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AP numbers required on print and Web pages

March 26, 2001

Take a number--or risk breaking the law, say staff in the Public Relations office.

Since May 1984, state law (Tennessee Code Annotated Section 12-7-106-8) has required specific quality and cost-monitoring procedures for publications produced by units within Tennessee's public colleges and universities--including APSU.

The president of each college and university is responsible for maintaining a system for review and monitoring of all publications. APSU's Office of Public Relations and Marketing is the campus unit designated to ensure compliance. By state law, staff in the PR Office must approve all publications (with few exceptions) prior to printing. The PR Office also is required by THEC to maintain an accurate and current log of all publications, and that log is subject to a state audit. The log includes the following:

*Name of publication
*Department producing publication
*Purpose and brief description of publication's contents
*Number of issues authorized to be printed
*General list of distribution
*Estimated cost of printing and distribution

If a publication is approved, an "AP number" is assigned and the affirmative action statement is attached. That statement must appear on all APSU publications.

Tennessee law states: "No printing facility operated by a higher education institute shall print any publication unless the printing authorization number has been affixed. No contract shall be entered into, no requisition issued, or acted upon, by any higher education institution for printing of any publication at any facility unless the printing authorization number has been affixed." Dennie B. Burke, executive director of public relations and marketing, serves on the THEC Publications Advisory Committee. In THEC's "Printing and Publishing Guide for Colleges and Universities," which was distributed statewide in 1990, Burke wrote the section, "Publications Management on Your Campus."

The THEC Publications Advisory Committee reconvenes March 28 to begin updating the guidebook. Among the topics of discussion: governance of college/university Web sites as "electronic publications."

It is likely that THEC will enact a policy paralleling the state-mandated publications policy, which would require approval of all homepages that link to the APSU Web site.

A TBR policy already requires that college/university public relations offices approve all Web pages.

Because the Web is a primary portal to APSU for prospective students, alumni, friends and surfers, Laquita Maxwell, Web coordinator in the PR Office, will assist a representative from each department or program in creating a high-quality, easily navigated Web site that reflects a consistent "look" campuswide.

Maxwell is providing assistance to departments, with "first- and second-tier" sites, those visited most often, getting top priority.

Once the site is established, the department is responsible for its maintenance.

For more info or to make an appointment with Maxwell, telephone 1294.