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Editorial: The importance of thinking before speaking

Published: September 4, 2009
Section: Front Page


This week, the university began interviewing candidates to fill former Senior Vice President of Communications Lorna Miles’ vacancy. Though it would save the university a substantial sum to leave the position empty, the financial gain would not offset the potential disaster a vacancy might cause.

With the possibility of litigation on the horizon with a lawsuit from Rose Art Museum benefactors, the university can ill afford to be without a communications expert on staff. Certainly, the presence of such a person did not prevent the public relations debacle that was the Rose Art Museum, but matters would certainly have been worse had President Jehuda Reinharz been entirely on his own.

Hopefully, the new hire will learn from the mistakes of last semester and will enable us to make a fresh start in our relations with the local and national press.

A new communications vice president must not be willing to fall back on the discourse of misunderstanding and miscommunication that Reinharz employed last spring.

If the university is to rehabilitate its image once and for all, the new communications vice president must not simply be present for damage control, but must be active in shaping the messages we send to the world. Communications should not fix what is broken in our message. It is time for the university to think before it speaks.