Policies & Regulations
Regular students (full-time) are those who have been admitted to a degree program and take 12 or more credit hours per semester. (six hours in the summer)
Regular students (part-time) are those who have been admitted to a degree program and who, with the consent of the dean and faculty, are taking less than 12 credit hours per semester. (less than six hours in the summer)
Non-degree-seeking students (full-time) are those who, under the direction of the dean and the faculty, pursue studies not directed toward a degree, such as the Diploma in Anglican Studies or the Certificate in Theological Studies.
Special students are non-degree-seeking, part-time students who do not go through the admission process but submit a special student application for approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
Upon approval, the student may take a course for credit or audit with the written permission of the instructor.
Graduation from The School of Theology follows the successful completion of all requirements for the specified degree program and the approval of the degree by the Senate of the University upon nomination by the faculty of The School of Theology.
A Master of Divinity student, who has been evaluated as “adequate” in all prescribed work, has fulfilled the clinical pastoral education and field education requirements, has completed all non-credit degree requirements, has submitted a complete portfolio, and who has a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.33, is eligible for the award of the degree of Master of Divinity. Work toward the M.Div. degree is to be concluded within five consecutive years from the date of matriculation.
A Master of Arts student who has been evaluated as “adequate” in all prescribed work, has completed all non-credit degree requirements, has submitted a complete portfolio if applicable, and who has a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.33, is eligible for the award of the degree of Master of Arts (M.A.). Work toward the M.A. degree is to be concluded within four consecutive years from the date of matriculation.
A Master of Sacred Theology student, who has been evaluated as “adequate” in all prescribed work, has completed all non-credit degree requirements when applicable, and who has a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 is eligible for the award of the degree of Master of Sacred Theology (S.T.M.). Work toward the S.T.M. degree is to be concluded within six consecutive years from the date of matriculation.
A Doctor of Ministry student who has been evaluated as “adequate” in all prescribed work and who has a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 is eligible for the award of the degree of Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.). Work toward the D.Min. degree is to be concluded within six consecutive years from the date of matriculation.
Graduation from a non-degree program of The School of Theology follows the successful completion of all requirements of that program and approval by the faculty of The School of Theology.
A Diploma of Anglican Studies student who has been evaluated as “adequate” in all prescribed work and has completed all non-credit program requirements is eligible for the award of the Diploma of Anglican Studies (D.A.S.). Work toward the D.A.S. program is to be concluded within two consecutive years from the date of matriculation.
A Certificate of Theological Studies student who has been evaluated as “adequate” in all prescribed work for the one or two semesters of enrollment and has completed all non-credit program requirements is eligible for the award of the Certificate of Theological Studies.
The faculty of The School of Theology may confer honors on up to 10 percent of the graduating class receiv¬ing the degree of Master of Divinity, with honors based on final cumulative GPA and the faculty’s determina¬tion of each student’s excellence. All grades for courses taken in the Master of Divinity program at The School of Theology will be used to calculate GPA for confer¬ring of honors. Grades for transfer credits will not be considered.
EVALUATION OF ACADEMIC PROFICIENCY (M.Div., M.A., S.T.M., DAS, CTS)
Satisfactory academic progress at The School of Theology is defined as eligibility to re-enroll in the specific degree program for the following semester. Letter grades are given on a 4.0 scale ranging from A to F.
A student’s cumulative grade point average is computed on a 4.0 scale and is recorded on his or her transcript. A student seeking the first theological degree or certificate (M.Div., M.A., D.A.S., C.T.S) with less than a 2.33 grade point average is evaluated by the faculty as either “Provisional” or “Inadequate.” An advanced degree (S.T.M.) student with less than a 3.0 grade point average is evaluated by the faculty as either “Provisional” or “Inadequate.” A student who receives an F in any semester is rated as “Provisional,” and more than one F as “Inadequate.” A student rated as “Inadequate” is dismissed; if rated “Provisional,” the student may remain but must rise to the status of “Adequate” by the end of the following semester in order to remain in school. In accordance with the regulations of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the University of the South does not certify, for VA benefit purposes, any student who fails to meet the minimum academic standard to be in good standing with the University.
Summer Session (S.T.M., D.Min.)
Letter grades are given on a four-point system ranging from A to F. A student’s cumulative grade point average is computed on a 4.0 scale and recorded on his or her transcript. A student with less than a 3.0 grade point average is evaluated by the committee as either “provisional” or “inadequate.” A student who receives an F in any course is rated as “provisional,” and a student who receives more than one F is rated as “inadequate.” A student rated as “Inadequate” is dismissed; if rated “provisional,” the student may remain but must rise to the status of “adequate” by the end of the following term in order to remain in school.
Incompletes in the Academic Year
The grade of “I” (“Incomplete”) is given when a student fails to complete the work of a course for good reason (the instructor being the judge of what constitutes “good reason”). The instructor must record the grounds for assigning a grade of “I,” specifying a deadline for the work’s completion, and give a copy to the student, to the registrar and the associate dean for academic affairs. If a student believes that she or he will be unable to meet the stated deadline due to grave, extenuating circumstances, the student may request an additional extension from the instructor. In no case can the deadline for completion be later than the end of the midterm break of the following semester, without authorization by the faculty.
If a student fails to submit the work by the deadline, the instructor is to assign a grade of “F” (“zero” if using a 100-point scale for grade calculations) for the missing work and then calculate the final grade for the course.
Unless a student has made prior arrangements with the instructor, a student who is late with work due during a course is dropped one grade fraction immediately (i.e. A to A-), and then a full letter grade for each week (five working days) that the work is late.
The instructor’s policy for work submitted late but before the end of term is to be stated in the course syllabus.
Incompletes in the Summer Session
Work is to be turned in by September 1 each year unless otherwise specified in the syllabus. A grade of “I” (“Incomplete”) is given when a student fails to meet the September 1 deadline. A professor may grant an extension if the student requests it in writing and the professor deems there is good reason for the extension. The professor must document the grounds for granting the extension, specifying a deadline for the work’s completion and any grade penalty to be assessed, and distributing three copies of the statement: one to the registrar, one to the student, and one to the associate dean for academic affairs. A grade of “I” will be entered with the extension deadline. If the work is not turned in by the new deadline, the “I” will be changed to “F.” The extension date may not be later than December 31 of the calendar year, without authorization by the Advanced Degrees committee. The professor’s policy concerning grade penalties for work submitted late is to be stated in the course syllabus if different from the program policy below.
Unless a student has been given an extension by the professor, work turned in after September 1 is dropped one grade fraction immediately (i.e. A to A-). Work received on or after:
October 1 is then dropped a full letter grade (i.e. A- to B-);
November 1 is then dropped another full letter grade;
December 1 is then dropped another full letter grade;
January 1 receives an F.
A student who believes that he or she has been assigned a course grade which is unfair or inappropriate, and who has been unable to resolve the matter with the faculty member directly, may appeal to the associate dean for academic affairs. Appeals must be initiated in writing no later than the semester following the one in which the grade in question was given. To act on an appeal, the associate dean must find the complaint has a reasonable basis. The associate dean informs the faculty member involved of the appeal and requires this faculty member to respond to the student’s claim.
The concept of academic freedom as practiced at the University prohibits any administrative officer from forcing a faculty member to change a grade. Therefore, an appeal serves more as a form of peer review than an appeal per se. The associate dean may suggest a solution to the dispute, may request that both the faculty member and the student justify their positions, and may recommend policies and procedures to the faculty member.
All faculty members should be aware that they may be asked to justify their personal grading procedures, and should keep adequate records of class performance. In addition, faculty should not request grade changes later than the semester following the one in which the grade in question was given.
Syllabi for all graded courses at The School of Theology will state what percentage of the final course grade each assignment and test earns.
All required courses in the core curriculum are given a letter grade, except when Pass or Fail grading is requested by the instructor and authorized for a particular course by action of the faculty.
All electives are given a letter grade, unless the instructor designates the course as Pass/Fail at the start of the term.
Individual students may request, at the beginning of a particular course, that a letter-graded elective be graded Pass/Fail. An instructor is free to deny the request. If written permission is given, the registrar will change the grading type from letter to pass/fail. A Pass/Fail grade is not included in the GPA nor is it used to qualify for honors.
If Pass/Fail grading is selected by an instructor for a course as a whole, students may not request to be given a letter grade.
Summer courses are given a letter grade. The D.Min. project is graded on a pass/fail basis, while the S.T.M. thesis is given a letter grade.
A student must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 to receive any degree in the Advanced Degrees Program. A student must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.33 to receive any other degree.
4.0: A = 100–93 (Exceptional work)
3.7: A- = 92–90
3.3: B+ = 89–87 (More than adequate work)
3.0: B = 86–83
2.7: B- = 82–80
2.3: C+ = 79–77 (Adequate work)
2.0: C = 76–73 (Less than adequate)
1.7: C- = 72–70
1.3: D+ = 69–67 (Deficient work)
1.0: D = 66–63
0.7: D- = 62–60
0: F = 59–00 (Failure to accomplish task)
The School expects and requires the highest standards of integrity in academic work as well as in personal and community relationships. Academic dishonesty undermines the very foundation of the enterprise in which we are engaged and threatens to deceive those who will eventually depend on the knowledge and integrity of the men and women who receive their preparation for ministry here. It therefore constitutes unacceptable behavior and conduct.
Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to:
Cheating — the breach of (pre-established) ground rules for completion of assignments, including examinations, by use of resources other than those which have been indicated as permissible. It is assumed that examinations which are designed to test recall of a body of information and the assimilation of that information by a student (“closed book examinations”) do not permit the assistance of written material or assistance from other persons.
Plagiarism — the use of materials without proper acknowledgment of sources and the submission as one’s own ideas, words, and writings of another.
Fabrication — the submission of material which has, in fact, been produced by others or is the result of substantial assistance received from others but not noted as the product of such assistance, or making up false sources.
Duplication — the submission, without prior permission, of portions of the same academic work in fulfillment of requirements for more than one course.
Facilitating academic dishonesty — participation in support of the above named behaviors.
Standards for open book exams are the same as for papers. On closed book exams one reconstructs the best references possible.
Persons who are found to have engaged in any form of academic dishonesty will be subject to disciplinary action. If plagiarism, cheating, fabrication or duplication occurs, the student will automatically fail the course in which the incident occurred, and may be dismissed from the School or be subject to other sanctions. Facilitating the academic dishonesty of others will result in the same or similar consequences.
1. In order to preserve the integrity of the educational enterprise and to support the vast majority of students who maintain personal integrity in such matters, the faculty will report to the associate dean for academic affairs when dishonesty has occurred.*
2. Because the health of any community is determined not only by the degree to which standards of integrity are maintained by those who hold positions of authority in that community, but also by the degree that all members of the community participate in the maintenance of its standards, it is the expectation that students and faculty who observe or know of an instance of academic dishonesty will report it to the associate dean for academic affairs outlining its specific nature. Such responsibility should, of course, be exercised with due care and should avoid action based on hearsay or rumor.
3. When the associate dean for academic affairs has been presented with such a report, she or he shall make a judgment as to whether it gives sufficient cause to believe that a breach of academic honesty has occurred. If she or he so judges, the associate dean for academic affairs will notify the student that such an allegation has been made and apprise the student of its nature. The student will be given opportunity to present the student’s own interpretation of events related to the allegation and any evidence and/or witnesses to support that interpretation.
4. If, on the basis of such a presentation, it is the judgment of the associate dean for academic affairs there is a likelihood that the allegation is unfounded, the matter will be considered closed with no permanent record in the student’s file. (Administrative records may be kept as necessary.)
a. If the associate dean for academic affairs judges that academic dishonesty has occurred, and the student does not wish to contest the allegation, the student will receive a failing grade for the course. The associate dean for academic affairs will inform the faculty of the incident of academic dishonesty and the resultant failing grade. Any further disciplinary action will be made by the faculty with counsel from the associate dean for academic affairs.
b. During the academic year: If the student does wish to contest the allegation, the associate dean for academic affairs will convene the honor board, consisting of two members of the faculty who serve as advisors, normally including the student’s own advisor, and two students elected by the student body. This board will review the nature of the allegation and its basis. It will also afford the student opportunity to present his or her understanding of the events related to the allegation. If on the basis of that review, it is the opinion of the board that there is a likelihood that the allegation is unfounded, the matter will be considered closed with no permanent record kept in the student’s file. (Administrative records may be kept as necessary.) If on the contrary, the board judges that there is sufficient warrant to believe that an instance of academic dishonesty has occurred, the student will receive a failing grade for the course. The associate dean for academic affairs will inform the faculty of this decision and bring any recommendation for further disciplinary action before the faculty.
During the summer session: If the student does wish to contest the allegation, the associate dean for academic affairs will convene the Advanced Degrees Committee. The Committee will review the nature of the allegation and its basis. It will also afford the student opportunity to present his or her understanding of the events related to the allegation. If on the basis of that review, it is the opinion of the Committee that there is a likelihood that the allegation is unfounded, the matter will be considered closed with no permanent record kept in the student’s file. (Administrative records may be kept as necessary.) If on the contrary, the Committee judges that there is sufficient warrant to believe that an instance of academic dishonesty has occurred, the student will receive a failing grade for the course. The associate dean for academic affairs will inform the faculty of this decision and bring any recommendation for further disciplinary action before the faculty.
5. The student may appeal the judgment to the dean of The School of Theology within 10 days of the decision. The dean will report his decision to the faculty and the Appellant.
6. The student may, in the last resort, appeal the dean’s judgment to the vice-chancellor and president within 10 days of the dean’s decision.
* In the event that the associate dean of academic affairs is the instructor bringing the report, the dean will appoint a senior faculty member to serve in the role designated for the associate dean in procedures outlined in steps 3 through 4.
POLICY AND GROUNDS FOR SUSPENSION OR DISMISSAL
In consultation with the faculty, the dean may suspend or dismiss a student for any of the following reasons:
Academic dishonesty — see above.
Failure of a student to be adequately responsible for academic and/or required co-curricular work.
If the dean and a majority of the faculty determine that they cannot reasonably be expected to recommend a student for ordination (M.Div. or D.A.S. or S.T.M./Anglican Studies).
Inappropriate behavior that the dean and a majority of the faculty determine to be disruptive or destructive of the learning process and/or community life.
Charged with a civil or criminal offense or a breach of morality, if in the judgment of the dean, this precludes effective membership in the student body, causes disruption of the life of The School of Theology, or creates a reasonable doubt of the student’s suitability for ministry in the church.
The decision of which sanctions to apply rests with the dean in consultation with the faculty. Dismissal normally precludes readmission. In the case of suspension, the determination of the term and circumstances of suspension and conditions for readmission rests with the dean in consultation with the faculty. If the dean judges that action must be taken before there is adequate time to consult the faculty, the dean may do so.
Dismissal automatically terminates any contract between the school and the student. For information concerning refunds of tuition, see the section on financial information.
POLICY REGARDING WITHDRAWAL
A student may request to withdraw from The School of Theology by submitting the request in writing to the dean of The School of Theology. The letter should describe in detail the reasons for the request. If medical conditions cause or contribute to the request, they must be documented by a professional in the field (physician, therapist, etc.). Withdrawal is granted only upon approval by the dean. The dean may impose conditions for readmission, and readmission is not guaranteed.
A student in good standing who timely completes the requirements of an academic term may be granted a leave of absence starting with the next term for a maximum leave of two years. Students who wish to reenroll following a leave of absence may, in the dean’s discretion, be readmitted within two years without repeating the complete process of admission.
A student in good standing may request to withdraw during an academic term by submitting a written request to the dean describing in detail the reasons for the request. If the withdrawal is granted, normally the grades of W or WF will be assigned for each current course, depending on the student’s work in that course up to the time of withdrawal. At the dean’s discretion, the student may be readmitted within one year without completing the full process of admission. A letter to the dean explaining how the circumstances leading to the withdrawal have been resolved is always required for readmission, and the dean may impose further conditions for readmission.
A student not in good standing may be allowed to withdraw during or at the end of a term by submitting a written request to the dean describing in detail the reasons for the request. If the withdrawal is granted, normally the grades of W or WF will be assigned for each current course, depending on the student’s work in that course up to the time of withdrawal. At the dean’s discretion, the student may be permitted to apply for readmission, but the whole process of application must be repeated.
Definition of “Good Standing”
A student is in good standing if his or her grade point average is 2.33 or higher, the student has not been rated “provisional” or “inadequate” due to failure of a course or a grade point average below 2.33 in the prior semester, and if no disciplinary action has been taken or is impending.
A student is in good standing if his or her grade point average is 3.0 or higher, the student has not been rated “provisional” or “inadequate” due to failure of a course or a grade point average below 3.0 in the prior term, and if no disciplinary action has been taken or is impending.
RELEASE OF STUDENT INFORMATION
The official and final repository of the permanent academic records relating to students is maintained in the University Registrar’s Office. Information relating to courses and grades is kept there and is summarized on the students’ transcripts.
Requests for transcripts must be submitted in writing to the University Registrar’s Office. There is no charge for the official transcript. However, there is a fee for next day delivery. The request form may be found at registrar.sewanee.edu/downloads/forms/Transcript_Request_Form.pdf
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:
The right to inspect and review the student’s education records (providing they have not waived this right) within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access. Students should submit to the University Registrar or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate. Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate. They should write to the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University; a person serving on financial aid committees; a person or company with whom the University has contracted; a person serving on the Board of Trustees or Board of Regents; or a student serving on an official committee. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
The University designates the following categories of personally identifiable student information as public or “Directory Information.” The University may disclose or publish such information at its discretion: student’s full name; current enrollment status; local address and telephone number; permanent address and telephone number; temporary address and telephone number; electronic mail addresses; parents’ names, addresses, and telephone numbers; date and place of birth; dates of attendance; class standing (e.g. middler); schedule of classes; previous educational institution(s) attended; field(s) of study; awards and honors; degree(s) conferred (including dates of conferral); full-time or part-time status; photographic or videotaped images of the student; past and present participation in officially recognized sports and activities; and height and weight of student athletes.
Currently enrolled students may withhold disclosure of directory information by submitting written notification on an annual basis (usually prior to the beginning of the Advent semester) to the University Registrar’s Office at: The University of the South, 735 University Avenue, Sewanee, Tennessee 37383-1000. Directory information will then be withheld until the student releases the hold on disclosure or until the end of the current academic year, whichever comes first. Students should understand that, by withholding directory information, some information considered important to students may not reach them.
The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by State University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5901
The FERPA website is www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html
The University of the South’s complete Education Records and FERPA Policy are at registrar.sewanee.edu/students/policies/
EVALUATION AND DISCLOSURE OF PERSONAL QUALIFICATIONS
As a seminary of the Episcopal Church, The School of Theology is required by canon law to evaluate postulants and candidates for Holy Orders with regard to their academic performance, their professional competence, and their personal qualifications to exercise the ordained ministry of the Episcopal Church.
Evaluation includes the student’s participation in the entire curriculum (i.e., lectures, seminars, and liturgical life) and also in the life of the seminary community. It includes several kinds of reporting: grades, oral statements, and written evaluations.
These students sign a release each year giving The School of Theology permission to disclose this information to diocesan officials. The written information consists of, but is not limited to, a final transcript each May, the middler evaluation in February of the middler year, and the senior recommendation for ordination in February of the senior year.
ASSISTANCE FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
The University of the South is committed to fostering respect for the diversity of The School of Theology community and the individual rights of each member of that community. In this spirit, and in accordance with the provisions of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the University seeks to provide disabled students with the reasonable accommodations needed to ensure equal access to the programs and activities of the School of Theology. While the School of Theology provides services to support the academic work of all its students, additional accommodations can be made specifically for students with learning disabilities (LD), attention deficit hyper
activity disorder (ADHD), or other properly diagnosed and documented disabilities covered by these Acts.
Verification services for students with LD/ADHD at Sewanee are coordinated through the University Counseling Service (931.598.1325) located at 1310 University Avenue, next to Emerald-Hodgson Hospital. A counseling service psychologist talks with individual students to determine specific needs and to identify appropriate accommodations and resources, and recommended modifications. All incoming students with previously diagnosed LD/ADHD are encouraged to make an appointment with the Associate Dean for Community Life as early as possible in their seminary career. They will be subsequently advised to provide copies of relevant documentation to the University Counselor and to meet with a counseling service psychologist. Documentation must include an evaluation that covers the criteria for and establishes the diagnosis of the condition in question and must be reviewed for approval by the University Counselor. Any student who suspects he or she may have an undiagnosed learning disability or attention deficit or is uncertain about a previous diagnosis is welcome to consult with Associate Dean for Community Life, who will then refer them to the staff of the University Counseling Service consultation and subsequent evaluation as necessary. Students with LD/ADHD, as determined and/or confirmed by the University Counseling Service, are expected to discuss arrangements that might be necessary with their professors at the beginning of each semester.
Assistance for the Medically Disabled
Students seeking assistance based upon a medical disability must submit appropriate diagnostic documentation related to the disability to and meet with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. After review of submitted materials, decisions will be made about accommodations, if appropriate, in consultation with the faculty.
Access for the Physically Disabled
The location of some campus facilities may be inaccessible to some disabled students. These students should check with the office of the Associate Dean of Community Life to obtain help in dealing with specific needs related to those facilities.
Students needing help with other disabilities should contact the Associate Dean of Community Life and the University Health Services office at 931.598.1270. More information regarding assistance for the disabled is available on the University’s website www2.sewanee.edu/catalog_student_life/assistance_for_the-disabled.
The School of Theology provides access to limited-time professional counseling services for students and their family members seeking assistance with various concerns—academic, social, emotional or interpersonal. Discussions between students or family members and their health or service providers are confidential and information cannot be disclosed except in rare situations as required by law, or at the student’s request. This includes not disclosing health information to University officials or dioceses. Inquiries should be directed to the Office of Community Life, located in Hamilton Hall, 931.598.1655.
It is the policy of The School of Theology that the standard of written and spoken language used by students and faculty when referring to contemporary humanity shall be gender inclusive and that it shall avoid perpetuation of derogatory religious, racial, and national stereotypes. Efforts should be made to include the full range of biblical imagery when referring to God, if appropriate, in consultation with the assistant dean for community life.
The University of the South’s policy against discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, and retaliation is consistent with Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 34 CFR Part 106, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and 34 CFR 104.7, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act of 2008. In addition to contacting the Associate Provost for Planning and Administration, who is the compliance coordinator, persons with inquiries regarding the application of Title IX and 34 CFR Part 106 may contact the Regional Civil Rights Director, U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Region IV, 61 Forsyth Street S.W., Suite 19T70, Atlanta, Georgia 30303.
University Media Relations Policy
to ensure consistency in communications with news media from across the University;
to help maintain the high level of credibility the University enjoys in its dealings with the media; and
to protect the reputation of the University, its students and employees.
Stories about people and projects in the news media can illuminate the University’s educational mission, advancing communications strategies designed to raise awareness by the public of the intellectual and cultural resources on campus and of opportunities to be engaged in the life of the University. The news media also are important conduits of news and information during crisis and emergencies. The University values its relationships with the news media and recognizes the value of engaging reporters, editors, broadcasters, and internet content providers in communicating about the University to mass audiences.
The Office of Marketing and Communications is the chief point of contact between the University and the news media, and may be reached at ext. 1734. Through its media relations services, the Office seeks to serve the University’s purpose statement by providing honest, timely and useful information to all its internal and external stakeholders and audiences, and by helping the university understand, anticipate, and manage its environment.
The Office of Marketing and Communications assists journalists with inquiries about the University and provides counsel to faculty, staff, and students in managing and working with the news media. All inquiries from the media should as a matter of course be directed or reported to Marketing and Communications. In most cases, the Office will recommend a spokesperson to speak on behalf of specific issues or news. For example, subject to their availability and interest, faculty members may be asked to serve as expert sources for news stories relating to the faculty member’s academic area of expertise.
In some cases, typically crises and other sensitive issues, the Executive Director of Marketing and Communications, or his/her designee, serves as the University spokesperson and is responsible for speaking on behalf of the University.
Likewise, all outreach to the news media in the form of press releases, press advisories, pitch letters and other vehicles shall be managed by the Office of Marketing and Communications