Interim Leadership for the Office of Public Affairs
Earlier this year, I wrote to let you know that Chris Comer, vice president for public affairs, had decided to retire and that the offices of Public Affairs and Marketing would merge under new leadership. I want to provide you with an update on our progress.
The national search for a permanent leader for Marketing and Communications is well under way, and we expect to have someone hired by Sept. 1. Chris’ last day on campus will be this Friday, May 18, but she will remain on staff for the time being, helping my office and Public Affairs with several projects that are critical to UTMB’s success and that can be successfully accomplished off-site.
I have asked Mary Havard, associate vice president for public affairs, to serve as interim vice president for that department, effective May 21 until permanent leadership is in place. Marketing will continue to report to Business & Finance until the new vice president is on board.
Mary has more than 25 years of professional communications experience, including work at the University of Houston, the American Veterinary Medical Association and Christus St. John Hospital. She joined UTMB in 1992, serving in progressively responsible roles encompassing brand management, internal communications, our institutional web presence, issues management, executive communications and campaign communications. A member of the UTMB Strategic Executive Council since 2009, Mary has 15 years of supervisory and budget-management experience. She will work closely with Raul Reyes, director of media relations, and Public Affairs and Marketing colleagues to maintain a positive image for the university.
Please join me in supporting Mary Havard as she leads Public Affairs through this transition period.
Dr. David L. Callender