But who wouldn't want to "save the world" or save a university if (s)he could? Even Marketing Dept. Chairman Terry Clark would like to save a piece of it -- its advertising message. . . the Carbondale university's "story."
I've seen the spots created by Terry and his team of students before final edits. I'm sure whatever superior qualities the final product shows is due in large measure to the half-hour we spent together in his office that day. ;-)
Summarizing the message: (1. "take a good class at SIUC" and 2. "conveniently enjoy the natural resources") scored a bullseye with, the bloggers' friend, SIU President Glenn Poshard. The important part is #2. That's what makes SIUC special. And the message makes total sense. Besides good classes, the accessibility of "nature" here in Southern Illinois is unparalleled among other Illinois state universities.
In the same SI article that mentions Clark's Marketing (Clark'eting), Caleb Hale reports on an independent evaluation of the university's goals and realities came down pretty hard on how things were. The report, by the marketing consulting firm of SimpsonScarborough, gives SIUC a reality check, saying essentially, SIUC can't have it both ways. Research-centered or Student-centered. Choose one and run.
But it sounds like interim Chancellor John Dunn thinks SIUC can have it both ways, by moving the goal posts, in defining what makes a top university.
Let Caleb Hale explain:
The question of the hour, however, is will the university continue seeking a top 75 spot among research institutions?
Interim Chancellor Dunn said it may not be a question of whether it does it but how it does it.
"Do you change the goal or do you change the matrix of how that goal is being assessed?" Dunn said. "If you're in the top 75, what is the marker of knowing when you're in the top 75?
"For instance, right now we have an institute [of] American Philosophy that, on anybody's list, is certainly no worse than in the top five; the school of art and design would be in the top 45 . . . .
"I think what this report is also telling us is we have to speak with much greater pride of the things we are already doing very well and that have clearly already put us in the top 75."
Dunn said SIUC will always be a research university, but it will be a "student-centered, responsive research university." (boldface added)
So getting back to marketing. . . . Why not have a student-centered marketing campaign? Use student talent to help create the product, as Professor Clark has done. Have them all produce spots with the same message: SIU at Carbondale combines excellent academics (and athletics) with accessible outdoor recreation, at an affordable price -- with the same tag line, or catchy phrase, that "says it all." An Admissions web log might be a good idea, as well..... Something on MySpace, maybe. A hip-hop version of the school song? Fresh as all outdoors.
As a media maven, I'd be happy to produce a 30-second video promotion for SIUC pro magnum bonum, free of charge.