CORVALLIS, Ore. - Todd Simmons has been named interim vice president for University Advancement at Oregon State University, OSU President Ed Ray announced on Tuesday.

He succeeds Luanne Lawrence, who resigned this month to accept a similar position at the University of South Carolina.

Simmons, who has 19 years of experience in higher education communications, has served as assistant vice president of University Advancement for nearly five years, overseeing OSU's Office of News and Communication Services. Other units within University Advancement include Web Communications, University Marketing, University Events, and Research Communications, which next month will merge with News and Communication Services to create the Office of News and Research Communications.

Ray said that OSU is fortunate in two important respects. "Todd Simmons is an experienced leader in communications who helped create the current structure of University Advancement," Ray said. "Furthermore, University Advancement has an exceptional leadership team and is a solid program."

As assistant vice president, Simmons established OSU's media training program, which has worked with more than 350 faculty, staff and students over four years; led media outreach and federal agency communications work; and played key roles on award-winning University Advancement teams including the "Powered by Orange" campaign and the university's integrated marketing communications plan.

Simmons is a graduate of the University of Florida's College of Journalism. Prior to his media, marketing and presidential communications work at five major universities, he was an award-winning editorial writer and political reporter, most notably for The Tampa Tribune in Florida.

OSU President Ray said the university will launch a national search for the position later this summer.

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Sabah Randhawa, 541-737-2111