Public affairs vice chancellor search committee named

M. Fredric Volkmann, vice chancellor for public affairs, to retire Sept. 30


A search committee to identify candidates for the position of vice chancellor for public affairs has been appointed by Provost Edward S. Macias, PhD, executive vice chancellor and the Barbara and David Thomas Distinguished Professor in Arts & Sciences, and Henry S. Webber, executive vice chancellor for administration.

M. Fredric Volkmann, the current vice chancellor for public affairs, will retire Sept. 30.

The 10-member search committee is chaired by Kent D. Syverud, JD, dean of the School of Law, associate vice chancellor of Washington, D.C., Programs and the Ethan A.H. Shepley University Professor.

“Fred Volkmann has provided exceptional leadership to the Public Affairs group at Washington University for many years,” Webber says. “Our hope is to find a new leader who brings the same degree of great leadership for the future.”

Search committee members

Besides Syverud, the members of the 10-member search committee are as follows:

  • Raymond E. Arvidson, PhD, the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor in Arts & Sciences;
  • John Berg, associate vice chancellor for admissions;
  • Donald E. Clayton, associate vice chancellor and executive director of medical public affairs;
  • Heather Corcoran, associate professor of art;
  • Pamella A. Henson, associate vice chancellor for alumni and development programs;
  • James E. McLeod, vice chancellor for students and dean of College of Arts & Sciences;
  • Ralph S. Quatrano, PhD, dean of the School of Engineering & Applied Science;
  • Ellen Rostand, assistant dean for communications at the Brown School; and
  • Craig V. Smith, a consultant with Opus Search Partners in Philadelphia.

M. Fredric Volkmann

Volkmann, who turns 70 Sept. 13, was appointed vice chancellor for public affairs at Washington University in 1990 and has been responsible for WUSTL’s overall public relations, communications and marketing efforts since 1980.

Volkmann’s career in education spans nearly five decades and four academic institutions. As WUSTL’s vice chancellor for public affairs, Volkmann manages more than 60 professionals and support staff in seven divisions on the university’s Danforth and Medical campuses.

Volkmann joined Washington University 31 years ago as director of public relations. He was named assistant vice chancellor and then associate vice chancellor in 1985.

In addition to his role at WUSTL, Volkmann served on many national organizations, including the executive committee of the Association for American Universities (AAU) Public Affairs Network from 1988-2010. He also previously chaired the public affairs group of the National Association for Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) and served as a member of the governmental and public affairs committee of the American Council on Education (ACE).

An active member of the international Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) since its founding in 1975, Volkmann served on the CASE Board of Trustees from 1979-85 and was chair of the board from 1983-84. He received the CASE Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011, among other CASE awards throughout his career, including the 1987 Frank L. Ashmore Award for service to the educational advancement profession.

Before coming to WUSTL, Volkmann was director of university relations (1979-1980) and director of university publications and special projects (1975-79) at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Volkmann also was the chief communications officer at Albion College in Albion, Mich., and at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Previously, he worked at the Mt. Pleasant News and the Star Tribune in Minnesota.

Volkmann earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Iowa Wesleyan in 1966 and completed graduate courses at Michigan State University from 1969-1973. In 1984, he received Iowa Wesleyan College’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

A native of Hartford, Conn., Volkmann is married to the former Barbara Jean Drackley. The couple resides in Clayton, Mo., and has three grown children.