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UM System, MU Leaders Announce Realignment of Strategic Communications and Marketing Efforts


Christian Basi

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri System President Mun Choi and University of Missouri Chancellor Alexander Cartwright today announced a realignment of positions for joint strategic communications and marketing efforts and a search for a permanent leader of Strategic Communications and Marketing will begin immediately.

Jeri Doty, chief planning officer for MU Health Care (MUHC), will assume oversight responsibilities for the division that serves both system and campus initiatives on an interim basis until a permanent leader is named. Currently, Doty oversees marketing and communications, business development, contracting, and strategic planning efforts for MU Health Care. During this interim period, Doty will retain her responsibilities at MUHC.

“We’re very appreciative to Jeri for agreeing to fulfill this role at this time,” Cartwright said. “Jeri brings a breadth of experience in these areas from her work at MU Health and can work with our accomplished team to support our progress in enrollment, alumni and donor relations, and community engagements as we search for a permanent leader in this area.”

Prior to her current role, Doty served as president of Missouri Care HMO, a limited liability corporation organized under the Curators of the University of Missouri, for 10 years. She has a bachelor’s degree from Marycrest College in Davenport, Iowa, and a master’s degree from MU. Doty will replace Suzette Heiman, who announced today that she is returning to her faculty position at the Missouri School of Journalism.

“I would like to thank Suzette for her professionalism and dignity and her commitment to Mizzou and the UM System,” Choi said. “The University must continue to develop a very strategic approach to planning and communications, marketing, branding, and media relations.”

Later this month, Lisa Thurber, senior manager for Sourcing Communication and Social Awareness at Walmart, will begin her role as deputy director. At Walmart, she delivered communication support and strategy for senior executives, senior team leaders and a global team of more than 200 people in 28 countries. Additionally, three longtime leaders in the division will assist Doty directly:

  • Christian Basi, director of the MU News Bureau, will manage media relations, social media and content creation areas. He will continue to serve as the chief spokesperson for UM and MU.
  • Colleen Devlin, director of marketing, will coordinate strategic marketing activities, including alumni and enrollment management projects and oversee the day-to-day work with consultants, such as 160over90, on marketing and branding.  In addition, she will continue to assist with communications needs for the MU chancellor and MU provost offices and work closely with internal offices, such as Enrollment, Alumni, Advancement, etc. to meet their marketing and communication requirements.
  • Kelly Wiemann, assistant director of strategic communications, will manage executive communications for the UM president and provide communications support for the offices of the president, general officers and Board of Curators.

“These professionals have demonstrated a tremendous work ethic and have taken on additional responsibilities to help us make valuable progress over the past few months,” Cartwright said. “I have great confidence that they will continue to provide leadership moving forward.”

A search committee for the permanent position will be announced soon.

Reviewed 2017-10-05