For some time now, NMC has been working on a way to help our members maximize the benefits of the NMC campuses, and to do so in a way that preserves the “family” feel of the NMC, while helping campuses involve more people across the institution in NMC programs and activities like the Horizon Project.
Times have changed significantly since 1993. Way back when the NMC was founded, most of the people we worked with were housed in little islands — “New Media Centers” — places where you would go to be able to access the Internet, edit digital video, press CDs, and learn to work with other new forms of media. Today, those same services can be found virtually everywhere in the organization, and the tools on any laptop. Our language still reflects those early days, however, and by tradition we have always called our primary contacts “NMC Directors” even though that is rarely a reflection of how the organizational lines are actually drawn anymore. The title has lingered on, but given how the roles of supporting innovation and new media have spread across multiple parts of most organizations, it is time for our language to reflect that, and for us to restructure the ways we connect with our members.

Thus in 2010 we have launched the new group within NMC membership, the Campus Leader Advisory Board. (As an FYI, the new advisory board is abbreviated as CLAB and pronounced “SEE-lab”).

Our goals in this are to expand the value of an institution’s membership in the NMC by helping to foster more community involvement, as well as visibility on the member campuses. The first step is to define some new roles and new language for describing all the folks we work with at member organizations. Here is the new lexicon we’ll be using:

Campus Liaison. The Campus Liaison is the primary point of contact for the NMC membership and is the person who is most committed to ensuring that the value of the membership permeates the institution. This is the person whom the NMC contacts if there is a matter of business for the organization, the local contact for questions from the campus constituency related to the NMC membership, and the person responsible for ensuring NMC news is shared across the institution as appropriate. Campus Liaisons also serve on the Campus Leaders Advisory Board. They will also be invited to participate in the annual Campus Leaders Meeting, as well as the occassional online meetings intended to help them keep abreast of the things happening across the NMC. (These new meetings will replace the annual Director’s Meeting.)

Campus Leaders Advisory Board. Each NMC member organization nominates five or more additional individuals to serve on the Campus Leaders Advisory Board, especially innovators who hold positions of influence and respect in the organization. We are looking for folks who are regarded in their own right for how they use technology, for their role in technology planning, or for their role in providing technology support. (In the past, we often referred to these same sorts of folks as Technology Champions.) This role will require a very low time commitment, but individually and collectively, this group will have considerable influence and will assume a major role in the NMC community.


The Campus Leaders Advisory Board will receive the same news and announcements as the Campus Liaison, with the exception of purely business-related items, and like the Campus Liaison they are encouraged to routinely share NMC news and other information with the people they work with across the campus. The hope here is that this approach will help Campus Liaisons not only build and strengthen their campus alliances, but also to help them enrich the value of NMC membership to the institution as a whole.

The advisory role of the Campus Leaders Advisory Board is intended to help ensure the timeliness and relevance of NMC programs and activities. The NMC will be tapping these leaders from time to time for their insights and opinions, and their collective voice will be a very important part of the NMC’s strategic planning and programmatic directions. This group of leaders, along with the Campus Liaison, will also be invited to attend the annual NMC Campus Leaders Meeting (formerly the NMC Directors Meeting), as well as the new quarterly online meetings that will help them keep abreast of happenings across the NMC.

Communication tools available for CLAB include open discussion on our email list, a CLAB- only area of the NMC web site, use of our Adobe Connect Seminar Room for online meetings, as well as other new tools like Google Wave.