The Office of the Vice-President (External Relations) was created in 2000 and has excelled at establishing, maintaining, and strengthening the University of Alberta's relationships with its key stakeholders in government, the business community, alumni, donors, philanthropic organizations, students, friends, and neighbours.
External Relations builds reputation, relationships, and resources to support the University of Alberta and provides strategic communications advice to staff and students. Much of External Relations' activity is focused on maximizing favourable public exposure among the general public and in local, national, and international mass media.
External Relations develops communication strategies and directs and delivers communications programs on behalf of faculty deans, faculty departments, support units, and other staff responsible for alumni relations, fund development, public affairs, and other communications issues.
External Relations responds to media inquiries, organizes press conferences, prepares news releases, maintains media contact lists, pitches story ideas to key media, and provides media training to staff and students. The office also conveys the value of the work conducted at the University and explains how faculties work collaboratively with community groups, industry, charities, and not-for-profit partners.
In addition, External Relations maintains a close working relationship with faculties, assisting them with their internal communications activity and ensuring that internal audiences, students, staff, and partners are informed about major activities within the faculties. The academic activities of the University are broadly advertised and a general awareness of administrative activities and goals is also created.
According to its portfolio overview dated October 2005, External Relations, whose Campaign 2008 is one of the largest fundraising campaigns in Canada, employs 135 full-time staff, including fund development officers who successfully raise in excess of $50 million annually. The office has an operating budget of over $12 million and encompasses
- Advancement Services
- Alumni Affairs
- Creative Services
- the Development Office
- Government Relations
- the Office of Public Affairs
- the Office of the Vice-President