John Barry, whose nearly 10 years at Baylor University as vice president of marketing and communications spanned multiple administrations and has seen Baylor’s continued rebound from controversy, announced he will leave in January for a similar role at the University of Richmond.
“I came to Baylor because I was drawn to a great value and powerful distinctiveness of its mission,” he said in a statement. “But what I have come to treasure above all are the many, many remarkable people who embody that mission, and who each day renew a commitment to invest time, talent and treasure to advance the promise and potential of Baylor University.”
Barry will begin in his post at Richmond on Jan. 18. Karen Kemp, associate vice president for marketing communications, will serve as acting vice president as Baylor begins a national search for Barry’s replacement.
Assistant Vice President for Media Communications Lori Fogleman described him as a “tremendous leader for our division.”
“He has brought to us the philosophy of ‘work hard,’ and to be excellent in all things as we’re called to do,” Fogleman said. “And have fun while you’re doing those things. My colleagues and I took that philosophy to heart and we ran with it.”
Barry was hired in 2006 by former Baylor President John M. Lilley, who became embroiled in controversy after what became commonly known as the “faculty massacre” after he rejected tenure to 12 of 30 tenure candidates in April 2008. Lilley was fired three months later, with then-Regent Chair Howard Batson acknowledging the tenure denials played a role.
Barry, however, was kept on in his role by interim President David Garland, who served until 2010, and current President Ken Starr. During that time, Baylor has reached new heights in its fundraising efforts, athletics, and greatly expanded academic programs and facilities.
In a release, Baylor said Barry’s “numerous successes include strengthening Baylor’s identity with universally adopted institutional marks and pageantry throughout the campus (and) developing a comprehensive communications strategy that supported the development of Baylor’s Pro Futuris strategic vision,” among several others.
Starr on Monday recognized Barry’s critical role in Baylor’s recent accomplishments.
“We are deeply saddened at the news that John will be leaving Baylor University. . . . For so many of us throughout the University, John was a trusted advisor, a global strategic thinker and a man of immense faith and deep compassion who has left a lasting mark on Baylor,” Starr said in a statement. “And we are profoundly grateful for his dedicated service and vast contributions to the university.”