VP of University Relations slot to be filled

Three candidates will be interview for the position this week

Madison Feltman, Staff Writer

As of this last week, the university has closed in on its search for a new Vice President of University Relations. Three candidates have been invited to campus for interview: Tom Hutton, Joe Brennan and Lisa Van Riper.

The candidate chosen will be responsible for leading the university relations division, which includes marketing and creative services, video production, the university’s web presence and digital media, as well as public, community and government relations.

Tom Hutton is the executive director of university communications and media relations at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. Hutton provided guidance for the growth of the campus which included work with internal communication, media relations, strategic communication and digital communication of the university. Hutton has also served as director of the office of university relations at the University of Kansas Lawrence. In February, Hutton announced his resignation from the University of Colorado after more than 18 years of service.

Joseph A. Brennan has spent his career helping different universities and colleges across the nation with introducing and implementing brand narratives and establishing marketplace positions. Brennan has been asked to be a public presenter and to appear on podcasts and webinars. He is known for conducting live on-stage interviews with former First Lady Laura Bush and branding experts The Beekman Boys. Brennan also has been a spokesman on issues management and crisis leadership for many critical incidents such as lawsuits against university officials. Brennan is both a clinical professor of business and an adjunct professor of management information science at two State University of New York campuses, where he teaches classes in public relations, marketing and mass communications.

Lisa Van Riper currently leads communications and outreach for a widely known and advanced water resource facility. Van Riper works with the organization’s integrated communications which includes external and internal communications, public relations, education and outreach, as well as presentations, special projects and events. Prior to her career at the facility Van Riper was assistant Vice President of University Communications at the University of Richmond. Van Riper has also helped to lead teams to over 35 awards for communications excellence, from the Public Relations Society of America.

There will be an open forum for each candidate in the week to come where questions can be directed. The forum for Tom Hutton was interviewed Monday, April 9. Joe Brennan is set to be available Wednesday, April 11 from 3:15 to 4:15 and Lisa Van Riper will be available Wednesday, April 18 from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. All forums will take place in the Memorial Union Lecture Bowl.

Madison Feltman is a staff writer for the Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].