Richard Little, Miami University’s director of communication, is ready to move on to the next chapter of his career, and the university has yet to find his successor.
As part of President David Hodge’s series of administrative staff changes, Little will remain in his current position until this summer, when he will assume the position of special assistant to the provost.
“This move was made by both President Hodge and myself,” Little said. “I believe it’s time for me and for the university to turn the page.”
John Skillings, Miami’s associate vice president for academic affairs, is coordinating the search for Little’s successor.
The director of communication for Miami works as a spokesperson for the university, working with the media on a variety of issues.
According to Skillings, although the search has not been underway for long, it is being conducted on a national scale. He added that no front-runner for the position has been identified at this time.
Skillings said he expects a “handful” of applicants to be interviewed, and a successor to be announced sometime this summer. The Boston-based search firm of Isaacson, Miller is conducting the nationwide search, Skillings said.
Skillings said that he expects the new director to be heavily experienced in marketing, and that he or she will help give the university a nationally recognized “brand.”
“Our goal is to be able to communicate more aggressively with an external audience,” Skillings said.
He added that he felt Little had done a “wonderful job” as director.
As part of this new position, Little will have a more involved role in recruiting international students, as well as helping them adjust to life at Miami. Little said he has had a personal interest in the international community for some time now, and is ready to take on that interest in a more formal way.
“We face a number of challenges when it comes to helping (international) students adjust,” he said.
According to Little, one of the biggest problems facing international students is transportation – getting them around Oxford and the surrounding area. Little said that since Miami lacks a bus service to and from major airports (unlike other large universities) he wishes to make transportation a priority.
Additionally, Little plans to teach a few courses in both communications and journalism. According to Little, teaching has always been a personal interest, as he enjoys getting in touch with students.
Though the recent death of Miami sophomore Beth Speidel was “the low point of (his) career,” Little said his years as director have been enjoyed.
“I work with an incredible group of people,” he said. “Working on a university campus, you stay forever young. There’s so much going on to stimulate you. Fortunately, I get to keep that opportunity.”