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University Relations

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July 7, 2006
Contact: Todd Cohen, University Relations, (785) 864-8858.

KU streamlines, refocuses its external affairs units

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas will reorganize and streamline its Office of External Affairs, eliminating the position of executive vice chancellor for external affairs, Chancellor Robert Hemenway announced today.

“This executive-level position has been critical to our efforts to bring greater structure and focus to key areas of our universitywide central administration, especially government relations and integrated marketing,” Hemenway said. “But having made significant progress in the past couple of years, it is now time to move forward with a new structure.”

Major accomplishments of the position, held since fall 2004 by Paul Carttar, include:

  • consolidating and systematizing KU government relations efforts at the state and federal levels;
  • creating a universitywide marketing plan and annual planning process; and
  • implementing a university visual identity system with consistent logo and colors.

“Paul has served the university with passion and dedication and has helped us advance our communications, marketing and government relations efforts,” Hemenway said. “Looking ahead, I believe there are better ways to use Paul’s talents.”

Carttar, who prior to joining KU established a national reputation as a strategist and executive in the nonprofit sector, will transition effective July 15 to a role of special assistant to the chancellor, where he will focus directly on issues of strategic importance to the university. Examples of likely projects include working with the KU Alumni Association on strategic planning and further enhancing the effectiveness of the Kansas Honors Program.

“I’m very proud of what I have accomplished at KU as EVC,” Carttar said. “But KU is now at a stage at which we don’t need a senior administrator building the organization so much as we need to put resources and staff to work telling the story of this remarkable university.”

Hemenway said the following organizational changes would be implemented effective July 15:

  • The position of executive vice chancellor for external affairs will be eliminated. Departments and personnel that reported to the executive vice chancellor will be distributed among existing administrators. 
  • Keith Yehle, director of government relations, will report directly to the chancellor.
  • Kathy Damron, KU’s liaison with the Kansas Legislature, will continue to represent the university in Topeka.
  • Lynn Bretz, director of university relations, will assume a new position as director of university communications, which will include responsibility for university relations, special events, marketing and Kansas Public Radio and the Kansas Audio-Reader Network. She will report directly to the chancellor and will continue as the university’s official spokesperson.

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The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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