Assistant Director Communications, Marketing, and Web

Job Details

Job no: 513430
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Dean - Natural Sciences
Union: PSU
Categories: Public Relations, Marketing, Communications, College of Natural Sciences

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.

Job Summary

The Assistant Director of Communications in the College of Natural Sciences (CNS) is responsible for overseeing and implementing strategic communications initiatives that raise the visibility of the CNS with key target audiences, including prospective and current students, faculty, alumni, donors, peers in higher education, and the general public.

This person must demonstrate excellent project management skills as well as the ability to produce high quality content for the various CNS outreach venues, including print, web and social media. This position will be responsible for many aspects of the communications process, from story cultivation and prioritization to repurposing for multiple communications channels and metrics reporting, while ensuring that all content meets university and college brand standards and aligns with strategic goals.

Essential Functions

  • Works closely with the Director of Communications, Marketing and Web to develop communications strategy and plans for the College of Natural Sciences.
  • Manages outreach plan and content calendars to maximize and leverage content to every audience, including for web, video, social, print, email, e-news, and other vehicles.
  • Writes and/or edits stories, profiles, and events for all communications venues.
  • Oversees the college's social media presence and manages social media staff and monthly analytics reports. Ensure that all posts on social media are engaging and accurate. Maintains a deep knowledge of current and evolving social media platforms, trends, and best practices.
  • Manages and implements ongoing website improvements and oversees special web projects, with a focus improving user experience and SEO.
  • Develops and leads workshops for CNS communicators and other topics including communications best-practices, branding, social media, website editing, graphic design, and photo editing.
  • Manages promotion of CNS events; assists with event execution.
  • Manages occasional video projects.
  • Supervises student workers, as needed.

Other Functions

  • Performs related duties as assigned or required to meet department, college, or university goals and objectives.
  • Understands responsibilities with respect to conflicts of interest and behaves in ways consistent both with law and with university policy.
  • Contributes toward creating a positive and respectful workplace defined by personal and professional competence, integrity, and collaboration.
  • Understands and contributes to implementation of departmental and institutional goals for achieving non-discrimination and creating a respectful, inclusive environment that is supportive of diversity.
  • Uses access to sensitive and/or not yet public university related information only in the performance of the responsibilities of position and exercise care to prevent unnecessary disclosure to others.
  • Works collaboratively and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality and inclusiveness.
  • Works in partnership with colleagues within the CNS community and across the campus to support the Dean’s strategic priorities.

Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Bachelor's Degree and three (3) years of relevant work experience in communications, marketing, event planning, or public relations. A Master's degree in Journalism, Communication, Marketing, Public Relations, Creative Writing, Science Writing, or a related field may be substituted for two (2) years of the required experience.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including the ability to write grammatically correct content for publishing, construct compelling copy, and translate complex technical information for non-experts.
  • Excellent project management and facilitation skills with high-level attention to detail and strong follow-through.
  • Ability to prioritize and manage many projects and meet deadlines.
  • Experience with social media content creation across a variety of platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.). Working knowledge of web analytics and social media monitoring/measurement tools to deliver data-driven insights.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to interact effectively and create and maintain harmonious relationships with a diverse population of staff, faculty, students, and off-campus constituents.
  • Independent initiative. Must have the ability to stay on task and work productively with a minimum amount of supervision.
  • Advanced computer usage skills, Adobe Creative Suite, Drupal web platform, Office 365, Social media and web analytics tools.

Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Prior experience working in a large public research university.
  • Supervisory experience.
  • Copy editing experience.
  • Experience developing marketing copy for fundraising or other revenue-generating initiatives.

Work Schedule

Monday - Friday, 37.5 hours/week, with occasional evenings and weekends as needed

Salary Information

Level 25

PSU Salary Schedule

Special Instructions to Applicants

Along with your application, please submit a resume, cover letter, and the names and contact information of three professional references. Provide two writing samples or a link(s) to an online portfolio/samples of your work. Search may remain open until a suitable candidate pool has been identified.

As part of a commitment to their own multicultural community, CNS seeks an individual with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and one who will understand and embrace university initiatives and aspirations.

UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University. To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans. It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

Advertised: Mar 18 2022 Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close:


The University of Massachusetts Amherst is one of the preeminent public research universities in America. Nestled in idyllic Amherst, Massachusetts—often called “The top college town in North America”—the campus is consistently ranked among the top public research universities in the nation, and offers a rich cultural environment in a rural setting close to major urban centers. 

As one of the nation's top public research universities – as measured by national and international rankings, academic citations, and research funding – the campus spends more than $180 million on research each year, demonstrating its contribution to the nation’s position as a technological and economic leader. The university works in conjunction with academic, government, and private partners to translate new knowledge and scientific discoveries into technical innovations and scholarly works that create opportunities for students, faculty and the public. 

Eight schools and colleges offer more than 85 undergraduate majors, 68 master’s and 48 doctoral degree programs, many counted among the top programs in the nation and world. UMass Amherst is also home to New England's premier honors college.

The 1,159 full-time faculty members are dedicated teachers and world-renowned researchers and the campus has regularly been listed among the top performers in terms of faculty awards. With over 24,000 students from all 50 states and over 70 countries, the student body is the most academically successful in the history of the campus. Students participate in 240 organizations, 21 NCAA Division I athletic teams, extensive intramurals, living-learning residence halls, community service, and internships. With one of the largest residential life systems in the nation, UMass Amherst houses approximately 12,000 students on campus. The university is enjoying a facilities renaissance, including new buildings in the sciences, the arts, and recreation. UMass Amherst is part of the Five College consortium with Smith, Mount Holyoke, Hampshire and Amherst colleges.

As an employer, the University of Massachusetts Amherst is a national leader in developing family-friendly policies, benefits and amenities designed to help faculty members develop both productive careers and satisfying personal lives. The university offers one of the nation’s most generous parental leave policies. The university is also part of the Academic Career Network, a regional consortium formed to serve dual-career couples and encourage greater diversity in the academy.


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