Kallie Bila Michels, a longtime University of Michigan communications leader, has been appointed the university’s vice president for communications. Her appointment, which follows a national search, is effective Feb. 17.
Michels has been serving the university as associate vice president for communications since 2008. She has been interim vice president for communications since September 2016. In recommending the appointment, President Mark Schlissel praised Michels for her work across the university.
“Kallie has developed and implemented communication strategies to help us launch and promote universitywide initiatives and in support of our highest priorities during her time as the interim vice president.” Schlissel said. “Clear, consistent and purposeful communications, both internally and to the outside world, are critical to the university’s success.
“Kallie rose to the top in a search process that considered outstanding candidates both inside the university and beyond. I have enjoyed working closely with her and look forward to continuing that collaboration.”
Her appointment was approved Thursday by the Board of Regents.
Michels will serve as the university’s chief communications officer and will work with the Board of Regents and the university’s executive officers to set university policy on matters of communications and marketing. She also will develop and implement strategic communications plans and provide leadership in expanding the university’s digital communications and social media engagement.
As vice president, she will be responsible for enhancing the university’s reputation and visibility locally, nationally and internationally. She will oversee executive communications, marketing and design, media relations and public affairs, the news and broadcasting services and freedom of information inquiries.
“It is an honor and a privilege to lead the highly skilled communications team at this university,” Michels said. “There is simply no better place to work in higher-education communications than the University of Michigan.”
Michels has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Central Michigan University and a master’s degree in advertising from Michigan State University. She joined the university in 1988 as an information officer in the U-M Health System, now known as Michigan Medicine. She was appointed director of public relations for the health system in 2000.
In 2008, Michels moved to Central Campus as associate vice president for communications. In that role, she has developed and implemented communication strategy for key university initiatives, working closely with the president, executive officers and other university leaders.