Building and protecting USask's profile and reputation locally, nationally, and worldwide; to be known as the university the world needs.


The Associate Vice-President, Strategic Communications provides campus-wide vision to support and advance institutional reputation. The AVP’s role is to work with units across campus to oversee an integrated, strategic, and contemporary institutional communications strategy.

The AVP is responsible for providing the necessary leadership to ensure both innovation and consistency in the university’s marketing and communications work. The AVP oversees communication professionals located in colleges and departments across campus to ensure the integrity of the USask brand, to enhance the university’s profile and reputation, and promote the University of Saskatchewan.



The AVP, Strategic Communications reports to the Vice-President, University Relations


Heather Persson is the former editor-in-chief of the StarPhoenix and the Regina Leader-Post. She was the first woman to take the helm of the StarPhoenix newsroom since the paper was founded in 1902. As a journalist for 27 years, she spent 11 years working in British Columbia before returning to her home province to take the helm of the Prince Albert Daily Herald. She moved to Saskatoon in 2007. An award-winning reporter and editorial writer, Heather led the StarPhoenix to the most National Newspaper Award nominations and wins in its history. The papers also received Canadian Journalism Foundation and Canadian Digital Publishing honours.

Born in Saskatoon, she was raised on a farm in the Weyburn area. She earned a degree in Communications at Spring Arbor University in Michigan, and completed a Masters in Administration in Leadership at the University of Regina.

She is the first professional from Saskatchewan to serve on the board of the Canadian Journalism Foundation and is a member-at-large on the board of READ Saskatoon. In 2019, she was a nominee for the YWCA Women of Distinction awards in the business and professions category.

Leadership Team