Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Friday, May 20, 2011

Rudgers appointed VP for global communication, strategic initiatives

The Board of Regents has approved the appointment of Lisa Rudgers as vice president for global communications and strategic initiatives, effective June 1. The board approved the appointment at its meeting Thursday.

  Lisa Rudgers

The position of vice president for global communications and strategic initiatives replaces the current position of vice president for communications.

"The University of Michigan is recognized worldwide. This new position reflects the scope of responsibility needed in a fast-paced, global communications environment that is continually evolving and changing," said President Mary Sue Coleman, who recommended Rudgers to the board.

The vice president for global communications and strategic initiatives is the university's chief communications officer. Rudgers will be responsible for developing communication strategies to enhance U-M's visibility locally, nationally and internationally.

The vice president also is responsible for planning, directing and managing the communications office, including the Freedom of Information Office, Michigan Marketing and Design, Public Affairs, Internal Communications, Michigan Public Media, Presidential Communications, Film Office and the News Service.

As an executive officer, she will be a member of the senior management team and will advise deans, directors, executive officers and the president regarding communications.

"I am delighted that Lisa has accepted the offer and will return to lead our communications enterprise," Coleman said. "Through her knowledge of the University of Michigan and previous success here, Lisa will bring great assets to this critical role. In addition, she has deep knowledge of higher education more broadly, both in leading communications units for other public and private universities and more recently as a result of her consulting practice focused on strategic communications for higher ed."

Rudgers served as the university vice president for communications from 2000-07. She played a crucial role in developing the public outreach messaging and related strategies surrounding the university's defense of the admissions lawsuits up to the U.S. Supreme Court. She directed communication around many presidential and university initiatives, including the president's China initiative, the digital library initiatives and the University Research Corridor.

"Communicating the University of Michigan's scale, scope and excellence is an exciting challenge, especially in today's worldwide and Web-based information environment," Rudgers said. "It's a privilege to return to Michigan's central administration, and to continue the work of connecting the university to stakeholders within our state and around the globe."

Other U-M efforts under her leadership included revamping the university's Internet gateway and the En Español Web portal, developing the Michigan Difference campaign communications strategy, upgrading and extending the university's projection of its identify and wordmark, and enhancing the university's ability to engage the public around current issues of interest.

Rudgers left the university in 2007 to launch her own consulting firm, Lisa Rudgers & Associates, working with presidents and other key leaders to develop strategic communications plans including institutional positioning, messaging and branding, assessment of in-house communications resources, media relations, issues management, and crisis communications. Her client portfolio included U-M, UM-Dearborn, URC, Committee on Institutional Cooperation (The Big Ten plus the University of Chicago), the University of Chicago, and the University of Texas at Arlington, among others.

In 2009, while continuing her consulting practice, she returned to the university in a part-time position as special counsel for communications in the Law School.

Previously, Rudgers has served as assistant vice president and director of public relations at Michigan State University, marketing director and director of news and communications at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and account executive at Media Logic Inc., a marketing and public relations firm in Albany, N.Y.

Her work has garnered numerous awards, including a Gold Medal from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, a Gold Medal from the Admissions Marketing Report, eight NORI/New York Awards of Excellence in Marketing, and a Silver ADDY Award. Three short films she commissioned and contributed to have received a total of five Emmy awards.

Rudgers graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Bonaventure University in 1985.