Parkland elevates communications chief to VP role

Parkland elevates communications chief to VP role

CHAMPAIGN — The elevation of Parkland College's chief spokesperson to a vice president role means the school has one less search on its plate.

Parkland was looking to replace Vice President for Institutional Advancement Seamus Reilly, who's leaving to become president at Carl Sandburg College. But Parkland President Tom Ramage said that with Stephanie Stuart's recent promotion to VP of communications and external relations, Reilly's duties will be spread around to Stuart, himself and others.

"We had long discussed the value of strategic communication and elevating that in the college. Our work with government relations and external communications ... was becoming more significant in our world," Ramage said. "Not that they weren't before. But as the landscape of higher education changes, things ebb and flow in terms of importance."

Stuart is working under a three-year contract with a salary of around $125,000.

Stuart's promotion brings the number of Parkland vice presidents to four. The others are in the areas of academic services, student services and administration/finances.

Parkland is still looking for a new athletic director (replacing Rod Lovett, hired as director of championships for the National Junior College Athletic Association) and an executive director for its foundation (replacing the retiring Ellen Schmidt).

Before deciding to stay at Parkland in an elevated role, Stuart had been set to rejoin Unit 4 as the school district's top communicator on the facilities referendum.

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