When Chancellors Tweet

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Higher Education, Marketing, Technology, Twitter | Posted on 11-30-2009

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Chancellors and Presidents on Twitter.  A glimpse into the daily life and events of a university’s highest ranking official.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Over the weekend, I was pointed to a tweet by @TeecycleTim, web extraordinaire and mastermind behind @MarquetteU. (Side note – Tim recently received a $1K donation from an alumni through direct message on Twitter. More on that later this week.)

Enter Biddy Martin (@Biddy_Martin), the Chancellor of UW Madison. Back in June, she announced that four furlough days would help reduce Wisconsin’s $6.6 billion budget deficit.  One day would be November 27, 2009, the day after Thanksgiving.

Fast forward five months to November 27th.  Michael Knetter (@DeanKnetter), Dean of the Wisconsin School of Business at UW-Madison, tweets:

And Biddy, in what was meant to be a direct message, responds:

My thoughts: Forget the Direct Message, Biddy! In the future, tweet that publicly (like you mistakenly did). It’s funny, it’s light-hearted, and it shows your human side. (Her PR team might beg to differ.) While I have no clue if you actually shouldn’t be tweeting during a furlough, I wouldn’t think it would matter. (Feel free to tell me I’m wrong in the comments below, I’ve never dealt with a furlough.)

One of my favorite examples of universities using Twitter comes from a Chancellor and President. Chancellor Nasser Paydar (@Paydar) from IU East and President Christopher Maples (@PresidentMaples) from Oregon Institute of Technology. Click the right arrow to go through the tweets.

Twitpic of your chancellor dunking a basketball on Twitter = Awesome.

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