New Vice President for Marketing and Strategic Communication

This afternoon, we will issue a news release announcing Tony Proudfoot as our new vice president for marketing and strategic communication. He was offered and has accepted the position. His appointment is effective June 27.

Tony, who is currently interim senior vice president for marketing and communications at the University of Arizona, was one of three finalists in the nationwide search to fill a newly created position at WMU charged with providing the vision and the leadership to advance institutional marketing and communication, leading the Office of Marketing and Strategic Communications.

As we move WMU forward, "transformational change" has been our guiding principle and our goal for every major aspect of this institution. I believe Tony has the transformational ideas, experience and thinking to reshape and elevate our efforts in marketing, brand positioning and communication.

Tony, who holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Ball State University, comes to WMU as a leader with more than two decades of experience in marketing and communications at major higher education institutions.

Since January 2015, he has served at the University of Arizona. He joined the 43,000-student, Tucson-based school as associate vice president for marketing communications and brand management, operating as UA's senior marketing strategist and overseeing $3 million in resources and a staff of 18. This past January, Tony was tapped to additionally serve as the university's interim senior vice president for marketing and communications, greatly expanding his budgetary, staff oversight and leadership responsibilities.

During his more than three years at UA, Tony created a new brand governance model and established new brand position platforms for most of the institution's colleges. He also has provided counsel and leadership to more than 250 marketers across campus to bring coherence to the university's brand and enhance its competitive advantage.

Prior to leading marketing at UA, Tony spent eight years at his alma mater, Ball State, where he was associate vice president for marketing and communications, overseeing some $4 million in resources and a full-time staff of 36. He developed and led the university's brand strategy as well as integrated marketing and communications strategies for admissions, development, legislative affairs, alumni affairs, colleges, departments and university initiatives. The challenge at the Muncie, Indiana, university was to reposition the institution to compete. During his eight years, the university saw record increases in enrollment, student persistence, graduation rates and philanthropic support.

Earlier in his career, Tony moved up the ranks in marketing in the Indiana University system over a 12-year period. He started as a marketing research analyst in 1995 and was ultimately elevated to executive associate director of the system's Office of University Marketing and Communications. During his IU tenure, he led the system's first brand alignment, established partnerships with campuses beyond the flagship campus in Bloomington and led marketing research for all eight campuses.

When Tony joins WMU in June, he will lead an office that has been headed by Greg Rosine, vice president for government affairs and marketing and strategic communication. Greg has done an outstanding job overseeing marketing and strategic communication, and we thank him for his leadership. He will continue to serve as vice president for government affairs while helping Tony transition to campus.

Please also join me in expressing gratitude to the 14-member Vice President for Marketing and Strategic Communication Search Advisory Committee, led by Dr. Ed Martini, professor of history and associate dean of Extended University Programs. The committee labored under an aggressive search timeline and conducted a search that was successful in every way.

Please join me in welcoming Tony into the WMU community.


Edward Montgomery