MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee announced Monday a strategic reorganization of the university’s development and communications operations under a plan approved by the Tennessee Board of Regents.
Two university executives received new titles and duties, which McPhee said would help MTSU put a greater emphasis on corporate outreach; strategic branding and positioning; and accelerating the university’s successful $80 million Centennial Campaign.
Joe Bales, MTSU’s chief development officer since 2002, assumes the new title of vice president for university advancement.
He will continue to oversee fundraising, as well as alumni and governmental relations, and will direct a new initiative to strengthen relationships with business and industry.
Andrew Oppmann, who has led the university’s marketing and communications efforts since 2010 as associate vice president, has been promoted to vice president for marketing and communications.
His duties now include further integration of communications assets throughout the university and responsibility for international branding of strategic priorities.
The reorganization splits the former Division of Development and University Relations into two units: University Advancement and Marketing and Communications. It did not require additional staffing.
Both executives report directly to McPhee.
“With the success of our Centennial Campaign, and our increased emphasis on marketing and communications, we believe it’s an appropriate time to reorganize these areas,” McPhee said. “It will help us better maximize our existing resources.”
The change allows Bales to give greater focus to the Centennial Campaign, McPhee said. Under Bales’ leadership, the campaign has recorded more than $67 million in cash and pledges since it was publicly launched in April 2012.
“Our overall fundraising efforts have more than doubled during Joe’s tenure,” McPhee said. “Joe has provided tremendous leadership and terrific result, and this reorganization allows us to put even greater emphasis on this important area while also addressing other emerging priorities.”
Oppmann will ensure public outreach and marketing by the colleges, athletics and other units are integrated and aligned to the university’s strategic goals. He will also oversee a stepped-up effort to extend MTSU’s enhanced brand statewide, nationally and internationally.
“Andrew and his team have expanded our reach by leveraging new technology and improving the quality of our more traditional efforts, such as MTSU Magazine,” McPhee said. “In his new role, he will help us be even more efficient and effective in reaching key audiences.”
Bales has two decades of development experience, coming to MTSU from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, where he served in a variety of development and alumni affairs roles. He was UT’s assistant vice president for corporate relationships and director of development for UT’s College of Engineering.
Oppmann joined the university after more than 25 years as an editor, reporter and executive for newspapers in seven states. He was president and publisher of Gannett Tennessee’s media groups in Murfreesboro and Clarksville and a vice president of The Tennessean in Nashville.