John Kennedy

Vice Chancellor for University Relations

University Relations is the central source for leadership in communicating the considerable achievements and profound impact of the University of Massachusetts Amherst to audiences both internally and externally. Through our network of relationships, knowledge, and experience working across the campus, we help the university realize the value of a strong brand in our communications, external relations, events, marketing, and government relations. The work of University Relations directly contributes to the success of the flagship campus in areas such as student recruitment, research, advancement, revenue generation, and fostering a diverse and inclusive campus climate.

The broad portfolio of University Relations (UR) includes branding and marketing, media relations, social media communications, government relations, community relations, event planning, issues management, regional economic development, and managing the campus partnership with New England Public Media, the region’s public radio and television broadcaster.

UR also serves as the in-house public relations and marketing firm for the campus. In this role, we provide expertise to on-campus partners in crisis communications, reputation management, branding, marketing strategy, mass communications (i.e., email), CRM, writing and editing, graphic design, web design and production, media relations, social media, video production, and photography.

As the stature of the campus continues to grow, both as the flagship campus of the Commonwealth and as a premier national public research university, it is the responsibility of University Relations to protect and advance the brand of the institution. In this era of instant communication, where potential students, their parents, and the public at large are regularly bombarded with competing messages, with information on virtually any topic available at their fingertips, telling our story requires a deep commitment to both factual exactitude and compelling creative presentation. This complexity defines the expertise at the heart of what we do in University Relations. By continuously adapting to the ever-evolving communications environment, we stand committed to finding effective and innovative ways to tell the impressive story that is the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

UMass Amherst University Relations