UNMC's goal: Garner national media

UNMC wants to be a player in the national media, and it's implementing a strategic plan to make it happen.

That was the message from Chancellor Harold M. Maurer, M.D., on Tuesday during the standing-room-only Chancellor's Forums.

"Right now, we are locally and regionally known," Dr. Maurer said. "Nationally, we don't get to tell our story as frequently as we should, even though we're on the cutting edge in many areas."

Margaret Bumann, special projects coordinator in the UNMC public affairs department, has been charged with implementing UNMC's national media plan. Garnering national media is important, Bumann said, to raise UNMC's national profile, to attract national caliber faculty, staff and students, and to inform patients and the public in specific areas of expertise at UNMC.

Elevating UNMC's profile on the East and West Coasts is important to the national media effort, Bumann said, as is a responsive faculty and staff. She implored those in the forum audience to inform the Public Affairs office of interesting stories, and to respond immediately when the office calls faculty, seeking a comment on a specific topic.

"We've got 1 to 2 hours, tops," to respond to a media request, Bumann said.

Also at the forums, Human Resources Executive Director John Russell explained changes to the Thank 'U' Program (see related story) and the implementation of a leave request system on the campus ESS (employee self-service). The leave request system, Russell said, will provide a paperless system for employees to request leave. Documents will be electronically routed and supervisors will approve the leave via Lotus Notes.

In addition, the new system will allow employees the ability to view pending and approved leave requests; to cancel a leave request; and to upload the data to the SAP time module for payroll processing. The system will be phased in this fall, one department at a time.