As of July 1, the Francis Marion University (FMU) Office of Public and Community Affairs welcomed a new executive director, Tucker Mitchell, who was a former editor of Florence Morning News.
Dr. Fred Carter, FMU president explained the position opened up for Mitchell as a result of the previous director accepting another position, which led to a job vacancy and reorganization within the department.
“One of our vice presidents went to work for the Citadel and that opened up a slot that we realigned into an executive director of public affairs position.” Carter said.
With close to 30 years of experience in the news and press industry, Carter believes Mitchell brings a unique perspective to the administration not only as a former media professional but also as an innovative marketing specialist.
“A good editor of a newspaper not only puts out a newspaper everyday but he also has to sell that
newspaper,” Carter said. “So there’s an enormous amount of marketing that comes with that editorial background … I believe he’ll serve us very, very well in that regard.”
Mitchell views his new position as an opportunity to pursue positive growth within FMU, as well as a chance to further excel the university in the surrounding community.
“Throughout my career, one of the things I’ve looked at is finding things to do that are meaningful, that are important, that have an impact … And when I saw what Francis Marion was doing (in the community,) that was attractive to me,” Mitchell said.
Knowing that FMU is a tight-knit campus with close ties to the community, Mitchell intends to explore the relationship and help it grow stronger.
“To me, what really sets Francis Marion apart is that it has sought out opportunities to engage the community in ways that are unusual for a university,” Mitchell said. “One example … Francis Marion is very much focused on providing an education for individuals that live here (South Carolina), and may not come from a tradition where college is a part of their family life, which is pretty neat.”
Mitchell believes that the public affairs office is a service business that can, and will, have positive effects on the university.
“You know, it all works together,” Mitchell commented. “If we can do a good job at providing a consistent, attractive message about the college … the college will do better, we’ll attract more students, and everybody will prosper.”
According to Carter, the addition of Mitchell is not only positive to the university’s overall public affairs program, but provides potential for a fruitful relationship with a variety of educational departments.
“When you’re able to go out there and you’re able to get somebody with the background and capabilities of Tucker Mitchell you recognize it’s a pairing of what I think is a very good work place with a first rate individual,” Carter said. “And that’s exactly what this is all about.”
Under Mitchell’s direction, the Patriots in the office of public and community affair will continue to project FMU’s positive image as a great institution of higher learning.