Senior Administrators

Vice President for External Affairs

Lawrence J. Burns, Vice President External AffairsLawrence J. Burns

Lawrence J. Burns serves as The University of Toledo’s vice president for external affairs. Burns provides strategic leadership for all University marketing and communication initiatives and also oversees all of UT’s equity, diversity and community engagement activities through the Division of External Affairs.

Burns’ responsibilities include the Office of Equity, Diversity & Community Engagement, Center for Creative Instruction, Office of University Communications and Office of University Marketing. He also serves as a liaison between the University and community organizations, business leaders and agency leaders, while creating connections and partnerships between external clients and University resources.

Through overseeing the Office of University Communications and the Office of University Marketing, Burns is responsible for media relations, employee communications, alumni communication vehicles, advertising and other marketing initiatives as it pertains to University branding including The University of Toledo Medical Center and the Department of Athletics.

Under the direction of Burns, the Office of Equity, Diversity and Community Engagement develops strategic plans, policies, programs and operating procedures as UT continues to pursue its ongoing goal of being a welcome and diverse university. The Office of Equity, Diversity and Community Engagement also includes the Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women — a center that advocates for equity in education, career planning and health for the women within the University and for women throughout northwest Ohio.

Burns also leads the University’s Center for Creative Instruction (CCI). CCI creates innovative award-winning media and applications in a variety of formats and enhances education and communication through the use of state-of-the-art technology. CCI also creates all web elements of the University and Internet tools used to communicate with the University’s wide audience. CCI also partners with for-profit organizations such as McGraw-Hill in economic development and technology based innovations.

In relation to Burns’ responsibilities through the Division of External Affairs, he also hosts a monthly radio show on WJR 760 called the Relevant University. The show covers on-going initiatives of major universities and related organizations throughout the country and worldwide.

Burns also serves as a part-time faculty member for the Department of Communication in the College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences.

Along with his many UT and professional affiliations, Burns is an ambassador for the University within the Toledo community. He has served on several boards and committees for organizations that include the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northwest Ohio, the Toledo Zoological Society Foundation, the American Cancer Society, Life Connection of Ohio, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Toledo and more.

A native of Detroit, Burns is a 1978 graduate of Central Michigan University with a bachelor of science degree in interpersonal and public communication.

Katie DeBenedictis
Administrative Assistant
Fax 419.530.1331


Dialogue with Lawrence Burns

Reporting Departments
Office of Equity, Diversity and Community Engagement

Catharine  S. Eberly Center for Women

Center for Creative Instruction

Office of University Communications

Office of University Marketing

Last Updated: 6/26/15