Jason D. Cook Appointed Vice President for Marketing and CommunicationsDec. 5, 2016
Veteran higher education communications leader joins Baylor from Texas A&M University
Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, 254-710-6275
WACO, Texas (Dec. 5, 2016) – Baylor University Interim President David E. Garland today announced the appointment of Jason D. Cook as vice president for marketing and communications and chief marketing officer. Cook comes to Baylor from Texas A&M University and will begin a transition to Baylor in mid-December.
Before his current position as senior associate athletics director for external affairs at Texas A&M, he served from 2008 to 2013 as A&M’s vice president for marketing and communications. At Baylor, he will lead the Division of Marketing and Communications, which directs the marketing, media and electronic communications of the university and works closely with Baylor’s schools and administrative areas to advance university priorities and increase awareness of the mission of Baylor University.
“After spending time talking with Jason and hearing his passion for telling the Baylor story and his belief in our Christian mission, the selection team and I knew he was the right person to fill this important role,” Garland said. “His varied experiences in corporate marketing, crisis management, athletics communication and higher education marketing will be an invaluable addition to the university’s leadership team. He will lead an outstanding staff of marketing professionals as we move Baylor University forward.”
“It is a tremendous honor and privilege to join the Baylor Family at this important time, and I am humbled to serve such an outstanding university,” Cook said. “Baylor holds a special place in higher education with its commitment as a research institution founded upon a Christian mission. I appreciate the opportunity entrusted to me by Dr. Garland and the university leadership, and I look forward to telling this unique story and strengthening the awareness and engagement with Baylor University across the country.”
During his tenure leading A&M’s Division of Marketing and Communications, Cook directed institution-wide marketing, communications, branding, social media, collegiate licensing, media relations and business development functions. He provided strategic communications counsel to A&M’s president, executive team and academic deans, and served as the institution’s chief spokesperson. He played a key role in A&M’s transition to the SEC in 2012 and the establishment of the university’s “one brand” approach. For his efforts, Cook was named the International Brand Master of the Year by the Educational Marketing Group.
From 2010-2011, Cook also served in a dual capacity as chief communications officer for The Texas A&M University System, one of the largest such entities in higher education with 11 universities, a comprehensive health science center and seven state agencies. In this role, Cook was a strategic advisor to the Board of Regents, the Chancellor and the CEOs of the respective system members.
During his three-and-a-half years in A&M’s athletic department, Cook directed athletics-related branding and marketing, media relations, broadcast initiatives, sponsorships, lettermen’s activities and strategic partnerships. He was very involved in the branding, operations and fan experience components of the redevelopment of A&M’s Kyle Field, including the Hall of Champions, an interactive space that celebrates athletic and academic success across all sports. Cook was also instrumental in the launch of the SEC Network, assisting both SEC and ESPN leadership.
Prior to joining A&M’s leadership team in February 2008, Cook served as director of communications and marketing for Texas A&M AgriLife. In this capacity, he oversaw all of the organization’s communications and marketing efforts, which included the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University, Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, both members of the A&M System.
From 2003 to 2007, Cook was director of public relations and marketing for the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), another state agency under the A&M System. While at TEEX, Cook was the official spokesperson for the acclaimed Texas Task Force 1 search-and-rescue team, and coordinated communications and marketing activities for the Brayton Fire Training Field, Disaster City and the National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center.
Before joining the A&M System in 2003, Cook served six years as assistant vice president of media and communications for Birmingham, Alabama-based HealthSouth Corp., then a Fortune 500 company. He was responsible for media relations and communications for more than 1,900 healthcare facilities in all 50 states as the company recovered from one of the largest accounting frauds in U.S. history.
A native of Tupelo, Mississippi, and the son of a Baptist minister, Cook received his bachelor’s degree in communications summa cum laude from Mississippi State University. He earned his accreditation in public relations from the Public Relations Society of America in 2000. Cook and his wife, Leann, a 1992 Texas A&M graduate and former assistant commissioner of the SEC, have two teenage sons, Brayden and Jace.
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.