Iowa president picks chief of staff to fill interim communication post

National search will be conducted for permanent replacement

University of Iowa President Sally Mason's chief of staff also will serve as the university's vice president for strategic communication on an interim basis, while a national search is conducted to fill the position.

Tysen Kendig, the current vice president for strategic communication, is leaving at the end of December for a job at the University of Connecticut.

Mark Braun, Mason's chief of staff, will serve in the job on an interim basis, effective Jan. 3, officials said. When Braun was hired as chief of staff in 2008, he had spent the previous 10 years as the UI lobbyist.  His background includes experience working with the state Board of Regents office, the Legislature, the governor's office and congressional offices.

Mason has appointed a search committee, which will start a national search to fill the position after the first of the year. Vice President for Student Life Tom Rocklin and Richard Fumerton, philosophy professor and past president of the Faculty Senate, will lead the search for a new vice president for strategic communication.

The position reports directly to Mason and administers university communication and marketing, the UI Alumni Association and Hancher Auditorium.

"We have made tremendous strides in more aggressively promoting the profound impact that the University of Iowa is making on Iowa and the world, and I intend for that great momentum to continue," Mason said in a statement.

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