University of Richmond has appointed John M. Barry as the university’s first vice president for Communications, effective Jan. 18, 2016.

Barry currently serves as vice president for Marketing and Communications at Baylor University, where he was first appointed vice president in 2006. He brings to Richmond more than 30 years of experience in higher education strategic communications, marketing, public relations, crisis communications management, internal communications and alumni, donor and prospective student communications.

“I very much look forward to the contributions that John will make at Richmond,” said University of Richmond President Ronald A. Crutcher. “He is a seasoned and accomplished leader in higher education communications and will help us ensure that the University’s distinctive strengths and the quality of a Richmond education are even better known across the country and around the world.”

At Baylor Barry was the architect of a comprehensive communications strategy that supported the development of Baylor’s ten-year strategic plan. He also partnered with Enrollment Management to inform and enhance the student recruitment process, and he worked with Development and other colleagues to develop fundraising and communications strategy for a successful on-campus stadium project that secured private and municipal support. For the past year, he also served as Baylor’s interim vice president for University Development.

Barry has expanded awareness of Baylor in national and international markets. The university’s integrated social media strategy led to significant increases in engagement across multiple channels. The website was fully redesigned, and the Baylor Proud blog that he introduced boasts a following of more than 150,000 alumni and friends, and provides a daily vehicle for highlighting university achievements and for engaging alumni in branding, giving and student recruitment.

He also has overseen a variety of market research efforts at Baylor, including a comprehensive branding study that helped strengthen and unify existing Baylor logos and introduced a new graphic identity for the academic enterprise that has been adopted by the entire university community.

Prior to his work at Baylor, Barry was director of University Communications at the University of Connecticut, from which he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

“In today’s challenging, complex and competitive higher education marketplace, many institutions are struggling to differentiate and distinguish themselves. The University of Richmond is an institution that bucks this trend by knowing who it is and what it stands for,” Barry said. “The university has a powerful history, a compelling message, and a vibrant future. I look forward to promoting the Richmond story and propelling the University of Richmond brand.”