Leadership Communication Action Project


September 1, 2011 - December 15, 2012

Project origination: AQIP feedback, campus discussions, AQIP Strategy Forum

Project description: This Action Project will develop processes for effective leadership-guided communication and recognized feedback mechanisms. It will review the communication role for all levels of leadership, develop clear expectations of leaders’ communication, and provide for its evaluation. Current methods of disseminating information on decisions and collecting feedback will be studied in order to build effective two-way communication channels into the university infrastructure.

Project rationale: The Systems Appraisal identified, and campus discussions affirmed, opportunities to develop and enhance campus communication. A need exists for better dissemination of information and feedback mechanisms to address two issues: perceived lack of decision transparency and realization that feedback does not always make its way up or down the leadership chain. Expectations for communication skills for leadership positions and communication must be clarified through campus-wide processes.

Project outcomes:

  • Development of ongoing assessment of information dissemination through recognized campus communication channels and leadership communication roles.
  • Creation of defined process for a feedback mechanism to funnel ideas and opinions up and down the leadership chain.
  • Implemented leadership communication strategies that include, but are not limited to:
    • Inventory developed of needed communication traits of successful leaders
    • Communication expectations defined for each leadership position with updated job descriptions on file
    • Revised leader evaluation form(s) and procedures as it relates to communication that are pilot tested
    • Leadership communication skills training plan built and resources identified based upon a needs analysis
  • Creation of a plan for Action Project assessment as a long-term measure of effectiveness that can be incorporated into the Systems Portfolio.  For example as a post-test, the initial procedure used to identify leaders’ current understanding of their communications role and perceived current state of feedback mechanisms could be replicated, comparing the results to the pre-project data. 
  • Possible ancillary benefits are increased employee trust and morale, time-savings due to increasingly efficient communications, and enhancement of the selection of future leaders. 

Strategy Forum 2011 has background on why and how this project was determined.

AQIP project declaration statement

Campus article discusses project - July 14, 2011

Campus article launches employee survey - September 30, 2011

NMU Communications Audit Final Report - December 2011

AQIP Action Project Update Report - Reviewed - October 2012

AQIP Action Project Final Report - December 2012

Task Force Members (2010-11)

Cindy Paavola, co-chair Communications and Marketing, Director
Ann Sherman, co-chair Human Resources, Director
Michael Cinelli Art & Design, Department Head
Jill Compton Internal Auditor
Gerri Daniels Admissions, Director
Felecia Flack Information Technology, Director
Kathy Frazier Controller's Office
Art Gischia Business & Auxiliary Services, Director
Chris Kibit Technology & Occupational Studies, Faculty
Pam Johnson Financial Services, Assistant Manager
Ron Sundell Faculty member, President of AAUP
Harvey Wallace College of Professional Studies, Dean
Dawn Wilder  Mathematics & Computer Science, Principal Secretary


Task Force Meeting Dates


Fall 2011 Semester

Nov. 3, 2012
Nov. 30, 2012
Dec. 20, 2012

Winter 2012 Semester

Feb. 3, 2012
Feb. 20, 2012
Mar. 2, 2012
Mar. 15, 2012
Apr. 4, 2012
Apr. 16, 2012
May 9, 2012