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Editorial: Hiring of new associate vice president could help ease strain on current office Editorial University Spokesman Hiring of new associate vice president could help ease strain on current office The issue: Larry Brumley will soon begi

April 9, 1997

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April 09, 1997

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Editorial: Hiring of new associate vice president could help ease strain on current office

Editorial

University Spokesman

Hiring of new associate vice president could help ease strain on current office

The issue:

Larry Brumley will soon begin work as the University's associate vice president of communications.

Our view:

The department that has seen so much turnover in the past two years may finally reach stability.

The musical chairs game of being Unversity spokesman has a new winner.

The University has hired an associate vice president of communications who we hope will bring a much-needed consistent voice to the administration.

Baylor needs a person to embody the voice of the administration. Dr. Stan Madden, vice president of University marketing, has duties ranging everywhere from public relations to the Baylor Department of Public Safety in his domain. A designated spokesman will delegate away some of the demands on his attention.

The hiring of Larry Brumley, a 1982 University graduate, from his position as associate vice president of university relations at Mercer University, the second largest Baptist university in the world, could create stability at a position that has been filled by seven people since July 1995. His qualifications appear to be excellent.

Stability in public relations is always important for businesses, and universities are no exception. The recent distress over the Baylor Health Care System illustrated the University's need for consistent and stable public relations. Public outcry from alumni and Dallas residents upset over the perceived threat to their health care increased daily at an alarming rate, while the University administration and regents kept quiet.

The BHCS officials had an advantage, talking to the press and taking out ads stating their positions. A strong voice for the University could have eased public tension and avoided some of the grief the University took in the Dallas area.

With a recent change in administration, change is to be expected, but what changes could Brumley bring that others before him have not been able to? It does seem awfully strange for the job to change so frequently. This area seems to have had more turnover than any other in the University since President Robert B. Sloan Jr. took office in 1995.

Not only has the personnel been shuffled in and out, but the structure itself has undergone a major change. The former office of University relations ceased to exist last spring when it merged into the new office of University marketing.

Perhaps the revival of a specific office for spokesman duties would allow the University to focus more strongly on maintaining and improving its public image.

The University needs someone in this office who knows how to handle and respond to tough situations such as the BHCS debate.

The impact of events such as this may not have an immediate negative impact on the University, but one or two more 'black eyes' on its image could easily result in more severe consequences down the road.

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