Policies & Guidelines
Public Information Policy
As a public institution of higher learning, the University of Louisville has a responsibility and a commitment to disseminate information about its programs and activities and to be responsive to media inquiries. Press coverage of the university's activities is one way the institution can receive positive visibility and support, while the university's prompt, fair and accurate public response to challenging issues can reassure its constituents and the general public.
Since 1984, the university has operated under a public information policy that defines the process for the release of official information to ensure that positions and statements of the university are represented accurately and consistently.
This policy details how information about the university is announced to the public, the role of the Office of Communications and Marketing (OCM), and each employee's responsibility in the release of official information about the university or its positions. All units of the university are expected to follow this policy.
Nothing in this policy is intended to affect the responsibility of faculty members for their scholarly publications and personal involvement in community activities, nor is it intended to affect individual employees' rights to express personal views about university or non-university issues as long as they make it clear that they do so as individuals and do not represent the official position of the university either directly or indirectly.
- OCM is the only office through which official university announcements, activities and statements may be communicated to the general public. This includes
- proactively obtaining coverage in the news media through press releases and other means
- releasing information about emergencies, crimes, controversies, official positions on issues involving the university and other events to which the press has reasonable claim
- linking faculty or staff with reporters seeking their expertise.
- All media contacts for official university information or expertise must be directed to OCM, which will coordinate the university's response with appropriate administrators or employees. Media requests for public records under the Kentucky Open Records Act are an exception: They should be referred to the university's open records officer in University Archives.
- All offices seeking press coverage for events and activities will contact OCM, which will analyze each request and define the strategy it believes will be most effective in achieving the desired goal on behalf of the university. Requests for routine coverage should reach the office at least three weeks before the date on which initial media contact or release might be made.
- Individuals who talk with the press as officials of the university or as faculty or staff representing their expertise or responsibilities through the university will work with OCM in advance to the extent possible; in rare instances when this is not possible, they will notify OCM of the contact so the office can track the results.
- OCM representatives will be available at all times to consult with administrators, faculty and staff about the most effective ways to work with the press.
- Exceptions to this policy include athletics, which manages media relations through its sports information office, and select other offices identified by OCM. However, OCM will be consulted regarding responses to all significant issues that have the potential to reflect upon the image of the university.
- Contact the associate vice president for communications and marketing with questions regarding this policy.
Approved January 1984; Updated January 2004
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