OU Announces Vice President for Marketing and Communications Appointment

OU Announces Vice President for Marketing and Communications Appointment

Published: Tuesday, May 12, 2020

The University of Oklahoma announced May 7 the appointment of Mackenzie Dilbeck as vice president for marketing and communications and chief communications officer, pending OU Board of Regents’ approval.

Dilbeck has served in the position on an interim basis since October. A national search for the position was conducted by a search committee made up of faculty, staff and administrators.

Prior to joining the Division of Marketing and Communications in 2019 as associate vice president of strategic communications, Dilbeck held a variety of leadership roles in university communications, from a private liberal arts college, to a flagship public research university, to the Ivy League.

“With her diverse and strong experience in higher education communications, Mackenzie is exceptionally positioned to serve as our university’s chief communications officer,” said OU Interim President Joseph Harroz Jr. “Her extensive background in creating unified marketing and communications campaigns will serve us well as we chart a unique path for OU’s future.”

An accomplished communicator and strategist, Dilbeck is charged with overseeing the university’s brand strategy and aligning communications tactics to advance OU’s global reputation for academic excellence and community impact. As vice president, she will have oversight of internal and external communications for the Norman campus, the Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City and the OU-Tulsa campus.

Dilbeck previously served as director of communications at Yale University School of Music and at the OU College of Law, overseeing the marketing and communications efforts and strategic initiatives at both institutions. During her time at Yale, she served as a top adviser to the dean, managing all strategic communications marketing, including the launch of a brand renewal that redefined its position as a leading professional music school. At OU Law, she served as the college’s chief communications officer, spearheading campaigns aimed at elevating OU Law’s reputational standing.

Her career has also included positions at Oklahoma Baptist University and St. Anne’s-Belfield School in Charlottesville, Virginia. In these roles, she developed programs designed to engage alumni and institutional constituencies.

“Mackenzie did a tremendous job outlining her commitment to an integrated approach to marketing and communications and serving key partners in important ways,” said OU Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students David Surratt, who chaired the search committee. “Her passionate belief in OU and its public mission is very evident and, in the examples provided in her interview, the committee members expressed appreciation for her personable approach to working with others and managing the complex demands of such a pivotal role. Her professional background, skills and willingness to collaborate with others to enhance OU’s mission will be a tremendous contribution to OU now and in the future.”

Dilbeck earned bachelor of arts degrees in English and public relations from Oklahoma Baptist University. She also attended the George Washington University, where she earned a master of professional studies in strategic public relations, focusing her research on higher education crisis communications.