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University VP plans to step down

Karen Langley | Thursday, January 17, 2008

Hilary Crnkovich will leave her job as vice president for public affairs and communication at the University on Aug. 1, she announced Wednesday.

Crnkovich said she is going to return to Chicago to be closer to her family. She has occupied her current position since March 2005.

As vice president for public affairs and communication, Crnkovich has presided over events and initiatives including the inauguration of University President Father John Jenkins, the production of three Notre Dame forums, the redesign of the University Web site, the production of the University institutional spots during football game broadcasts and last October’s tribute to University President Emeritus Father Theodore Hesburgh in Washington, D.C.

Crnkovich cited as one of her most meaningful undertakings at Notre Dame the Washington tribute, which honored both Hesburgh’s 90th birthday and the acceptance of a photograph of him with Martin Luther King, Jr. into the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute.

“That was one of my proudest moments,” she said Wednesday. “To do something meaningful for Father Ted and to leave a permanent mark in the Smithsonian for the institution.”

Crnkovich said University communications efforts during her tenure have featured improved portrayal of Notre Dame’s mission and richness within its advertising and recently revamped Web site.

“We have advanced the efforts to paint and present a more robust experience of the institution for all audiences,” Crnkovich said.

Jenkins said in a statement Wednesday he will initiate a national search for her successor soon.

In the search process, Jenkins will seek someone who will build on Crnkovich’s work rather than seeking to “revolutionize” the departments, University spokesman Don Wycliff said Wednesday.

Crnkovich has been responsible for overseeing the Office of News and Information, the Office of Community Relations, the Robinson Community Learning Center, Notre Dame Magazine and the marketing communications units of Notre Dame Web Group, Notre Dame Media Group and ND Works.

Crnkovich has not decided upon her next professional engagement.

“I am going to take some time and think about where and in what type of organization I can add meaningful value,” she said.

Though Crnkovich will leave her office at Notre Dame before the start of the fall semester, she said the relationship she’s formed with the University will not be over.

“I plan to not leave for good,” she said. “My husband is an alum, and I hope we are and plan to be part of the Notre Dame family forever.”