There’s additional heft in communications and marketing at Texas Tech these days. Matt Dewey recently started in the new position of chief communications and marketing officer. Dewey brings 18 years of experience in the field.
Tech President Lawrence Schovanec says Dewey is the right person at the right time for Texas Tech.
“One reason we wanted to bring somebody in at that level is to really step up our game as it relates to marketing and communications. I’ve made the comment more than once that Texas Tech’s reputation and visibility lags our real excellence and we need to make sure that we try to address that.”
Dewey comes from the University of Michigan where he helped oversee the completion of a $5-billion, comprehensive capital campaign as the senior executive director of marketing and communications for the Office of University Advancement.
Schovanec says Dewey’s charge is to highlight more than just the university’s facts and figures about accomplishments, and its rankings.
“We need to do a better job of conveying the ‘why’ of Texas Tech. Why would a student want to come here? What drives us to do the things that we do? I think Texas Tech is an incredible institution in terms of students we produce but our intent and our success to improve the community we live in and also benefit the state and address worldwide problems and we’re doing that in so many ways, and why is it that we do those things?”
Schovanec says part of Dewey’s work aims to reframe how Tech is presented.
“First of all, we have to probably gather more input from all the constituencies here, students, faculty, staff, alumni, what is it we want to frame? What is the message you think we should be conveying and make sure we’re getting it out there.”
Dewey, Schovanec says, has the demonstrated skills for the position. He’ll do deep dives into and sophisticated analysis of social media. He’ll also work to see who’s accessing the university’s websites, how deeply those visitors go and develop a plan to follow up with them.
“Matt’s role is going to affect so many offices on campus in how we communicate to our external constituencies. I hear from parents and alumni who express displeasure with the materials they get in the recruitment process. We’ve already made changes this year and I’ve gotten very positive feedback that things are better. In his role, Matt will be interacting with offices like enrollment management, with the various colleges, with the vice president of research and how we tell the story about our scholarship and our research. He’ll have very broad involvement and oversight of all the different entities that have a story to tell and want to do it effectively.
Schovanec stresses that nothing was broken in how communications and marketing of Tech was done before Dewey’s hiring.
“We’ve made some other changes at the university that I think reflect the fact that we’re not standing still. Even though things have been good, Tech has seen much success, we’re not content with the position where we are. And it’s not just about achieving some new ranking or elevating our stature. It really goes back to how we affect the students we bring in and support them. I believe that if students knew what was going on at Texas Tech, they should be beating down our doors to get in.”
Schovanec says Tech’s reputation and visibility has lagged behind word of its excellence. Getting information out about that excellence is part of Dewey’s work. If things go as Tech envisions, Schovanec says he’d consider promoting Dewey to vice president in the not too distant future.
“What attracted Matt here, I think was the positive trajectory of the university, he was aware of that. He met our people and was impressed by their friendliness, their love of the school, he spoke to the sense of family that he experienced while he was here, and he’s a builder and he saw the chance to build something. So I’m really excited that we have him, I look forward to what he’s going to do.”