Sherry Knight among semifinalists for VP of communications search; interviews set for November

Sherry Knight, current interim vice president of communications, is in the running for the permanent position.

The search for the associate vice president of university communications began in May, when former associate vice president of communications Renee Walker resigned following a tumultuous year in terms of university communication, including a $10 million university investment for the "privately funded" events center and incorrect amounts paid toward the website redesign.

Knight, a CMU alum, was named interim shortly after the announcement of Walker's resignation.

Since then, a committee has been formed to search for a permanent candidate.

Maria Marron, chairwoman of the department of journalism, is head of the search committee, which includes Cali Clark, director of Employment Services; Deborah Gray from Marketing and Hospitality; Merodie Hancock, vice president of Global Campus; Steven Johnson, vice president of Enrollment and Student Serives; Monica Mull, associate director of integrated marketing for University Communications; Bryan Griffin, director of annual giving for Carlin Alumni House and Alumni Relations; Rick Sykes, professor of in the broadcast and cinematic arts department; Derek van der Merwe, deputy director of Athletics; and Frank Cloutier, public relations director of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe.

“It is a national search with the goal of hiring the best possible person for the job,” Marron said in an email. “The search committee is conducting video conference interviews with seven semi-finalists this week, with a view to narrowing the search to two or three finalists."

As vice president of communications, the candidate would work to promote CMU through strategic communications and by providing creative consultation and production coordination to help those at CMU reach their communication goals.

Knight, a semi-finalist in the search, signed a six-month contract in May that pays her $1,500 per day of work in Mount Pleasant. She said she knew what needed to improve at CMU and would use openness and integrity to move forward.

“CMU needs to be top of the mind across the state among students, parents and alumni,” Knight told CM Life in May. “We need to have strong consistent communications to achieve it.”

Knight declined comment Thursday in respect to her candidacy.

On-campus interviews will take Nov. 12, Nov. 14 and Nov. 16., although the date to announce who is chosen for the position is still to be determined.


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