Associate Vice Chancellor for Strategic Communications and Marketing

Oxford, Mississippi
Mar 28, 2018
Executive Administration Jobs
Vice Presidents
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

The University of Mississippi ( invites nominations and applications for the position of Associate Vice Chancellor for Strategic Communications and Marketing.

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One hundred seventy years after opening its doors as the state’s flagship university, the University of Mississippi is a growing, vibrant institution that offers nationally ranked academic and research programs. In the past 10 years, the university has produced three Truman, three Goldwater and fourteen Fulbright scholars, plus one Rhodes, one Mitchell, two Gates, and two Udall Scholars. The state’s first public university to shelter a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the university attracts promising young scholars with a variety of outstanding academic programs, including the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College. Ranked among the nation’s top public research universities by several measures, the university is home to more than 30 research centers. The University of Mississippi’s main campus is located in Oxford ( in the rolling hills of north Mississippi 80 miles south of Memphis, Tennessee. A city of approximately 19,000 residents, Oxford is a vibrant university town filled with unique shops and galleries, eclectic restaurants, and historic landmarks. The University of Mississippi is a Carnegie-designated Highest Research Activity university.


The Associate Vice Chancellor for Strategic Communications and Marketing will serve as the chief public relations officer and chief communications/marketing strategist for the University of Mississippi. The position is responsible for the creation and implementation of an overarching strategic communications plan addressing marketing and public affairs. The position is also responsible for leading a public relations and marketing program that will reflect the institution’s goals, objectives, and core commitments with a proactive, innovative approach.

The Associate Vice Chancellor for Strategic Communications and Marketing will determine and implement the most effective, highly developed and sophisticated strategies for reaching a wide array of constituents, including internal and external parties, residents of the state of Mississippi and the Southeast region, and the greater nation.

Reporting to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for University Relations, the responsibilities of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Strategic Communications and Marketing will include:

  • Maximizing effective media response (in both traditional and digital channels) through the development of a comprehensive, first-rate strategic communications program tailored to a higher education setting
  • Monitoring and evaluating existing and proposed communications strategies to determine effectiveness; evaluating progress toward established goals, objectives and metrics
  • Briefing and advising senior leadership regarding interactions with the press and the public; ensuring the University provides timely responses with respect to communications-related activities; and guiding and supporting senior administrators, deans, faculty and other community members in response to media requests and inquires
  • Risk and crisis management, including real-time crisis management and the development of policies and procedures related to crisis communication to serve long-term communications needs of the university; establishment of procedures to anticipate issues that could impact the university or the reputation of its brand
  • Apprising the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning Board on communications and marketing strategies
  • Managing consultants; providing staff with professional development opportunities as appropriate; leading staff to set individual goals; and developing an inspired, engaged staff by placing projects within the greater context of the university’s mission, vision, and strategic plan.

The successful candidate should possess excellent evidence of professional achievement, eight years of experience, and a master’s degree in communications, public relations, marketing, business, or a related field. Alternatively, the successful candidate may possess a bachelor’s degree in these fields and ten years of experience.

In addition, the successful candidate will possess the following qualifications:

  • An appreciation and enthusiasm for the University of Mississippi’s mission and vision, and an ability to develop a clear communications strategy consistent with the university’s mission/vision statements and strategic plan
  • A clear and thorough understanding of challenges and opportunities as they relate to media, communications, and public relations at an institution of higher education
  • Demonstrated leadership skills and exceptional standards for quality
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills applicable to a variety of audiences; effective oral and written presentation abilities; and the experience and ability to serve as a clear and effective spokesperson for the university
  • A record of successfully targeting a variety of audiences and tailoring strategies as needed to improve a communications program; successful execution of a substantive, comprehensive communications plan based on an institution’s strategic goals
  • The ability to effectively communicate with senior administrators and executive leadership; the ability to build relationships across the university, serving as a resource as well as obtaining input from others; the ability to pursue and maintain collaborations with offices across the university, including athletics, the foundation, academic and support units to ensure a consistent brand identity and unified communications style
  • An understanding of the challenges and opportunities related to traditional and emerging media (from print media to social networks) and how best to convey information via these approaches while involving a variety of constituents
  • Extensive experience in strategic communications and marketing; communications planning; print, digital, and social media; public relations; crisis management; brand identity; internal communications; a proven effectiveness at engaging media at the local, national and international levels
  • An exceptional record of managing staff; a commitment to fostering an inclusive and diverse environment and to building an strong, vibrant, collaborative team


The Search Committee invites applications via the University of Mississippi website, Review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the appointment is made.

Salary is competitive and commensurate with education and experience.

The University of Mississippi is proud to offer a comprehensive salary and generous benefits package. Benefits include employer-paid portions of medical, dental, vision, and tuition waiver programs for employees and dependents. In addition, the UM retirement program includes an employer contribution. UM offers generous paid holiday time off, personal (vacation) and medical leave for most employees – staff members accrue personal and medical leave based on their years of service. UM was named the state’s healthiest workplace among all Mississippi colleges and universities and offers wellness programs. For eight consecutive years, UM has been recognized as one of the best colleges in the nation to work for by The Chronicle of Higher Education. For information about our employee benefits package, visit: Employee Benefits Overview (

The University of Mississippi is an EOE/AA/Minorities/Females/Vet/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity/Title VI/Title VII/Title IX/504/ADA/ADEA employer.