Appointment of VP (University Relations)

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After a comprehensive, international search, I am pleased to announce that the University of Alberta Board of Governors has approved the appointment of Jacqui Tam to the position of vice-president (university relations), with unanimous support from the advisory committee. Her appointment is for a five-year term, effective July 1, 2017.

Ms. Tam joined the University of Alberta in November 2014 as associate vice-president (marketing & communications) after eighteen years of communications leadership in universities in Alberta and Ontario. Since September 2016, she has held the interim vice-president role where she has proven to be a valuable member of the senior executive team. Ms. Tam has been a key advisor to me, the other vice-presidents and the provost, while providing leadership and direction to the university relations portfolio, including marketing and communications, digital strategy, government and stakeholder relations, internal communications, and community relations.

A graduate of Memorial University (BSc in Mathematics) and Western University (MA in Journalism), Ms. Tam's experience in strategic communications and institutional marketing spans three provinces and multiple sectors. Her work has attracted numerous industry awards. She has led all aspects of communications, marketing, and community and stakeholder relations, including external and internal communications strategies and programs, crisis communication, issues management, rebranding initiatives, visual identity programs, multi-platform advertising, web and social media initiatives, media relations, and publication production and redesign.

No stranger to the postsecondary sector in Canada, Ms. Tam has held leadership roles with both the University of Lethbridge and Wilfrid Laurier University where she led the marketing and communications for the "LAURIER100" centennial celebrations. This comprehensive strategy included visual identity development; strategy and creative oversight for the national Inspiring Lives of Leadership and Purpose print and online awareness campaign; and numerous other events and initiatives associated with the year-long celebration.

Ms. Tam has participated actively in a number of professional associations throughout her career, including International Association of Business Communicators, Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education, Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, Canadian Association of Communicators in Education, and the World 100 Reputation Network. With the Association of Commonwealth Universities, she was a member of the founding steering committee for the PR, Communications & Marketing Network, and the Canadian representative on that committee for 10 years. She is a dedicated mentor and advocate for the profession.

My thanks to the members of the selection committee for their hard work and commitment, as well as to those of you who participated in the process. Please join me in congratulating Ms. Tam on her new appointment.

David H. Turpin
President and Vice-Chancellor