Associate Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Institutional Advancement

University of Northwestern - St. Paul

About University of Northwestern - St. Paul:

University of Northwestern - St. Paul is an evangelical, non-denominational Christian institution offering both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Northwestern is an intentional community of faith, living, and learning located in St. Paul, Minnesota. Since 1902, Northwestern has been committed to providing Christ-centered, academically excellent education for men and women from around the world. Northwestern’s 100-acre campus is nestled along the shores of Lake Johanna. The downtown areas of both Saint Paul and Minneapolis can be reached within 15 minutes, providing easy access to hundreds of cultural and recreational activities in the Twin Cities.

Position Details

Associate Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Institutional Advancement
Twin Cities Metro
St. Paul, MN

Provide institutional leadership to all aspects of university communication, marketing, branding, crisis communications, and public relations. Responsible to create a comprehensive communication, marketing, and public relations strategy that serves Enrollment, Advancement, and faculty recruiting efforts, serving as an internal creative agency. Provide graphic design support to Athletic programs. Ensure that the University’s mission is met through communication and marketing efforts that align with best practices, are deployed with excellence, intentionality, and consistency. Work closely with campus stakeholders to promote strong communications that protect and improve the Northwestern brand.

Essential job responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Create, build, launch, and manage a dynamic team of creative talent. 
  • Provide strategic leadership for campus-wide communication plans and effective marketing strategies for Enrollment and Advancement; host monthly strategy event with Vice Presidents and program Deans to review priorities and upcoming marketing needs for emerging opportunities. 
  • Employ an agency model to serve non-enrollment campus needs, operating a negative budget and responsible to bill appropriately for services rendered. 
  • Provide oversight so that quality online, video, photographic, print, and other communication pieces are produced and curated with excellence in a timely fashion. 
  • Develop, protect, and own brand standards and promote best use of the University brand image and style. Work with departments campus-wide to ensure that UNW publications, signage, ads, web pages, and other communication materials (internal and external) are as consistent as possible and/or necessary and are the best representation of the University. 
  • Direct public relations staff to increase visibility of Northwestern through positive relationships with media; generate good-will and earned media coverage which advances UNW’s mission. 
  • Oversee UNW’s web presence so that it is relevant, effective, updated, and mission centric. 
  • Assist with Retention Office and Institutional Technology to employ an internal communication plans that best informs UNW’s internal audiences of students, faculty, and staff. 
  • Provide leadership and oversight to UNW’s social media endeavors in collaboration with the digital media staff. 
  • Serve as primary spokesperson for the University. 
  • Serve as senior editor of The Pilot. 
  • Serve as Government Relations officer. 
  • Serve on the Crisis Communication Team and assist with updating the crisis communication plan. 
  • Provide direct support to the President’s Office during a crisis communication event. 
  • Provide budgetary oversight for marketing and communications department. 
  • Assist the President’s Office as requested. 
  • Abide by all University policies. 
  • Because our community is a significant part of our mission and the development of our students, all employees act as a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ by actively partnering with the University to disciple students in growing intellectually and spiritually, and with Northwestern Media to lead people to Christ and nurture believers to mature in their faith.

Minimum Education and Experience:

  • Master’s degree required; communications or public relations degree preferred; degree from a Christian college or university preferred 
  • Seven to ten years experience in a public relations or communications leadership role, preferably in higher education or other non-profit organization 
  • Maintain a personal relationship with Jesus Christ; is a consistent witness for Jesus Christ; maintain a kind, Christ-like attitude in dealing with and ministering to people within and outside of Northwestern; and faithfully uphold and embrace Northwestern’s mission, doctrinal statement, and Declaration of Christian Community.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Ability to develop good-will among staff, faculty, students, media, the community, and government officials 
  • Ability to respond accurately, appropriately, timely and mission-centric under pressure and to maintain appropriate confidentiality 
  • Strong communication and marketing skills to translate multiple messages into a cohesive brand reflecting the image, goals, and distinctives of Northwestern 
  • A strong commitment to Christian higher education 
  • Exceptional written communication skills, including writing and editing, which includes the ability to adapt reporting and writing styles to different audiences/constituencies 
  • Exceptional oral communication and listening skills 
  • High emotional intelligence, with the astute ability to lead a team, build and maintain positive relationships with a wide variety of constituencies, from students to public figures 
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and manage the budget and financial resources commensurate with the position’s delegated level of responsibility 
  • Comprehensive understanding of web design and purpose, social networking sites, and other electronic media tools in order to provide oversight to strategic initiatives for each 
  • Functional knowledge of one or more additional areas within University Communications (marketing, graphic design, etc.) 
  • Ability to articulate the purpose and benefit of a Christian college experience, including a clear and concise position on the integration of faith and learning 
  • Serve as a role model by demonstrating an active Christian faith in personal and work life 
  • Ability to maintain a flexible schedule 
  • Knowledge and understanding of intermediate computer skills 
  • Ability to type 40 wpm and to efficiently and accurately use the computer to carry out job responsibilities 
  • Ability to interact with a variety of individuals in a professional, courteous, and tactful manner 
  • Strong organizational and problem solving skills 

In addition to being part of a compelling, meaningful mission, we have benefits we believe set us apart from other employers. For example we have:

  • Generous health, dental and other insurance benefits 
  • Company retirement contributions that exceed levels of many for-profit organizations 
  • Tuition benefits for employees and their families 
  • Complimentary access to athletic, music, and theatre events 
  • Eleven paid holidays per year 
  • Generous Paid Time Off plan 
  • Northwestern was one of 100 Minnesota organizations named to the Star Tribune Top Workplaces list in 2010, 2012 and 2014!

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