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College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) Director of Communications

Grand Valley State University
Allendale, Michigan
Commensurate with experience

Job Details

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS)

 Director of Communications


The CLAS Director of Communications will develop a creative strategic communications plan that tells the CLAS story to internal and external constituencies. The Director will be responsible for designing and implementing the College’s strategic communications plan and public relations activities in collaboration with CLAS units and a variety of university offices. This individual will also collaborate with the Dean to drive development and donor engagement initiatives for the College.

Required Qualifications and Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Professional Writing, Public Relations, or a related field and 5 years of related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience; Experience developing and implementing creative communications and marketing strategies;
  • Demonstrated ability to write creatively, succinctly, accurately, and for multiple audiences; Demonstrated understanding of website design and maintenance; Strong organizational skills, such as the ability to coordinate complex projects and work under tight deadlines; Strong interpersonal skills, such as the ability to interact with others with respect, empathy, and cultural humility; Demonstrated commitment to incorporating principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in all communication materials.

Preferred Qualifications and Education:

  • Master’s degree in related field and 5-7 years of experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience;
  • Ability to develop relationships at all levels of an organization and across divisions and functions;
  • Proven track record of managing social media campaigns;
  • Experience working in higher education;
  • Experience with donor relations;
  • Experience with event planning as a form of strategic communication;
  • Experience working with or managing students.

Responsibilities – Essential Functions:

  • Develop, implement, and manage the College’s strategic communications plan in consultation with the Dean of CLAS;
  • Serve as the principal communications professional for the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, focusing on the production of a variety of speeches, presentations, and other written materials, including but not limited to formal remarks to internal and external audiences, written communications to employees and external stakeholders, and regular college publications;
  • Create engaging content to promote CLAS and its academic programs, events, and activities to internal and external constituencies via annual reports, presentations, websites, marketing materials, videos, social media, and other media;
  • Support communications and marketing for CLAS units as part of the College-wide strategic communication plan;
  • Support communications for the CLAS Center for Experiential Education and Community Engagement in implementing the CLAS Voyage;
  • Support the CLAS Dean in collaborating with University Development to engage with donors and sustain relationships, including coordinating the CLAS Advisory Board;
  • Oversee CLAS website design and maintenance;
  • Oversee the design and execution of major CLAS events such as the GVSU Arts Celebration and two all-College meetings;
  • Serve as CLAS liaison to University Communications and Institutional Marketing; Participate as a member of the Dean's leadership team and in various committees appropriate to the position.


The salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. The university offers an excellent comprehensive package that includes health/vision/dental plans, life insurance, retirement, sick/leave disability, tuition waiver, adoption resources, wellness coaching, and free access to campus fitness facilities. Family and child care options on and off-campus are also available. For a detailed description of benefits, please visit Benefits and Wellness - Grand Valley State University (

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) is the largest college at Grand Valley, offering over 50 bachelor degrees and a growing number of advanced degrees in the natural and mathematical sciences, the fine arts and humanities, and the social sciences. CLAS is a student-centered and diverse learning community that engages in critical inquiry, extending knowledge to enrich and enliven individual and public life. Our faculty are active teacher-scholars committed to equitable, inclusive, career-connected, and community-engaged liberal arts and sciences education. There are many opportunities for collaboration within CLAS and across a broad group of partners on and off campus. We are interested in attracting a cohort of new faculty committed to these core values as we seek to foster a community where members from all backgrounds can live, learn, and thrive together.

Campus/University:  Grand Valley University (GVSU) is a public comprehensive institution located in West Michigan with campuses in Allendale, downtown Grand Rapids, and Holland, plus centers in Detroit, Muskegon and Traverse City. The University attracts more than 23,000 undergraduate and graduate students with high quality programs and state-of-the-art facilities, and has been nationally recognized for innovativeness and its contribution to students’ social mobility. The greater Grand Rapids metropolitan area has a population of around one million people, is affordable, and offers rich cultural amenities. Grand Valley is located within easy driving distance of Chicago, Detroit, Lake Michigan beaches, and many other superb summer and winter recreational venues. Information can be found at Community Resources - Human Resources - Grand Valley State University ( Grand Valley is highly rated for safety, sustainability, and veteran and LGBTQ friendliness, and is committed to supporting employees and their families in work-life balance. The university seeks to create an inclusive and diverse environment for faculty and students while promoting enrichment of society through excellent teaching, active scholarship, and service. More information can be found at Grand Valley State University (

How to Apply: A complete application must include: (1) a cover letter addressing qualifications, your motivation to take this position, and how you address diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in the context of strategic communication (2) résumé, (3) and contact information for three professional references. Applicants invited for an interview will be asked to submit a portfolio of representative work, e.g., press releases, websites, social media campaigns, annual reports, speeches, letters of recommendation, etc.

Apply online at Open Positions - GVSU Jobs - Grand Valley State University and select “Apply now”. The online application will allow applicants to attach these documents electronically.

If you need assistance, call Human Resources at 616-331-2215.  Email questions about the position to: Donovan Anderson ([email protected]).

Application Deadline:  The review process will begin on November 15, 2022 and continue until the position is filled. The posting may be closed at any time at the discretion of the University.

Allendale, Michigan 49401 - (616) 331-5000

For more information about Grand Valley, see our website at

Grand Valley State University is an EOE which includes protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. See TDD Callers: Call Michigan Relay Center at 711 (in State) or 1-800-833-7833 (out of State)



  • $282 million in financial aid awarded
  • $84 million of that aid was in the form of scholarships and grant assistance
  • 8,275 students participating in internships, co-ops, practica, and student teaching
  • 11,700+ employment and internship opportunities listed with GVSU Career Center
  • 1,100+ employers participating in career events
  • Middle 50% of Fall 2016 entering class earned high school GPAs from 3.3–3.9, ACT scores of 21–26 and SAT scores of 1050 to 1220


  • 250+ sustainability-related courses offered at Grand Valley
  • One of the greenest universities in the nation, according to the Sierra Club
  • 48.6 percent decrease in use of water, 35 percent decrease in natural gas and 28.7 percent decrease in electricity during the past 15 years at Grand Valley
  • 26 LEED-certified buildings completed at Grand Valley
  • Gold status and seventh in the nation for master's-level institutions, according to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education
  • 250+ energy-saving projects carried out by GVSU in the last 15 years, resulting in more than $2 million in annual cost avoidances.

ADMINISTRATIONgvsu employer profile

Established: Grand Valley State University was chartered by the Michigan legislature in 1960 in response to the need for a public, four-year college in the state's second largest metropolitan region.

Mission: Education students to shape their lived, their professions, and their societies. The university contributes to the enrichment of society through excellent teaching, active scholarship, and public service.

President: Thomas J. Haas

Board of Trustees:

  • Victor M. Cardenas
  • Randall S. Damstra
  • David S. Hooker 
  • John C. Kennedy (chair)
  • Mary L. Kramer (vice chair)
  • John G. Russell
  • Megan S. Sall
  • Kate Pew Wolters
  • Thomas J. Haas (ex officio)
  • Donna K. Brooks, (honorary life member)
  • Dorothy A. Johnson, (honorary life member)

Accreditation: Grand Valley is accredited by The Higher Llearning Commission; Member - North Central Association, 230 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1411; telephone: (312) 263-0456; Web: 

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