Campus leaders turn to social media to increase visibility

September 1, 2010

In response to rising demand from students and parents in a highly competitive market, campus leaders, including those at Queen's and UoGuelph, are creating social media accounts, writing blogs, and using face-to-face meetings to become more visible, foster a greater bond with students, and assist with recruitment. On visits to high schools, Laurentian University president Dominic Giroux invites students and parents to add him on Facebook. Such open access reflects the changing role of university presidents and the kinds of people being chosen for the job, says Academica Group's Ken Steele. With the position becoming more politicized, Ken suspects people becoming president are generally more gregarious and outward-looking. Not all campus leaders should be expected to act in this manner, Ken notes. Talking to students via social media seems silly on a small campus, says Mount Allison University president Robert Campbell, who has strong ties with undergraduate students. Globe and Mail