Chancellor Doug Kristensen

UNK Chancellor Doug Kristensen has announced the appointment of Mr. Curt Carlson as Vice Chancellor for University Relations. Subject to approval of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents, Mr. Carlson’s appointment will take effect on July 1, 2006. 

“Curt Carlson will bring a wealth of public relations, strategic communications, and marketing experience to UNK,” said Chancellor Kristensen. “From 1994 to 2006, Curt served as the chief public affairs officer for Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., rising to become Vice President for Public Affairs. At Emory he created the university’s marketing department, launched several large research-based marketing and public relations campaigns, and developed enhanced in-house video and web-design capabilities. He served as a key advisor on advancement strategy and tactics, oversaw the coordination of internal communications, and represented the University externally in a variety of professional and community venues.”

Prior to his tenure at Emory, Carlson was chief public relations and strategic communications officer at Illinois State University from 1990 to1994 and at Berry College in Rome, Ga., from 1985 to 1990. Earlier he was director of media communication and assistant professor at the University of Sioux Falls in Sioux Falls, SD. He also worked in radio and television broadcasting and operated a print and multimedia production company.

“Nationally, Curt Carlson remains an active and a respected consultant on strategic communications,” said Kristensen. Carlson was the founding chair of Counselors to Higher Education, a professional development group for public relations leadership in higher education under the umbrella of Public Relations Society of America. 

“In all my research on the University of Nebraska at Kearney and my visits to the community, I quickly sensed how the unusually strong and vibrant relationship that exists between the university and its surrounding communities has contributed to UNK’s impressive and growing academic strengths,” said Carlson. “I’m looking forward to working with all university supporters to widen appreciation for this Midwest higher education jewel and to being a small part of its ongoing ascent.”

Carlson’s academic background includes a B.A. from Southern Adventist University, Collegedale, Tenn., with a major in theology and a minor in communications, and the M.A. degree from the University of Memphis, Memphis, Tenn., in mass communications, film, and broadcasting. He also pursued graduate studies at the University of the Virgin Islands, Berry College, and Illinois State University. Carlson is accredited A.P.R. by the Public Relations Society of America.

“My colleagues and I look forward to welcoming Curt to his new duties and to the Kearney community,” said Kristensen. Curt will be accompanied by his wife, Dr. Dianne Mancus, who will be employed with Kearney Public Schools.

Chancellor Kristensen added, “I wish to thank Dr. Frank Harrold, Dean of the College of Natural and Social Sciences and chair of the search and screening committee, and to all other members of the search and screening committee, for their hard work and contributions to the successful outcome of this national search. And, I extend a heartfelt thanks to Dr. Kathy Smith who stepped in to serve as Interim Vice Chancellor for University Relations two years ago.  Kathy has directed a number of important projects including the renovation of UNK’s website and the implementation of a major integrated marketing campaign. I am grateful for her numerous contributions as Interim VCUR and for her continuing commitment to the university.”