President Glassman updates faculty senate on marketing, naming committee

Brooke Schwartz, Administration Reporter

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Eastern President David Glassman updated the Faculty Senate on recent marketing campaigns, calling them the “most aggressive” ones the university has ever seen, and said he met with student groups regarding the name change discussion surrounding Douglas Hall at Tuesday’s meeting.

Josh Norman, the associate vice president for enrollment management, began a marketing campaign with the help of the president and marketing firm The Thorburn Group a couple of weeks ago.

This campaign consists of advertising across social media ads on music streaming sites Pandora and Spotify, as well as placing upcoming ads in movie theaters and the addition of 107 billboards across Illinois.

Glassman said Eastern has never marketed itself this aggressively and effectively before.

“This is the largest marketing initiative effort that, as far as I can tell, EIU has ever embarked on,” Glassman said.

The ads are shown only to specific ZIP codes throughout the state and are aimed at targeting potential interested students. Before, the university was using less-tailored marketing practices.

Glassman said the marketing campaign has been reaching people throughout the state and giving Eastern a more positive name.

“It’s more than vitalization,” he said. “It’s the aura of this place extending itself out to tell others our story, something that we’ve been brutally slow to do over the decades.”

The campaign is intended to get students to look at Eastern, but Glassman said that is only the beginning.

The president also discussed his retrieval of the senate’s recommendations a couple weeks back regarding the possibility of a naming committee to potentially change the name of Douglas Hall.

The senate recommended the naming committee be restaffed and the university have another, bigger discussion about the naming of campus buildings and increasing diversity and inclusion programs on campus.

Since receiving the proposal, Glassman said he has been speaking with student organizations on campus that highlight diversity, like the Latin American Student Organization. The conversations focused on the renaming of Douglas Hall and about improving diversity at Eastern.

“I have not determined whether I will move to the naming committee or not at this time,” Glassman said. He says the discussion of diversity is important to Eastern and should continue to be brought up.

“I am still collecting this data, seeing what direction I want to go, but I’ll tell you that these discussions have been some of the most fruitful discussions I’ve had,” he said.

There are also still open discussions about Eastern’s sports programs and about whether some should be cut. The board of trustees needs a decision from Glassman by the end of the semester.

Currently, there is not a plan of action to be presented during Friday’s Board of Trustees meeting.

Glassman said the decision will take more time than he originally thought.

“I think everybody understands the complexity. I think from the beginning … I wasn’t sure of the complexity or how much … complexity there was … and as you drill down, as everybody drills down, we understand that it is a complex question,” he said. “We have to look at what’s best for the short term (and) what’s best for the long term.”

 

Brooke Schwartz can be reached at 581-2821 or at [email protected]