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E MPLOY E E NE W SL E T T E R A PRIL 2013 Join the Conversation initiative seeks to improve campus communication » By Matt Urick In effort to foster a culture of openness and transparency across campus, BYU-Idaho has launched Join the Conversation, an initiative designed to strengthen the communication process between university leaders, line management, and all employees. “We all have the responsibility to ensure that information flows effectively across campus,” President Clark said in an introductory message on the Join the Conversation website. The initiative plans to tackle the distance created by organizational layers that can separate employees. “We hope everyone will get involved with this initiative,” said Merv Brown, director of University Communications. “We hope it reaches every corner of campus and creates channels for effective communication.” Vice presidents are asked to share information from President’s Executive Group and President’s Council with line management and in the Employee Blog. Through the Employee Blog, BYU-Idaho employees will have access to the highest level of information and an opportunity to provide their thoughts. The Join the Conversation initiative encourages all employees of BYU-Idaho to have a voice, and the university has established a number of venues designed to help facilitate discussion. Seeking to foster two-way communication is a vital part of the Join the Conversation initiative. Effective communication requires obtaining feedback. By implementing this initiative the university hopes to obtain ideas and perspectives from others before decisions are made. The university also hopes this will strengthen trust, create improved morale, and surface great ideas. Employees are encouraged to prepare questions for President Clark and the vice presidents as they make visits to departments across campus, provide feedback and collaborate with supervisors, actively participate on the blog, Facebook, email, and other digital resources, and participate in the monthly President’s Executive Group Q&A. “The purpose of Join the Conversation is to strengthen communication at the university,” Brown said. “We want every employee to have the opportunity to be informed.” While specific steps are being taken to foster this new culture of openness and transparency, the initiative needs the participation of employees on every level. Brown said the initiative is designed to be accessible and available to everyone. He added that university leaders hope multiple venues and channels of communication will enable everyone to participate. “As we work to move BYU-Idaho forward on its steady, upward course, our ability to share information with each other is essential,” President Clark said on the website. “I encourage all of us to fully engage in this endeavor to make effective communication a defining aspect of our work at the university.” For more information concerning Join the Conversation, visit and click on the Employee Blog link. University Relations & Services area reorganized A reorganization of University Relations and Services has been implemented because of Bruce Hobbs’ departure this summer to serve as a mission president. Effective April 15, the areas currently under his supervision will be restructured as follows: the University Store, Food Services, Event Services, Print and Copy Services, Auxiliary Financial, and Stores, Receiving and Mail Services will comprise the new University Services area, with Eric Conrad as managing director. The University Services area will remain under vice president Charles Andersen. All University Relations functions, including guest hosting and institutional events, Center Stage and Performance Tours, Education Week, Auxiliaries Marketing, and community relations will be folded into University Communications, with Merv Brown as managing director. Brett Sampson will manage the University Relations functions. The newly merged area will reside under vice president Henry Eyring. Areas that previously reported to Eric Conrad will now report directly to Wayne Clark. A P R I L 2 013 l1

News & Notes April 2013

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