Let me start by saying I understand these things happen. I’m not upset, and I’m not blaming anyone. After all, nobody got hurt. No tears were shed. But when a local reporter gets the scoop on RIT news before I do, well, you can bet it becomes the source of some concern.
All of us at University News congratulate Ashok Rao on his appointment as dean of the E. Philip Saunders College of Business. Rao joins RIT from Babson College in Massachusetts, and he will assume his new post on Feb. 1. We’ve been preparing for the announcement of a new dean for many weeks, and we knew the time was fast approaching.
Matt Daneman, the higher education reporter for the Democrat and Chronicle informed us just how fast. His call to our office stating, “Hey, I hear you have a new business dean,” prompted a sense of disbelief. But a quick call to a co-worker inside the Saunders College confirmed the news. The announcement from administration to Saunders faculty and staff was delivered by e-mail, but University News was inadvertently left out of the loop. Okay, time to scramble!
Within about an hour, we were able to piece together and distribute a news release formally announcing Rao’s appointment. Obviously, Daneman’s scoop forced our hand. These kinds of news releases often take days, even weeks, to complete. Various stakeholders need to review and revise specific verbiage, and multiple drafts of a document are rarely out of the question. This is indicative of the “slow drip” that is frequently public relations.
That’s why, after it was all said and done, I prefer how this announcement went down. Sure, it was a bit frantic, but it was over in a flash. It’s a bit like ripping off a scab (sorry for the imagery). The pain can be intense, but it’s relatively short lived. And, like I said, no tears were shed.