UM Hires New Strategic Communications and Marketing Spokesperson

Jim Zook assumes the role of associate vice chancellor for strategic communications and marketing. Photo courtesy of Ole Miss.

The University of Mississippi has named Jim Zook, former head of communications for Deloitte and Touche in Atlanta, to the associate vice chancellor for strategic communications and marketing position.

Zook has held several managerial positions during his career in corporate communications, consulting and media. He will serve as the university’s head spokesperson and work to develop a strategic communications plan to address marketing and public affairs, according to a press release.

“We are very pleased to bring Jim Zook to Ole Miss as a recognized national leader in the communications, marketing and branding fields,” Ole Miss Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter told “Jim brings 25 years of experience in a variety of important areas, such as crisis communications, brand management and content development. He will help us get the positive word out consistently around the state and nation regarding the activities and accomplishments of our great flagship university.”

Zook holds a bachelors degree in journalism and political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a master of arts in American Studies from the University of Sussex and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin.

He has recently held corporate positions in the communications sector, but Zook cut his teeth working as an assistant editor for The Chronicle of Higher Education and a speechwriter and communications adviser for the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Education.

“Higher education has been in my blood throughout my life,” Zook told “It’s been an area that I’ve always followed and had a passion for.”

One of the first things he wants to address at Ole Miss is leveraging the university’s stance of operating from strength.

“My personality is to come and listen to leaders across the campus and members of the communications and marketing teams to learn what they’ve done to date,” he said. “I think there are great stories to tell to project those strengths to all of the audiences who are interested in what’s happening at Ole Miss.”

Zook and his wife Frances—who is originally from Greenwood, Mississippi—are members of the Ole Miss Family Leadership Council. They have two sons, one of which is a junior at Ole Miss. Zook said they enjoy Saturdays in the Grove and attending football games as a family.

He assumes the associate vice chancellor role August 1. staff report


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