Director of Communications

University of Virginia
College at Wise (Wise, VA)
Closing date
Oct 21, 2021

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Administrative Jobs
Institutional & Business Affairs, Communications & Marketing

Job Details

Job location: College at Wise (Wise, VA)

Employment Type: Full-time
Posted data: 2021-06-14
Req: R0025529
Communications Directors manage major communications programs or large teams of communications professionals, providing programmatic guidance and direction. They may act as Chief Communications Officers for large schools or units, with complex demands, or oversee a high-impact communications program. Communications Directors should demonstrate command over a wide range of specialty areas, such as writing, multimedia, creative arts, marketing, and public relations, and can collaborate across areas to achieve overall strategic goal. They lead teams and work with leadership to determine priorities.

The Office of Marketing and Communications at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise seeks candidates for the position of Director of Communications with exceptional storytelling skills, sharp news judgment, and demonstrated ability to assist in crisis management. The successful candidate for this position will employ these and other writing and editorial skills, as well as a collaborative spirit, to find and tell compelling stories that elevate the reputation of UVA Wise.

Reporting to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Marketing and Communications, the Director of Communications will produce and edit news and feature content for publication in a digital storytelling serial; in local and regional media outlets; on the College’s social media; and in the UVA Wise magazine. This content should include written narratives, compelling photographs, videos, infographics, and more, created in collaboration with other members of the Office of Marketing and Communications. A dotted line reporting structure to the Chancellor of UVA Wise, for coordination and advising during crisis communications, is also in place.


Content Curation and Creation:

  • Develop and execute a storytelling approach for the organization that is aligned with the broader UVA Wise strategic plan and distribute content through a serial email, social media, the magazine, and other communication tools.
  • Engage communicators across campus to educate them about institutional storytelling strategies and encourage contributions to support overall content strategies.
  • Measure the reach and impact of communications strategies to evolve and improve storytelling strategy.

Sharing Content with Partners:

  • Develop rapport and ongoing relationships with local, regional, and national reporters, editors, and producers to earn regular news coverage, in alignment with organizational objectives.
  • Oversee the preparation, production, and distribution of information to the media and the public, which includes researching, writing, and approving major press releases and announcements.
  • Respond to media inquiries and coordinate interviews with campus leaders as needed.
  • Advise faculty and institutional leaders on media presence and presentation.
  • Monitor news coverage and media mentions.

Assisting with Crisis Communication

  • Serve as a key consultant for crisis communications and respond to requests regarding issues of a sensitive or controversial nature.
  • Benchmark best practices in higher education and other industries to ensure a contemporary approach to issues management and crisis communications.

In addition to the above job responsibilities, other duties may be assigned.


A bachelor’s degree in English, communications, or a related field is required, as is five years or more of experience in regular content curation and production. A knowledge of Associated Press style and the ability to publish stories to a content management system, email client, and social media are preferred.

A collaborative style that is collegial and respectful and a propensity to coach others regarding communication with unflappability and diligence is vital. The ability to balance the urgency of media inquiries and longer-term strategic communication content is necessary. A passion for storytelling, excitement for news, and a commitment to the principles of higher education’s role in our region is a must.

To Apply

To apply, please visit, search for Director of Communications, and complete the online application process. Please supply three writing samples, a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references. Priority will be given to candidates who submit applications before July 7, 2021. UVA Wise is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer committed to excellence through diversity. Women, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Employee fulfills duties as a "responsible employee" under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. A Responsible employee includes any employee: who has the authority to take action to redress sexual violence; who has been given the duty of reporting incidents of sexual violence or any other misconduct by students to the Title IX Coordinator or other appropriate school designee; or whom a student could reasonably believe has this authority or duty.

UVA Wise is committed to helping the campus community provide for their own safety and security. The Annual Security and Fire Safety Report containing information on campus security and personal safety, including alerts, fire safety, crime prevention tips, and crime statistics is available at A copy is available upon request by calling 276-328-0190 or 276-376-3451.


Education: Bachelor's degree
Experience: At least five years of journalism or public relations experience.
Licensure: None


This is primarily a sedentary job involving extensive use of desktop computers. The job does occasionally require traveling some distance to attend meetings, and programs.

The University of Virginia, including the UVA Health System which represents the UVA Medical Center, Schools of Medicine and Nursing, UVA Physician’s Group and the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, are fundamentally committed to the diversity of our faculty and staff. We believe diversity is excellence expressing itself through every person's perspectives and lived experiences. We are equal opportunity and affirmative action employers. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, veteran status, and family medical or genetic information.


In 1819, the University of Virginia established a new model for intellectual exchange and cross-disciplinary collaboration in higher education. Two hundred years later, as a major research institution, we continue to challenge conventions, lead with ingenuity and advance knowledge for the common good.

What began as an innovative idea has become one of the nation’s leading public research universities, with over 21,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UVA also has over 3,000 full-time faculty offering more than 400 degrees.

Each of the University’s eleven schools has its own distinctive mission, working together to garner consistently high rankings—including #2 Best Value Public College (Princeton Review, 2016), #3 Public University in the Nation (U.S. News & World Report, 2016), and #3 Best Value Among Public Colleges (Kiplinger’s, 2016).  

As we invest in and strengthen our research capabilities, UVA seeks new faculty ready to uncover new insights, rewrite old rules and collaborate on intellectual discoveries.


As an R1 institution, the University’s research centers, consortia and laboratories are on the leading edge of discovery and technology, offering collaborative spaces for students and faculty to solve global problems.

Our professors are recognized members of major national scholarly and professional organizations, including the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Our faculty’s engagement in interdisciplinary research is being facilitated by new research institutes specializing in everything from big data to brain functioning, and by cluster hires across schools.


UVA is also home to a nationally renowned academic medical center and the UVA Health System, which serves a three-part mission to treat patients, conduct translational research and train medical practitioners in a wide variety of disciplines.

Established as the nation’s 10th medical school in 1825, the institution has since grown to include a 612-bed hospital and a Level I trauma center, nationally recognized cancer and heart centers, a Children’s Hospital, and primary and specialty clinics throughout Central Virginia.

The UVA Medical Center is consistently ranked among the nation’s best hospitals by the U.S. News & World Report magazine and has been named among the top 25 percent in seven specialties.


The vast majority of UVA students come from the top 10% of their high school class, as well as from all 50 states, over 142 countries and a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds. Despite their diversity, all UVA students share a love of learning and a drive to achieve.

One of the reasons students choose Virginia is our unique residential culture. At UVA, the community of students, faculty and staff personifies the Jeffersonian idea that living and learning are connected. The Academical Village was constructed to support a unique residential experience, with faculty living in the Pavilions, students occupying Lawn rooms and the world-famous Rotunda at its heart. The University’s residential culture continues to support this experience today—strengthened by students, faculty and staff rich in backgrounds, ideas and perspectives. Our unique culture is also paying dividends in innovation:  UVA’s faculty have generated more than 130 patents since 2010.

Perhaps most importantly, faculty come to UVA knowing that instruction is as important as research, and they pride themselves on their many teaching awards.  Our best professors look for ways to encourage, mentor and develop tomorrow’s leaders inside and outside the classroom.


Living in Charlottesville you’ll find sophisticated restaurants, world-renowned wineries and breweries, cosmopolitan arts and music, friendly urban and suburban neighborhoods and a Piedmont landscape that has lured adventurous souls for centuries.  No wonder the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research named Charlottesville the “happiest city in America” in 2014.

In addition to UVA and its health system, several major employers have facilities in Charlottesville, including State Farm, Northrop Grumman, the U.S. Department of Defense, GE and others.  Charlottesville is also becoming a center for innovative start-up businesses.  The University also actively helps spouses and partners of faculty members build their networks and pursue employment opportunities with a wide variety of area employers. 

The University of Virginia is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, qualified individuals with disabilities are protected from discrimination and may be entitled to reasonable accommodations to assist in their pursuit of employment at the University. This includes assistance in completing the online job application as well as reasonable accommodations during the interview process. Please contact the UHR Service Center: 434.982.0123 to request assistance.

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