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Introducing DU’s new SVC for University Relations

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Jeremy Haefner

Announcement  •
Brad Bohlander headshot

March 14, 2024 

Dear DU community members, 

I am pleased to announce that Brad Bohlander has accepted the position of senior vice chancellor for university relations. This new role will better align our work in marketing and communications with our efforts in government and community relations. Brad will bring a wealth of experience in each of these areas, overseeing both MarComm and Government and Community Affairs. Brad’s first day at DU will be Monday, May 6.   

As an accomplished and forward-thinking higher education leader, Brad has amassed a distinguished career marked by a consistent record of success in strategic communications and marketing. Currently serving as the senior vice president and chief communications and marketing officer at the University of Arizona, Brad is a key member of the president's executive leadership team. Brad demonstrates a remarkable ability to navigate and enhance a university's reputation, collaborating with institutional leadership and campus partners to protect and elevate the brands he serves on a regional and national scale. 

Brad’s professional strengths include a proven aptitude for organizing and overseeing all facets of communications and marketing operations, adeptly building highly effective teams, and providing insightful strategic counsel to senior leaders. Before his role at the University of Arizona, Brad was the chief communications and marketing officer at North Carolina State University where he played a pivotal role in transforming the university's communications culture and effectiveness, specifically driving significant positive change in branding. And before his role at NC State, Brad was the executive director of public relations at Colorado State University, where he significantly increased media coverage and established highly successful programs in community relations, social media, and crisis communications. 

Beyond his professional roles, Brad is distinguished by his active participation in esteemed associations such as the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, Public Relations Society of America, and American Marketing Association. This involvement underscores his dedication to staying abreast of industry trends and best practices.  

One of Brad’s greatest strengths lies in his adeptness at forging strategic partnerships and fostering mutually beneficial relationships. Whether collaborating with internal stakeholders or engaging external entities, he has consistently demonstrated a keen ability to align communications efforts with institutional goals and objectives. Brad's collaborative spirit and diplomatic finesse have not only enhanced the visibility and reputation of the universities he’s served but have also yielded tangible results in terms of enrollment growth, philanthropic support, and stakeholder engagement. His legacy of impactful partnerships serves as a testament to his ability to leverage communications as a powerful tool for driving positive change and advancing organizational missions. 

The University of Denver is pleased to welcome Brad to our community. I am confident Brad’s experience will help us reach the next level of success in these critical focus areas. 

“I am incredibly honored and truly excited to join the outstanding University of Denver community,” Bohlander said. “Under Chancellor Haefner’s excellent leadership the university is poised for even broader influence and deeper impact. I look forward to partnering with the leadership team and colleagues across campus to help DU accomplish its strategic goals, reach its tremendous potential, and advance the greater good.”   

I would also like to thank our search committee members and leaders, whose names and titles can be found below. A national search at this level requires considerable time and effort, and I’m grateful that your hard work has resulted in bringing such an excellent candidate to DU.    

Please join me in welcoming Brad to the DU community!    



Jeremy Haefner 


Senior Vice Chancellor University Relations Search Committee Membership  


Corinne Lengsfeld, senior vice provost for research & graduate education

Todd Rinehart, vice chancellor for enrollment management 



Johanna Blickenstaff, interim co-vice chancellor of marketing & communications 

Renée Botta, president, faculty senate and associate professor, media, film & journalism studies 

Gabrielle Giddings, assistant vice chancellor, advancement & campaign communications 

Angel Field, associate athletic director 

Margot Gilbert Frank, trustee 

Craig Harrison, trustee 

Stephanie O’Malley, associate vice chancellor for government & community relations 

Gretchen Pressley, director of communications 

Chris Roby, assistant vice chancellor for student engagement & 4D experience 

Nathan Willers, director of communications, 4D experience 

Staff support provided by Claire Brownell, Director of University Protocol and Assistant Secretary of the Board of Trustees  

Thank you to our search committee members for giving their time and expertise to find the best candidates for this position.