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Crystal Bridges spokesman to replace UA's Diamond

Posted: December 19, 2013 at 12:01 p.m.

The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville announced Thursday that it has named Laura Jacobs as its new associate vice chancellor of university relations, replacing John Diamond, who was fired in late August.

Jacobs, the communications director for the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, will fill the role of university spokesman starting in 2014, according to the UA Twitter account.

Jacobs has worked as the museum's communications director since November 2011 and has previously worked in the University of Arkansas's office as a senior director of strategic communications, according to the museum's website. Jacobs has a bachelor's degree in English and communications and a master's degree in higher education from the university.

Diamond was fired Aug. 23 over differences with other university officials about how transparent the institution should be about information it provides to the public, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

His last day at the university was Sept. 22.

Diamond said to legislators in a Sept. 13 Legislative Joint Auditing Committee meeting that university Chancellor G. David Gearhart had told fundraising staff members in a Jan. 14 to "get rid of" budget documents.

Gearhart has denied those claims, saying, "I have never said to anybody that they should destroy those documents."

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