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New Communication Tool Available for University Business Staff - 08/6/08

To: All Business Services Staff

From: James S. Almond, vice president for Business Services and assistant treasurer

A two-part communication vehicle – Business @ Purdue News – is scheduled for release Aug. 7. This new tool has been designed to enhance the ability of business staff on all four campuses to keep current about developments that affect their work. Part 1 will be an e-newsletter distributed to all business personnel once or twice weekly via email, and Part 2 will be a website, where the e-newsletter articles will be posted and archived for future reference. Combined, these communication channels will provide business staff with an array of information, from timely news to general announcements. Subject matter will address software problems, solutions, business process changes, deadlines, reminders, power outages and myriad other topics. Initially, while details of the plan are still being tested, the e-newsletter will be distributed Thursdays only. However, Janis Thornton, our communications specialist, anticipates sending mailings Tuesdays as well as Thursdays by September.

Since February 2007, when the University adopted OnePurdue to drive its business operations, business employees have faced questions about the SAP software or new procedures. In an effort to keep abreast of the numerous challenges stemming from the change, staff members have shared questions, solutions and other related information with each other through a steady flow of emails. While this form of communication has been helpful, without a central repository for the information, it could not be preserved in an efficient, systematic way.

This new communication plan has been in the works since last fall as a result of the feedback received from Business Services staff at the strategic planning sessions. Input from end-users has been an integral part of the process.  Its design is geared entirely toward serving the needs of our staff and streamlining communication that impacts their workload. I could not be more pleased with the end result, which will evolve as long as users continue to offer suggestions.

The new business e-newsletter, similar in format to “Purdue Today,” will mirror the layout of the Business @ Purdue News’ home page.  Hyperlinks embedded in the newsletter will take readers directly to the Website and allow them to read the article in its entirety, as well as other current and past articles. The Web site will allow articles to be sorted into eight categories – Buying, Facilities, Finance, People, Reports, Research, Security and Travel – and stored in an archive, where current and future staff can access the information as needed.  The exception to the new process will be time-sensitive announcements deemed critical by content sources. Urgent articles will continue to be distributed by the department initiating the information via existing mail lists (e.g. pupay, puaccount, etc.). These messages will also be posted to the Website.

Content for the newsletter and the Web site typically will originate with staff members in these areas: Accounting, Business Services Computing, Budget and Fiscal Planning, Costing, Disbursements, ECCO, HR, Payroll, Purchasing, Sponsored Program Services, Office of Treasury Operations, Taxes and others. Recipients of the newsletter will be Business Services and business office clerical staff at the West Lafayette campus, as well as designated business staff at the three regional campuses.

All Business Services staff should open the Business @ Purdue News-generated e-newsletters as soon as possible and thoroughly read the articles pertaining to their responsibilities. Doing so will maximize the effectiveness of the new communication process and avoid overlooking new information that may prove central to a particular staff member’s area of expertise.

To learn more about Business @ Purdue News or to submit an article, contact Janis Thornton, send an email to business@purdue.edu or visit the Web site at www.purdue.edu/business/bpnews.


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