Debra Pozega Osburn joins the U of S as vice-president university relations on October 1, 2016.

Debra Pozega Osburn joins U of S leadership team

Debra Pozega Osburn can’t wait to get started.

On Friday, University of Saskatchewan (U of S) president Peter Stoicheff introduced Pozega Osburn as the new vice-president of university relations, joining the U of S after serving the past six years in a similar position at the University of Alberta (U of A). She will head university initiatives to build effective strategic communications initiatives as well as strong relationships with alumni, donors, community members, and a wide variety of other key stakeholders.

Pozega Osburn will officially assume her new role on Oct. 1 and is excited about joining the leadership team at the U of S.

“I am very excited,” she said following Friday’s announcement. “In fact, when I was on campus some weeks ago and met with the executive team and the advisory committee, I was ready right then to say, ‘OK, let’s get started’ because I could just sense the real excitement and support for this university and the way that people want to come together to ensure that the university is able to accomplish its goals.”

After an exhaustive search nationally and internationally, with input locally from the on-campus advisory committee, Stoicheff said Pozega Osburn became the clear choice.

“We needed to identify a leader who could then take us to that next level and what I am here to announce today is we have done that,” Stoicheff said. “We needed a leader of university relations, as we now call it, who would have deep experience in development and fundraising, in alumni and community relations, and in marketing and communications. We also wanted somebody who saw him or herself as part of a senior leadership team and somebody who needed to be able to build a strong team.”

Pozega Osburn, who earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a PhD in America studies from Michigan State University, brings a wealth of experience in both public and private sectors to the U of S. Prior to heading university relations at the U of A, she served 11 years in a variety of communications roles at Michigan State and spent 13 years working in media as both a reporter and as an editor. Pozega Osburn also helped run a communications consulting firm that focused on a number of education and non-profit initiatives.

She is looking forward to helping build on the success of the U of S, part of the group of the top 15 research-intensive universities in the country.

“This is marvellous,” Pozega Osburn said. “The University of Saskatchewan is an amazing place. I really admire the leadership team here, I admire the University’s strong connections with its communities. We know that it is important for universities like the U of S to stay connected with their communities and this university does that very well. I have gotten to know the executive team and the president quite well over the last little while and I admire them greatly. I am inspired by their vision and I am pleased to be a part of it.”

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