The Addenda

Category: Features

By Nathan Morgan

Communicating to an organization of more than 800 employees that are spread across campus, the region, and in some cases, the state, is no easy task. UT Martin’s weekly newsletter, Addenda, has been doing that for more than 30 years.

UT Martin began its internal newsletter in the late 1980s as a monthly periodical called Martin Monthly. It was published as a folded 11-inch by 17-inch sheet of paper – making a four-page newsletter – by the Office of University Relations under David Shipley, director of university relations, and Margaret Perry, chancellor. With growing popularity and a growing amount of content, the monthly newsletter quickly added an “addendum” to its monthly publication, which they called Addenda.

The first volume of Addenda was explained in the new publication: “Addenda is just that. It is an addendum to the Martin Monthly. Addenda will appear twice in April and then on approximately the 15 of every month thereafter. Martin Monthly will continue to appear on the first of each month beginning again in May.”

Eventually the monthly newsletter was dropped and Addenda became a weekly newsletter. Until the early 2000s, Addenda was designed by the Office of University Relations, printed by the UT Martin Print Shop and mailed across campus each week. A few copies were also mailed to friends of the university and retired employees.

Today, Addenda is published and distributed online by the Office of University Relations and reaches more than 1,500 recipients with each edition. Each week, Addenda brings campus news to the UTM community. It also includes sections such as YoUTM, which features the accolades and accomplishments of faculty and staff. Perhaps the most anticipated section, however, is You Tell Me. It is a question-and-answer section that allows readers to anonymously submit questions that are then researched by University Relations staff and later answered in print.

“Addenda allows for consistent, regular communication with the entire UT Martin community. Its weekly format creates an expectation for everyone on campus to hear about accolades, learn about programs and policies and meet new colleagues,” said Chancellor Keith Carver.

Since its creation, Addenda has been doing just that. The newsletter serves as an important tool to keep employees in the loop concerning policies, activities, events and other university news, all while informing and motivating. While Addenda serves as a way to effectively communicate with the university, its value goes beyond that.

“For me, Addenda is an important source of university history. We use the newsletter to verify important dates and events and to compile information for documents such as the Chancellor’s Annual Report. I’m grateful for the many Addenda editors who have kept the newsletter going and treated it as an important communications tool for all these years,” said Bud Grimes, current director of university relations.