Search begins for next Vice President for University Relations and Marketing

Western Washington University has begun a national search for the next Vice President for University Relations and Marketing, in anticipation of the retirement of current Vice President Steve Swan this summer.  The title of the next Vice President, along with the name of the division the role oversees, will change from University Relations and Community Development to University Relations and Marketing.  This change reflects an increased emphasis on coordinating and integrating Western’s communications strategies with external audiences, including raising awareness of the University’s mission and excellence with the general public, fostering partnerships and philanthropic engagement, and enhancing recruitment of prospective students and faculty.

A search advisory committee has been charged by President Randhawa, to be chaired by Craig Dunn, Wilder Distinguished Professor of Business and Sustainability in the College of Business and Economics.

Other members of the search advisory committee include:

  • Rebecca Beardsall, Senior Director of Marketing, Extended Education
  • Paul Cocke, Director of University Communications and Marketing
  • Mary Doherty, Director of Advancement Marketing and Communications
  • Rob Fix, Executive Director, Port of Bellingham
  • Hart Hodges, Professor of Economics, CBE
  • Clara Capron, Assistant Vice President, Enrollment and Student Services
  • Karen Stout, Professor of Communication Studies and Director, Karen Morse Institute for Leadership
  • Kessa Volland, Marketing and Media Coordinator, Office of Communications and Marketing
  • Chris Witherspoon, DNA Seattle Ad Agency and WWU Alumni Association Board of Directors (WWU ’94)
  • Duncan Gannicott, Visual Journalism student


Academic Search, a national higher education search and consulting firm, has been retained to assist the search advisory committee in identifying a highly qualified diverse pool of applicants. Liz Sipes and Paul Dunn from the President’s Office will provide additional staff support.  Questions about the search process may be directed to Craig Dunn or Liz Sipes.

Academic Search has begun work with the search advisory committee to assist in building the position description, as well as outreach and recruitment efforts.  Western’s on- and off-campus communities will be apprised of the progress of the search via the Division of University Relations website and Western Today.

Monday, April 17, 2017 - 9:42am