Paul Jones, vice president for university relations and general counsel, has announced he will leave Marquette University to lead corporate development and strategy at A. O. Smith Corporation, President Michael R. Lovell announced today. Jones’ last day at Marquette will be Friday, Nov. 17.
Jones has served in his role for nearly three years, leading many of Marquette’s externally facing functions, including marketing, communication, public affairs, and corporate and community engagement. He integrated and rebranded these critical functions as the Office of University Relations (OUR) to serve the Marquette community as strategic partners, connectors and storytellers, with the ultimate purpose of elevating the Marquette brand to transform lives.
As general counsel, Jones was responsible for the management and operation of the Office of the General Counsel, which provides legal representation, advice and services on all legal matters affecting the university and its employees.
Under Jones’ leadership, the OUR team transitioned to a digital storytelling emphasis, which has been nationally recognized, and secured major federal and state funding for the university, including for the School of Dentistry. Jones helped to launch Blue & Gold Ventures, a separate nonprofit organization that now manages Marquette’s student-run business initiatives. He also helped strengthen university relationships with key corporate and community partners, including Kohler, Omron, the Milwaukee Bucks, Near West Side Partners and Northwestern Mutual.
“Paul has been a trusted general counsel and dynamic university leader; he has provided extraordinary value to the university by elevating the Marquette brand through external storytelling and relationship building,” President Lovell said. “I wish him all the best in his new role, where I’m certain he will thrive.”
President Lovell announced today that Lynn Griffith, assistant vice president of university communication, will be promoted to chief marketing and communication officer with responsibility for the university’s marketing and communication functions within the Office of University Relations. Her new role will be effective Nov. 13.
Under Griffith’s leadership, the university communication team has elevated Marquette Today as the university’s primary storytelling hub with a daily distribution schedule and double the industry average open rates; maintained 90% positive/neutral media coverage of the university; and was recognized by RivalIQ for top-15 social media engagement in higher education.
President Lovell has appointed Ralph Weber, a longtime Milwaukee trial lawyer and owner of Weber Advising, as acting general counsel, effective Nov. 13. Weber has previously served as outside counsel for the university and will lead the Office of General Counsel, as well as the corporate engagement, public affairs and Innovation Alley functions within the Office of University Relations.
Griffith and Weber will report to President Lovell and will serve on the President’s Cabinet and the University Leadership Council.
“Lynn has demonstrated remarkable leadership in her role, and she has become a trusted counselor to me and other senior leaders at Marquette — I have great confidence in her ability to lead the marketing and communication functions in OUR, and I look forward to working more closely with her,” President Lovell said. “I am equally pleased to have Ralph step into his new role, as he is one of the city’s most highly respected lawyers, and he has provided loyal and dedicated service to Marquette, always with the university’s best interests at heart.”