UNC-Chapel Hill announces new vice chancellor of communications

Kamrhan Farwell has been named UNC-Chapel Hill’s next vice chancellor of communications, the university announced Thursday.

Farwell, now the vice chancellor and chief marketing and communications officer at the University of Missouri, will begin at UNC-Chapel Hill Sept. 26. She replaces Joel Curran, who left the university last October to take a position at the University of Notre Dame. Curran originated the role in 2013 but left last year in what appeared to be a wave of exits by high level staffers that included Joanne Peters Denny, director of the the university’s media relations and its chief diversity officer, Sibby Anderson-Thompkins.

Kamrhan Farwell (Photo Courtesy of the University of Missouri)

Farwell will have her work cut out for her. The past two years have brought a torrent of bad publicity for the university, from controversies over its poor response to COVID-19  and its failed attempt to hire acclaimed journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones to continuing concern about the influence of deep-pocketed donors,  the North Carolina General Assembly’s conservative majority and its political appointees on the UNC Board of Governors.

In a message to the Carolina community Thursday, Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said he has great confidence in Fawell.

“A highly respected leader, Farwell brings extensive experience to this role, most recently leading a 120-person communications team at the flagship campus known as Mizzou, as well as the University of Missouri System,” Giskiewicz wrote.

“For the past four years, Farwell has led all institutional communications, including comprehensive marketing and media strategies that have helped rebuild and bolster the University of Missouri’s reputation,” Guskiewicz wrote.  “During her tenure, freshman enrollment increased by 30 percent, the institution celebrated its first Nobel Prize and legislative support grew in 2022 by the highest percentage in 35 years.”

In her own statement, Farwell said she is looking forward to joining the Carolina community.

“I am inspired by the quality of the scholarship at UNC-Chapel Hill, the integrity of the leadership, and the enthusiasm of faculty, staff, students and alumni,” she said. “I’m anxious to do my part in sharing the university’s compelling story and global impact with the world.”

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UNC-Chapel Hill announces new vice chancellor of communications