Message from the chancellor on Joel Curran

Joel Curran, vice chancellor of communications, will leave UNC-Chapel Hill to join the University of Notre Dame as its vice president of public affairs and communications.

Joel Curran
Vice Chancellor of Communications Joel Curran. (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Dear Carolina Community,

I am writing to share that Vice Chancellor of Communications Joel Curran ’86 will be leaving to join the University of Notre Dame as its vice president of public affairs and communications. His last day with us will be October 8.

Joel returned to Carolina in December 2013 to serve as the University’s first vice chancellor of communications. He was charged with building a team to tell Carolina’s stories in more creative and engaging ways, while managing increasingly complex issues in higher education and at Carolina.

Today, University Communications is vastly different from what he inherited eight years ago. We now have a high-performing team led by an outstanding group of senior leaders who manage a broad portfolio of communications and related functions. I know that Joel is most proud of the work of his team. Under his watch, UComm enhanced its overall content offerings across all platforms and helped Carolina tell more stories in ways that resonated and drove greater engagement with our broad array of constituents. UComm launched numerous websites (including a new unc.edu website) offering more robust content, expanded the University’s social media presence, bolstered its media relations capabilities, opened a new UNC Visitors Center on Franklin Street, streamlined our public records process and created The Well, a popular new website and daily email with important employee-related updates and stories.

Joel has also been present on the University’s behalf in the community, helping to nurture our local town/gown relationships with elected officials and our business leaders, while serving as the senior University administrator on the WUNC North Carolina Public Radio board of directors.

Finally, he has also served as a trusted adviser to me and my predecessor, Chancellor Carol Folt, and our senior leadership teams through some of the University’s most challenging moments and historic celebrations. Leading university communications is a 24/7 job, and I’ve worked with Joel for nearly every one of those hours. Please join me in wishing him the best in his new role at Notre Dame.

We will launch a search for Joel’s successor in the coming weeks. In the meantime, I’ve asked Associate Vice Chancellors Tanya Moore and Beth Keith to share interim leadership responsibilities. Tanya and Beth already work closely with me and my senior leadership team and I have full confidence in their ability to lead UComm together until we have a new vice chancellor of communications on board.


Kevin Guskiewicz