A Search Advisory Committee is looking for the new Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs following the departure of former AVC Paul Desruisseaux last spring.

Executive Dean of the College of Letters and Science David Marshall, chair of the committee, said the AVC performs a number of duties dealing with publicity for the university and effective communication between various departments on campus.

“The AVC oversees the Office of Public Affairs and coordinates an integrated platform of online and print publications, social media, and campus websites [and also] serves as university spokesperson [working] closely with a variety of offices on campus,” Marshall said in an e-mail. “He or she advises the Chancellor on a variety of issues [and] is responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive strategic communication and marketing plan for UCSB, taking into account the various strengths and identities of the University’s colleges, schools, and divisions within the context of a coherent and common message.”

In a press release, Chancellor Henry T. Yang said Desruisseaux worked for 20 years with the The Chronicle of Higher Education before joining UCSB, allowing him to bring vital journalistic and professional skills to the office.

“Paul worked closely and collaboratively with our administration, faculty, staff, students, alumni, supporters, community members, and friends in order to tell the UC Santa Barbara story in an exciting and effective way,” Yang said in the release. “He represented our campus to the public, helping us to be open and responsive to the media and others … His editorial expertise, combined with his deep understanding of our university, was evident in the many campus publications, press releases, websites, and other materials produced by him and his office.”

George Thurlow — AVC for Alumni Affairs and committee member — said the group will decide on duties for the new AVC in about a month, as there may be expansion of such responsibilities.

“At this time, the search is at its very beginning stages [and] the duties and expectations of the new AVC are just now being discussed,” Thurlow said in an e-mail. “I think the role will be expanded. It will work closely with Development, Alumni Affairs, and Government Relations, as well as with the Chancellor’s office and the faculty.”

Marshall said the search for the new chancellor is extensive due to the need for a well-rounded candidate. According to Marshall, the committee plans to choose the new AVC by the end of the academic year.

“The campus has retained a prominent, national executive recruitment firm specializing in universities and nonprofit organizations, to assist us with this search [and], like all of our searches at this level, this is a national and even international search,” Marshall said in an e-mail. “We hope to attract someone with excellent credentials and experience. This is a moment when the University of California as a whole needs to make its case to the public about the need for our educational and research missions and the importance of having a great public research university that is accessible to our citizens.”