Director of College Communications

About The Unit: Through strategic outreach, authentic reporting, and creative media, UChicago Communications illuminates and supports the mission and the many initiatives of the University of Chicago. UChicago Communications furthers the goals and priorities of the University and its academic units by telling the stories of the University of Chicago and sharing its culture within our community and beyond. In promoting awareness of the University, the office aims to help recruit students and faculty, disseminate the work of UChicago scholars, engage a diverse community, attract visitors, and reinforce the institution's unique intellectual culture. As a central resource for the University, the Office connects and supports a network of communicators across campus. The Office set guidelines to uphold the main messages and visual identity of the University, and help members of the University community see the full range of communications opportunities available to help them reach their goals.

Unit Job Summary: The Director of College Communications is a senior member of the Dean of the College's leadership team responsible for working closely with leaders in the College and other relevant units to develop a compelling and consistent approach to communications for the University's highly regarded undergraduate program. This experienced communications leader will manage communications about College priorities and strategic initiatives, and will work to continue improving the College's visibility, collaborating with colleagues in College Admissions and Financial Aid, Campus and Student Life, Alumni Relations and Development, the Office of the Provost, Government Relations, and others. The role will be responsible for leveraging the existing resources of University Communications to achieve the goals of the College. The Director will coordinate media and communications activities of the Dean of the College, with the goal of maximizing opportunities to convey the impact of the College's distinctive education to key audiences and stakeholders. The Director is also a member of the senior staff of University Communications, reporting to the AVP for Communications. - At the direction of the Dean of the College, works closely with colleagues including the AVP for Communications, the Dean of Students in the University, and the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Advancement to develop and implement a comprehensive communications plan that supports the College. - Develop communications that help foster the close community and rigorous academic values of the College. This includes a focus on academic programs, College Housing, the College's wide spectrum of student activities, celebrating student achievements, the Core curriculum, excellence in teaching, diversity and inclusion, and free expression. - Work with the Dean of the College to maximize that role's impact for College priorities, including through public appearances, written pieces, media interviews, etc. - Lead cross-departmental teams for announcements and leadership communications concerning key College priorities, such as the Odyssey Scholarship Program for students from families with low and moderate incomes, as well as gifts and appointments as needed. Serve on the President's Major Announcements Group, providing leadership on opportunities for public and media visibility. - Collaborating with College Admissions and Alumni Relations and Development, ensure that the College's communications strategy recognizes and incorporates the importance of each stage in an individual's relationship with the school, from prospective student, to enrolled student, to alumnus. - Develop and implement plans for increasing the College's visibility around issues relating to financial aid and in key areas of the country, such as New York and Washington, D.C., including alumni events, media contacts, and other strategic relationships. - Act as a communications liaison to Alumni Relations, with a focus on College priorities such as high-profile alumni events. - Work closely with College staff to manage a range of communications projects for the Office, including: website content and design; social media; and other internal and external communications. Provide event support as needed. - Coordinate crisis communications involving the College, including on safety or emerging issues that affect its reputation. - Assume additional responsibilities as the AVP for Communications assigns. Serve on related committees, etc., as needed.

Unit Education: Bachelor's degree in journalism, public relations, marketing, English or a related field required.

Unit Experience: Five years of relevant experience required.

Unit Job Function Competencies: Excellent verbal and written communication skills required. Skill with both academic and non-academic audiences preferred. Strong research and organizational skills are required, as well as a demonstrated ability to work independently. Personnel management experience preferred. Problem-solving, decision-making and strategic skills required. Ability to develop sensitive and effective ways to communicate with key University audiences, including students, faculty and leadership required. Ability to coach others regarding communications best practices required. An understanding of the education, research, and service mission of a major research university is required. Experience in higher education is preferred. Ability to manage communications needs within deadlines for all phases of a project while maintaining professionalism and product quality required. An ability to exercise a high degree of judgment and diplomacy and an impeccable commitment to confidentiality are required. Ability to navigate a complex environment and anticipate the needs of senior leaders required. A good sense of humor preferred.

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