Goals For The First Year

It's good to have goals. I'm not so deluded that I think I'll be able to accomplish all of these in my first year, but I'm a firm believer that if one doesn't dream something, then it will never happen.

Read the list, and let me know in the comments what you think I've missed.

  1. Support and advise the President's vision. Do my part to ensure that this next chapter in Oberlin's history is simply awesome. (It will be.)
  2. Develop personal relationships with the entire community: students, faculty, alums, other administrators, trustees. Know more than simply names and faces. Make time to drop in on people and see how things are going, what they might need, how we might help them.
  3. Engage community in defining Fearless. Transition oberlin.edu/fearless into a site that is stripped of marketing and spin and simply explores the concept of Fearless via personal narratives from alums and current students. Ultimate goal: 1000 stories.
  4. Launch new Oberlin.edu. Work to make path to launch as seamless and smooth as possible. After launch, develop procedures to make Oberlin more self-sufficient so that we will not be so dependent on external vendors. Never stop thinking about how to evolve the website... think of launch as the beginning, not the end.
  5. Take recently-launched admissions blogging program to the next level in content, technology, and procedures. The success of this program will pave the way for other desired Web 2.0 initiatives that may otherwise seem risky to certain parts of the Oberlin community.
  6. Systemically transform current "black box" reputation of Communications office into one that is more public, celebrated, and transparent.
  7. Establish better communications with alums. Develop a Source-like e-newsletter for those members of the Oberlin community who don't live on campus.
  8. Develop micro-giving site for young alums, with focus on participation over dollar amount. More on that one soon.
  9. Establish personal blog to engage current students and alums in a non-traditional way.
  10. Begin overhaul of internal communications.
  11. Explore the idea of One Oberlin. Resolve identity issues. Celebrate bridges between conservatory and college more than we have in the past. Address branding and logo issues. Establish much-needed consistency in brand/identity.
  12. Raise alumni giving participation to 50% by doing a better job of educating the community on why it's important to give.
  13. Investigate the creation of an operation like MIT's Publishing Services Bureau to better aid Oberlin community with publicity and web/print needs.
  14. Launch and maintain an events calendar that really works for all subsets of the community.
  15. Establish a campus-wide print strategy in an effort to cut costs and improve our green initiatives.
  16. Improve media placements for Oberlin.

What would you add?

Responses To This Entry:

What exactly will be happening with the new oberlin.edu? Our website is one of the things that has always disappointed me about Oberlin--the departmental pages are rarely up to date, many links don't work, and the website as a whole is nearly incoherent. I'm glad to hear that there will be some manner of change, I'm just interested in learning what that will involve.

Ted Waddelow

Posted by: Ted Waddelow on August 22, 2008 4:27 PM

Hi Ted,

I agree with you 100% - the site is in need of some serious help - but help is on the way. I'm actually going to write a post soon that will update everyone on the status of the new site. Please stay tuned!


Posted by: Ben on August 23, 2008 3:57 PM

I love it that Ben has started a blog site for we are oberlin. It's the start of inviting the whole community to tell the Oberlin story in a meaningful way.

I've been writing professionally for 25 years, and it's very inspiring to have a boss who writes and cares so passionately about communication. Keep it up!

Posted by: Megan Harding on September 4, 2008 9:30 AM