From the Nominator
"According to Edelman's Trust Barometer (2021), distrust has become the new default, with 59% of respondents saying they tend not to trust something until they see evidence to the contrary. This certainly can be seen in Higher Education administration, as the issues that impact students, staff, and employees (as well as other constituencies) continue to be nuanced while public dialogue demands answers. The pressure on administrators to connect and communicate with their community has never been higher.
Social media plays an important role in building trust with campus communities, and is one option that is leveraged by Chancellor Gary S. May, the chancellor of UC Davis. Chancellor May’s social media strategy seeks to create connection, transparency, and relationships with campus constituents who might never have exposure to the Chancellor or decisions he makes. Using different social media tactics and through different channels, the content created aims to humanize the Chancellor and his job by highlighting who he is by intentionally mixing transparent, informative, and entertaining content. By leveraging his experience as an engineer, administrator, family man. and self-proclaimed nerd, we are able to showcase through social media the many facets of his magnetic and down-to-earth personality and build genuine relationships with his constituencies."
From the Judges
UC Davis has worked to create engaging social media accounts that effectively humanise senior leadership. Students and other stakeholders of the University are interacting and engaging positively with the Chancellor via Twitter and Instagram, and the channels are used strategically to target different audiences. The approach to sharing an insight into the day-to-day life of senior leadership and as a way to share important messages is fresh, creative, innovative, and certainly something that other institutions could be inspired by. We were most impressed with the commitment to Advancement demonstrated by the Chancellor, along with the human approach and personal touch that could be used by others to build trust in senior leadership, faculty, or staff.