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Vice President for Communication

Luther College

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Job Details

Luther College
Vice President for Communication

Luther College invites applications and nominations for the position of Vice President for Communication. Located in the vibrant town of Decorah in northeastern Iowa, Luther is an undergraduate liberal arts college affiliated with the Lutheran Church (ELCA) that emphasizes the intersection of the liberal arts and vocation as a force for action and service.

Luther College today is in a strong position, with much to celebrate. Ranked among the top liberal arts colleges, Luther is nationally recognized for its foundational Paideia program, the number of students awarded prestigious Fulbright scholarships, and the percentage of students who study abroad. Luther's program in music enjoys international distinction, and the college is a leader in environmental sustainability. Within months of graduation, nearly 100 percent of Luther graduates are employed, engaged in graduate or professional study, or involved in volunteer service. Luther graduates push the frontiers of science; build thriving businesses; educate and nurture children; address disease, poverty, and injustice; develop new technologies; protect the earth and promote sustainability; strengthen faith; and create art and music that elevate the spirit and nourish humanity. Luther's residential setting in a vibrant town surrounded by natural beauty invites immersion and exploration. Luther exists at the intersection of passionate people and big ideas. The college offers more than 60 majors, minors and programs to teach its students new skills and elevate their passions. These programs are housed in 24 academic departments.

Decorah is a hidden gem that lies in the Driftless Region, a beautiful environment of rolling hills, sandstone bluffs, waterfalls, and spring-fed creeks. And the community of Decorah is just as unique and inviting as the landscape. Decorah is a city in and the county seat of Winneshiek County, Iowa, which has a population over 7,500. Going to Luther is synonymous with living in beautiful Decorah and over 1,000 alumni live in the city.

The Division of Communication works to enhance and promote the Luther brand in close partnership with all campus constituencies. The division is tasked with communicating Luther's key messages to the college's primary audiences, including prospective students, alumni and friends, current and prospective donors, the campus community, and the local and global communities. Communication develops programs to enhance and promote the image of Luther College by working closely with on-campus constituencies.

The Vice President for Communication (VPC) will lead a division devoted to affirming and elevating the importance of internal and external communication, marketing, programming, and public relations in support of Luther College's brand and mission. Reporting to the President, the VPC will work with collaborative partners in the President's Cabinet to advance the College's strategic framework. The successful candidate will be an experienced leader and strategist with demonstrated skills in data-informed brand management and communication across multiple channels and modalities.


• Demonstrated experience in marketing, journalism, communication, brand management, or related fields required.
• Bachelor's degree required; advanced degree preferred.
• Sufficient experience in executing on recent and future-looking strategies for marketing, communications, and public/external relations at a level appropriate to provide leadership to a broad division.
• Experience in higher education or a deep appreciation for and commitment to mission-based non-profit organizations–including higher education and its transformational role in society–as well as a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all its forms.
• Solid knowledge of current market research, data analysis, channels, trends, and methodologies used in marketing and communications, as well as the temperament necessary to lead and manage change in a fast-paced and quickly evolving field and industry in a division with 20+ employees.
• Exceptional communication and presentation skills.

More information, including an institutional profile with a full list of essential duties and responsibilities, is available at this link:

How to Apply: Applications should consist of a substantial letter of interest, a resume, and a list of five professional references with full contact information. No references will be contacted without the explicit permission of the candidate. Applications, nominations, and expressions of interest can be submitted electronically, and in confidence, to:

The position is open until filled but only applications received by Friday, August 4, 2023, can be assured full consideration. The university is being assisted by Academic Search. Confidential discussions about this opportunity may be arranged by contacting consultants Ann Hasselmo at and Chris Butler at Further information about Luther College is available at

Luther College seeks to build a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students. Luther College is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and persons of diverse ethnic backgrounds are especially encouraged to apply. We value the input of multiple viewpoints and perspectives to create an academic community rich with cultural, social, and intellectual diversity. Candidates are encouraged to identify their strengths or experiences that will contribute to this goal.

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Located in the small northeast Iowa town of Decorah, Luther College is an undergraduate liberal arts institution of about 2,500 students. The college is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Founded in 1861 by Norwegian immigrants, Luther offers more than 60 majors and preprofessional and certificate programs leading to the bachelor of arts degree. Its mission statement emphasizes faith, leadership, and community service. Luther College provides equal opportunity for all qualified persons in its educational programs and activities.

After discussions extending over several years, the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America decided on October 10, 1857, to found a college and began to gather subscriptions for a building fund.  In the same year, it also decided that, until such time as suitable buildings could be erected, students should be sent to Concordia College and Seminary in St. Louis, and that a Norwegian professorship should be established there. The first three students went to St. Louis in 1858 and five more followed the next year.

Luther College moves to Decorah
In the summer of 1862 the school was transferred to Decorah; its first home was the building, still standing, at the northwest corner of Winnebago and Main streets. The first building on the college campus was "Main," dedicated October 14, 1865.

The present Main building is the third "Main" to stand on the same site, the two preceding having been destroyed by fire in 1889 and 1942. Though college work was begun in 1861, the Civil War, illness, and other causes left none of that year's freshman class to graduate in 1865. The first graduating class, therefore, was that of 1866.

The classical curriculum established by the founders of the college was changed in 1932 when the requirement that all students take both Greek and Latin was dropped.

For 75 years the school admitted men only; then in 1936 Luther College became coeducational. When the institution celebrated its centennial in 1961, it had an enrollment of 1,357 and a staff of 74 full-time and 12 part-time teachers.

Student body enrollment expands
Expansion has marked Luther's second century with the student body at 2,545 in the fall of 2005. Faculty have increased to 175. The college has expanded physically since 1960 with an extensive building program that included a new union, library, science hall, field house and athletic complex, three residence halls, a music building, an art and theatre building, and a center for worship and performing arts.

Farwell Hall, a residence hall, and a major expansion of the field house, now renamed the Regents Center, were completed in early 1991. The Franklin W. Olin Building, was completed in Fall 1995. Baker Village, a townhouse-style residential complex, opened in Fall 1999. The Center for the Arts opened in Fall 2002.

The college has also expanded its academic program to include the professional areas of nursing and social work, several preprofessional programs, and a study center in England—all based in Luther's commitment to the liberal arts.

In the reforming spirit of Martin Luther, Luther College affirms the liberating power of faith and learning. As people of all backgrounds, we embrace diversity and challenge one another to learn in community, to discern our callings, and to serve with distinction for the common good.

As a college of the church, Luther is rooted in an understanding of grace and freedom that emboldens us in worship, study, and service to seek truth, examine our faith, and care for all God’s people.

As a liberal arts college, Luther is committed to a way of learning that moves us beyond immediate interests and present knowledge into a larger world—an education that disciplines minds and develops whole persons equipped to understand and confront a changing society.

As a residential college, Luther is a place of intersection. Founded where river, woodland, and prairie meet, we practice joyful stewardship of the resources that surround us, and we strive to be a community where students, faculty, and staff are enlivened and transformed by encounters with one another, by the exchange of ideas, and by the life of faith and learning.


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