Driving consistent visual identity plays a significant role in achieving brand coherence across an institution. Marketers know that your school’s logo is just one element – the visual representation – of the brand. Challenges abound to realize this coherence in higher education where missions are multi-pronged and organizational structures are decentralized. In this episode, staff from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Michigan will share their identity system successes and the strategies behind them, including important linkages between academics and athletics.


Episode Host

Rob Zinkan

Rob Zinkan

Rob Zinkan is in his 14th year with Indiana University, currently in a system-wide role as associate vice president for marketing, serving as marketing liaison to the flagship campus leadership and marketing community; working to develop, champion, and deploy the university’s brand strategy; and leading IU’s internal marketing agency. Previously, he worked at the campus level as vice chancellor for external affairs at Indiana University East and assistant dean for advancement at Indiana University–Purdue University Columbus (IUPUC). Rob earned his bachelor's degree from Wabash College, master's from Xavier University, and doctorate from Creighton University. He authors the University Advancement blog and is past chair of CASE Indiana.


Glenn Bieler

Glenn Bieler is vice president for communications at Johns Hopkins University.  In 2011 Glenn assumed this new position created in recognition of the importance of communications and marketing in strengthening the university’s relationships with alumni, prospective students, parents, the local community, and other external and internal audiences.  Under his direction, Johns Hopkins developed a new identity system for athletics, which earned a CASE Circle of Excellence gold award in 2015.

Before joining Johns Hopkins, Glenn was associate vice president for university marketing and communications at Case Western Reserve University.  A former practicing attorney, he began a transition into marketing and communications as international business development manager at Jones Day, one of the world’s largest law firms.


Steve Busch

Steve Busch became the University of Michigan’s first brand manager in 2012. In this role, Steve has refreshed and bolstered the “block M,” transitioning the iconic “M” from a mark of school spirit and sports affinity into a logo that reinforces the groundbreaking achievements of one of the world’s great public universities.

Prior to his current role, Steve spent five years as creative director for Michigan’s top-ranked Ross School of Business. It was here that Steve learned first-hand the unique demands and constraints of managing a higher ed brand in the 21st century.

Steve boasts a 20-year career as a creative director, working with significant international brands, including Audi, Ford, Microsoft, Reebok, Sony, and many others from the agency and corporate sides of the table.