Irvine, Calif., May 26, 2022 — Sherry L.K. Main, an accomplished higher education communications leader with a proven commitment to diversity and inclusion, has been named vice chancellor for strategic communications & public affairs at the University of California, Irvine, following a nationwide search. She will assume the post on June 1.
In her role, Main will oversee all university communications functions, including marketing, advertising, executive and digital communication, media relations, and community and government relations. She will provide strategic counsel to campus leadership and lead cross-campus collaboration among academic units in support of elevating executive thought leadership, strengthening internal communications and issues management, and enhancing UCI’s reputation in the community.
“The high level of campus support and enthusiasm for Sherry’s leadership is a testament to her outstanding work over the past three years,” said Chancellor Howard Gillman. “She has the experience, energy and vision to elevate campus strategic communications and public engagement to a new level, and I am looking forward to all the contributions she will make to our wonderful community.”
Main has enjoyed a long and storied career in the University of California system, starting in 2001, when she started as a senior writer in UCI’s Office of Admissions & Relations with Schools. She later served as communication director for the Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences and as UCI’s director of creative & digital strategies and brand strategies. In that position, she built creative, digital and multimedia teams in support of newly initiated marketing and engagement priorities, and she coordinated creative and experiential elements for the 2014 Commencement featuring President Obama.
In 2015, Main moved on to UC Santa Cruz to become its assistant vice chancellor of communications and marketing. As the campus’ chief communications and marketing officer, she advised leadership on priority matters including elevating UCSC’s reputation, student recruitment, campaign outreach & alumni engagement, community relations and government affairs.
She returned to UCI in 2019 to serve as associate vice chancellor for public affairs, where she led operations for the Office of Strategic Communications & Public Affairs and initiated and oversaw the expansion of an external relations effort for UCI Health Affairs through its current growth phase.
“UCI is a transformative institution rich in stories about invigorating the American dream, supporting the wellness of the community and advancing innovations in greater service to society,” said Main. “I am honored to serve UCI to further grow its affinity, advance meaningful connections and champion the collaboration and successes of students, faculty and staff. I look forward to working alongside the talented communications and public affairs professionals across the enterprise to thread the narratives that form the fabric of UCI’s brilliant future.”
Main received a bachelor’s degree from UC Davis and an MBA from UCI. Among her many service affiliations, Main is a former staff advisor to the UC Board of Regents, and she received the 2018 Women of Influence Award from the Silicon Valley Business Journal.
Since Feb. 1, Main has served as interim vice chancellor of strategic communications & public affairs, replacing Ria Carlson, who retired earlier this year.
About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and is ranked among the nation’s Top 10 public universities by U.S. News & World Report. The campus has produced five Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 224 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $7 billion annually to the local economy and $8 billion statewide. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.
Media access: Radio programs/stations may, for a fee, use an on-campus ISDN line to interview UCI faculty and experts, subject to availability and university approval. For more UCI news, visit news.uci.edu. Additional resources for journalists may be found at communications.uci.edu/for-journalists.