Former Senior Vice President for Communications Ellen de Graffenreid’s last day at the University was Aug. 15, according to a July 24 email to Brandeis faculty from University President Frederick Lawrence. Her departure takes place about one-and-a-half years after her hire went into effect on Feb. 1, 2013. De Graffenreid has accepted the position of vice chancellor of marketing and communications at the University of Missouri. 

“Ellen has served us very well during her time at Brandeis and I am grateful for all she has accomplished,” Lawrence wrote. “This new move represents a homecoming for her—U. of Missouri is her parents’ alma mater and will enable her to be close to extended family.”

According to the email, Lawrence will discuss the details of the search for her replacement during the Board of Trustees call next Wednesday. Executive Director for Integrated Media Bill Schaller, who worked under de Graffenreid, will lead the Office of Communications under the direction of Senior Vice President for Students and Enrollment Andrew Flagel in the interim.  

Lawrence wrote that Flagel “has been deeply involved with our ongoing brand positioning and graphic identity project and will provide leadership continuity for this effort moving forward.” When asked about Flagel’s past involvement in the Office of Communications, de Graffenreid added in an email to the Justice that she and Flagel “work closely on a regular basis.” The University will also contract with a local public relations firm until someone is hired to take de Graffenreid’s place.

De Graffenreid also was a part of the Honorary Degree Committee. Senior Vice President, Chief of Staff and Chief Legal Officer David Bunis ’83 will take her place on the committee.

Although de Graffenreid did not provide any additional comments to the Justice on her departure, she did write that her understanding is that her replacement will maintain the same responsibilities that she had. However, when asked if the University plans to maintain the organizational structure that de Graffenreid implemented within the Office of Communications, she wrote that the organizational structure is up to the new hire. 

According to a July 24 article in the Columbia Daily Tribune, de Graffenreid will start at the University of Missouri on Sept. 2. The article reported that University of Missouri spokesman Christian Basi said de Graffenreid’s salary there will be $220,000.

Lawrence first announced that de Graffenreid would take on the position of senior vice president for Communications in December 2012, about six months after Andrew Gully vacated the position to become senior vice president and worldwide director of communications for Sotheby’s, according to a Jan. 14, 2013 Justice article.