Original Date: 5/22/1996 * Last Revision Effective: 10/15/2015
Policy Contact: Vice President, Institutional Advancement
Bellevue College is committed to honesty, accuracy, currency, consistency and professionalism in its public communications. Overall responsibility for assuring that this commitment is realized lies with the institutional advancement office. In carrying out this charge, institutional advancement leads and coordinates all of the college’s public communications activities – providing final approval of all official college publications, advertisements and speeches, and managing all public pronouncements including interactions with news media.
“Official” college publications are those, regardless of originating department, intended to provide official policy or information on behalf of the college. This includes (but is not limited to) publications that describe policies, procedures, operations, instructional offerings and effectiveness. “Official” college publications include print, electronic and broadcast communications distributed or made available to potential students, current students, volunteers, community members, government officials, businesses, donors and other educational institutions. Examples include the annual report, annual course catalog, credit and non-credit class schedules, advising sheets, program brochures and flyers, student handbooks, promotional and marketing materials (including flyers, posters, direct mail, advertisements and public service announcements) and websites. Documents originally considered “internal” or “non-public” should not be distributed publicly until reviewed and approved under this policy.
This policy does not extend to interpersonal communications with college constituents, except for interactions with news reporters, as discussed below.
Although institutional advancement coordinates the college’s public communications, all college administrators, faculty and staff members share responsibility for giving out accurate and consistent information about college activities, course offerings, policies, procedures, etc., in all forms of communication. The chair of a program issuing an official college communication and the related division chair (or, in non-instructional departments, department head and the appropriate organizational unit administrator) bear specific responsibility for approving content and look of all publications originating in their areas, as outlined below.
This policy applies to student publications only if they are intended to represent the college publicly within the definition in the second paragraph above. Such publications must carry the Bellevue College logo and must follow the approval procedures described in #6650P Communications and Publications (Procedures). Other student publications (except the student newspaper, The Watchdog, which operates under a separate agreement with the college) should carry an “Associated Student Government of Bellevue College” logo or other appropriate logo to clearly indicate that the publication is not an official communication from the college.
Coordination of Official Publications
Final approval authority for all official college publications lies with institutional advancement or its designee. However, Bellevue College division, department and program administrators are also responsible for approving the content of official publications developed to support or promote their specific areas. Prior to submission to institutional advancement, the content of each official college publication must be approved first by the program chair and then by the division dean – or, in non-instructional departments, by the department head and then by the appropriate organizational unit administrator. (See requirements for student publications, above). In approving the content, each administrator must ensure that:
- All information about the college is accurate and up-to-date.
- All legal and regulatory requirements are met – one of which is the inclusion of a non-discrimination announcement in all official publications.
- All program and course information is accurate, complete and consistent with that on file in the office of instruction, which serves as the official record of the college for purposes of state auditing.
- All claims or statements about programs, course transferability and any completion, placement, salary or employment-on-completion data are accurate and have adequate supporting documentation on file.
- Information on program prerequisites or other admissions requirements is present and complete when applicable.
- Any need for a student to obtain post-graduation licensure or certification in order to be employable is clearly described.
- All publications and websites include the college logo, full college name and address, revision or creation date, official Bellevue College website address and a current contact person’s name and/or title, phone number and e-mail address.
Coordination of Public Pronouncements
Institutional advancement coordinates the official “voice of Bellevue College” and is responsible for managing all public pronouncements.
The public information director, within the office of institutional advancement, has general responsibility for communications with the community, including serving as the primary, initial point of contact for news media, coordinating communications with media representatives and issuing college press releases.
Faculty are urged and administrators and staff are required to involve the public information director or vice president of institutional advancement in all college-related communications with representatives of the news media, both to receive assistance in preparing for interviews and to ensure accuracy and consistency in public statements.
Relevant Laws and Other Resources
- Bellevue College Procedure #6650P Communications and Publications (Procedures)
Revisions 5/10/2005; 1/8/2007; 5/21/2009; 10/31/2014; 10/15/2015
Last Updated October 15, 2015