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Marketing, Communications Leader from Texas Brings Experience to New Role as UCM VP

By Jeff Murphy, July 22, 2019

Susan Smedley


WARRENSBURG, MO – Following an extensive search, the University of Central Missouri announces that Susan Nelson Smedley, Baytown, Texas, is joining UCM as Vice President for Integrated Marketing and Communications. Smedley, whose professional career includes nearly 20 years of higher education communications experience as well as executive-level experience in private industry, begins her new role Aug. 16.

Smedley currently serves as Director of Marketing and Public Affairs at Lee College in Baytown. As UCM’s vice president, she will be part of the president’s council and oversee both the Office of Integrated Marketing and Communications and KMOS-TV, the university’s public television station. She will work with teams of creative and analytical professionals to deliver high-quality services and materials that will help advance the institution and support its mission.

UCM President Roger Best today announced Smedley’s appointment noting, “Susan brings with her extensive private sector and higher education experiences which make her uniquely qualified for this position. These experiences have provided her with tremendous insight into the challenges facing UCM and higher education in general, and will greatly inform our marketing and branding efforts. Susan's strong spirit of collaboration and focus on student success align perfectly with the culture of UCM, and I look forward to her joining our team. “

Smedley joined Lee College in October 2015. Among her many accomplishments at the college, she led the first phase of the system-wide effort to develop and implement a fully integrated enrollment management plan that will evolve institutional culture with a goal to better serve students. Additionally, she provided leadership in the development of an integrated marketing communications plan that promotes enrollment, and publicizes student and faculty successes, and developed a new program of web content liaisons designed to keep all content on the college website current, accurate and reviewed in weekly or bi-weekly cycles.

Other experiences in higher education include serving as Director of Communications and Marketing at Northeastern State University in Oklahoma; Director of Marketing and Public Relations, Executive Director of the Foundation, and Director of Institutional Advancement at Coastal Bend College in Texas; and Community and Industry Liaison, Director of Career and Industry Development at Platt College in Oklahoma, where she worked within Oklahoma City and statewide.

Smedley brings to UCM statewide perspectives in workforce development as it relates to education and training. This is supported by her experience as a member of the executive board for the Central Oklahoma Workforce Investment Board and service at the State of Oklahoma Department of Commerce.

Also benefiting from a professional career that includes work in real estate and serving as president and chief executive officer for a pre-engineered metal building company, Smedley said she looks forward to her new role at UCM.

“When assessing an environment, especially one that is new to me, what excites me most is opportunity and the identification of opportunity -- how can I work to assist the institution in identifying new opportunities within an expanded landscape with the talents and assets we already have in place? How can I bring my experience and perspective to bear in a way that benefits everyone, beginning with the student? To that end, I am so very honored and grateful for the opportunity to be a part of what is happening at the University of Central Missouri under the guidance of Dr. Roger Best.”


She added, “I believe he is a strategic, pragmatic, compassionate and global thinker that has the conviction of vision to truly expand the future of UCM. That is the kind of leadership and strategic vision I want to be a part of. There's no doubt in my mind I've found it here at UCM. I'd like to thank everyone who participated in my selection for the opportunity. I'm eager to get to work.”
Although Smedley spent most of her life in Texas, she welcomes the opportunity to move to the Midwest.

“It didn't take long to fall in love with the community of Warrensburg,” she said. “Everyone I've encountered here has been so kind and hospitable. My son and I are looking forward to calling Warrensburg home.”

Smedley graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in Advertising in addition to the University of Texas’ nationally top-ranked Advertising Creative Portfolio Sequence and with minors in history and English. Her post-undergraduate work includes American studies, focusing on American literature and history.

For more information contact:
Jeff Murphy
Assistant Director for Media Relations
Integrated Marketing and Communications


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