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MarCom Council

MarCom Council is a meeting hosted by UMC that is intended for all marketing and communications staff across the university. We meet bimonthly throughout the academic year and typically once during the summer. Speakers and presentations vary widely and generally address timely issues and topics relevant to MarCom professionals.

Meeting locations rotate around campus, with the intent to showcase different spaces, programs, and buildings. If you’re interested in hosting a meeting or want to suggest a topic or speaker, please email

Upcoming MarCom Councils


Date, time, and agenda still being finalized.

  • MARCH 25, 2024

    • Research Strategy— VP for Research Erin Rothwell & PR Director for Research Sonita Claiborne outlined their strategic goals for the VPR Office and shared how they envision growing and amplifying the U’s communication efforts around research and how we can all help in that important effort. Check out their slides and the new innovate web site.
    • 2023 Comms Recap—Chief University Relations Officer Chris Nelson shared an overview of the U’s earned and owned media outreach for calendar year 2023 and where UMC is headed with its communications strategy. Special thanks to all of YOU for making the extensive reach of the U possible with your great work and collaboration. See Chris’s slides.
    • Impact 2030—Melody Murdock and Chris Nelson filled in last minute for President Randall to plug the U’s Impact 2030 planning efforts. Please participate in and help us promote upcoming listening sessions scheduled throughout the month of April. See our slides and @theU for more detail.

    JANUARY 24, 2024

    • State of Student Affairs—Lori McDonald, VP Student Affairs, shared updates and highlights on all things student-related. Check out her slides for some great information and fun stats.
    • GRAMA reminders—Robert Payne, deputy general counsel, shared some important GRAMA (Government Records Access and Management Act) reminders that we should all keep front of mind. Please take some time to review his slides.
    • U Belong—Andrea Thomas, chief experience officer, introduced the U Belong initiative and walked us through the new web site, and other assets.
    • Comms & Legislative updates—Chris Nelson, chief university relations officer, shared some updates on Legislative priorities and bills expected to impact higher education. Please note the following resources:
  • OCTOBER 24, 2023

    • UMC Brand Strategy and Assets—Andrea Thomas, Brian Rasmussen, and Scott Troxel walked us through the U’s brand strategy and new assets. Please review the slides and spend some time at to review the new additions to the site, ranging from a new Utah Red primary color; video, typography, and print guidelines; and many other new and updated tools and resources.
    • FAFSA Updates—Anthony Jones from Enrollment Management gave us an overview of the extensive Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) changes coming in late 2023. These will impact anyone completing the annual FASFA forms. Please review Anthony’s slides and handout.

    SEPTEMBER 26, 2023

    • From Robot to Cobot—How You Can Boost Productivity with Artificial Intelligence: A presentation and workshop with Seth Bracken, Melody Murdock, and Lisa Anderson from UMC.  We discussed the evolution of AI, how we can leverage it in our everyday workflow, and some pitfalls to avoid. For reference, here is a video recording and the presentation slides. We also reviewed the U’s MarCom AI guidelines. For those who would like to have the presentation given for other departments, colleges, and areas, please reach out to

    JUNE 14, 2023

    • Undergraduate Updates: Chase Hagood, senior associate VP for Academic Affairs, shared the latest in undergraduate education. Highlights include a reimagined approach to general education, a data-driven strategy for student success called Navigate U, and updates on Herriman Campus, Strong Start, Utah Prison Education Project, Connect2Health, Early Exploration Scholars, and the 1850 Society. See slides here.
    • Campus Planning: Andrew King, director of Campus Planning, shared an overview of current and upcoming campus development projects, including the Meldrum Theatre in the Nielsen Fieldhouse, the HMHI Translational Research Building, the medical towers demolition, and the Sorenson Discovery Building. See slides here.

    MARCH 13, 2023

    • Library Welcome: Harish Maringanti, associate dean for Technology and Digital Library Services, welcomed us to the Marriott Library and announced that Sarah Shreeves will begin as the library’s new dean this summer.
    • Climate Action Plan: Kerry Case, chief sustainability officer, shared details on the U’s new Climate Change Action Plan, including why we have it, what it’s addressing, timeline, goals, and strategies. See slides here.
    • Brand Updates: Andrea Thomas, chief experience officer, outlined the U’s brand goals, framework, and positioning strategy. She shared some key insights from AAU public opinion surveys and interesting results from recent research about how high school students in Utah Valley perceive the U. See slides here. She also gave us official word that the U’s red is PMS 187 (not 185).
    • Great Salt Lake Strike Team: Nick Thiriot, comms director for the Gardner Policy Institute, explained the evolution of the strike team and its unique collaborative effort between the U, USU, and state and city leaders. He also elaborated on the communications strategy for the rollout and media coverage results. See slides here.

    JANUARY 10, 2023

      • U Vision and Strategy: President Taylor Randall reiterated the U’s goal to become a top ten public university with unsurpassed societal impact. He talked specifics about how he sees us getting there. See slides here. 
      • UMC panel: The UMC marketing, digital, and social media team tasked with launching the “Utah Fresh” campaign explained what it’s all about and shared videos and social strategy. They also walked us through the new website, which congregates useful information for first-year students. See slides here.
      • Annual Giving: Rachel Robertson, director of U Annual Giving, gave us all the details on the upcoming U Giving Day—March 28-29. Her slides are full of helpful information, including where to find assets you might need as you prepare your area for the big day. See slides here.
      • UMC Updates: Chris Nelson, the U’s chief university relations officer, showed the latest addition to @theU—a brief weekly video recap of news and events. If you’d like your news to be considered for the reel, please take vertical video of events to accompany your @theU story and send to