University approves revised guidelines for broadcast voice mail, e-mail

Wake Forest University administrators recently approved revised guidelines for using voice mail and e-mail to broadcast messages campus-wide. The new guidelines were developed by a committee composed of representatives of the Dean of the College, Human Resources, Student Government, Information Systems and Public Affairs.

The committee recommended few changes in previous policy. Generally, the group supported reserving broadcast messages for major, often urgent messages of campus-wide interest. Briefly, the changes enable the university’s director of human resources to disseminate information on special occasions through e-mail to faculty and staff and clarify when broadcast e-mail and voice mail messages are used for announcing deaths and services for current and former faculty, staff and students.

The new guidelines were announced in a memorandum sent this week to all academic and administrative departments, as well as some student organizations. The memo has been posted on Wake Information Network (WIN), also. It can be found through Info Central in the Forms and Documents Library, under Campus Computing.

Guidelines call for using campus-wide voice mail for faculty, staff and students in the following circumstances:

  • Emergency and crisis situations.
  • The occurrence of crimes that threaten public safety.
  • Sudden changes in traffic, campus vehicular access and parking.
  • Unexpected maintenance that will disrupt campus life in some significant manner.
  • On-campus and off-campus memorial or funeral services for current students, faculty and staff. Voice mail, rather than e-mail, would be used only when services are scheduled with extraordinarily short notice.

Guidelines call for using campus-wide e-mail for faculty, staff and students in the following circumstances:

  • Emergency and crisis situations.
  • The occurrence of crimes that threaten public safety.
  • Significant changes in traffic, campus vehicular access and parking. E-mails would be used for some scheduled changes, especially those that may be especially disruptive.
  • Deaths of faculty, staff and students. Messages will include campus memorial or funeral services for current community members, as well as retired and former faculty and staff (when requested). Messages will also include off-campus services for current faculty, staff and students (when requested).
  • When, in the opinion of the director of human resources, information pertaining to employee benefits or other employee-related issues needs to be disseminated to the faculty and/or staff in an expeditious manner and for which other distribution options are not considered sufficient.

The University News Service remains responsible for distributing broadcast voice mail and e-mail messages. Requests for messages should be made to Kevin Cox, assistant vice president for public affairs and director of media relations, at 758-5237 or coxkp@nullwfu.edu. Information Systems will continue making e-mail announcements on occasion regarding planned or sudden disruption of significant computer network features.

The committee recommended WIN’s Message Board as an alternative method for some announcements that would not be appropriate for broadcast messages. The Message Board policy is posted on WIN; it provides details on how the Message Board may be used. It can be found through Info Central in the Forms and Documents Library, under Campus Computing.

The committee also recommended other options, including stories in University publications, announcements distributed through campus mail, and posters and similar items placed at appropriate campus locations.

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