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Updated 10:00 AM December 4, 2006




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Peterson to lead communications

President Mary Sue Coleman has appointed Julie A. Peterson as interim vice president for communications, effective Feb. 1, pending approval by the Board of Regents.
(Photo by Lin Jones, U-M Photo Services)

Peterson will assume the role currently held by Lisa Rudgers, who has resigned to pursue a career as a communications consultant. Peterson currently serves as associate vice president of media relations and public affairs.

"As you know, Julie has been part of our superb communications team for the past 12 years," Coleman wrote in a message to communications staff members. "In her role as principal University spokesperson, Julie has guided us expertly through the many issues we face daily, and has worked closely with Lisa (Rudgers) on longer-term strategic positioning issues. I am confident that we will not miss a beat as we traverse the winter semester."

In her role as associate vice president, Peterson has developed the media communication strategy for important University priorities and initiatives, including the launch of the Life Sciences Institute and the Google library digitization project, and has served as a senior adviser on communication issues to the president and executive officers. She managed the communication efforts related to the defense of U-M's admissions policies, leading up to and following the Supreme Court rulings in June 2003.

Peterson came to U-M in 1994 as director of News and Information Services, where she directed public information and media relations programs and provided oversight for publications, including The University Record and Michigan Today.

Prior to coming to the University, she served from 1989-94 as managing editor of the Indiana University (IU) News Bureau in Bloomington. She also worked as staff writer in the IU News Bureau, 1985-89, and assistant to the director of communications at IU School of Business in 1985.

Peterson holds bachelor's degrees in journalism and psychology, and an M.B.A. in marketing, all from IU.

Coleman says a committee will be appointed soon to guide a national search for a permanent vice president.

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