This past week, the class completed a Twitter Live Chat regarding Dr. Esteban stepping down as president. So far, a single email has been sent to the Seton Hall community, along with one tweet from the school’s account. Meanwhile, DePaul University, the school that Dr. Esteban will be president of after Seton Hall, has already released a video interviewing him about the position. With graduation being changed, an OCR report being released, and the university being in the middle of major projects, the news has left many people feeling either slighted or just down right confused. There are even rumors swirling that current Governor Chris Christie is in the running to take Dr. Esteban’s place. During the chat, we were asked various questions regarding SHU’s communication strategy on the matter and ways that they may be able to avoid rumors and minimize negative feelings. I suggested more open communication, perhaps mimicking DePaul’s video. A letter from Dr. Esteban himself, explaining the career move, would have been much more personal and probably would have left less like he was abandoning ship.
Seton Hall even tweeted me back! #embarrassing
Here are a few of my favorite ideas from my classmates.
I work in admissions as well and was at this meeting. While we were all buzzing a bit about the news, especially with a large open house coming up, any doubts we had in our mind about Dr. Esteban leaving were immediately eased. Alyssa McCloud, VP of admissions told us in simple terms that Dr. Esteban’s daughter is doing her residency in Chicago and actually just got engaged there too. Aside from DePaul being a larger university and frankly, offering more money, the family aspect was the driving factor of his decision. If this was explained in a letter from the president, I think many people would understand, and actually be happy for him.
DePaul offered a video with Dr. Esteban that was made completely public and apparently came out before Seton Hall released any kind of statement. Seton Hall sent an email from a member of the Board of Regents and posted an article on their website about Dr. Esteban’s leaving. It seems as if the DePaul community already has a more personal, caring relationship than Seton Hall. If Seton Hall had coordinated their announcement with DePaul’s and had Dr. Esteban make the announcement, whether through writing, video, or press conference, this negative sentiment could have been avoided.
See the rest of the tweets from the #SHUTransition Live Chat here!
Overall, I thought that the live chat was a great way to discuss this issue. It worked almost as a class discussion because we were all able to bounce ideas off of each other and build from the best ones. I could definitely see how this would be beneficial to companies who want to get genuine feedback from their consumers while having an open discussion.