The Catholic University of America

Speaking to the News Media Policy

Archived 6/9/17

I.     Introduction

The purpose of this policy is to define who may speak on behalf of CUA to the news media, in addition to explaining more about the role faculty can play in promoting the University in the news media by giving interviews about their academic expertise to journalists.

University communications with the news media are managed by The CUA Office of Public Affairs (PBAF), which serves as a liaison between the University and the public and is responsible for a broad range of editorial, marketing, publications and other public relations functions. The Office of Public Affairs often serves as a primary contact point for media who are looking for faculty experts to comment on issues for news stories. In addition, the associate vice president for public affairs serves as the official spokesperson for the University.

II.     Definitions 

A. Faculty Experts Guide: An online listing of faculty who have agreed to be available to discuss their academic areas of expertise with the news media.

B. University Spokesperson: Individual designated to convey information about the University, including crisis communication response, to the news media. The associate vice president for public affairs is the designated University spokesperson, unless others have been designated to speak to the media by the Office of the President or the associate vice president for public affairs.

III.     General Policies

          A.  The associate vice president for public affairs is the only authorized spokesperson for the University. In the event another member of the campus community would be a more appropriate spokesperson on specific campus matters, the Office of the President or the associate vice president for public affairs will designate other staff to speak to the media on a case by case basis. In the event the associate vice president is unavailable, the director of communications will work with the Office of the President to designate another spokesperson.

          B.  Members of the faculty are actively encouraged to provide comment to the news media on their areas of academic expertisePBAF staff is always available to screen calls from journalists for faculty who desire this service; those who would prefer to let PBAF screen media calls should simply direct media callers to go through the Office of Public Affairs by calling tel. (202) 319-5600. PBAF staff also is available to return a reporter’s phone call on behalf of faculty desiring this service.

          C.  CUA staff members who are contacted by the media should always consult with the Office of Public Affairs before agreeing to an interview or to provide information if the inquiry is related to University matters. 

Guidelines for Commenting to Media

For a complete set of guidelines for speaking to the media or to request media training from the Office of Public Affairs, call the director of communications at tel. (202) 319-5600 or visit