Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

Before the end of 2021, the Branding, Marketing, and Communication Task Force shared its work with the campus community. Following the Task Force's 90-day assignment, which included a detailed analysis and in-depth review, several Monarchs provided feedback, which was mainly focused on the ways in which the recommendations will be implemented. As such, I am pleased to announce that the University will be working diligently in the coming months to operationalize all of the recommendations made by the Task Force.

Based on the Task Force's comprehensive evaluation of the University's marketing expenditures and the structures of successful communications and marketing units at peer institutions, the establishment of an Office of University Communications, led by a vice president who also serves in the dual role as chief marketing officer, was recommended. In support of that recommendation, we have initiated a competitive national search for a communications and marketing leader with proven success at the highest levels of our profession to serve as ODU's inaugural Vice President for University Communications and Chief Marketing Officer. The critical search will include the professional services of Greenwood/Asher to recruit a robust and top-quality applicant pool. The search committee will be led by Vice Provost and Graduate School Dean Robert Wojtowicz, Ph.D., and include a cross-functional team with the following members: Aaron Arndt, Ph.D.; Caitlin Chandler; Karen Eck, Ph.D.; Rhonda Harris; Joy Jefferson; Shelley-Ann Jules-Plag; Petros Katsioloudis, Ed.D.; Karen Meier; Harry Minium; Ashley Schumaker; Wood Selig, Ph.D.; Don Stansberry, Ph.D.; Eric Weisel, Ph.D.; and JaRenae Whitehead. Please join me in acknowledging each of these Monarchs for their willingness to step forward and serve in this capacity. Their work will occur over the remainder of the Spring 2022 semester with the goal of a vice president joining Monarch Nation on or around July 1, 2022.

In addition to the Vice President for University Communications and Chief Marketing Officer Search Committee, a University Communications Working Group has also been formed and will begin implementation of the Task Force's report to ensure that we do not lose any momentum or sense of urgency with regard to this important work. The group includes the following members: Esther Dodge; Candice Goodin; Cathy Lewis; Yuping Liu-Thompkins, Ph.D.; Brian Payne, Ph.D.; Ashley Schumaker; and Robert Wojtowicz, Ph.D., several of whom served on the Task Force and will bring valuable insight to this on-going work.

Members of the working group will begin engaging collectively and individually with those who are directly involved with the current area of Strategic Communication and Marketing, as well as those across campus who collaborate with this central entity. The University is pleased to expand investment and support to the individuals who have been telling the ODU story and ensuring that we continue to put our best foot forward. I am excited for what this will mean for our campus, our community, our Commonwealth, and beyond in the months and years to come!

With Monarch Pride,

Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D.