Statement from UND President Robert Kelley on Creating Office of External Affairs
A few weeks ago, I held a campus wide meeting to unveil “Exceptional UND,” a blueprint of how we will continue to transform the University, to take it from the great institution that it is and make it the exceptional institution it is poised to be.
As I have talked with leadership, it is increasingly clear that we have a great story to tell. We have continued to evolve as a University in the past decade. Our enrollment and the quality of our student body has never been higher. Our research enterprise has never been larger, or better funded. We continue to develop programs that meet the needs of our students and which connect to their future and the future of the state, the nation and the world.
It is also clear that we need to find a more strategic approach to telling our story and to managing our key communication processes at all levels. We need a communication champion at the highest levels of the University who will be able to mold a more robust approach to – and provide leadership for – all aspects of communication.
As a consequence, I am considering establishing the Office of External Affairs – or some similar name – under the direction of a new vice president. The Vice President would serve as senior advisor to the academic and administrative leadership of the University of North Dakota on issues of marketing, community, regional and governmental affairs and internal and external communications. The Office brings together the Office of University Relations and the functions of external communications and governmental affairs to enhance coordination between the activities of several offices and to leverage synergies that are created to enhance UND’s presence and reputation across all key constituencies. Examples of areas that this Vice President would oversee include:
- Public and media relations
- Visitor/Alumni liaison
- Ceremonies and Special Events
- Media Services
- Government and Community relations
The vice president reports to the president of the university and sits on both the executive council and the president’s cabinet.
This position is essentially a recasting of a position that was created in 2005 under President Charles Kupchella, initially filled by Don Kojich and which has remained vacant since his resignation in 2008.
Before a final decision is made and the many underlying details finalized, I want to provide an opportunity for comment and input by the campus community. Your comments may be submitted below. The comment period will remain open for three weeks (through May 31, 2011). Once the comment period has closed, meetings will be held with specific areas that may be impacted by this change.
Thank you for your commitment to building an even stronger University of North Dakota.
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