Dear Faculty and Staff:

In the past year, our institution has conducted an in-depth review of our branding, marketing, and communication efforts. Through the work of a task force, followed by a working group, we have made meaningful progress on establishing the needed structure and related processes to ensure a successful University Communications operation. With an increased investment in telling the ODU story, we have charted a clear course for our future engagement and success.

And, in late April, as we prepared to conclude the Spring 2022 semester, a campus update and public announcement were made regarding the University's search for its inaugural Vice President for University Communications and Chief Marketing Officer. Nicola Ziady, who serves as the University of Cincinnati's Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, was selected for this role and scheduled to begin her tenure this coming Monday (July 11, 2022). Due to a family matter, Nicola is unable to join us as planned and asked that the following personal message be shared.

"I must express my heartfelt appreciation to President Hemphill, the senior leadership team, the search committee, and the University Communications team for their active engagement and strong support during the search and throughout the transition. ODU is an outstanding institution and home to amazing individuals who are extremely passionate about our important work. Due to a significant and unexpected health issue within my immediate family, I deeply regret that I am unable to fulfill my prior commitment to become the University's Vice President for University Communications and Chief Marketing Officer. I know that the campus and the community will continue to advance under President Hemphill's leadership with much progress and success ahead. I will continue to closely follow ODU, and Monarchs will always have a special place in my heart!"

Please join me in expressing our well wishes to Nicola and her family on their personal journey ahead. Due to our continued need for a proven leader in this critical area, I am pleased to share that the search has been reopened, and we are planning to host three finalists next week. During their time on campus, the finalists will meet with various campus stakeholders. As a result of next week's visits, I am confident that we will identify a strong and visionary leader to advance and expand our branding, marketing, and communication efforts now and well into the future!

With Monarch Pride,

Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D.