Campus News

Vice Chancellor of Communications Joel Curran to leave for Notre Dame

Curran served as the University’s first vice chancellor of communications, building a team to tell Carolina’s stories in more creative and engaging ways, while managing increasingly complex issues in higher education and at Carolina.

Joel Curran at the Old Welll
Under Vice Chancellor of Communications Joel Curran’s watch, University Communications enhanced its overall content offerings across all platforms and helped Carolina tell more stories in ways that resonated and drove greater engagement with the University’s broad array of constituents.  (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Vice Chancellor of Communications Joel Curran ’86 will be leaving Carolina to join the University of Notre Dame as its vice president of public affairs and communications, Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz announced in a campus email today. His last day will be Oct. 8.

Curran returned to Carolina in December 2013 to serve as the University’s first vice chancellor of communications. He was charged with building a team to tell Carolina’s stories in more creative and engaging ways, while managing increasingly complex issues in higher education and at Carolina.

“Today, University Communications is vastly different from what he inherited eight years ago,” Guskiewicz wrote in his message. “We now have a high-performing team led by an outstanding group of senior leaders who manage a broad portfolio of communications and related functions. I know that Joel is most proud of the work of his team.”

Under Curran’s watch, UComm enhanced its overall content offerings across all platforms and helped Carolina tell more stories in ways that resonated and drove greater engagement with the University’s broad array of constituents. UComm launched numerous websites (including a new unc.edu website) offering more robust content, expanded the University’s social media presence, bolstered its media relations capabilities, opened a new UNC Visitors Center on Franklin Street, streamlined the public records process and created The Well, a popular website and daily email with important employee-related updates and stories.

Curran has also been present on the University’s behalf in the community, helping to nurture local town/gown relationships with elected officials and business leaders, while serving as the senior University administrator on the WUNC North Carolina Public Radio board of directors.

Curran has also served as a trusted adviser to Guskiewicz and his predecessor, Chancellor Carol Folt, and senior leadership teams through some of the University’s most challenging moments and historic celebrations.

“Leading University Communications is a 24/7 job, and I’ve worked with Joel for nearly every one of those hours,” Guskiewicz wrote. “Please join me in wishing him the best in his new role at Notre Dame.”

A search for Curran’s successor will launch in the coming weeks. Associate Vice Chancellors Tanya Moore and Beth Keith will share interim leadership responsibilities for University Communications.