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March 25, 2010

Communication Services and Creative Services will merge

Two of N.C. State University’s largest communication units -- University Creative Services and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Department of Communication Services -- are merging to enhance the image and awareness of NC State and to create an efficient and effective one-stop shop for communication services.

The merger was announced to the communication staffs Wednesday afternoon, March 24. Joe Hice, the university’s chief communication officer, will continue to provide overall leadership for University Communication, with Mark Dearmon – now head of the Communication Services Department – providing direction for a unit to be known as Communication Services.

Communication Services will include graphic designers, printers, photographers, customer service providers, multimedia programmers and designers, broadcast and video production services, extension publication editors and internal communicators. The unit will serve both the university and the college, with Dearmon reporting to Hice, with a dotted-line to CALS Dean Johnny Wynne.

Members of University Communication’s current Web Communications and Creative Services units will move into the Butler Communication Services Building on Friday, March 26.

Five members of the current CALS Communication Services staff will continue to serve and report to CALS and Cooperative Extension: writers Dave Caldwell, Natalie Hampton, Dee Shore and Suzanne Stanard as well as Perspectives editor Terri Leith. They will continue to be housed in Butler.

CALS faculty and staff who need communication services can continue to secure assistance through Dearmon (mark_dearmon@ncsu.edu; 513-3108) or their current CALS ComServ contacts. This includes requests for county Extension centers services, including name badges, letterhead, publication and exhibit orders. (See www.cals.ncsu.edu/agcomm/resources.html for order forms and other details.)

In announcing the merger, Hice praised Dean Wynne for his commitment to ensuring a win-win arrangement for the college and the university. Wynne and Vice Chancellor for Finance and Business Charlie Leffler worked together to explore a reorganization recommended by an earlier study conducted as part of PACE, the UNC President’s Advisory Committee on Efficiency and Effectiveness.
Hice and Dearmon cited several goals:
• to present a unified approach that enhances the image and awareness of the university with key audiences and thus increases the university’s ability to achieve unit and institutional goals,
• to reduce costs and create a highly efficient, cost-effective unit that provides high-quality services to everyone across campus,
• to focus and refine communication efforts for CALS and the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in a way that increases the awareness of the university’s land-grant mission throughout the state and nation,
• to provide a host of central services from a single location to improve cooperation as well as customer access and service,
• and to demonstrate the university’s commitment to providing highly effective communication materials and programming.

Dearmon noted another immediate benefit of the merger: enhanced video production services. The two formerly separate video units will soon acquire and share high-definition video equipment that will enhance the appearance of some of the university and college’s most visible and far-reaching communication efforts.

A steering committee including Hice, Dearmon and other University Communication directors will meet regularly to oversee the reorganization, and Hice, Wynne and the steering committee will monitor progress and make adjustments as needed to meet the needs of the college, Cooperative Extension and the university in general.

-D. Shore

Posted by Natalie at March 25, 2010 10:42 AM