UT Searching for PR, Governmental Vice President

The University of Tennessee has launched a national search for a vice president for public and governmental relations.

Advertisements for candidates to serve as a spokesperson for UT and direct legislative liaison efforts in Nashville and Washington, D.C., are appearing in national publications, including the Chronicle of Higher Education.

The individual appointed for the position by UT President John Petersen will succeed Thomas Ballard, who retired from UT in June. UT Vice President Jack Williams is heading a 12-member committee that will identify final candidates for Petersen’s consideration.

“We have an outstanding group of people on the committee, representing the university staff and the community, and we are already receiving applications,” Williams said. “The committee’s primary charge is to recommend the best candidates to the president.

“Because of the importance of this job we are moving along as quickly as possible.”

The new vice president will serve as a member of the president’s staff and lead a $3.3 million public and governmental operation that includes 43 staff members.
The statewide Institute for Public Service also will report through the public and governmental vice president.

In addition to heading the public relations office and serving as legislative liaison, the vice president will maintain relationships with state and local government officials, media executives and other opinion leaders in Tennessee.

The job description calls for a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and 10 years experience in public and governmental relations and extensive experience in advising and consulting senior level executives. Persons interested in the position may contact Williams at jewilliams@tennessee.edu.

Other members of the search advisory committee are: Susan Richardson-Williams, UT trustee from Knoxville and a public relations executive; Robert F. Worthington, Knoxville attorney; Bruce Hartmann, publisher of the News Sentinel; Margie Nichols, senior director of communications and governmental relations for the City of Knoxville.

Mark McNeely, partner of McNeely Piggott & Fox Public Relations, Nashville; Dr. Tom Rakes, vice chancellor for academic affairs, UT-Martin; Dr. Clifton Woods, vice chancellor for research, UT-Knoxville; Thomas Galligan, dean of law, UT-Knoxville; Dr. Mary Taylor, assistant vice president for the Institute for Public Service.

Bob Wormsley, executive vice president of the Local Government Insurance Pool; and John Clark, UT director of communications.