Faculty Senate pushes for better communication and fundraising initiatives


Faculty Senate met on Oct. 9 joined by Deborah Maue, vice president of Strategic Marketing and Communications to discuss a new communication and fundraising plan.


Deborah Maue, vice president of Strategic Marketing and Communications who joined Columbia at the end of April 2015, attended the Faculty Senate meeting on Oct. 9 with her team to discuss her role in helping to build the college’s brand and increase efficiency in communication as “one cohesive and centralized whole.”

“My role is to figure out what is the very compelling, unique, differentiating story that we have to tell in a very simple way, and [to]  tell that across all of our marketing and communications vehicles across the college,” Maue said.

She said she plans to meet and work with individual department chairs to further discuss how they can appeal to prospective students through marketing and branding in the media and on the college’s new website, which is continually being improved, Maue said.  

 “We are shifting our priorities from being all things to all people to being more focused in our efforts,” Maue said. “We are bringing a more centralized approach to marketing. It is about achieving that right balance between centralization and department and program focused.” 

The News Office of the school will introduce a new website on Oct. 13 to help improve strategic communication for the college. It will provide feature stories and big news happening on campus and in Chicago, said Cara Birch, director of the News Office.

An “improved” newsletter, which will contain the top three stories of the week with various events and announcements, will be sent to faculty and staff. There will also be newsletters from the president and the provost, which will be sent to the campus community and will discuss how new initiatives are being implemented and who is involved, Birch said.

Eric May, an associate professor in the Creative Writing Department, said to improve alumni relations, which he said has been historically “resistant” to the college, the communications team should work more closely with departments since alumni have a stronger connection with the department they majored in, than with the college as a whole.

On behalf of the full-time faculty of the Department of Humanities, History & Social Sciences at Columbia, the Faculty Senate released a statement on Oct. 8 regarding the gun violence pandemic happening across college campuses and called upon the administration to join with other academic, civic and community leaders and take a lead in pushing for government action on this issue. 

“We must all now step in to push for change, and to assert, within our political system, our expectations and demands for safety and security in our places of work and education,” the Oct. 8 statement read.

“I am heartened by everyone’s willingness to self-nominate for various committees and stepping into the shared-governance of the college,” said Gregory Foster-Rice, associate professor in the Photography Department and president of Faculty Senate. “I am emboldened by the willingness of our colleagues to engage deeply with issues in matters such as diverse as faculty workload and gun violence.”