New CSIT leadership structure now in place
Janes came on board in early February, joining Senuta and Youtsey as the three directors charged by ANR Vice President Barbara Allen-Diaz with developing a comprehensive plan to lead CSIT into the future. Janes's strategic communications will more effectively take advantage of ANR's strong research base by placing a greater emphasis on proactive media relations, ANR branding and a more dynamic and compelling Web presence.
“It's clear that UCANR is highly engaged in programs and activities that are highly relevant to Californians, but many state leaders and the general public often don't seem to understand the vital role that ANR plays,” says Janes. “We're determined to raise UCANR's public profile, and fortunately there's plenty of great material from which we can work.”
Among other projects, Janes and his team, which includes staff providing news and information outreach in English and Spanish, will work closely with Youtsey and his Web development staff on a redesign of the main ANR website. The joint team is currently identifying an external vendor to assess needs and set a strategy for the ANR website redesign. As part of this assessment, a number of ANR senior leaders, academics and staff members will be interviewed for their insight into programmatic and audience needs.
“A website redesign will not just make it easier for our constituents to find information, but will also help them to better understand ANR on a single page, to better highlight our mission and initiatives and to foster deeper engagement with the public in a visually appealing format,” says Youtsey.
To create a strategic plan for information technology, Youtsey has traveled and met extensively with the ANR community to understand how technology is used in support of ANR's mission. The resulting IT plan includes several key projects designed to extend the Division's reach into rural areas with improved networking, to use new and existing data to enhance ANR research, and to connect communities using technology.
“Innovative approaches to research, education and outreach by ANR increasingly rely on a strong foundation of technology,” says Youtsey. “Faster and more reliable networks, modern computers, software tools, social networking and conferencing technologies will all play a part in helping ANR deliver an astounding range of service to California.”
Youtsey will offer an hour-long webinar via UCOP Information Technology Services on May 5 at 1 p.m. about technology at ANR. Details can be found at http://ucop.edu/information-technology-services/initiatives/webinars.html
Many in ANR are well familiar with the CSIT's publishing group, which produces and markets peer-reviewed ANR publications and California Agriculture journal, videos and Division promotional materials and manages the online peer-review systems and the Media Repository. Senuta's publishing operations plan focuses on a new business model and expansion of the Division's publishing options to include e-books, single-copy print-on-demand and repurposed content. She is working to connect with recently hired ANR academics to make them aware of available publishing opportunities and, with executive editor Jim Downing, strengthen California Agriculture's news section as a venue for highlighting Division research for new audiences.
“Like the greater publishing industry, we are expanding our formats to ensure sustainability and increase market reach. Part of this effort is to ensure a variety of publishing opportunities for Division authors to extend ANR research,” Senuta says. “We can't produce it all, so we must target wisely. But what ANR has that many publishers envy is our content — objective, based in science and simply interesting.”
Future endeavors, with support from the Communications Advisory Board, include revitalizing publishing for underserved audiences and investigating the possibility of peer-review credit for academic writing published on ANR webpages.