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Not your typical spring-break week Dateline: RIT, News hits, Podcasts

What a week it has been for RIT and University News!

The RIT community learned Monday who will become the campus’ ninth president this summer when President Albert Simone retires after 15 years at the university’s helm.

In University News, we learned about the Board of Trustees’ decision to select William Destler as RIT’s next president modestly earlier than others did—but, believe it or not, it wasn’t all that much sooner.

To some in the standing-room-only crowd in the Golisano College auditorium, it may have seemed as though we had the scoop a lot earlier. After all, they held in their hands our News & EventsSpecial Edition” announcing Destler’s selection. But the special issue was possible only due to planning and hard work that began weeks earlier.

As Vienna conveyed in her Wednesday blog post, let’s just say that we were prepared for any eventual outcome—particularly once we learned the names of the two finalists for the position. That’s when things really got rolling, and it’s truly gratifying to us that we pulled it off so well.

In addition to distributing the “Special Edition” at the March 5 news conference, all employees received copies in their internal mailboxes the same day (which was no small feat). The “Special Edition” also was available online before the start of the noon news conference, and it’s wrapped around the regular March 8 issue that’s now available in distribution boxes across campus.

Though News & Events was “hot off the presses” the day the news broke, visitors to the University News Web site and The Tiger Beat Blog, along with Dateline: RIT e-newsletter subscribers, were among the first to read the news. Also, Board of Trustees Chairman Michael Morley’s full statement announcing Destler’s selection was—and still is—available exclusively on this blog.

Coverage continues on the University News site:

• Read news releases and News & Events stories
• Watch video coverage of the March 5 news conference
• Listen to an audio podcast of the news conference (which was available on the same day as the event)
• Listen to a wrap up of coverage on “Dateline: RIT – The Podcast
• See a gallery of photos of Destler’s recent RIT visits and the news conference
• Read news media coverage of Destler’s appointment

As late as around 9 a.m. Monday, the news conference was not a certainty due to complications surrounding the video feed from Maryland—which Bob Finnerty spent much of Saturday and Sunday arranging. Kudos to Bob for making it happen, to John for his strong advocacy for it, and to Paul, Vienna, photographer Sue Weisler, designer Pete Bella and our entire team for tremendous effort. Considering all that could’ve gone wrong, Monday’s event was an amazing success all the way around.

Yes, what a week it has been!

  1. John Follaco
    Mar 12

    Wow. Until I read this post I hadn't truly realized how much content this office pumped out last week. Kudos to you, as well, Mike. The extensive new media coverage of this event was amazing.

    Because most of the campus was away on break, I'm eager to see how many people took advantage of the vodcast and podcast of the news conference.

  2. Mike Saffran
    Mar 12

    Thanks, John. As of late last Friday, figures provided to me by Silandara showed that the audio podcast of the news conference has been accessed from the University News Web site almost 400 times. (No figures yet on the video of the news conference.)

  3. Kathy Lindsley
    Mar 14

    Yes, indeed, a busy, momentous week. But just one week later, it strikes me as odd that the big news (RIT names new president) is not to be found on RIT's home page, and it's sort of buried on the news page.

    I realize that this ran as the big story of the day for seven days, but it still seems like a bigger than anything else we've got.

    But maybe I'm just a cranky old newspaper reporter.

  4. Mike Saffran
    Mar 14

    Without question, it was a subjective call, Kathy, but we felt seven solid days of news about the new president as the main featured story, along with two prominent News & Events stories, two news releases, video coverage of the news conference, two audio podcasts, a photo gallery, and links to outside news-media reporting was extensive coverage. (Not to mention, distribution boxes across campus are filled with the special edition of News & Events.)

    The argument can be made that some people may have missed the news because last week was spring-break week, but I disagree that it’s now buried on the University News site. Rather, I believe it’s hard to miss the two very prominent feature stories with photos, along with video and audio of the news conference.

    Your point about the RIT home page is a good one, but University News only controls its small piece of “real estate”—the “Newsline”—which automatically picks up our main featured story.

    Other readers’ feedback on this topic is welcome: Was there too much, too little or just the right amount of coverage?

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