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Dates of existence
In 1961, four individuals were elected to administration positions at the planned Trinity Junior College; one of these was Perry Havens, Vice President of Business Administration. Soon after the College opened in 1962, he also took on the role of Public Relations Officer, heading up what would later become the Public Affairs Department, and later still - in 1995 - the Media and Publications Services Department. In 2002, the name of the department became University Communications. Originally, the department was responsible not only for the management of all public relations endeavours at Trinity, but also for development (fundraising), church relations, and alumni relations, all of which became separate departments in later years.
The mission of the University Communications Department is to build commitment to the University and its mission by educating key publics and by managing the university's external communication. (1997 Mission Statement) The department is responsible for working with the President's Office and Cabinet to identify and ensure that the University's communications activities are implemented and that an effective program of printed publications is developed; its staff is responsible for assisting the President's Office in developing a regular program of communication between the University and various constituencies, including all levels of government, community leaders, churches and their denominations, and other publics. University Communications manages the development and maintenance - in conjunction with Computing Services - of the Global Mediated Learning Centre and other departments, as well as the University's website. (Position Description, 2002)
The Director of University Communications reports to the Vice President for University Advancement and Marketing. (P.D. 2002)
Department heads have included Perry Havens; Robert N. Thompson (Vice President of Public Affairs, 1974-1975); Al Collins (Director of Public Affairs, ca. 1975-1977); Barrie Palfreyman (Vice President of Public Affairs, 1977-1981); Guy Saffold (Director of Public Affairs, ca. 1983-1986; Director of Enrolment Management, 1986-1988; Vice President for University Advancement, overseeing Enrolment Management, Public Affairs, and Development, 1988-1992, Vice President/Dean, Trinity Western Seminary, 1992 -?, resigned 2006); Ron Gray (1987 - ?); James Cunningham (Director of Developoment and Public Relations, ca. 1988-1990); Tim Ratzloff (1990-1992); Ron Kuehl and/or Dwight Johnson (ca. 1993 - 1995); Ron Goerz (1995 - 1997); Randy Schmidt (Director of Media and Publications Services 1997-2002; Director of University Communications 2002 - 2003); DeVonne Friesen (Acting Director of University Communications 2003; appointed Executive Director of University Communications on August 15, 2003). DeVonne resigned from this position in September of 2005. Mark Halvorson, Associate Director, served as Acting Director until Joan Van Dyck was appointed Director in February 2006. In August, 2008, with the resignation of Ron Kuehl as Vice President for External Relations, Joan Van Dyck, Director of Communications, was appointed Vice President for Communications. This position was temporarily closed in the summer of 2013, with University Communications reporting directly to Senior Vice President of Business Affairs, Derek Dawson, for one to two years.
Addendum (July, 2003): As per the department's website (http://www.twu.ca/Ucomm/Default.aspx), "University Communications exists to contribute to the University and its departments by developing effective, unifying strategic communications policies, helping develop and gain ownership for innovative communications strategies that work synergistically to build public profile, and helping produce and manage compelling communications tools and mediums/platforms (print, web, mass media, etc)." Further, "U. Comm. is mandated by the University to oversee and guide campus communications to external audiences, provide production resources for all departments including project management services and creative services, work as the University’s official purchase agent for graphic design, printing, advertising space and other production services not available on-campus, and ensure projects meet appropriate visual and grammar quality standards."
Our four priorities for the UCOMM team are: 1) providing creative services to the campus, including equipping others to do things themselves through, for example, developing templates; 2) re-creating our existing www.twu.ca website (approx. 15,000 pages) proactively instead of reactively 3) creating fresh content that captures and tells the TWU story; and 4) shaping and executing a strategy for ‘corporate/official university’ communications. UCOMM continues to maintain a governance role in our branding through, for example, our visual identity. Caleb Zimmerman leads the team members responsible for creative services and the website redesign; Jennifer Watton leads the team members charged with our content and corporate communications strategies and plans.
Source: email from President's Office July 18, 2013
Effective March 4, 2015, Caleb Zimmerman, Associate Director of University Communications, resigned from his position at TWU. Jennifer Watton took on the role of "Acting Director of Communications." (Email auto-reply, March 6, 2015)
In October 2015 it was announced that Amy Robertson was appointed to the position of Associate Director of Media and Public Relations, as part of the Marketing and Communications team.
Functions, occupations and activities
Mandates/sources of authority
Formerly known as: Public Relations, then Public Affairs (to 1995).
Media & Publications (1995-2002)
University Communications (UComm) (2002-2015)
Expertise in media relations, web, email and online marketing, advertising, social media engagement, and analytics are all required to compete in our increasingly crowded marketplace. A new department— Marketing and Communications—will bring together parts of Enrollment Management, TWU Extension, SAMC, and all of the University Communications team.
We will recruit a new leader for this team reporting to Derek Dawson, Senior Vice President, Business Affairs.
Source: email from President's Office, June 10, 2015