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NIU names new director of University Marketing

August 28, 2015
Abby Dean

Abby Dean

Abby Dean might have just started as NIU’s director of University Marketing, but she begins with more than a decade of Huskie experience.

“I am really excited to take this position and have the team that I have,” said Dean, who has worked for NIU since 2003 and took over the newly created director position in July. “We have a good breadth of knowledge on the team, and I think that institutional knowledge is really important in enabling us to do our job effectively.”

The Office of University Marketing is responsible for the development, design and implementation of the university’s marketing and advertising initiatives. Dean is passionate about their mission, which is to support the promotion of the university and its student recruitment and retention efforts.

“It’s really important for the university to communicate in a cohesive manner and have an office like this to do that,” Dean said. “We are here as a service for the rest of the university, and that is really how I look at it.”

Along with team members Michael Mackey, Alex Montgomery and recently appointed associate director of University Marketing Jeff Strohm, Dean said partnering with other departments is essential to their mission.

“We are all about partnering, because we can work together to create a stronger message,” Dean said. “Our job on campus is to work with our constituencies, and make sure we express a cohesive narrative while leveraging the uniqueness of each one of our colleges.”

And with any good partnership, communication is paramount.

Your future, our focus“I don’t mean communicating outwardly, but communicating internally,” Dean said. “When we share information and any communication pieces and strategies, I think that makes us all stronger. If we all know what the moving parts are, we will be able to communicate more effectively and have an even bigger impact on our recruitment and retention.”

Dean shared some of University Marketing’s key initiatives with fellow NIU leaders Aug. 7 during President Doug Baker’s strategic plan implementation retreat. Initiatives include a study of NIU’s brand perception, and creation of a recruitment journey map that will clarify the steps prospective students follow when deciding on where to attend.

“What do those prospective students – students we are really hoping become Huskies – experience through NIU,” Dean said. “To know what they experience is an enormous piece of information that can help us understand where we go from here.”

Dean said NIU has so much to offer, and her department plans to share that message with prospective students.

“I believe in NIU and what it has to offer,” Dean said. “That is really what makes me excited about taking this position. I can help students find NIU, and I can help them find a home here.”

University Marketing is located in Room 104 of Still Hall.