Lauer came to TCU on the faculty in 1966, earned permanent tenure in 1972, and became head of the evening college, the summer school, and all noncredit programs in 1974. He began 30 years of directing TCU’s communications and marketing programs in 1979, which included adapting the field of integrated marketing to higher education, teaching media studies, teaching strategic and international communication, public broadcasting projects, and international education.
Lauer speaks at national and international conferences, counsels with associations, and has worked with more than 40 campuses on integrated marketing and strategic communication initiatives in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Columbia, South Africa, the Caribbean, the UK, Poland, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia, Denmark, The Netherlands, and Singapore. His international experience includes serving seven years on the board of INPUT, an international public television producers’ association. Here he was the US host to almost 800 producers from over 50 countries in 1999. He also served seven years on the board of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), when it became truly international with offices in Washington, London and Singapore. He has considered his longtime international work in higher education and public broadcasting to be US “public diplomacy” initiatives, a topic he has been interested in since his graduate work at American University.
He is the author of four books: Learning to Love the Politics: How to Develop Institutional Support for Advancement (CASE Books, 2010), is about the internal politics challenges faced by advancement professionals. Communication Power (Jones & Bartlett, 1997) is a strategy and tactics guide for nonprofit executives. Competing for Students, Money and Reputation: Marketing the Academy in the 21st Century (CASE Books, 2002), has become a CASE bestseller. Reviews of it have dubbed him an “integrated marketing guru” and “simply the best in his field.” And Advancing Higher Education in Uncertain Times (CASE Books, 2006) also has been a CASE Books bestseller.
Lauer has also written more than 30 journal articles and book chapters on institutional marketing and communications. His articles on integrated marketing and planning appear in Nonprofit World, CASE Currents, Trusteeship, Public Purpose, Journal of Marketing for Higher Education and International Journal of Advancement. He edited the first ever section on marketing in the third edition of the CASE Handbook of Institutional Advancement, where he is referred to as “pioneer of integrated marketing for our profession.”
In 2012 Lauer received the Frank L. Ashmore Award for service to the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), and to the advancement profession. The award was given for his lifetime of professional achievement, and for his pioneering of the integrated approach to marketing the academy. He is also the only person ever to receive CASE’s Alice L. Beeman Award for Research in Communication twice, first in 2003 at the International Assembly and again in 2007 at the Annual Summit for Advancement Leaders. It was given to honor both of his books on marketing the academy, and is named for CASE’s first president. He also received the ICUT President’s Award in 2003 from Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas. It is presented periodically at the annual meeting of ICUT presidents for distinguished service to the organization and to the 32 independent colleges and universities in Texas. In addition he received the 2004 Distinguished Achievement Award from CASE District IV.
Lauer was founding chair of the redesigned international CASE assembly in 2006, now named the Summit for Advancement Leaders, which annually examines the impact of the dramatic changes in higher education on the advancement professions. He was also the founding chairman of The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education’s (CASE) Advanced Seminar on Integrated Marketing in Higher Education, and served on the advisory board of the American Council on Education’s (ACE) Solutions for America project. He has been a faculty member and past chair of the CASE Summer Institutes on Communications and Marketing at Duke and Vanderbilt Universities.