Effective Jan. 1, 2014, the office formerly known as the Truman Institute became the Institute for Academic Outreach (IAO). At the same time, Kevin Minch, director of the Truman Institute and professor of communication, assumed the title of associate vice president for academic affairs.
These changes were implemented to clarify the responsibilities of the office for external as well as internal audiences, and to better reflect the current scope of its portfolio.
The Truman Institute name was fitting, and sufficiently broad when the office was created in 2009. However, the name resulted in confusion when talking to potential partners off campus. The new label is more in keeping with language used to describe offices across the country that manage continuing education, extension efforts and lifelong learning programs.
“The new name better reflects our range of projects,” Minch said. “We are now managing multiple summer programs—both international and domestic—summer and interim sessions, conferences and events, professional development programming, online instruction, early enrollment programs and some limited aspects of graduate education.”
In a day where search engines play such an important role in marketing and recruitment, “Truman Institute,” Minch said, has not provided sufficient specificity to point users to the right resources on campus.
The Institute will retain the moniker “Truman Institute Summer Academies” as the umbrella title for its growing portfolio of summer programs for youth to maintain continuity with existing marketing.
The Institute will also maintain its existing web domain at institute.truman.edu.