Communications Director Out at UO

Tobin Klinger is currently working on special projects

Tobin Klinger (via internet archive of UO communications page)

Tobin Klinger, the University of Oregon’s senior director of public affairs communications, is out, Eugene Weekly learned this morning, Nov. 9.

“Tobin Klinger is currently working on special projects,” UO Vice President of University Communications Kyle Henley says in an email. “We’ll eventually move forward with a search for someone to lead media relations, issues management and our news operation.”

He adds: “Tobin has been the face of the UO through thick and thin, and I’m grateful for his poise, professionalism and high ethical standards.”

Klinger has held the job since January 2014, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Molly Blancett, former media relations manager, is stepping in as interim university spokesperson in Klinger’s absence.

Klinger was recently portrayed in an unflattering light in Joshua Hunt’s new book, University of Nike, which claims Nike and its founder, Phil Knight, exercise inappropriate and possibly illegal control over the UO through millions of dollars in donations to the university.

He replied to EW‘s request for comment in an emailed statement that was forwarded by Blancett this afternoon, Nov. 9:

“If my 18 years in higher education have taught me anything, it’s that change is a constant and you need to stay nimble and be able to roll with evolving priorities to be successful. I’ll still be with the university, just in a different capacity for a while,” he wrote.

“I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished in University Communications. We’ve weathered many storms, vastly improved relationships with the media and built a robust and highly credible news hub in Around the O.”