December 11, 2006

New position focuses on strategic communications

CARBONDALE, Ill. —As Internet communications, text messaging, and online communities such as MySpace grow, universities and corporations are faced with a new mix of rapidly changing technologies to use for internal and external communications with groups ranging from parents and teens to corporate executives and employees.

Southern Illinois University Carbondale wants to be on the cutting edge of the new communication age and has appointed veteran communication professional Susan L. (Sue) Davis to research, assess and recommend appropriate communication strategies for various segments of the University's family.

Beginning Dec. 18, she takes on a new role as Executive Director of Strategic Communications, reporting to Interim Chancellor John M. Dunn.

"In many areas universities move slowly, but in this area we cannot afford to lag behind," Dunn said. "We need to assess how we communicate with everyone from prospective students to donors to make sure our choices match their needs. We need a comprehensive plan for the University, not a piecemeal approach, and Sue's expertise and talent are an excellent match for our needs."

Davis, executive director of Media & Communication Resources, said the new role which will also include other communications work. "This is something that will assist the University in many areas of communication," Davis said. "When I approached Interim Chancellor Dunn with the idea, he was intrigued. He and President Poshard believe this will play a key role in our future communication strategies and I appreciate their support."

As Davis transitions into the new role, Mike Ruiz, communications director for the Office of the President, will also temporarily oversee Media & Communication Resources.

"This will allow for a smooth transition and coordination between the President's Office and the campus," Ruiz said.