College gets strategic with new vice president


Courtesy Phil Dembinski

Deborah Maue, the new vice president of Strategic Marketing & Communications, will help the college clarify its brand message to help strengthen its enrollment and fundraising strategies.

By Campus Editor

The Office of Marketing & Communications will soon see new leadership as the search for a permanent vice president comes to a close.

Following a four-month national search led by the college and search/consulting firm Isaacson, Miller, Deborah Maue was announced as the college’s new vice president of Strategic Marketing & Communications, according to an April 21 emailed announcement  to staff and faculty from President and CEO Kwang-Wu Kim.

Maue comes to Columbia from mStoner, a marketing firm for higher education institutions where she served as senior strategist, helping institutions identify their target markets, create effective brand identities and improve internal communications strategies.

“Columbia College has a wonderfully rich history in arts and media education with a robust liberal arts core,” Maue said in a press release that accompanied the announcement. “I’m thrilled to join President Kim’s leadership team and look forward to helping clarify and share the great story the college has to tell.”

The vice president of Strategic Marketing & Communications is a newly created position at the college, and in this role, Maue will be responsible for helping to rebrand the college and build its global reputation, which could improve its enrollment, fundraising capabilities and alumni relations. She will also work to improve Columbia’s internal communications strategies, according to Kim.

“It will help to recruit students, help clarify conversations with potential donors, so hopefully we’ll see some benefit in our fundraising arena [and] help the way we connect with alumni because we’ll be telling stories more effectively of the college and it will help us build our reputation in the world,” Kim said. “Those are four really important areas we are trying to make progress [in], and I think telling the story of the college effectively is going to be critically important.”

Anne-Marie St. Germaine’s term as the interim vice president of Communications & Marketing, which she has held since September of 2014, will conclude after a short transition period in which she will help Maue get accustomed to the college.

“[Maue] is an excellent choice for the college and [will] make her mark from the get-go,” St. Germaine said.

Before working at mStoner, Maue also worked at TRU, a consulting firm that specializes in youth research, and served for seven years as associate vice president of Marketing Strategy at DePaul University.

Maue will start at the college on April 29 and hopes to improve the college’s enrollment, fundraising capabilities and alumni relations.

“[Maue] is very focused on this idea of brand and marketing,” Kim said. “She has a lot of expertise in the more general areas as well, but I think she’s going to come in and really look strategically at what we’re doing…. She’s going to bring a very targeted focus to the college, and I think that’s important to us as we try to move Columbia to another step.”