Bert’s Alerts – The Final Issue

Bert and images of the first and recent issues of Bert's Alerts
May 21, 2021

With Bert’s recent retirement, a question on many employee’s minds is what Bert’s Alerts will be called. Well, all good things must come to an end! So what’s next for CWI’s now nameless newsletter? First, a little history…

Bert became president of College of Western Idaho (CWI) in June 2009. Shortly after his arrival, the College launched its very first issue of Bert’s Alerts on Sept. 14, 2009, as a way to communicate internally. At the time, the College was only serving approximately 3,500 students. The newsletter was built in Mailchimp and sent out twice a month by the Office of Community Relations and Advancement to employees across the College.

“I believe it was Bert who coined the name, and for good reason,” remembered former Executive Director of Community Relations and Advancement, Shirl Boyce. “Bottom line was he needed to establish himself as the next president, responsible for taking CWI to the next level – a very tricky job!”

According to Bert, the name for Bert’s Alerts came from his time at Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, Colorado, where the same name was used for internal campus communications during his time as President from 2002-2009.

In October 2013, a new and improved format of Bert’s Alerts was unveiled moving the now weekly newsletter from an email-only format to a web-based newsroom to improve efficiencies and the overall user experience. The new format, still in use today, has provided consistent structure and formatting, automated email builds, recycling of all newsroom content to reducing the duplication of article content, and the ability to expand the newsletter system to CWI’s external newsletter, Compass Connect.

“Our readers experience more consistent messages regardless how they choose to read news either through CWI’s newsroom, newsletters, or through the College’s social media channels,” commented Web Services Manager, Bryson Caldwell. “The initial email directs readers to a full web-based version that provides high-resolution content fostering reading, exploration, sharing, and searchable archives. Along with the growth in the quality of our news content at CWI, this update has radically increased news contributions across CWI, creating the most anticipated email of the week.”

To date, more than 500 issues of Bert’s Alerts have been sent out serving as the main source of College updates and communication to more than 1,000 employees. As the Communications and Marketing department prepares for the launch of a new and improved newsletter this fall, stay tuned for your chance to provide input on a new title and more! The department has already received several name suggestions from employees including Temp Pres’s Press, News You Otter Know, Otter’s Outings, The Otter Update, and In Otter News to name a few.

When asking Bert what Bert’s Alerts should be called moving forward, he was speechless.