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Vice Chancellor for Strategic Communications

University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Greensboro, NC

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Job Details

Position Number:


Functional Title:

Vice Chancellor for Strategic Communications

Position Type:

Administration - Staff

Position Eclass:

E1 - SAAO I 12 Mo Leave Earning

University Information:

UNC Greensboro, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is 1 of only 57 doctoral institutions recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for both higher research activity and community engagement. Founded in 1891 and one of the original three UNC System institutions, UNC Greensboro is one of the most diverse universities in the state with 20,000+ students, and 3,000+ faculty and staff members representing 90+ nationalities. With 17 Division I athletic teams, 85 undergraduate degrees in over 125 areas of study, as well as 74 master’s and 32 doctoral programs, UNC Greensboro is consistently recognized nationally among the top universities for academic excellence and value, with noted strengths in health and wellness, visual and performing arts, nursing, education, and more. For additional information, please visit and follow UNCG on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Primary Purpose of the Organizational Unit:

The division of University Communications advances the University’s mission and goals through strategic communication designed to inform, educate and garner support on behalf of the University. University Communications is a staff of communication professionals who have primary responsibility for internal and external communications through outlets that include print, broadcast and electronic media. University Communications is a unit reporting to the Office of the Chancellor. The UC Mission is “to provide external communications through the print, electronic media, Web and other means to increase public awareness, understanding and support of the University.”

Position Summary:

The Vice Chancellor (VC) for Strategic Communications will serve as the chief communications and marketing officer for the university, leading and managing internal and external communications and marketing strategy, execution, and evaluation. The VC is charged with creating the vision for and leading the implementation of a proactive, innovative, and comprehensive marketing, communications, and branding strategy that highlights the university’s strengths, bolsters its ambitions, expands its regional and national profile, and increasingly engages and informs internal constituents (e.g., prospective students and families, current students, administrators, faculty and staff, alumni, and donors) and external audiences (e.g., local community members and leaders; local, state, and national governments; local, national, and international media; and associations, influencers, and thought leaders in higher education). To this end, the VC will provide leadership and oversight of a core total staff of 20, five “split staff”, a $2.2 million program and personnel budget. This individual will work closely with senior leadership across UNCG to set priorities and devise communications and marketing strategies for university-wide objectives as well as overseeing a comprehensive branding initiative. The VC will also work closely with unit-based teams to create a comprehensive communications and marketing program that serves the needs of the overarching university and the specific colleges, schools, programs, and units.

This position will serve as a critical member of the Chancellor’s Council and work closely with the Provost, Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management, Vice Chancellor for University Advancement, Chancellor’s Chief of Staff, and other senior leadership on overarching issues both in the long term and day-to-day.

In addition to formal duties, the VC must become an integral member of the Greensboro community and take an active interest in the economic, political, and cultural vitality of the city and the surrounding region. The VC will reflect and embody the values of UNC Greensboro and its leadership, leading the university’s communications effort and serving the wider community with integrity, warmth, humility, grace, and humor.

Minimum Qualifications:

A Bachelor’s Degree in a relevant field and record of professional achievement, and increasing levels of demonstrated success; At least 5 years experience working in a complex multi-faceted organization and at least 3 years experience leading a team.

- Substantial experience leading, envisioning, and implementing a successful strategic marketing, communications, and branding program that was successfully leveraged across an enterprise with multiple constituencies and a wide variety of audiences.
- A record of success as an innovative and collaborative leader in a large, complex, mission-driven organization with numerous and distributed stakeholders, shared decision making, and often rapidly shifting priorities.
- Demonstrated ability to craft substantive and cohesive messages based on an institution’s strategic goals, communicate them successfully to key audiences, and adapt and adjust as appropriate over time.
- Advanced knowledge of the strategies and industry best practices for all aspects of communications, marketing, positioning, and messaging, including sophisticated and creative use of brand journalism, social media, analytics, and other forms of digital communications.
- Broad experience in strategic communications, crisis and issues management, communications planning, media relations, public relations, perception management, and internal communications.
- Unwavering focus on diversity, inclusion, equity, and anti-racism, and how this work is amplified in the language, images, and channels that are used by an institution. Commitment to and experience with promoting and enhancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
- Keen creative and design sensibilities, with a strong understanding of the marketing and communications process from creative concept through production and fulfillment. Ability to increase efficiency and effectiveness of the marketing and communications process without sacrificing quality and impact. Also, an ability to inspire innovative solutions to scale across the enterprise.
- Solid understanding of the advantages and drawbacks of both traditional and digital media and how best to convey information in ways that engage and excite constituents.
- Experience working in a complex, high-achieving environment serving many internal clients and external constituents. Ability to build relationships and collaborate across an institution, serving as a resource to others and obtaining their input; persuasive, persistent, and determined.
- The intellectual depth, experience and confidence to work with and command the respect and confidence of the Chancellor, senior administrators, deans, faculty, and trustees.
- The ability to lead by influence and inspire unified action by communications professionals across the university.
- Collaborative and collegial orientation, eager and able to engage a diverse client base and build strong professional relationships. A convener who is able to synthesize many ideas and produce work products that address a wide variety of goals and objectives.
- Engaging and persuasive in written and oral communications, clearly able to serve as a professional and trusted representative of the university.
- Record of creative and entrepreneurial management; the ability to inspire, build, lead, mentor, and motivate staff; and to encourage change and growth in both people and programs. A strong commitment to personal and professional development, and the ability to build a robust, autonomous, and collaborative team.
- Experienced staff manager capable of working effectively with, delegating to, and providing direction and leadership for a team within budget restraints and under deadline requirements.
- Able to communicate, relate, and work effectively with people at all levels of the organization and wide variety of diverse backgrounds and cultures.
- Sharp eye for operational efficiency and optimal use of resources; deep understanding of budgets and proven success managing them.
- The ability to intuit the unspoken and perceive what others do not understand. Exceptional
diplomacy, discretion, and judgment.
* High degree of integrity, character, and emotional maturity, demonstrating respect for individuals at every level of an organization; humility, a sense of humor and life balance; an outgoing, optimistic personality; strong executive presence; commitment to the highest standards of professionalism.
- Sharp eye for operational efficiency and optimal use of resources; deep understanding of budgets and proven success managing them. An aptitude for using data and metrics in decision-making and evaluating success of people and programs alike.

Preferred Qualifications:

A Master’s Degree or advanced degree in a relevant field

Special Instructions to Applicants:

This search is being managed by Isaacson, Miller. Jack Gorman is leading this search with Elizabeth Neustaedter and Sandeep Kaur. For more information, to submit a nomination, or to apply for this role, please visit:

Recruitment Range:

Commensurate with experience.

Org #-Department:

University Communications - 33901

Job Open Date:


Open Until Filled:




Type of Appointment:


Number of Months per Year:




Percentage Of Time:


Key Responsibility:

Key member of the Chancellor’s senior leadership team and reports directly to the Chancellor

Essential Tasks:

The VC will be the official spokesperson for the chancellor and university. Through organization and policy will manage university public announcements, official responses to inquiries and approve official cobranding use of licensed marks. The VC also either writes, edits, or vets all executive communications.

Support the Chancellor in his role as chief spokesperson for the university, serving as a speech writer and strategist on messaging. Ensure that the Chancellor is well briefed and that his time spent in communications-related activities is highly productive. Similarly, offer guidance and support to senior staff, deans, faculty, trustees, and other community members in their capacity as formal representatives of UNCG.

Oversee an ongoing communications and marketing planning process that reflects the Chancellor’s vision and the needs of the university, and which incorporates the needs of schools, programs, units, and other key partners, through a strong and flexible communications program with key themes and messages that can be adapted to suit various constituencies.

Percentage Of Time:


Key Responsibility:

Responsible for the design, development, and execution of a strategic communications plan to inform, educate and garner support on behalf of the University.

Essential Tasks:

Conceive of and implement an overarching strategic marketing and communications plan that is innovative, progressive, and proactive, resulting in cohesive messaging and a brand identity that extends across all media and vehicles in ways that appropriately support and reflect the goals and objectives of the university. From day one, this individual is charged with marketing the university.

Partner with the VC for Advancement on advancement communications and the university’s comprehensive capital campaign.

Build and manage an outstanding strategic communications and marketing program that incorporates all traditional and digital channels and media, and which can be considered best-in class compared to its peers across higher education. Evaluate the effectiveness and success of communication vehicles with different internal and external audiences on an ongoing basis.

Thoroughly evaluate current branding efforts across the university. Strategically invest time and resources in market research, competitive landscape analysis, brand and marketing refinement, and creative execution. With the Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management, Vice Chancellor for University Advancement, Director of Athletics, and other key leaders, assess how best to leverage internal resources and external counsel, agencies and services.

As part of the ongoing web redesign project, work closely with the Vice Chancellor for Information Technology Services and representatives of both offices to establish a unified digital ecosystem builds off of the new website, reflects the university’s brand, creates a cohesive strategy across platforms and emphasizes compliance with accessibility and user experience standards.

Percentage Of Time:


Key Responsibility:

Functional Leadership and Development

Essential Tasks:

Provide leadership in crisis management planning, including establishing crisis communications policies and procedures. Offer real-time crisis management, counsel, and support.

Build on the existing reputation of the office of strategic communications as a collaborative, responsive partner that is able to professionally address both opportunities and concerns and the staff as thought leaders whose opinion is sought after and respected. Foster excellence with respect to client collaboration and partnership, customer service, and problem solving.

Convene, support, and inspire collaboration and coordination among decentralized communication professionals across UNCG. Build strong, collaborative, and collegial relationships with all unit-based communications and marketing teams, understanding their specific priorities and how those integrate with the university overall. Provide appropriate levels of support and service to those individuals and teams.

Ensure the ongoing integration and cohesion across the office of strategic communications. Set clear direction and priorities for professional and administrative staff alike. Continually assess staff strengths; recruit and retain a high-quality, diverse communications and marketing team.

Inspire and motivate staff through the free flow of information, placing staff members’ work within the context of UNCG’s strategic priorities and mission. Provide professional development opportunities as appropriate and encourage staff to set and reach personal growth targets.

Maintain a leadership style that is open, fluid, and empowers staff through active communication and delegation. Manage expectations and resources to ensure that overall communications goals and activities are challenging and realistic.

Foster an environment that rewards new ideas and risk taking, builds confidence, and encourages teamwork and collaboration within the office and across the university. Celebrate current achievements and set clear expectations for future success. Create and contribute to a work environment of creativity, openness, candor, and mutual respect.

Physical Effort:

Reading - F, Writing - F, Vision-Visual inspection - F, Hearing - F, Talking - F

Work Environment:

Inside - O, Outside - F


UNCG at a Glance

Founded in 1891, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro is the largest and most diverse state university in the Piedmont Triad. Standing apart from other universities, the UNCG community is joined together by a shared value: We define excellence not only by the people we attract, but by the meaningful contributions they make. 

With more than 19,400 students and 2,500 faculty and staff, UNCG is the largest state university in the Piedmont Triad and has an annual economic impact of more than $1 billion. The campus has grown to include 30 residence halls and 30 academic buildings on 210 acres.

UNCG takes pride in being a learner-centered public research university. The College of Arts & Sciences and seven professional schools offer 79 undergraduate majors, 65 master's programs and 30 doctoral programs.

The university holds two classifications from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, as a “research university with high research activity” and for “community engagement” in curriculum, outreach and partnerships. More than $35 million in grants and contracts for research and creative activity are awarded to faculty members annually. Among the most prominent of UNCG's research initiatives are the Gateway University Research Park and the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering. Both are partnerships with North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

Globalization of the curriculum has expanded opportunities for international education, through new programs such as the UNC Exchange Program and the Lloyd International Honors College. In addition, innovative signature programs such as Building Entrepreneurial Learning for Life (BELL), Communication Across the Curriculum, Undergraduate Research and Freshman Seminars enhance the student experience.

As a cultural leader, UNCG offers concerts, lectures, dance and theater performances, exhibitions at the internationally known Weatherspoon Art Museum and readings by nationally known authors. In athletics, Spartan teams compete in nine women's and nine men's sports in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. With ethnic minority students making up 26 percent of the student body, UNCG is the most diverse of the UNC system's historically white campuses.

Although much has changed, some things remain the same. The university motto — “Service” — continues to be a guiding principle put into practice through all aspects of university life.

UNCG Schools and College of Arts & Sciences

The University's Academic Affairs Division consists of seven academic schools, the College of Arts & Sciences, the Graduate School and the Lloyd International Honors College. The names below are the ones currently in use. In some cases, the names have changed since the academic units were founded. The schools and their dates of establishment are: Graduate School 1921-22;College of Arts & Sciences 1969, Lloyd International Honors College 2005, Joint School of Nanoscience & Nanoengineering 2007, Joseph M. Bryan School of Business & Economics 1969, School of Education 1921, School of Health and Human Sciences 2011, School of Music, Theatre and Dance 2010, and School of Nursing 1966.

Achievements & Accolades

UNCG is garnering national attention and awards for its challenging academic programs, supportive environment and engaged community. Take a look at some of our latest accomplishments and meaningful contributions on campus, in the community and around the globe. Curious about more accolades, achievements, our student body, faculty and staff excellence and other signs of our success? Find out more at UNCG Now:

Challenging Academic Programs

U.S. News & World Report ranked three UNCG online programs among the best in the nation in the 2015 list of Best Online Programs.

UNCG’s slate of online programs has earned a top 10 ranking for affordability from

The graduate program in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies has earned a Top 10 ranking by the The HDFS Report.

Supportive Environment

UNCG is a Military Friendly School for the fourth straight year, putting it in the top 15 percent of colleges and universities nationwide that are doing the most to support veterans and ensure their success.

UNCG is ranked among the best colleges for your money nationwide by College Factual, a new site that guides students through the college selection process.

The Education Trust singles out UNCG among the nation’s universities for its success at closing the gap in graduation rates between black and white students.

Engaged Community

For the fifth year in a row, UNCG has earned the “Tree Campus USA” designation for promoting healthy trees and encouraging the spirit of conservation. 

UNCG’s innovative dynamic mailbox system has been honored as one of University Business Magazine’s Models of Efficiency.

For the eighth consecutive year, UNCG is highlighted on Washington Monthly’s list of American universities that contribute most to the public good.

Careers at UNCG

UNCG is committed to the creation of an inclusive, collaborative and responsive university by attracting, retaining and developing a diverse community of talented individuals in support of the university's mission.

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723 Kenilworth Street
United States
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