Working with Communications

Who Can Help Me?

The official spokesperson of Florida Tech is Wes Sumner, vice president of Marketing and Communications. He deals with matters that are potentially controversial or sensitive. He should be provided with advance notice of significant situations so that he may represent the university effectively and accurately, while minimizing any potential negative reac­tion. He also communicates university positions on issues of campus-wide impact. Contact him at 674-6218 or wsumner@fit.edu.

Karen Rhine, news bureau chief, is responsible for fielding media calls and responding to media requests for subject matter experts. It is usually she who will look to connect the appropriate faculty or staff member with a reporter. Contact her at 674-8964 or krhine@fit.edu.

In the Department of Athletics, Ryan Jones, athletics communication director, is responsible for publicizing sports programs. He is at jonesr@fit.edu, 674-8250.

When should I get in touch with the Vice President of Marketing and Communications or the News Bureau Chief?

Florida Tech administrators, faculty and staff are asked to call 674-8548 or one of the numbers above, when:

  • You are contacted by a news reporter about campus policy or a campus-wide issue
  • You can offer an expert opinion on current affairs
  • You or another from the campus community have won a major award
  • You have completed a research project and want to announce the results
  • You are responsible for an innovation that would be helpful and interesting to know about

How do we manage event coverage?

Campus departments and organizations should publicize their events only when they are open to the public, or at least to the news media. News releases are intended to spur media coverage or public attendance.

What is our policy concerning access?

Florida Tech welcomes reporters and photographers on campus as it welcomes the public.  However, visiting media are asked to notify Marketing and Communications in advance so that the visit can be appropriately facilitated.

It is Florida Tech policy to be as helpful as possible to the media. Students, staff and faculty have a right to privacy; neither reporters nor the public are allowed to disrupt classroom instruction or other educational functions. Speaking to members of the news media on the part of faculty, staff or students is always voluntary.

If a reporter approaches you in person with an impromptu question, feel free to refer him/her to the Communications office at 674-8548. Never feel obligated to answer questions on-the-fly when you haven’t had time to prepare. Reporters are always asked to coordinate any inquiry regarding campus life or personnel through Marketing & Communications.

News media must obtain prior permission from Marketing and Communications to enter classrooms, medical facilities and teaching laboratories. Permission usually will be granted, as long as access does not disrupt university functions or jeopardize safety. Residence halls are closed to the news media un­less reporters make prior arrangements and receive permission. Any requests you receive to videotape specific campus activities or functions should be referred to the Communications office. All requests for commercial, non-news photography, filmmaking or videotaping should also be referred to the Communications office.

The news media should not be allowed to infringe on the privacy of students, parents, administrators, faculty or staff. There are occasions when information will not be made public for valid legal, regulatory or privacy reasons. For example, no statements will be made to the media concerning a legal matter, or a potentially actionable legal matter, until it has been cleared.