Ithaca, NY
Jul 08, 2017
Executive Administration Jobs
C-Level & Executive Directors
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Position Information

Vacancy ID S2141 Job Title EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS Department College Relations and Communications School/Parent Organization Institutional Advancement and Communication Parent Org Division Institutional Advancement and College Relations Division Employment Category Fulltime-Regular Anticipated start date 09/11/2017 If temporary, expected end date Hours per week 37.5 Weeks Per Year 52.2 Normal Start Time 8:30 AM Normal End Time 5:00 PM Position/Job Summary
As a member of the Office of College Relations and Communications' senior team, the executive director for strategic communications is responsible for planning and delivering high-value communications efforts supporting the strategic priorities of Ithaca College. Reporting to the associate vice president for college relations and communications, this expert communicator and relationship builder works alongside the executive director for creative strategy and development and the executive director for marketing strategy, and collaborates very closely with the college's president, vice presidents, academic leadership, trustees, and a wide range of campus stakeholders. The executive director for strategic communications leads the teams that manage the college's centrally owned news and publications channels, media relations, public relations, crisis and emergency response, social media, and leadership communications strategy.
Position/Job Responsibilities
Strategic planning and leadership initiatives
• In collaboration with leaders and team members across the Office of College Relations and Communications, play a central role in the development, execution, and evaluation of a comprehensive and integrated strategic college relations and communications plan.
• Lead the communications planning, delivery, and evaluation in support of the college's overarching strategic direction and position and key college initiatives.
• Identify ways to improve transparency, visibility, and clarity surrounding key college policies, decisions, practices, and processes. In close coordination with AVP communications and other college leadership, develop and oversee day-to-day delivery of a leadership communications strategy that promotes trust, transparency and positive engagement between college leadership and its campus-based and off-campus constituents.
• Play a leading role in helping college leadership develop a deeper understanding of the IC communities' needs and perceptions of college issues, decisions, etc.
• Translate the strategic strengths of college into highly engaging content across owned and earned media, in variety of formats/audiences.
• Collaborate in developing strategic positioning for the college, working closely with colleagues inside and outside the communications office.
• Create or guide the creation of message frameworks, speeches, written messages, videos, media responses, special events, and other content for the president, select campus vice presidents, and select trustee leaders.
• Actively maintain a nuanced command of current issues in higher education and at IC. Stay abreast of external current events that could positively or adversely affect the college and its constituents.

Owned and Earned Media
• Develop and oversee the implementation of a proactive, assertive, highly strategic media relations strategy, aimed at increasing IC's regional and national visibility in ways that reflect strategic direction and strengths.
• Work with campus leaders and faculty members to develop
• Foster a productive, respectful, engaged relationship with student media.
• Lead and inspire the media relations, news, and social media teams to seek and create compelling stories on behalf of the college.

Crisis and Emergency Response
• Serve as a member of the college's Core Emergency Response Team. Be available for on-call response to emergent crises and emergencies, including evenings, weekends, and college holidays.
• Lead multi-faceted communications efforts for a wide array of controversies, crises, and emergencies.
• Ensure team readiness and command of best practices in place in advance of potential crises.
• Develop message frames, talking points, speeches, media response strategies, community response strategies, etc in response to crises and emergencies.
• Make thoughtful, often fast-turnaround decisions about communications in consultation with college leadership and front-line communications team members.
• Monitor traditional and social media reactions to crises, including quantitative and qualitative analyses of reach, sentiment, and influence.

Develop and demonstrate a multicultural awareness and contribute to cultivating an inclusive, diverse and respectful College community. Demonstrate civil and inclusive behavior when interacting with staff, faculty, students and visitors to the College. Promote a flexible, collaborative and inclusive work and living environment and engage in educational opportunities to increase awareness and understanding of diversity and inclusion.
Position/Job Qualifications
• Bachelor's degree, preferably in communications, public relations, journalism, writing, or related field
• Minimum 5 years experience in communications, public relations, marketing, or related field.

Competencies and Experience:
• Successful track record of leading complex, multi-phase and multi-channel strategic communications projects.
• Impeccable judgment about nuances of communication and messaging across a variety of media.
• Superb written and oral communication skills. Ability to readily adapt voice and style for different leaders, outlets, occasions, audiences, and medium/channels; ability to solicit this same versatility from other team members. Writing and message development for highly sensitive, complex, confidential issues and influential leaders.
• Proven ability to maintain the utmost levels of confidentiality and ensure a trusting working relationships with top leadership and a wide range of constituencies.
• Ability to be thoughtful, strategic, and highly detail oriented even under pressure.
• Ability to lead a diverse team in ways that foster growth, creativity, independence, collaboration, strategic focus, and skills mastery.
• Ability to successfully balance the needs of longer-term, proactive planning and implementation vs. responsiveness to unplanned issues and opportunities. Similarly, ability to strike a balance between risk-centric and opportunity-centric ways of planning.
• Enthusiasm for using communications measurement and analytics to track performance, conduct tests, and make data-based decisions.
• Very strong organization, project management skill, and deadline orientation.

• Ability to cultivate an inclusive, diverse and welcoming environment; ability to treat all people equitably and with a sensitivity and awareness to cultural difference; demonstrated ability to hold others accountable for behavior that is supportive of a community that is diverse and inclusive.
EEO Statement
Ithaca College is committed to building a diverse academic community and encourages members of underrepresented groups to apply. Experience that contributes to the diversity of the college is appreciated.
Instructions for submitting your application:
Interested applicants must apply online at and attach a resume, cover letter and 3 professional references. Questions about online application should be directed to the Office of Human Resources at (607) 274-8000. Screening of applications will begin immediately.
Work authorization (select one): Department description College Description
At Ithaca College, a comprehensive residential campus community of 6,500 students, we strive to be at the forefront of the higher education landscape. Our strategic plan, IC 20/20, positions us to offer a distinct integrative learning experience that makes students ready for the personal, professional, and global challenges of our age.

We seek candidates who embrace integrative learning and want to be a part of this exciting time in Ithaca College history. We encourage creative collaboration and innovation in our faculty and staff, providing support and resources for them to grow in their fields and lead students to their own innovative ideas and achievements.

We welcome different ways of thinking and look for candidates with unique points of view and life experiences. We are inclusive of individuals with a wide range of cultural, personal, and professional backgrounds, talents, and skills. Our campus is a vibrant and rewarding community where diverse minds can learn, succeed, and excel.

When reviewing candidates, we are looking for indicators of a number of core competencies. Prospective candidates must be adaptable, collaborative, inclusive, respectful, responsive, results driven, and sustainable. They must communicate effectively, demonstrate leadership, exhibit professional integrity and ethics, take initiative, value personal and professional development, and show that they will engage in the college.

Nestled in the heart of New York State's scenic Finger Lakes region, Ithaca College sits atop South Hill overlooking picturesque Cayuga Lake and is just minutes away from the city center. Combining small town warmth and charm with the vibrancy of a college community, the thriving and culturally diverse city of Ithaca has been rated by Kiplinger's as one of the top 10 places to live in the United States.

To learn more about Ithaca College, visit us at
Market Hiring Range FLSA Status Exempt Is this position eligible for benefits? Yes

Documents Needed to Apply
Required Documents
  1. Resume
  2. Cover Letter
  3. Reference List
Optional Documents

    Supplemental Questions

    Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).