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This is the second in a two-column series. The first, published in May 2006, was an anonymous letter from a chief marketing officer to a college president.

Thank you for your recent letter. I do appreciate the thought that went into your comments and appreciate, too, the candor and sincerity with which they were presented. Like you, I want to make our marketing efforts as successful as possible. With that goal in mind, I would like to respond to some of your insights and offer some observations of my own.

Dear Mr. President:

I have wanted to write this letter to you for quite some time because there is much I want to share with you about how we can make our marketing efforts more effective. After you have had a chance to read these pages, I welcome an opportunity to respond to any questions or observations you might have.

There's one essential team quality that's often misunderstood: conflict. Many leaders mistakenly believe conflict among team members is bad. Actually, it is one of the best indicators of a healthy team.

Conflict means that team members trust each other enough to disagree. Conflict means all ideas are valued and aired. Conflict means ideas are aggressively debated. And conflict means that decisions, once made, are adhered to with a passion.

Just as today's leader must have a handful of essential qualities and characteristics, the members of the effective marketing team must possess these qualities. The first, of course, is the desire, like the leader, to orbit a worthy vision.

For more than 25 years I have served on teams, occasionally led teams, and, as part of my work at Stamats, worked as a consultant to help client teams.

During my career I've wondered why truly effective teams in higher education are so rare. I have thought about this question for more than 20 years, during which time I tracked down articles, read books, scoured the web, and posed the same question to hundreds of administrators and faculty.

At least once a month I get the phone call. A client wants to hire a chief marketing officer (CMO). Do I have a job description they can use?

This interest represents a dramatic change in higher education. Even a few years ago, this person, and position, did not exist. In fact, marketing was seldom seen as anything more than simple promotion. Today, as colleges and universities have begun to appreciate the potential that integrated marketing has to offer them, the position of the chief integrated marketing officer has become common.

Evaluation is all the buzz these days as colleges and universities seek to more effectively allocate the precious resources of time, talent, and treasure.

In this month's column, we are going to take a look at how to evaluate a marketing staff. As you read along, please realize that my comments are not designed to stand in place of counsel from the professionals in your Human Resource office.

Last month, we looked at three necessary cautions that must be addressed before you can begin to plan your budget. Developing an effective and sustainable integrated marketing budget likely depends more on the decisions that were made when shaping the plan than the actual activities in the plan. With that in mind, let's look at some issues that must be addressed and questions that must be answered as you begin the budgeting process.