UW-Madison: Sweeney announces retirement after six years leading university relations

Contact: Vince Sweeney, (608) 265-2822, [email protected]

Vince Sweeney, who has served as the founding vice chancellor for university relations at UW-Madison since 2009, has announced his plans to retire from UW-Madison to pursue other professional opportunities, including the formation of a new consulting business.

“Under Vince’s leadership, University Relations has transformed the way in which we communicate and engage with our many constituencies,” says Chancellor Rebecca Blank. “He has been a key member of the senior leadership team and has contributed to the university in many ways over the years. We will miss him greatly.”

“I’ve been fortunate to have worked at UW-Madison for nearly 25 years,” Sweeney says. “I’m especially grateful for the opportunity to work side by side with so many loyal and dedicated staff. But the time is right for me to take the next step in my professional career and I’m truly excited about the journey ahead.”

Sweeney, 64, says that his new consulting firm, Sweeney & Associates LLC, will provide strategic communications counsel and other public relations services to executives and others in leadership positions.

Blank also announced that Charles Hoslet, associate vice chancellor for government and corporate affairs, will serve as interim vice chancellor for university relations following Sweeney’s retirement in August.

A Green Bay native, Hoslet received his law degree from UW-Madison in 1989. He has worked in various roles at the university since 1997, including as director of state government relations and managing director of the Office of Corporate Relations.

Sweeney was named to the new vice chancellor position in June 2009 by then-Chancellor Biddy Martin after a national search.

As vice chancellor for university relations, he was tasked with coordinating the university’s messaging and relationship-building strategies across all audiences, from the campus community to legislators, parents, alumni, donors and friends across the world. He also helped coordinate communications functions among the schools, colleges and major units across campus.

Sweeney is a 1978 graduate of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at UW-Madison. He was an award-winning journalist at a variety of newspapers, including the Milwaukee Journal, the Milwaukee Sentinel, the Capital Times and the Los Angeles Times.

Sweeney joined the university in 1990, when he was named the school’s first director of trademark licensing. He joined the UW Athletic Department in 1991, where he served in key administrative roles for nearly 18 years.

Under his leadership there, the UW Athletic Department developed a variety of innovative communications, marketing, branding and fundraising programs that helped Wisconsin Athletics assume its position among the leaders in college athletics.