American Intercontinental University hires new leader
American Intercontinental University announced the appointment of Stephen Tober as the new chief executive officer of the AIU University system and president of AIU Online, according to the company
Tober joined the Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based educational institution as chief operating officer in 2008, and has served as the interim CEO of AIU and president of AIU Online since April 2009.
He brings almost 20 years of experience in operations and management in a variety of industries including education, information technology services, investment banking and management consulting.
Prior to joining American Intercontinental University, Tober held a senior position with ThinkEquity Partners in Chicago, and has also held senior-level management positions with companies like SPR, Leapnet and Smith Barney.
The AIU system serves more than 22,000 students worldwide and includes four U.S. ground campuses, an international campus in London and a fully online university. AIU is a member of the Career Education Corporation network of colleges, universities and schools.
Lacretia Harris, marketing director at American Intercontinental University
’s Atlanta-based campus spoke further with DailyVista about Tober’s new position and the university’s marketing outreach.
She said that Tober will have complete oversight of the company’s entire operations, citing that he will leverage his previous experience as COO. As COO, all marketing was under his jurisdiction, but in this new position he’ll also maintain oversight of academics as well as operations.
Career Education Corporation spokesperson Jeff Lashey told DailyVista that Tober’s marketing instincts and experience are very strong, and he feels that this is a “real strength that he brings to the table.”
“It’s (Career Education’s Senior Director of Communications) Tracey Baldwin’s job to be on top of what they’re doing from a marketing perspective to approach that in a truly integrated way with PR,” he said. “I don’t know if Steve has implemented a specific play-by-play game plan, but he may be able to provide a little more insight in terms of what his thinking is strategically.”
Tober will also have oversight of the company’s brand building initiatives, which Harris said is a constant, ongoing need, project and effort of AIU’s.
“We’re constantly evaluating and researching the best ways to spend our marketing dollars,” she said. “Another thing we’re always evaluating is areas of opportunities as far as different markets for us to go into, or as far as different target markets as concerned, whether it’s women or military, we’re always evaluating.”
Harris said that Chicago-based Edelman Public Relations currently serves as American Intercontinental University’s public relations agency of record. She said that because the school has different campuses, each location works with a different local Edelman office.
“I work with Edelman office here in Atlanta, my counterpart in Houston and my other counterpart in South Florida works with those respective offices,” she said.
Harris also said that each local campus strategically partners with entities like sports teams and local charities. For example, she said that AIU in Atlanta currently partners with the Atlanta chapter of Big Brothers and Big Sisters, as well as the Atlanta Falcons (National Football League) and the Atlanta Spirit, which is the parent company of the Atlanta Hawks (National Basketball Association) and the Atlanta Thrashers (National Hockey League).
The Nielsen Company reported that American Intercontinental University’s Atlanta campus spent about $13.8 million on national advertising in 2008. About $6.2 million was split almost evenly between spot and cable television ads, while $2 million was spent on Internet ads.
Agencies with regionally-focused clients may find opportunities for strategic alliances, depending on where the company is located. With American Intercontinental University’s Atlanta campus as an example, it is safe to say that the company tends to keep its partnerships in close proximity. Keep this in mind when making approaches for partnership opportunities.
Career Education Corporation
2895 Greenspoint Pkwy
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169
Chief Executive Officer
Gaylen Kemp Baxter
American Intercontinental University
3330 Peachtree Road, Northeast
Atlanta, GA 30326