I *heart* my university marketing and advancement colleagues.
This weekend, we celebrated the inauguration of our ninth president at the main university campus. A month ago, we met up at the CASE III regional conference. Both events provided a great opportunity to reunite in person, to catch up on office happenings and each others' lives.
My law school campus resides across the state from our main university campus. It's a 2-3 hour drive to see colleagues who do our same jobs, for our same institution. We may e-mail each other periodically, we may virtually collaborate on projects, and we may even follow each other on Twitter. But it's no replacement for seeing your counterparts in person, especially if you've never met in the physical world.
When working in a decentralized environment, it's easy for some to adopt an "us" and "them" mentality, even if the feeling is not adversarial. An over-dependence on online communications doesn't help, removing the context and personality required to build interpersonal relationships. While I have a long history with my parent university, other colleagues haven't had the benefit of studying and working on our main campus or on university-wide committees.
These relationships are important not only for project collaboration, but also for less tangible reasons: cameraderie, shared perspectives and institutional knowledge, to name a few. We have great things to learn from each other. Find opportunities to meet in person, whether you work across a campus, city or state. It's one of your most important networks, and it's always worth developing.