January 5, 2022
Ashley Martin named interim vice president for communications and marketing
Ashley Martin will serve as Kansas State University's interim vice president for communications and marketing. Martin's appointment was made by President Richard Myers and will take effect on Jan. 17.
Currently the assistant vice president for communications and marketing, Martin will take over leadership for Jeff Morris, who is retiring on March 19. A national search will be conducted later for the permanent vice president, with more details on that search to be announced in the future.
Martin, who earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from K-State, has served with the Division of Communications and Marketing since November 2012, starting as a client manager, becoming director of marketing in April 2014, appointed as executive director of university marketing and creative services in December 2017 and promoted to assistant vice president of the division in May 2019.
"Ashley's significant experience in helping create and carry out branding, marketing and communication strategies for key university initiatives, including the development and now implementation of our universitywide branding campaign, a key part of our Strategic Enrollment Management plan, will be particularly valuable when incoming K-State President Richard Linton begins his duties on Feb. 14," Myers said. "Her expertise will be relied upon to ensure that K-State's branding and creative strategies remain strong and active during this transitionary period."
In her current role, Martin developed and led K-State's institutionwide brand campaign launch in August 2020 in partnership with Vice President Morris, marketing leaders across the university and an external agency partner. She also has managed ongoing campaign adoption and execution across K-State, including the migration of websites to new templates supporting the branding campaign. This work includes developing, launching and managing the university's first comprehensive undergraduate student recruitment advertising strategy. Martin directly supervises the division's marketing, creative and photography units and also supports the news and communications unit during high-volume periods, including with its COVID-19 communication efforts. She also assists Morris with executive-level strategic projects and day-to-day management of the Division of Communications and Marketing.
"I am honored to serve the university in this expanded capacity as the interim vice president for communications and marketing," Martin said. The transformational power of higher education — and more specifically, the K-State experience — is a story that we all need to share with urgency, consistency and passion. I look forward to collaborating with the university community during this transition to ensure we continue to elevate the K-State brand in the marketplace."
As interim vice president, Martin will report directly to the university president, serve on the president's cabinet and be the senior communications advisor to university leadership. She will lead collaborative efforts to create and manage a unified, institutional brand strategy for the university and university-level presence in all media. The interim vice president will define creative strategy at the university level and drive alignment with campuses, colleges, departments and other major units.
Martin also will lead the internal strategic communications team to provide reputation management, crisis communications and proactive public relations efforts. This includes primary responsibility for internal communications at the institutional level. The interim vice president will also maintain strategic relationships with external communications partners, including K-State Athletics, K-State Alumni Association, KSU Foundation, Kansas Board of Regents and other key constituents.
Graduating summa cum laude from K-State in May 2007 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and communications, Martin served as a K-State admissions representative from 2007-2008. She then held various higher education marketing positions in Colorado before returning to K-State in 2012, including serving universities across the country while working with Educational Marketing Group Inc. and leading online marketing and communications efforts at Regis University.
Martin earned a master's in mass communications from K-State in 2014.