Please note: This policy is currently under review.

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Constituent Relationship ManagementVPE-03


This policy applies to all university units and to all users of Indiana University information technology resources regardless of affiliation, and irrespective of whether those resources are accessed from on-campus or off-campus locations. This policy is not intended to govern communications that do not pertain to university business or individual academic communications among faculty and students

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Policy Statement

Authorized individuals or organizations are expected to conduct engagement communications and/or official communications on behalf of Indiana University in accordance with this policy. Such communications should be for purposes of providing information, facilitating operations or transactions, or developing and maintaining relationships with prospective and current students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, and other external audiences including, but not limited to, media, legislators, volunteers and friends (“constituents”), both in broad-based approaches (e.g. direct mail, e-communications, events) and, in some cases as further defined in related procedures, on an individual basis.

For purposes of communications, all constituents “belong” to the University as a whole, not to any individual unit or subset of the University. Engagement with constituents should be governed primarily by whether such engagement benefits the University as a whole, and secondarily by whether it benefits any particular unit or program.

Individual constituents and constituent groups are managed by university officials or offices for purposes of relationships and communications and such assignments are governed by major constituent characteristics (e.g. student, faculty, Kokomo, etc.). Any campus or unit that proposes to include in a group contact a constituent who 1) is not assigned to that campus or unit and 2) who has not expressly requested the communication, must notify the entity to whom the constituent is assigned prior to scheduling or making the contact. All requests to contact constituents will be reviewed by the unit or individual assigned to insure that the requested communication is compliant with state, federal and university policy and will not alienate the constituent, undermine other activities involving the constituent, or otherwise be detrimental to the interests of the University.

Constituent communications must, wherever possible, be sensitive to constituent preferences. However, the University retains the authority and ability to communicate essential messages to any and all constituents, at the University’s discretion.

Individuals and organizations given access to constituent information must comply with this Policy, as well as any other applicable legal and institutional requirements for appropriate use and confidentiality, including but not limited to acceptable constituent preferences, and where applicable FERPA and HIPAA, CAN-SPAM and “Do Not Call” statutes. The University will enforce this Policy and any other applicable requirements vigorously.

There will be no supplemental or “shadow” systems employed or required for engagement communications where the central System meets required needs. Exceptions must be approved by the University President and/or the President’s designee.i

When units, in the context of communications, require data extracts, those requests for data will be handled through the approval processes outlined for each constituent group.

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Reason for Policy

Indiana University views constituent relationship management as a strategic business process that manages the University’s relationships with its constituents from initial interactions through every stage of the relationship (e.g. recruitment, retention, student engagement, alumni and donor engagement, external relations) and results in:

  • greater engagement that leads to increased pride, loyalty, and goodwill;
  • participation in events, programs and fundraising;
  • greater understanding, collaboration and respect among employees;
  • more visits and applications from qualified prospects;
  • greater success for our students.

This policy is designed to maximize compliance with legal expectations for communication, effectiveness of communications, and responsiveness to institutional objectives and constituent needs by leveraging the university’s resources in the most efficient manner possible.

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Procedures for constituent relationship communications are codified by constituency. For quick reference, consult the appropriate constituent procedures below:

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Advancement: Advancement is a strategic method of managing relationships to increase understanding and support among the University’s key constituents, including but not limited to alumni and friends, members of the community and philanthropic entities of all types.

The primary core disciplines of educational advancement are alumni relations, communications, marketing and fundraising. Advancement professionals work on behalf of educational institutions to:

  • Secure private financial support from potential donors
  • Engage alumni in the life of the institution as volunteers, advocates and supporters
  • Promote or market the institution to prospective students, their parents and others
  • Communicate about the institution with constituents

Constituent: A constituent is anyone with whom the University has a relationship and who has a stake in its success, including but not limited to prospective students, current students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors and friends, community members, business leaders, government officials, and the media.

Constituent Relationship Management System (“System”): The technology used to create, track, store information about, analyze, report on, manage and enhance relationships with the University’s constituents. The University’s CRM System, like most, is a software solution.

Data Steward: A Data Steward is an individual or entity that has approved management responsibility for the production, development, maintenance, use and security of particular data. The term "Data Steward" does not necessarily mean that the person or entity actually has any property rights in the asset.

Engagement Communication: An Engagement Communication is a communication which engages the constituent in a manner that further develops the relationship the constituent has with the University.

Official Communication: An Official Communication is a communication to a constituent that is essential and/or mandatory and primarily intended to inform the constituent. Examples are a message announcing the results of a Trustee election, and a message discussing what the University is doing to address a time-sensitive issue.

Senior Executive Officer: A Senior Executive Officer is the administrator of a unit, school, department, program or other entity with the ultimate authority to make decisions for that unit, school, department, program or university entity.

University: For purposes of this policy, University shall mean all campuses, schools, departments, programs, centers, and all other entities that are affiliated with or formally associated with the University and engaged in official University constituent communications, including but not limited to Indiana University Research and Technology Corporation (“IURTC”).

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Violations of university policies, including the failure to avoid a prohibited activity or obtain required approvals, will be dealt with in accordance with applicable university policies and procedures. Depending on the individual and circumstances, such sanctions could involve the offices of Human Resources, Vice Provost or Vice Chancellor of Faculties (or campus equivalent), Dean of Students (or campus equivalent), Office of the General Counsel, and/or appropriate law enforcement agencies.

Failure to comply with university policies may result in sanctions relating to the individual's use of information technology resources (such as suspension or termination of access, or removal of online material); to the individual's employment (up to and including immediate termination of employment in accordance with applicable university policy); the individual's studies within the university (such as student discipline in accordance with applicable university policy); civil or criminal liability; or any combination of these.

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The policy was endorsed by the CRM Policy Committee on April 26th, 2013.

The policy was revised and endorsed by the Lifetime Engagement Functional Council on July 22nd, 2013.

Policy number updated June 2014 to reflect the shift of responsibility from the Office of Public Affairs and Government Relations to IU Communications.

Policy number updated March 2015 to reflect responsibility of the Office of the Vice President for Engagement

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