The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer


BREAKING: University Appoints Vice President for Marketing and Communications

Listening sessions and a search committee were established to fill the new position, which Justin Bell now holds
Lerzan Aksoy, dean of Gabelli School of Business, spearheaded the search committee for the vice president for marketing and communications position.

University President Tania Tetlow announced the appointment of Justin Bell as the inaugural vice president for marketing and communications in a university-wide email to the Fordham community on July 20. The position was established on Feb. 17 following the president’s announcement that the university’s marketing and communications department (UMC) will become a stand-alone division separate from development and enrollment operations and that a vice president, now Bell, will be appointed to report to Tetlow directly regarding all activity. 

According to Tetlow, Bell currently serves as the associate vice president for brand marketing at The Ohio State University. She noted that he has “successfully worked to build the University’s brand in ways that grow enrollment and build a reputation for cutting-edge research.”

Bell received his Bachelor of Science in business administration and marketing from Ashland University in Ohio and an Associate of Arts from The Ohio State University. He previously worked in private marketing firms in Miami, including his startup Lion Agency, which focuses on design, strategy and digital marketing. He served as CEO of the company until August 2017 before working in higher education.

“We chose Justin for his proven track record in developing comprehensive marketing strategies, his ability to integrate data-driven insights into his work, and his dedication to fostering meaningful connections,” Tetlow said. 

UMC’s mission, as noted on the university’s webpage, is to effectively convey Fordham’s character, brand, reputation and community. After UMC was announced as a stand-alone department, Donna Lehmann, associate vice president of marketing, noted that much of its previous responsibilities remained the same except for an added emphasis on national and international brand awareness and innovative multi-channel marketing.

Initially, UMC was responsible for monitoring the university’s brand guidelines, advertising and marketing, news and media relations, photography and videos, social media pages, and website management. As a stand-alone department, there is additional focus on attracting prospective students through advertising efforts which span across the university’s social media, print publications and website. 

The president’s announcement on Feb. 17 led to the establishment of the interim vice president for marketing and communications position, which Lehmann filled as the search was in progress. Dean of Gabelli School of Business Lerzan Aksoy led the search committee for the inaugural vice president for marketing and communications position with two listening sessions, one for undergraduate and graduate students, and one for employees held on March 8 and March 16, respectively. 

Tetlow expressed her gratitude toward Lehmann for taking on the position and noted that she will return to her role as associate vice president for marketing to provide “brilliant leadership at a moment of new focus and investment in Fordham’s marketing efforts.” The president also thanked Aksoy for the “successful national search,” which resulted in ten semi-finalists and four finalists. 

Bell will assume his position as the inaugural vice president of marketing and communications effective Aug. 25.

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MARYAM BESHARA, Former Editor-in-Chief
Maryam Beshara (she/her), FCLC ’24, is the former editor-in-chief of The Observer. She is double majoring in political science and urban studies and this is her third year at The Observer, having previously worked as a news editor. In her free time, Maryam loves listening to music, her favorite artist being Lorde, and hopes the sun will show (her) the path. She is looking forward to pushing The Observer to its limit and seeking new opportunities for editors to endeavor on.

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