John Diamond, Man Behind Jeff Long Speech, Leaving UA

The University of Arkansas announced Friday that John Diamond, the man behind Jeff Long's acclaimed Bobby Petrino announcement, will be leaving the UA at the end of September 2013.

The UA did not give a reason for Diamond's move, but Diamond told the Arkansas Times that Chris Wyrick, vice chancellor for university advancement, informed him via text message Friday morning he would no longer be working at UA.

"I believe it's the result of strong philosophical and material differences over what it means to be a transparent and publicly accountable university," Diamond told the Times.

Diamond is the associate vice chancellor for university relations in the Division of University Advancement. He and his University Relations team were responsible for crafting the speech made by the UA athletic director in April 2012 announcing the firing of Petrino, the former Razorback head football coach.

That speech was a major factor in the UA's winning a "Best Crisis Management Award" from PR Daily earlier this year.

A national search for the associate vice chancellor position will begin immediately, Wyrick said in a statement. Diamond was named one of three finalists over the summer for the position of vice president for strategic communication at the University of Iowa. He was not chosen for the job.

Roy Cordell, senior director of creative services and longtime university relations staff member, will serve as interim associate vice chancellor, the university said.

"I am deeply grateful to Roy for stepping in at this critical moment and providing leadership and expertise as we move toward the public phase of Campaign Arkansas," Wyrick said in a news release. "Roy is highly regarded across campus and by the university relations staff in particular.

"I wish Mr. Diamond the best in future endeavors and thank him for his service to the UA."