Colleges and universities are navigating unprecedented change in the opinions, expectations and dialog with the public. For generations the public has trusted that institutions worked society’s best interest. Many in higher ed still stand on that trust, but there is a growing gap of expectations between academics and the public in the role of higher education in America. That gap is impacting university reputations in surprising ways. A newly-released study explores the current drivers of university reputation in the public, and provides possible pathways for university leaders in a this new era of public engagement.

An expert on higher education communications, Julia Weede, executive vice president, education section leader for Edelman, will explain the real drivers of reputation in higher education — the public — and how you can navigate the new roadmap in higher education communications and reputation management.


This episode is sponsored by PRSA's Counselors to Higher Education

Episode Host

Kent Cassella

Associate VP for Communications and Senior PR Strategist, Michigan State University

Kent, a retired U.S. Army officer, has held a variety of leadership positions in government affairs and has directed media strategy around the world. Prior to joining the MSU team, he served as director of public relations at the United States Military Academy at West Point. A graduate of West Virginia University’s communications school, he also holds a master’s degree in journalism from Marshall University and an MBA from Touro University International. Kent is responsible for leading the development of university-wide media communications strategies, implementing media communications initiatives, measuring the impact of those initiatives, and collaborating to ensure strategic alignment with all communications activities.



Julia Weede

Julia Weede leads Edelman’s Education sector providing strategic counsel and support to educators, schools and organizations. With more than 20 years expertise in education and non-profit communications strategy, Julia helps education clients communicate their mission, initiatives and campaigns to stakeholders. She’s an expert in national media relations, platform development and thought leadership.

At Edelman, Julia has worked with tier-one and Ivy League universities, research institutes, regional colleges, K-12 schools, non-profit/policy organizations and corporations, assisting them to find their voice and participate in the national dialog on education.

Julia began her career in enrollment for St. Olaf and Wisconsin Lutheran colleges, and later worked in marketing for Concordia NY, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, NY Botanical Garden and Biltmore Estate. She is a member of PRSA, PRSA’s Council on Higher Education and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

Julia holds a BA in English from St. Olaf College.