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Faculty-Authored Op-Eds

The Challenge:
Highlighting faculty research and expertise is the main focus of University Communications’ efforts and maps directly to two points of AU’s Strategic Plan:

Point 1: Epitomize the scholar-teacher ideal. “Our faculty will epitomize the ideal of the scholar-teacher by blending research, teaching, and service into an inspiring whole.”

Point 10: Win recognition and distinction. “Our profile will rise as we tell the story of American University to the world.”

UCM’s goal is to position AU faculty members in national news media outlets as expert researchers and thought leaders in their disciplines.

The Solution:
As part of a broader news media outreach strategy, we encourage faculty members to write op-eds highlighting their research and areas of expertise in relation to events and issues in the news cycle. UCM’s public relations managers consult faculty members on topics and timing, and they strategically pitch op-eds to top-tier news media outlets.

Each year, numerous faculty-authored op-eds are placed successfully in national news media outlets. Among the placements secured by UCM staff are:

  • In an op-ed for USA Today, government professor Chris Edelson argued that President Obama’s unilateral decision to begin military action against ISIL was unwarranted under the existing Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) and that his newly proposed AUMF contains many “loopholes.”
  • Marking the week of the 30th anniversary of the disclosure of the AIDS virus, director of the AU Center on Health, Risk, and Society Kim Blankenship’s Huffington Post op-ed explained the role of social science research in combatting the AIDS epidemic.
  • International service professor Guy Ziv’s Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed appeared on the eve of the Israeli elections. Ziv argued that Israeli citizens care about the costs to the U.S.-Israel relationship if Netanyahu is reelected.
  • In a Washington Post op-ed, Center for Environmental Filmmaking director Chris Palmer argued that although nature shows such as the Discovery Channel’s Eaten Alive claim to have environmental and educational goals, they actually encourage animal harassment for the sake of entertainment.