Meeting Minutes - November 1, 2011

President Engstrom opened the meeting by welcoming the Council and audience members. He then gave a brief overview of the UM Brand Strategy Initiative and introduced Beth Hammock, Vice President for Strategic Communications and Marketing at the UM Foundation and co-chair of the Brand Strategy Task Force.

Beth Hammock shared a PowerPoint Presentation on the Brand Strategy Initiative. The presentation included the goal of the Initiative, a description of the three phases of the project, and some examples from other Universities that have recently undergone the branding process. She opened the floor for questions following her presentation.

Q: How do you plan to involve the UM community?

A: We plan to hold open forums and the consultant we hire will also work with the community.

Q: What criteria are you using to choose the firm?

A:  We’ve developed a long list of requirements. We will be grading based on cost, creativity, samples of past work, interviews and references. We’re requiring that all bidders submit an extensive proposal.

Q: What will happen to the campus units that already have an established identity?

A: This is one of the challenges we face. We’re going to ask the consultant for ideas on how to make everyone more consistent. We plan to talk with all campus units and ask that no one makes any major changes to their image in the meantime. Our task is to find the optimal balance. We don’t want to become the “brand police” but do want consistency across campus. There are currently great messages and materials being generated but there’s no consistency, which is the ultimate goal.

Q: Will there be an office or just a set of guidelines?

A: We plan to hire a Chief Marketing Officer, a cabinet level position, by July 1, 2012.

Q: Do you see the Brand Strategy Task Force working with College!NOW to brand the COT?

A: Yes, there will be collaboration/integration. We will make sure that the processes are not in conflict.

Q: Will UM’s affiliate campuses be included in the process?

A: This is an exercise for the Missoula campus only. The other three campuses are engaged in their own initiatives at some level. Each campus is unique and we don’t want to impose Missoula on the others.

Q: UM is a family of Universities. How does the brand of the main campus (Missoula) affect the other campuses? Is this a question for the experts?

A: This needs to be part of the up-front conversation. UM is made up of 4 separate, accredited universities; they need to play off of each other but still remain separate. For example, both Helena and Western emphasize the fact that they are part of UM while also stressing their unique characteristics.

Q: What should we, the UM community, do? What do we look for to have a voice?

A: We will invlolve the community through Open Forums and plan to present to University Council again. For now, please inform people that the process is happening.

Q: Will the agency stay on? How long?

A: We’ve asked all bidding firms to provide a marketing plan through 2013. We will determine their extended involvement at that time. It is likely that we will remain some sort of relationship for an extended timeframe.

President Engstrom closed the conversation with some remarks about the branding process. He said that the University is starting the process for more than just financial reasons; it is also about building the University’s reputation. This will positively affect hiring faculty and staff and attracting students. The President then gave everyone a homework assignment: he asked everyone to think about what UM means to them and what makes UM great.

The meeting was then opened for discussion.

Bill Johnston, Director of the Office of Alumni Relations, reminded everyone about the upcoming Military Appreciation weekend.

Arlene Walker-Andrews, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education, announced that Carol Schneider, President of AAC&U, will be visiting Missoula to attend a GLI retreat on November 10.

President Engstrom announced that there are currently 3 cabinet level searches underway; Vice President for Research and Creative Scholarship, Chief Information Officer, and Chief Marketing Officer.

Brian French thanked Dr. Branch and the Day of Dialogue Planning Committee for all of their hard work and dedication. Dr. Branch then thanked everyone who participated. She reported that there were 950 participants and that the Day’s events sparked several important conversations across campus.

Barbara Koostra, Director of the Montana Museum of Art and Culture, announced that the Museum is currently displaying the work of Ben Steele in their galleries.

Jeff Edmunds, ASUM Vice President, announced the creation of the new Neighbor Ambassador Program and said that ASUM is very excited about the new program.

President Engstrom closed the meeting by thanking everyone for attending.