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Archive for Friday, January 21, 2011

KU interviewing first candidate for new position of vice chancellor for public affairs

January 21, 2011

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A senior associate to the president of the University of Nebraska is the first announced candidate for Kansas University’s new position of vice chancellor for public affairs.

Dara L. Troutman, before working as the Nebraska president’s chief of staff, worked in various public relations roles at the university, and served as press secretary to then-Nebraska Gov. Ben Nelson. She also worked as the deputy press secretary for U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey.

Troutman has also worked as a radio journalist and has a master’s degree from the University of Nebraska.

She was on campus Friday for an open question-and-answer session. Three other finalists for the position will be announced soon.

Comments

1983Hawk 3 years, 11 months ago

Kudos to the Chancellor for reviving this position. In recent years, KU has needed to employ smarter PR to avoid gaffes; and to deal with them more quickly and effectively when they do arise. Not to mention knowing which battles to pick in Topeka and which ones to avoid. Plugging someone with some gravitas into this position is an important first step in addressing all of these PR and political issues.

KU_cynic 3 years, 11 months ago

I agree that in recent years KU leaders have been clumsy in terms of public relations -- especially with respect to the Kansas legislature. A PR "pro" will probably help.

That said, I think it's a shame that KU spends more and more money on leaders' salaries (e.g., see BGL's deal relative to Hemenway's, Vitter's deal), and yet these leaders appear to lack basic horse sense and aren't effective communicators. Shouldn't KU have put a priority on these qualities in the leadership search processes?

PugnaciousJayhawk 3 years, 11 months ago

Totally agree. I don't understand why it is so hard for KU to find marginally competent administrators. This position wouldn't be needed if bitter Vitter and do-Little could do their jobs. Pretending to be autistic as a KU administrator really doesn't help when dealing with the press and other external bodies.

WilburM 3 years, 11 months ago

Please. In large part this is the chancellor's job. And the past two folks in this job -- Janet Murgia and Paul Carrtar -- have simply not succeeded (Murgia was clueless). And it's not a PR job -- it's overall supervision of external relations. Honestly, we're well represented in DC and Topeka. University Relations need a leader, but has talented people in place.

The overall external relations job is pretty close to un-doable, and will command a hefty salary. In the end, the Chancellor -- ofr better or worse -- is the public face of the University, and a hig-paid staffer from Nebraska is scarcely the place to go to develop the University's overall strategy. Sometimes centralization is not a good idea, and besides, this person will have no say over Athletics, which makes a lot of our news, good or bad.

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