University Names New Vice President for Communications

Tysen Kendig. (University Communication and Marketing Photography /University of Iowa)

Tysen Kendig. (University Communication and Marketing Photography/University of Iowa)

Tysen Kendig, the top communications officer at the University of Iowa, has been appointed the University of Connecticut’s new Vice President for Communications, President Susan Herbst announced Thursday.

Kendig, who has an extensive background in higher education and journalism, was selected after a national search, and will lead UConn’s expanding efforts to communicate the University’s strengths on a national and global level, according to Herbst.

“How aggressively we communicate about ourselves and tell our story as an institution is one of the essential components of our success as a top public university. Tysen is without question the right person to lead this critical effort in the years to come, and I am thrilled that he will be joining us here at UConn,” Herbst said.

In his role as vice president, Kendig will oversee the Office of University Communications, which includes news and information, marketing, multimedia, internet and design services. He will begin at UConn in mid-January.

“As natives of the Northeast, my family and I are ecstatic to be returning ‘home’ to join one of the most vibrant public universities in America,” Kendig said Thursday. “I’m impressed by the vision and energy that President Herbst has brought to the institution, and am excited to join her leadership team and a fantastic communications staff.”

Kendig said he’s looking forward to helping UConn solidify its place among the top public research universities in the country, an especially important task in an uncertain media landscape that changes practically by the day.

“We have boundless opportunities to more boldly and broadly spread UConn’s inspiring stories of impact that touch lives in real and profound ways — and I can’t get wait to get started in that effort,” he said.

Currently, Kendig serves as Vice President for Strategic Communication at the University of Iowa, directing news services, media relations, brand development, graphic design, broadcasting services and electronic communications. He also administers Iowa’s alumni association and performing arts center.

While at Iowa, Kendig has helped the university reposition its public message for the digital age, aggressively pursuing new strategies in multimedia content and social media as well as more traditional platforms. Kendig’s range of experience in higher ed communications encompasses everything from garnering publicity for cultural events to serving as spokesperson for a large state university to overseeing a combined staff of roughly 100 with a collective budget of nearly $11 million.

Before coming to Iowa, he served as Associate Vice Chancellor for University Relations at the University of Arkansas from 2006 to 2010, and as Assistant Director of Public Information at Penn State from 2000 to 2006. He began his professional career as a journalist at The Trentonian in New Jersey before entering higher education as Associate Director of Public Relations at Rider University from 1996 to 2000.

A native of west-central New Jersey, Kendig is a 1995 graduate of Penn State, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism. He has completed Harvard’s Institute for Management and Leadership in Education, and is in the process of finishing a Master of Education degree from Arkansas.