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Assistant Dean of Communications, Dietrich College

Job description

Carnegie Mellon University is a private, global research university that challenges the curious and passionate to deliver work that matters. Our world-class institution has distinctive areas of excellence and a culture marked by ambition and a deep, practical engagement with challenges facing society. We continue to produce talented alumni and draw faculty and staff eager to be a part of the university’s creative, dedicated and close-knit community. We place emphasis on practical problem solving, interdisciplinary learning, an entrepreneurial spirit and collaboration.

The Marianna Brown Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences (Dietrich College or DC) is home to the following academic departments and specialized degree programs: Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, Economics, English, History, Information Systems, Institute for Politics and Strategy, Modern Languages, Philosophy, Psychology, Social and Decision Sciences, and Statistics & Data Science. We emphasize study through rigorous analysis and technology and the behaviors, institutions, and beliefs that constitute the human experience. The college was named for Marianna Brown Dietrich, the mother of philanthropist William S. Dietrich II after his donation to the university in 2011 -- the largest single donation in Carnegie Mellon history.

The Dietrich College is committed to a balance among humanistic, scientific, and professional orientations, and to an emphasis on integrating research experience into undergraduate education. Over 1200 undergraduates and over 300 graduate students can pursue more than 60 majors and minors that teach key analytical skills with a wide range of elective courses to develop foundational skills essential to effective learning throughout the college career and beyond.

The Marketing & Communications division, created in 2015, provides a home, hub and strategic engine for the important work of telling the university’s story. We are a team of strategic thinkers, creative problem solvers and subject experts from a variety of professional backgrounds — all with the goal of deepening CMU's reputation and enhancing the CMU experience.

The Dietrich College, in collaboration with the Marketing and Communication division, is seeking to hire an Assistant Dean of Communications who will lead the communications office of Dietrich College. In this role, you will report directly to the Dean of the Dietrich College with a dotted line to Marketing and Communication’s Assistant Vice President, Content & Communications. You will create and implement strategic communications plans that complement the Dean’s strategic plan for the college, and the university’s branding efforts. You will oversee all communications vehicles for the college, ensuring that each is purposeful and contributes to achieving the goals of college; this includes the college’s website, annual publication, newsletters, social media channels, public and media relations activities, and branding. The content and communications delivered will be creatively and strategically implemented for maximum impact across a variety of audiences. Outstanding writing and editing skills are a prerequisite for the position.


Core responsibilities will include:

  • Create and implement strategic communications plans for the college, complementing university marketing and communications plans and branding. This includes campaigns/events which support the Dean’s overall strategic plan and goals for the college.
  • Identify and articulate the messages and stories that will raise the visibility of the college among its diverse audiences.
  • Supervise, lead and mentor the college’s communications staff, which may include website developers, writers, graphic designers, photographers and/or videographer; and freelance/contract employees in similar fields.
  • Collaborate with the Associate Dean of Advancement to develop and implement advancement communication plans. Collaborate with other Assistant and Associate Deans in the college to promote their activities.
  • Bring together communicators from the college and its departments and programs to ensure that communications needs are being met, resources are being used wisely and information is being shared.
  • Serve as the college’s expert resource in communications including crisis communications and internal communications.
  • Oversee media relations for the college, including the development of key messages, materials, and relationships, ensuring that outreach to news media locally, nationally, and globally is coordinated with broader university communications strategies and initiatives.
  • Oversee the development of the college’s website, annual publications and social media. Ensure that all content and collateral is engaging, accurate, clear and concise, and adheres to the goals set forth in the strategic plan. Maintain the college’s brand, ensure that all branding is used correctly across the college and its departments.
  • Oversee metrics collection and reporting, create periodic reports to assess the effectiveness of communications activities, and respond to the data to maximize efforts.
  • Set the communications office’s budget and ensuring that the office stays within budget. Coordinate and negotiate the college’s advertising buys and contracts as needed.


You should have the ability to work independently and effectively, managing multiple projects simultaneously in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment.  A high degree of integrity, trustworthiness, respect and team collaboration, as well as a fluency with topical news and culture is also an asset. Adaptability, excellence, and passion are valued qualities within the College as are inclusion, collaboration and cultural sensitivity. Therefore, we are in search of a team member who is able to effectively interact with a varied population of internal and external partners at a high level of integrity. We are looking for someone who shares our values and who will support the mission of the College through their work. The ideal candidate will also have the ability to work after hours and on weekends when appropriate.



  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, marketing or a similar relevant field required; Master’s or evidence of continuing education in the field preferred.
  • At least 8-10 years of experience in communications, preferably in higher education.
  • Demonstrated experience in communications strategy and planning.
  • Experience leading, mentoring and inspiring a team of professionals with diverse skills and areas of expertise.
  • Expertise in communications design and visual design principles.
  • Experience with crisis communications.




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Job No:
Posted: 6/11/2018
Application Due: 8/10/2018
Work Type: