University employees are critical to advancing the university's mission and effective communication helps them to be better informed and empowered in the workplace. Goals for internal communication:
- Foster an environment of open communication and build advocacy by providing meaningful, relevant and timely communications as well as the rationale for decisions.
- Provide accurate, timely information during a crisis to the university community.
Internal information sources
The Cornerstone news and information website is one of the primary communication tools for employees and should be used for general announcements such as events, training, updates, retirement parties, staff changes, minor procedural changes, programmatic offerings to staff and solicitations for volunteers. Please be sure to share this resource with your coworkers. This electronic newsletter is published once a week during the academic year.
The Grapevine website is a Q and A format set up to dispel rumors and clarify misconceptions and misunderstandings of a general nature. Suggestions for improving campus operations are also welcome.
These email listservs to all faculty, staff and students are administered by Marketing and Communications and should be used for announcements such as: chancellor's communications, policy decisions, senior management appointments, benefits information, changes in major operating procedures, safety and holiday information, campuswide initiatives and announcements that affect a large portion of the campus.
Submit email listserv requests to email@example.com.
- Do not send attachments, but use web links to refer to more information.
- Do not send to multiple lists and then to the all-campus email.
Announcements that will not be distributed UAF wide include:
- Announcements used for personal, political or monetary gain.
- Announcements that are not UAF affiliated.
- Isolated departmental announcements, i.e. a picnic intended for only a portion of the campus community.
Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are being used more often at the university. UAF now has an institutional Facebook page, and several departments have created Twitter pages to provide timely alerts to their followers:
Best practices for internal communication
- Communication should be efficient, direct and as clear as possible.
- Writers should use the UAF editorial style guide.
- Use active, rather than passive, voice.
- Email should be brief and to the point.
- Link to documents rather than sending attachments via email.
- Major changes are best communicated face-to-face or from direct supervisors to their staff or faculty members. Information will sometimes be sent to deans, directors and department chairs with this in mind. Cascading information to middle managers who then share it with their employees can be effective. Tools such as the meeting-in-a-box can include relevant information, context and FAQs to help communicate change.
- Email is best used to communicate important, but not urgent, information. All campuswide e-mails are posted on the archives of the listserv from which they originated. For instance, [UAF-Staff-L] emails are posted at https://lists.uaf.edu:8025/pipermail/uaf-staff-l/.
- Social media sites require continuous maintenance and monitoring. If you're interested in setting up a site, you may want to contact Marketing and Communications for advice.
Other internal information sources
- Cornerstone staff and faculty newsletter* (RSS feed)
- UAF HR newsletter
- Grapevine website (RSS feed)
- UAF on Alert
- Chancellor's website
- SW Voice
- UA Board of Regents
- Regents recap
- [UAF-L] email listserv (chancellor’s communications)**
- [UAF-Staff-L] email listserv to all UAF staff**
- [UAF-Faculty-L] email listserv to all UAF faculty**
- [UAF-Alert-L] email listserv (crisis communications)**
- [UAFNews-L] email listserv for UAF news releases*
- [UAFHR-L] e-mail listserv
- Building coordinators/building listservs
- Flier posting sites at UAF
*Also external, employees need to subscribe
**UAF employees and sdbutro are auto-subscribed. Please note, if you opt-out of sdbutro you will not receive emergency messages from UAF.
In addition, information is shared at Staff Council and Faculty Senate meetings, which are open to the public. Please visit www.uaf.edu/uafgov/ for a list of meetings and agendas.
UAF professional development and training opportunities are available in one location at UA-UAF Training Calendar.