Public Affairs and Internal Communications

Led by Director Rick Fitzgerald, the Office of Public Affairs and Internal Communications performs two complementary, yet distinctly different roles.

The Public Affairs staff forecasts and manages emerging issues and handles crisis communication for the university; responds to media inquiries involving university executives and other senior administrators; serves as the central public voice for the university; develops communication strategies to advance major university priorities and initiatives; and advises individuals and units throughout the university regarding communications. Public Affairs services include:

  • Preparing faculty and staff for media interviews.
  • Developing background materials such as Q&As and key messages.
  • Providing confidential communication advice to individuals and units throughout the university.

When a crisis arises, Public Affairs staff members act as front-line responders, providing accurate and timely information to the university community and the media while ensuring that U-M’s interests are well represented.

The Public Affairs staff manages communication of key university issues including admissions, financial aid, tuition, the university budget, labor agreements and major construction projects.

The Internal Communications staff publishes the university’s official faculty-staff news source, The University Record, both online and in print.

News about important university topics, university research and university events is updated daily on The Record’s website and a weekly print edition is published each Monday.

The print edition is distributed free throughout campus and at select off-campus locations and is mailed to U-M retirees. The Record also sends a daily email news update throughout the academic year; weekly during summer.