CONWAY -- A University of Central Arkansas associate vice president's appearances in television and online commercials for private businesses has led to the filing of two complaints with the university's faculty senate.
Christina Munoz Madsen appeared in a recently televised commercial for La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries of Little Rock.
"Home is where the heart is," she says in the commercial. "That's why I choose La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries in Little Rock for my home decor." She goes by Christina Munoz in the advertisement.
Madsen said she pursues these "other opportunities" on her own time. She said she's always used "Munoz" for "on-air talent," as she did when she was an anchor at Little Rock's KATV-TV before she took the UCA job in 2014.
She also has appeared in at least one commercial for H3 Home + Decor.
In a Feb. 26 Facebook entry, the Conway furniture store posted her picture and wrote, "Meet the new face of H3 Home + Decor, Christina Munoz Madsen. ... You might have spotted her in our latest commercial. We are so excited to welcome her to the H3 family!"
Responding to a request Tuesday under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, faculty senate President Taine Duncan said an anonymous complaint was submitted online Feb. 22. The complaint said, "I've lost track of the number of colleagues who have inquired whether or not the [associate vice president of marketing and public relations] is still employed with UCA due to the recent [La-Z-Boy] TV commercial where she appears to be their new spokesperson."
The complaint added, "As the self-proclaimed face of UCA, did she have approval to work with an in-state vendor in this manner? Did commercial filming take place during UCA time?"
Duncan said the faculty senate will pose the question about permission to UCA President Houston Davis and the chief of staff during a meeting next week.
Also in February, another complaint was made to the faculty senate. That one said, "I would like to express an anonymous concern about [Madsen] being featured in television commercials for [La-Z-Boy]. Ms. Madsen is paid a considerable salary to serve as associate [vice president].
"This is a significant job that should require a full-time effort to ensure that our marketing and creative services activities are as strong as they can be," the complaint added. "If she is making commercials for an outside entity, does that diminish her impact as the spokesperson for UCA? Also, if the commercials are being shot during the regular work day, is she taking vacation to work on this outside job?"
Madsen makes $130,707 annually, Davis said in an email. He said he has no concerns about Madsen's business activities.
"According to our staff handbook ... UCA employees can work for a private-sector business," Davis said. "The employment must not conflict with university employment, cannot be on university premises, and cannot use university equipment. The employee must always take annual leave or work for the private entity outside required working hours. Ms. Madsen has done all of these things."
Davis said Madsen had consulted with him and her supervisor, Chief of Staff Kelley Erstine, about the matter. Madsen told Davis she has been doing commercial work for about 18 years, Davis said.
Madsen was hired when Tom Courtway was president, before Davis joined UCA.
"While my job at UCA is my full-time job, I have several other opportunities that I do on my own time and have done so for many years," Madsen said in an email. "As an entrepreneur, I find it enjoyable and important to diversify yourself and keep certain skill sets sharp."
Asked if she has done any commercials for UCA, Madsen said she has not "because we want our ads to focus on the student experience, so we typically feature our students and our alumni."
In an email, Duncan declined to comment on behalf of the faculty senate "as we do not yet have faculty consensus" on the issue.
State Desk on 03/07/2018
Print Headline: UCA's marketing chief criticized for side jobs