Candidate hopes ‘translatable skills’ will earn her marketing position

Shantae Rollins

Iris Harvey, marketing and communications associate vice president at Wright State University, is interviewing for the vice president for university relations position. Katie Roupe | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

Faculty gathered at an open forum yesterday afternoon to get to know one of the candidates being considered for a new university communications position.

The search committee charged with filling the position of vice president for university relations and chief communications officer at Kent State is considering Iris Harvey, the current vice president for marketing and communications at Wright State University.

Harvey expressed her delight to be at Kent State and said she hopes to become a part of the institution.

“The president has a vision that’s innovative in moving the dial on Kent State University,” Harvey said. “I like the fact that this institution is thinking outside the box, and I would be happy to serve in this position if selected.”

John Peach, director of public safety and chief of the Kent State Police Department, wanted to know what Harvey plans to bring to this position.

“With my background as a 25-year marketing professional, I have many translatable skills, and I understand the need for marketing an institution,” Harvey said. “It’s clear to me they want someone at the leadership table. I would begin with aggressive meetings with the different colleges, and get the student and faculty perspectives in order to shape strategies to position the university to the public.”

Bruce Mitchell, academic adviser in Undergraduate Studies, raised concerns about diversity recruitment efforts, student involvement and increasing the university’s visibility outside northeast Ohio.

“My goal is to promote the institution and its successful programs by making a communications investment and deciding the best medium to reach the targeted audiences outside the northeast Ohio region,” Harvey said. “I want to be involved with students and be able to promote the university by telling a success story in the voice of the student.”

Diana Gardner, communications and marketing manager at the Ashtabula campus, expressed the need for regional campuses to be included in the main campus’s communications outreach efforts.

“There seems to be a disconnect in marketing at the regional campuses,” Gardner said. “How would you include the regional campuses in your strategic plan?”

Harvey explained the importance of regional faculty members buying into the strategic efforts of the main campus.

“If you work there and you don’t own it, what does that say?” Harvey said. “Regional faculty need to adopt the organizational brand that reflects the values of the institution.”

Harvey said she hopes to highlight the accomplishments of the university and positively position it.

“People are asking for a further example of ‘Excellence in Action,’ and I want to be able to meet that challenge.”

Contact student affairs reporter Shantae Rollins at [email protected]