Branding details expected in the coming weeks

Staff Council hears plan for bringing uniformity to the university's visual image

University of Colorado officials hope to roll out the new branding effort by the end of this semester, with a goal of more coordination and consistency, especially in visual images, Ken McConnellogue, associate vice president for University Relations, told members of the University of Colorado Staff Council during their regular meeting Nov. 4.

McConnellogue also said an identity standards manual – detailing what all of the representations of CU images will look like – will be released soon, perhaps as early as this month.

Although branding is about more than a logo, he said, everyone wants to know what the logo looks like.

There are "hundreds of images representing the university," McConnellogue said. "I call it logo creep. In the absence of any direction, what has happened is everyone has said, 'I need a logo, I need a visual identity' ... and that has all happened in a vacuum over a period of years and has gotten us to a point where, in my opinion, we are massively ineffective and inefficient in the way we present ourselves."

He said the new logo will be a contemporary version of the interlocking CU. The look was driven in part by Boulder, McConnellogue said, because of the way the image is used by intercollegiate athletics.

Only the logos of the Colorado Springs campus, because it has substantial equity in the image it has developed, and the CU system and CU Foundation, will be different. All campuses will use common colors (black and gold) and a common type face. In the instances of system and foundation visuals, the logo will be boxed.

All other logos will be eliminated, removing costly and confusing sub-identities, he said.

The campus names also will follow a streamlined rule: University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder), University of Colorado Denver (UCD), University of Colorado Anschutz Campus (AMC) and University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS).

The administration plans to marry brand messages and campaign messages for the start of the upcoming 2011 comprehensive fundraising campaign by the CU Foundation.

In addition, McConnellogue said, an advocacy program will be developed to broadcast the university's message and importance to Colorado, engage alumni and build a network.

CU has more than 300,000 living alumni, but the university has contact information for only about 140,000. A campaign is under way to find e-mail addresses and cell phone numbers for the remainder of the CU grads.

"We want to use this to support our legislative efforts ... fundraising and general image and reputation," he said.

Staff Council also briefly discussed its Oct. 25 retreat and issues of concern it will address in the coming year. The council will prioritize the issues at its Dec. 4 meeting.

Possible expansion of the tuition waiver to spouses and children of employees, along with making the registration process more equitable and easier, continue to be of interest.

The council also discussed a recent suggestion by one Board of Regents member to implement a 2 percent, across-the-board pay cut rather than raise tuition by 9.5 percent to deal with budget shortfalls. While a pay cut has not been formally discussed by the Board of Regents, Staff Council co-chair Lori Krug requested an analysis of staff compensation in order to present how a cut would impact employees.

The group also wants more involvement in other budget issues, including the university's policy of pay for performance, which most agreed is underfunded; other ways of compensating workers; and compensation disparities at each of the campuses and as compared with peer universities.

In other matters, E. Jill Pollock, chief human resources officer and senior associate vice president of administration, updated the group on several university initiatives.

* The tuition benefit report, which compared CU with peer institutions, is still in draft form, Pollock said, but generally it shows the university is not competitive with similar entities and shows the university uses a process that needs improvement.

Virtually all the institutions offer tuition waivers of 12 credit hours per year (CU offers 9 credit hours) for employees, and also offer tuition discounts for spouses and dependents.

Pollock said models are being developed for CU and an analysis will be finished by year's end and will then be presented to administrators and chancellors.

* One part of the university's wellness and prevention initiatives is the health risk assessment, a "conversation" between an employee and his/ her computer that will produce a detailed report for private use. The report provides information about an individual's health state.

Pollock said the university is in the process of contracting with a Johnson & Johnson company to initiate the program. See related story here.

In addition, the wellness initiative will have a relationship with America on the Move - developed by CU's James Hill - which advocates taking incremental steps to a healthier lifestyle.

Another part of the initiative will be Colorado Weigh, a weight-loss program that will be offered on campuses with dietitians available to offer advice. These programs will begin early next year.

  • The university is researching the viability of shared services – or consolidating certain tasks - between departments or campuses, or even with other institutions in the state. The impetus is to save money and develop a model that would increase efficiency. Areas where shared services might be considered are payroll and benefits, libraries, risk management and information systems.
  • Student health plans also are being researched, and an initial report is due in January.