Alan Cubbage, who’s led Northwestern University’s communications operations for 21 years, announced today he’ll retire this summer as vice president for university relations.

Cubbage guided the transition of Northwestern’s communications from traditional print media to digital communications, creating the first web communications office, overseeing creation of early versions of the university’s main website and developing the first electronic newsletters for alumni and for students, faculty and staff.

Cubbage will continue to teach as an adjunct lecturer in the Medill School of Journalism’s undergraduate Integrated Marketing Communications program. He also is a speaker at conferences on topics ranging from crisis communications to effective use of online communications.

Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro said, “Throughout my presidency, Al has been a trusted colleague, partner and friend. I rely deeply on his wisdom, judgment and commitment to the university. It is hard to imagine working without Al beside me. I am grateful for his contributions and will miss Al a great deal.”

The office of Global Marketing and Communications and the Department of University Relations were merged last year. The new vice president will oversee all of Northwestern’s marketing and communications efforts, including branding, web communications, media relations, publications, strategic communications, internal communications and Northwestern magazine.

Mary Baglivo, former vice president for global marketing and chief marketing officer, who led the university’s global marketing functions, left NU earlier this academic year.

Robert McQuinn, vice president for alumni relations and development, will chair the search committee seeking candidates for a new vice president for global marketing and communications.

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