Previously this 7 days, College of Denver Chancellor Jeremy Haefner declared in an e mail to faculty and students that Renea Morris, Vice Chancellor for Marketing and Communications (MarComm), is leaving her situation at DU to pursue other opportunities. In the announcement, Chancellor Jeremy Haefner indicated that he will direct a national look for to fill the posture.
Morris arrived at DU at the stop of the 2018-19 school yr and DU touted her “25 decades of advertising and communications knowledge.” Prior to her Denver tenure, she served as the Main Advertising and marketing Officer at Ohio College, just after 14 many years in community relations with a personal company. In accordance to her LinkedIn profile, Morris attended the College of Illinois – Chicago as an undergraduate, obtained a experienced designation in public relations from UCLA, and then ultimately gained her grasp of instruction diploma from Ohio. A prosperous, distinguished resume, no doubt. But from the pretty starting, a amount of DU stakeholders, which include some at this internet site, found an alarming absence of ‘University of Denver’ or nearly anything remotely linked to Denver on it. This is not new – DU usually overlooks candidates with DU degrees or deep DU personnel expertise for senior positions.
This is definitely not to say that Morris didn’t generate her placement. She probably experienced a sterling standing within just general public relations and higher training circles. But her tenure-defining motion at Evans and University, you will try to remember, was the 2022 DU rebrand. Our knowledge was in the yrs major up to the announcement, her office environment did not substantively attain out to DU alumni or athletics enthusiasts for enter or suggestions on the rebrand. Rather, in 2022, the new brand was foisted on the school (and, most notably, grafted on to DU athletics, which previously had established marks of its possess). As a end result, the relaxation of the the latest brand name hard work has, at the very least in the sights of quite a few athletics followers and alumni we know, been largely a dud – a waste of time and means.
In his announcement, Chancellor Haefner underscored the worth of this position for the University and we fully concur that obtaining the proper man or woman to fill this part is important to thoroughly position DU both regionally and nationally. Morris’ replacement will be tasked with displaying stakeholders what DU is nowadays and how DU aspires to its potential. In the at any time-aggressive arena of increased instruction, there are couple additional essential roles at a college, especially 1 like DU, than this one. If athletics is the ‘front porch’ of a university, the office environment of promoting and communications is the paint and complete.
As this sort of, the ‘national search’ that Chancellor Haefner may perhaps be the erroneous way to go about this employ. Whilst Denver has hired numerous essential staff members and administrators outside the house of DU in the earlier – Chancellor Haefner himself was originally an outdoors employ from RIT just before starting to be DU’s provost in 2018 – now is a significant time to concentration on inside candidates (as effectively as DU alumni) to fill this role. We believe the particular person who usually takes in excess of for Morris need to comprehend the DU group and alumni foundation. There is no greater time to decide on a Vice Chancellor that not only understands DU’s mission, eyesight, and values but actively engages stakeholders, embraces DU’s traditions, and is familiar with how to unite our neighborhood outside of campus borders.
DU, like quite a few instructional institutions, has struggled with managing various details of view, providing transparency, and stopping debates when selections have by now been made. Donors, alumni, employees, and pupils are usually specified conflicting messages to assure their invest in-in. The next MarComm Vice-Chancellor have to work properly with administration – north and south of Asbury Ave – to ship a obvious, unambiguous message to stakeholders so much less electrical power is expended on lifeless-conclude troubles.
Eventually, MarComm plays a significant role in presenting DU to the outside globe. Somebody who appreciates and understands the DU ethos can more plainly articulate DU’s job in the community, city, condition, region, and world. DU has significantly to be proud of but it is nevertheless fairly a thriller, even in its personal neighborhood. MarComm desires to notify the DU story in a powerful, passionate, and expanded way.
Additional to all this are the problems experiencing all of bigger education – escalating costs, declining enrollment – specifically among the male demographic – bigger operating prices, and a host of other problems which need a steady hand and another person who desires a smaller sized learning curve and can get up to velocity promptly.
The very best way to communicate to people’s heads and hearts is a message crafted by an individual who has lived in that environment and can communicate with enthusiasm and precision and present technical conversation leadership when it is sorely required.
Though a new, unidentified external prospect may existing a catchy curriculum vitae, we believe that the greatest solution need to arrive from another person who has already walked the halls of DU as a scholar or staffer.