Communications Director: Ken Wildes of Northwestern

Kenneth J. Wildes, Jr., of Northwestern University will become Penn's Director of University Communications starting July 1, President Judith Rodin has announced.

Mr. Wildes will develop and manage a University communications strategy and serve as the primary spokesman for the University, Dr. Rodin said. He will oversee the University's internal and external communications and public relations operations, and enhance communication of the many contributions Penn's faculty, students and staff make to the advancement of education, research and society. In addition, he will advise the president and other senior officers of the University on communications issues.

"We are very excited that Ken Wildes will be joining us at Penn. He has had a superbly successful career overseeing communications at Northwestern University, and we were lucky indeed to recruit him here," said the President. "He will be a key member of our senior administrative team and a great advisor to the entire University. Ken is keenly aware of the important issues confronting higher education, cares deeply about the future of great universities like Penn, and will be instrumental in helping Penn lead the way to the 21st Century."

Mr. Wildes has been in charge of communications at Northwestern University for the last 14 years, initially as director of university relations and more recently as vice president for university relations.

Before joining Northwestern, where he is credited with increasing the national visibility of the university on radio, television and newspapers with national circulation, Mr. Wildes was director of newspaper promotion and public relations at Parade Publications, Inc., publisher of Parade magazine. Mr. Wildes took his bachelor's degree in English at Springfield College in Massachusetts, and began his career in media and public relations in 1969 as assistant director of sports information at Dartmouth College. Later he returned to Springfield College and served as director of public relations and publications for seven years.

Mr. Wildes is a frequent speaker on the management of institutional response to public issues, crisis public relations and ethical issues in public relations. He has also been the executive producer of several syndicated radio series, including "The Reviewing Stand," an award-winning radio news magazine syndicated for Northwestern University to 191 radio stations throughout the country.

Currently president of the executive committee of the University Magazine Network, he has chaired the Public Affairs Network of the Association of American Universities, the Public Issues Task Force of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, and the public affairs group of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, an organization representing the institutions of the Big Ten Conference and the University of Chicago.

"Ken's extraordinary background and his wealth of experience in public relations have been widely recognized by his peers," Dr. Rodin added. "He will give us the guidance and wisdom to communicate to the world the great research in our laboratories, the scholarly expertise in our classrooms and the strength and vitality in our community."


Volume 42 Number 32
May 14, 1996

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