February 26, 2018

Feb. 26, 2018

Dear Colleagues,  

The recent tragedy in Florida and other shootings raise feelings of grief and anger for the victims and survivors, as well as questions about our own safety. Having conversations about "what would you do if" are not easy, but they are extremely important.

This spring semester we will be offering students, faculty and staff opportunities to attend active shooter training sessions. Attendees will be introduced to the Run, Hide, Fight model, which is used by our local law enforcement and county emergency responders, as well as many schools, colleges and universities. Prior to those sessions, I encourage you to review the video linked above and talk with your colleagues about what you might do on campus or in any other setting.

Luther College has several teams, departments and committees who monitor, assess, evaluate and respond to safety-related concerns. They meet regularly to work on various aspects of emergency response, including conducting tabletop exercises. In January, they participated in training on an active shooter situation, and in March, they will be participating in threat assessment training. Much of the work focuses on prevention efforts, as well as early interventions that preempt the need for an emergency response.

While we have made progress with our emergency response planning and preparation, there is always more we can do to better prepare our community for emergencies. We are committed to making our campus safe and I encourage you to participate in our campus-wide efforts coming this spring.

College applicants and #NeverAgain
Luther College will be sharing the following message with our prospective students through a variety of channels, including social media:

"Luther College applauds students' expression of their beliefs and supports active citizenship. We want to assure students that participating in peaceful protest does not jeopardize your admission to Luther College, even if you are disciplined or suspended. Our socially conscious community is fully committed to developing whole persons who are equipped to understand and confront a changing society."

Strategic Plan: brand and marketing
Luther College is beginning the work to develop and launch a research-based brand positioning and marketing strategy that will build awareness, attract new customers and extend customer loyalty.

This week, we will be sending out a Request For Proposal to external consultants who will help Luther develop the brand positioning and social media strategy. We expect to have those professionals in place by the beginning of May.

We are also creating a Branding Advisory Task Force that will work with Aimee Viniard-Weideman, vice president for communications and marketing, to provide advice, support and input during the brand development process. The task force will include students, members of the Alumni Council and Parents Council, faculty, staff and regents. In addition to advising on the brand development process and decisions, task force members will help to engage stakeholder groups and advise on the best ways to balance urgency and engagement.

The task force will begin meeting in March 2018 and work through summer 2019. The task force will meet approximately monthly/or at key decision points during the process. Task force members will also engage at strategic points in the process with stakeholder groups.

If you are interested in serving on the task force or participating in the brand positioning work, please contact Aimee Viniard-Weideman.

College cost savings update
In our continued efforts to identify opportunities for college-wide cost savings and greater efficiencies, Luther has contracted with Ricoh to manage, assign and service all print devices across campus. Ricoh will lead the research on new machines and available options and will use utilization data to inform decisions. This will save Luther employees time and eliminate the need for individual departments to purchase or lease their equipment. ITS staff will begin working with individual departments and Ricoh to implement the changes. More information about the image management agreement with Ricoh is available on the ITS blog.

Paula J. Carlson,
President, Luther College