Brennan selected as new VP of strategic communications


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University of Iowa officials announced Thursday that Joseph Brennan will serve as the new vice president for Strategic Communication.

UI President Sally Mason will ask the state Board of Regents to approve Brennan’s hiring and promote Mark Braun to chief of staff and vice president for External Relations. Braun has been serving as the interim vice president for Strategic Communication since Tysen Kendig left the post in December 2012.

According to the regents’ records, Kendig earned an annual salary of $200,000 before leaving the UI.

“I am committed to effectively communicating the value of the University of Iowa to all Iowans and to the university’s many other stakeholders,” Mason said a UI release. “Mark’s 15 years of experience conveying university priorities at the legislative and grass-roots levels and Joe’s record of executing successful communications and marketing strategies will increase our visibility in many critically important areas.”

Brennan currently serves as Associate Vice President for University Communications at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Brennan, who will make $220,000 as a UI vice president, has more than 20 years of higher-education communications experience; he will begin his new job Aug. 31. His responsibilities include steering consistent and successful messaging from University Communication and Marketing, the university’s 11 colleges, and other units with independent communication units. He also will oversee the university’s Hancher performing-arts program.

“The University of Iowa is a fabulous institution and is one of the top public research universities in the U.S.,” Brennan said in the release. “My wife, Marianna, and I are very excited to join the great team President Mason has put in place at the University of Iowa. I am looking forward to being able to tell in every way possible how the UI is working to improve the lives of Iowans and beyond.”

Brennan visited the UI campus on July 15. He stressed then the importance of university officials acknowledging bad news head on rather than waiting for someone else to share the information.

“It’s very smart to tell your own bad news,” he said last month. “Our goal of issue management is not to sweep things under the rug.”

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