Melody Oldfield_WEB



After a second search and more than 100 applicants, the university is a step closer to hiring a vice president for marketing and communications.

The search had an overhaul of sorts as its committee worked with the president and university human resources to change the title and advertise the position in a more effective way, said Betina Gardner, dean of libraries.

“The first time we were looking for people with a specific skill set,” Gardner said. “This time we were looking for people with the specific skill set and attributes that make them a strong leader. I think the last round was talented. They had a lot of tactical knowledge about branding, but we need someone who has tactical knowledge for people being a leader as well.”

The search committee for the vice presidential search will be hosting forums for each candidate in Room 108 of the Crabbe Main Library beginning April 1.

The first candidate scheduled to visit, Melody Oldfield, is the assistant vice president of university relations at Oregon State University. Oldfield has also worked for Wachovia Bank and for an advertising agency based out of Atlanta. Her forum is scheduled from 10 to 11 a.m., Tuesday, April 1.

Michele Gaither Sparks, director of marketing communications for the Gatton College of Business and Economics at the University of Kentucky, is set to speak to campus from 11 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, April 2. Sparks was the director of communications at Asbury Theological Seminary prior to joining UK. She also worked as an adjunct faculty member in the journalism and public relations department.

The visits will conclude with Scott Cason from 10 to 11 a.m., Thursday, April 10. Cason is the assistant vice president for communication and marketing at Augustana College. Cason has worked at several universities in marketing and communication, including the University of Arizona, North Carolina State and George Washington University. He also served in the U.S. Navy.

President Michael Benson said after this search is completed the university will turn its efforts to hiring a vice president for student success.

“We launched two vice presidential searches at the same time and that takes a lot of energy and effort,” Benson said. We didn’t get quite the right group of candidates that first go round.”