Director of Marketing Bill Courtney has been appointed associate vice president for public affairs.
The role of associate vice president will call on Courtney’s broad experience in the computer, advertising, marketing, health care and electronics industries as he works with the public affairs team to raise Rice’s visibility and success in an increasingly aggressive higher education marketplace, said Vice President for Public Affairs Linda Thrane.
“Many higher education institutions have for the most part bought into the idea of marketing, but Bill brings a sophisticated perspective that is able to draw on all the tools of our public affairs enterprise to distinguish Rice from the one-size-fits-all approach of many institutions,” she said.
“He also has the broad experience to add value to every aspect of what we do in the internal and external communications arena, including our government and community relations endeavors. He is a valuable partner to me and to people all over Rice who are interested in leveraging the Rice reputation and brand to achieve our many different objectives,” Thrane said.
Courtney, a graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, came to Rice in 2009 after serving as Hewlett-Packard’s director of marketing communications for commercial and consumer personal computer products in the Americas. Courtney also has worked for McCann-Erickson Advertising, BMC Software, Acuson/Siemens Medical and General Electric.
“As Rice enters its second century, it’s a very exciting time to be working in public affairs and marketing at a university that recognizes its strengths and what it will take to be as successful in the future as we have been in the past,” Courtney said. “President Leebron said it very well in his Centennial Address: ‘As higher education both becomes ever more competitive and faces ever more daunting challenges, we must now lead with confidence in our own values and our own identity, as they have evolved over a century.’”
Courtney said he views his role as helping to develop a strategy and then guide the implementation of integrated marketing programs across the campus that will allow the university to take advantage of the opportunities ahead, while maintaining the character that defines it as Rice.
“To quote President Leebron one more time,” Courtney said, “’We must be bold … we must be Rice.’ I take this to mean that we must constantly guard against being complacent and always look for those things that will accelerate our awareness, recognition and standing among our key target audiences.”