Jim Coll, a communications professional with 20 years of experience in higher education public relations, marketing and crisis management, has been named the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s next chief communication and marketing officer.
Coll was selected through a national search led by Josh Davis, chief of staff and associate to the chancellor. He assumes the role on Nov. 13.
“Jim is a public relations professional who brings a deep understanding of higher education and expertise in elevating a university’s profile,” Chancellor Rodney Bennett said. “His guidance will be invaluable as our leadership team begins our work to expand the reputation and impact of Nebraska’s flagship, land-grant, R1 university.”
Coll takes over for Troy Fedderson, who has served in an interim position since May. Fedderson will return to the University Communication and Marketing team as senior director of strategic communications.
“I am grateful for Troy’s service and dedication to our university,” Bennett said. “He has served us well as interim CCMO. I deeply appreciate his willingness to step up as we navigate this transitional period.”
Coll has served as the chief communications officer at the University of Southern Mississippi since 2010. His experience includes five years as a journalist, working in weekly newspapers operated by Pittman Communications, followed by six years in leadership roles with the University of Southern Mississippi Alumni Association.
In his most current position, Coll leads an Office of University Communications team of 24, directing USM’s marketing and public relations efforts while serving as a key member of the president’s senior leadership group.
In recent years, Coll has led the USM team to new benchmarks for media mentions, social media engagement and advertising effectiveness. Awards earned by the Office of University Communications team during his tenure include the Southern Public Relations Federation’s Best of Show Award; the Public Relations Association of Mississippi’s Judges’ Choice Award; and the College Public Relations Association of Mississippi’s Grand Awards for Electronic and Print Media.
Coll’s individual honors include the senior practitioner award from the Southern Public Relations Federation, an honor bestowed on veteran public relations professionals with high ethical standing.
“I am grateful to be tasked with leading the outstanding University Communication and Marketing team at a pivotal and exciting time for the university,” Coll said. “UNL is a world-class institution thanks to exceptional students, innovative faculty, hard-working staff, and generous alumni and supporters.
“I am eager to use my communications expertise and experience to build on their successes and help amplify and enhance the university’s brand for the benefit of all Nebraska.”
The University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s chief communications and marketing officer is a member of the chancellor’s senior leadership group and guides the University Communication and Marketing team. The role is focused on elevating the university’s goals and national brand by directing internal and external communications, guiding marketing efforts, and overseeing reputational management.
Coll earned a doctorate in mass communications from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2021 and is a past president of the Downtown Hattiesburg Association. He is an avid runner and triathlete who has completed the Boston and New York Marathons, and Ironman Louisville, among other events. He has two daughters, Anna Grace, 14, and Macy, 12.