A search for a vice president for marketing and communications at Penn State was launched Monday, Director of University Relations Jeff Hermann said.
Following Bill Mahon’s resignation from the post of vice president for university relations to serve as a senior lecturer in the College of Communications, the now vacant position is being reconfigured with an increased emphasis on marketing, Hermann said. Thus, the position does not come as a new addition to the administrative roster, he added.
Hermann said he assumes the money to finance the job will come from the salary awarded to Mahon when he held the position.
The vice president’s duties are connected to the areas of public relations, media relations, crisis communications, branding, marketing research, market communication activities including advertising and publications, among others, Hermann said. Director of College Media Relations and Public Information, Eberly College of Science Barbara Kennedy said the announcement issued by the university fully describes the position.
Outlined in an advertisement on the Chronicle of Higher Education, the primary qualifications for the position include but are not limited to “15 or more years of experience in successful senior leadership,” brand development, great interpersonal, communication and management skills and experience in working with diverse groups, Hermann said. As for the educational background of the candidates, while an advanced degree is preferred, a baccalaureate is solely required.
The search committee, charged by President Rodney Erickson in November, is comprised of individuals from various branches of the administration and faculty. Alumna Karen Quintos, who is currently senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Dell Inc., will also sit on the committee, Hermann said.
To aid in the search for candidates, Heyman Associates has been recruited by the university. It is unknown how long it will take to fill the vacant position, Hermann added.
While the committee is interested in landing a hire as soon as possible, Hermann said, it is also focused on finding a suitable individual to take on the job.
“We are very interested in a diverse pool of candidates,” he said. “We are all hoping for a good pool of candidates to select from, and we are especially interested in people with some strong marketing experience and good management skills.”
Erickson highlighted the significance the position carries through a statement issued on Penn State Live.
“The person in this position will be key to the University’s efforts to remain among the most attractive destinations for talented students and faculty, and research partners,” he said.