February 12, 2001
Anyone interested in learning the kind of impact Tulane's strategic planning process is having on campus and in the community will soon have that information in his or her hands-or computer screen. This year's Report of the President, which is offered in two complementary versions, will be released Feb. 15. One version takes the form of a Web site that presents interactive, hyperlinked material. The second version is an enhanced rendition of the president's letter to alumni, faculty and staff that is mailed twice yearly.
"Traditionally, annual reports are rather hefty, dense publications that readers sometimes find daunting," says Debbie Grant, assistant vice president for communications. "We thought we would try to present the material in the familiar format of the president's letter and also give it an innovative twist by coupling it with an online president's report."
Grant says readers should view the pieces as two parts of a single message. "By pairing the pieces, the Report of the President becomes a more effective communication tool."
Carol Schlueter, director of university publications, who headed the production team working on the report, says the two versions work hand-in-glove.
"The printed piece promotes the Web version, and the Web version will offer a button to click in order to send e-mail to the president." According to Grant, the report will give a substantive look at the ongoing strategic planning process. "We thought it would be exciting to bring the written plan to life by using real examples from our campus."
Look for information on work by genetic researcher Darwin Prockop, the effort to locate an National Endowment for the Humanities research center at Tulane and the A.B. Freeman School of Business' educational enterprise in Latin America, among other stories.
Says Cowen, "These stories are representative of the excellent work being done by faculty to continually strengthen the university's academic reputation and stature." Cowen adds that that message is augmented through the Web-site version.
"The Web component is very important because it provides open access to the report to anyone who has a computer and the desire to find the report."
It also gives visitors the chance to easily find out more about the university by clicking to an associated financial site. Beyond that, Grant says the tandem is cost effective. By using the format of the four-page president's letter, the university saves on printing and postage costs, she says.
"We find the costs for doing the report this way to be exceedingly attractive," she says. "We think it's a nifty way to communicate." All faculty and staff will be mailed the printed version of the report. The online version can be found at http://pres 2000.tulane.edu.
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