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Jeff Koterba

Advice: Nightmare Approval Process

Q: An alumnus I profiled for our magazine asked if his employer's PR department could review the story. The PR department not only has edits to the profile but is also considering sending it to the company's partner brands. I'm on deadline—how should I handle this? Barbra Alan, Publications Editor, Plymouth State University

A: Try a polite but direct email telling the PR office your deadline and stating that if the process isn't completed by a certain date you will not be able to include the profile in the issue.

I'm more concerned about the edits. When we send something for approval, my email stipulates that we are looking for inaccuracies only. If they send additional changes, I thank them for the input and promise nothing. What you need is a policy. For example:

"Articles are submitted for approval when requested by the subject or at the discretion of the magazine's editor. The goal of all approvals is to ensure the accuracy of factual information only, not to elicit comment on the tone or approach of the article or the author. Any changes to the article will be made by the editor or the author on the editor's instruction."

—Wayne Steffen, University Editor, Fresno Pacific University

A: We've had companies refuse to approve a profile before, causing us to pull it from the magazine. I now assign six to seven profiles to fill our four alumni slots, and we don't tell the alumni which issue they'll be in. If all of them come through, I have a head start on the next month.

—Rochelle Broder-Singer, Editor, BusinessMiami, University of Miami

Have a problem you just can't solve? Email your trickiest advancement questions to, and we'll try to find an expert to help.

Going Viral: University Title Generator

Does your title easily fit on your business card? If so, have fun discovering one that doesn't at Started by a few University of Colorado-Boulder students, the site makes fun of inflated university titles by generating, yes, inflated university titles. Seems like those in higher ed can relate—some amazing "instant promotions" are being shared all over social media.

Some of our favorite over-the-top titles: Lead Associate Chancellor of the Committee on Strategic Community Climate, Associate Deputy Provost for the Task Force on Donor Outreach, and Deputy Chair of Facilities Communications to the Committee On Alumni Planning

In the news

"There's always going to be some [students] who are slacking, but the vast majority aren't deciding between watching a Game of Thrones marathon and turning in a research paper. More likely, they're choosing whether to take their mom to a doctor's appointment, go to a kid's play, or do this paper."

—Mike Cross, professor of chemistry at Northern Essex Community College in Massachusetts, in a May 2016 interview with The Chronicle of Higher Education. Cross gained insight into his students' struggles when he earned an associate degree in liberal arts in 2016




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