This inaugural leadership position was established following the extensive review and detailed recommendations of a Branding, Marketing, and Communication Task Force and the University Communications Working Group that was formed following the Task Force's work to operationalize the recommendations. In response to their important work and on behalf of Monarch Nation, I am honored to welcome Nicola to the ODU family. She brings deep experience to our institution. I am confident that she will provide the industry expertise and insight, as well as best practices, that are needed to advance our institution and expand possibilities now and well into the future.
A software engineer by training, Nicola has a Bachelor of Science in Computing from Waterford Institute of Technology with additional training, including executive education experiences, at Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, Miami University, Oxford University, Harvard University, and Case Western Reserve University. With a data-centric approach, Nicola is a published author and national presenter with a service history on industry review committees and advisory committees, as well as a volunteer for several organizations and recipient of numerous awards.
In being selected for this important role, Nicola shared, "Higher education is changing and evolving, and so is Old Dominion University. President Hemphill has an aspirational and ambitious vision for the future to break barriers, ceilings, and new ground. I am honored to be chosen to serve this institution as it advances to new heights as one of the nation's leading public R1 universities. We have a wonderful story to tell in coastal Virginia and a singular purpose to give new vantage to the next generation of bold ideas and crowning achievers. I want to thank President Hemphill for the trust he has placed in me. I also want to thank the Search Committee and the campus community for the manner in which they welcomed me during my visit to campus, especially the University Communications and senior leadership teams. I look forward to collaborating with the outstanding students, faculty, and staff to propel the regional and national stature of Old Dominion University."
Yuping Liu-Thompkins, Ph.D., who serves in ODU's Strome College of Business as Professor of Marketing, Director of Loyalty Science Lab, and E.V. Williams Faculty Fellow, shared the following based on her industry expertise, as well as significant contributions as a member of the Branding, Marketing, and Communication Task Force and University Communications Working Group. "I am really excited about the prospect of a new chief marketing officer for Old Dominion University. ODU has grown significantly over the 20 years I've been here. The recent move to an R1 institution is an example of this growth. ODU has a lot of great stories about our students, faculty, and staff. We need a more unified voice to tell these stories. The candidates we interviewed all had deep experiences in this area. I look forward to seeing the new leader take the branding of ODU to a whole new level."
Additionally, John B. Ford, Ph.D., who also serves in ODU's Strome College of Business as Professor of Marketing and International Business, Eminent Scholar, and Haislip-Rorrer Fellow, highlighted the importance of this position and Nicola's selection when considering the current state and future direction of ODU's overall efforts. "The position of Vice President for University Communications and Chief Marketing Officer is a very important position for Old Dominion University. Ensuring the consistency of all communications and enabling and maintaining the essence of the ODU brand is a key component of our ever-increasing national recognition and prominence as an R1 institution. Nicola is the ideal candidate for this position. Her experience with St. Jude, Cleveland Clinic, and the University of Cincinnati give her an extraordinary understanding of brand image and communication. Her energy and insight will help ODU develop and enhance a significant national reputation." Dr. Ford's assessment is grounded in his critical institutional leadership as part of the University's strategic planning process, specifically Co-Chair of the Branding, Marketing, and Communication Subcommittee, with significant industry leadership as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Advertising Research and Associate Editor (Advertising) of the Journal of Business Research.
Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School Robert Wojtowicz, Ph.D., who chaired the Search Committee said, "Nicola brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position of Vice President for University Communications and Chief Marketing Officer. As the head of a newly reorganized division, moreover, Nicola will be able to spread the good news about ODU more effectively to a wider audience than ever before."
I must express my deep appreciation for the Task Force and Working Group members who were dedicated to charting a visionary path forward. Their work was very thoughtful and has positively impacted the on-going planning efforts in this critical area. The Search Committee went above and beyond in its significant effort to examine and engage with a top-quality applicant pool, which has resulted in Nicola's selection. All of these cross-functional campus groups answered the call to serve in a profound way that will be impactful for many years to come!
With Monarch Pride,
Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D.