and an open communication system. Communication occurs vertically and horizontally through leaders and leadership groups.
Western communicates the status of the planning process (8P1) through governance groups, forums, regular meetings during which representatives from across the institution report on action items,
strategic planning web pages, and the
Annual Progress Report on the Strategic Plan.
The President’s Cabinet meets weekly to review information, make decisions, communicate information to the institution, and to prepare for meetings with the Board of Governors. Department directors often attend Cabinet meetings to give reports and presentations, or to answer questions regarding university issues.
GAC meets monthly to review and recommend policy and procedural matters to the President for approval.
The Deans’ Council meets weekly to review information, share assessments, and make decisions. University Chair Councils meet bimonthly and implement decisions and share information among academic departments.
The Student Government Association,
Staff Association, and
Faculty Senate meet regularly to address relevant issues, to review the work of their standing committees, and to communicate policy and procedural matters within Western’s governance system.
Face-to-face meetings provide an effective communication of institutional planning and processes. For example, the President visits various departmental groups to share his vision and to give them an opportunity to ask questions and voice concerns. The President keeps the campus updated on budget, legislative, and other issues. The Provost meets with the Academic and Student Affairs area to share strategic initiatives and to respond to questions.
The Office of University Advancement disseminates information on a frequent basis. It publishes a weekly electronic newsletter,
Tower Topics for
faculty, staff, and students. The newsletter
reinforces Western’s shared vision by highlighting student and staff achievements, campus activities, upcoming events and a campus calendar.
The University uses its website to disseminate information to employees and students, and they have access to a number of college publications, meeting minutes, and information about university issues. With the Banner Gold system, employees have easier access to an intranet system which contains information specific to their needs. The new system offers employees effective communication tools, such as targeted announcements and chat rooms to enhance communication within the campus
Broadcast e-mails and listserv postings provide the primary communication medium for faculty, staff and students. The President frequently communicates with the entire campus through e-mail. When appropriate, Western communicates through the campus mail system.