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VP for University Relations Finalists visit campus Sept. 20-28

Students, faculty, staff and community welcome to attend scheduled fora and provide feedback on each candidate

Seth Pederson, Meloney Linder and Derek Hall
(Left to right) Seth Pederson, Meloney Linder and Derek Hall are the three finalists for the UND Vice President for University Relations position.

Three finalists for the position of vice president for University Relations have been invited to visit campus, said Laurie Betting, senior advisor to the president and chair of the search committee.

The vice president for University Relations will lead UND’s marketing and communication functions. He or she will directly oversee marketing and creative services; video production; UND’s web presence and digital media with priority on branding, recruitment and retention; media relations including a focus on generating positive attention for UND in national media; crisis communication; public, government and community relations; internal and external communication including the University’s two primary messaging tools, UND Today and the University Letter; and ceremonies and university events.

This is a critical leadership position, and the campus and greater communities are invited to take part in open forums for each candidate.

A university-wide forum will be held for each candidate. Students, faculty, staff and community members are welcome to attend and provide feedback.

The open forum dates and finalists are:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 20
    Seth Pederson
    , former Marketing Communications Manager for General Mills, Inc., 3:30-4:30 p.m., UND Memorial Union Lecture Bowl.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 26
    Meloney Linder
    , Chief Communications Officer and Associate Dean for Communication, Facilities and Technology, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Wisconsin School of Business, 3:30-4:30 p.m., UND Memorial Union Lecture Bowl
  • Thursday, Sept. 28
    Derek Hall
    , Assistant Vice President for Marketing & Communication, Northern Michigan University, 3:30 p.m., UND Memorial Union Lecture Bowl.

If UND employees or students are unable to attend, live forums can be viewed at https://conted.breeze.und.nodak.edu/vpur/. Users must login with their UND credentials to view the stream. Please note that this stream will not work on iOS devices unless you have the Adobe Connect app installed; the link is at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/adobe-connect/id430437503?mt=8. The stream has a 200 seat capacity.

The search committee is chaired by Laurie Betting, Senior Advisor to the President. Other members are:

  • Andrea Boe, Business Development Director, AE2S
  • Kyle Doperalski, Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs, Athletics
  • Angelique Foster, Executive Assistant to the President, President’s Office
  • Erik Hanson, Vice President, Student Government
  • Sarah Nissen, Executive Director, Marketing & Creative Services
  • Timothy Pasch, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Communication
  • Milo Smith, Senior Director of Publications & Media Relations, Alumni Association & Foundation
  • Jen Stoner, Assistant Professor, Department of Marketing
  • Fred Wittmann, Director, Ceremonies & University Events
  • Peggy Varberg, HR Manager, Human Resources Office (HR advisor)
  • Cheri Williams, Administrative Officer, President’s Office (support staff)

Information for each candidate, which includes a short biography and resume, is below. Each finalist wrote and submitted their biography.

Seth Pederson
Seth Pederson

Seth Pederson
Seth Pederson is a marketing and communications executive who is recognized for using collaboration and partnership to build strong brands and effective teams. With more than 20 years in non-profit, agency, and corporate marketing leadership roles, Seth has built a reputation for achieving business results with a roll-up-his-sleeves style that emphasizes creativity, energy, and fun to foster teamwork and success.

Most recently, Seth has been a marketing leader at General Mills in Minneapolis, championing the company’s expansion in natural and organic brands, leading entertainment partnerships with content and media partners like Disney, Pandora, and NASCAR, and growing some of the country’s most recognized food brands such as Yoplait and Big G Cereals. He was a key player in expanding the success of Box Tops for Education in grocery retailers across the country through innovation in mobile and digital marketing, and he helped General Mills regain lost ground in the yogurt aisle with the launch of new Greek yogurts and record sales growth of Go-Gurt.

Prior to General Mills, Seth was a member of the leadership team at Exponent Public Relations, an integrated marketing agency in Minneapolis. Seth led strategy, public relations, creative, and media teams to serve consumer, business-to-business, and government clients such as Caribou Coffee, Minnesota Office of Tourism, PGA of America, Novartis, and Johnson & Johnson.

Seth started his career with the U.S. Olympic Committee, directing public relations, communications, and publication strategy for U.S. Diving and USA Table Tennis. In those roles, he also served as a spokesperson for U.S. teams, coaches, and athletes during elite national, international, and Olympic competitions, including the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.

Seth holds a B.A. in advertising from the University of North Dakota (’96) and credits the university’s rich student experience and high academic standards for his unique and rewarding career track. While at UND, he served in leadership at Delta Tau Delta fraternity, Studio One at the Television Center, and the University Program Council. Seth also sang tenor in the UND Varsity Bards and UND Goliards. He is originally from Duluth, MN, and currently lives in the Minneapolis area with his wife, Amy. Amy is a native of Aitkin, MN, and graduated from UND (’98) with a degree in communication disorders, and from Indiana University (’00) with a master’s degree in speech-language pathology. Seth and Amy have three children, Cooper (14), Elsa (12), and Maisie (5).

Download Seth Pederson’s resume

Meloney Linder
Meloney Linder

Meloney Linder
Meloney Linder serves as Associate Dean for Communications, Facilities, and Technology for the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Wisconsin School of Business. An accomplished higher education administrator with broad experience in marketing, brand, and operations recognized for making a positive organizational impact. With over 25 years of experience in corporate communications, marketing, and brand management for private and public entities including higher education with a proven history of building strong teams and improving performance.

Prior to joining the Wisconsin School of Business, Linder was the Vice President of Institutional Advancement at The University of Texas at Brownsville with the responsibilities of internal and external marketing and communication as well as philanthropy and held many marketing positions within private sector prior to moving into higher education.

Linder has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Denver and a Master of Arts degree in organizational management from Ashford University.

Download Meloney Linder’s resume


Derek Hall
Derek Hall

Derek Hall
Derek is currently serving as assistant vice president for Marketing & Communications at Northern Michigan University. Prior to NMU, Derek served in numerous executive campus leadership roles in marketing, communications, enrollment, student life and facilities for eight years at Jacksonville University in Florida. He also worked in marketing and communications at Utah Valley University.

If it is related to marketing and communications for a university, Derek has done it during his 29-year career. He has extensive hands-on and managerial experience with media relations, marketing, digital campaigns, social media, crisis communications, public relations, printing, community relations, events, ceremonies, public affairs and publications for higher education.

Derek has a bachelor of arts in communications with an emphasis in public relations and a master’s of arts in mass communication theory from Brigham Young University, and a doctorate of education leadership and policy from the University of Utah.

He has taught college courses every semester since 1990 in the areas of public relations, business, marketing, public speaking, management communications and racquetball.

The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR) and the Admissions Marketing Report have each recognized his teams for exceptional marketing for higher education.

Derek currently serves on the Communications and Public Affairs National Advisory Council for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. Derek is married to Holly and they are the parents of four.

Download Derek Hall’s resume