Executive Director, Marketing and Communications

Elmhurst University

Elmhurst University is a leading institution of higher education that seamlessly blends liberal learning and professional preparation to help students reach their full potential. Elmhurst University offers more than 70 undergraduate majors, 17 graduate programs, degree-completion programs for busy adults, and the acclaimed Elmhurst Learning and Success Academy for young adults with developmental disabilities. Elmhurst University is one of the Top 10 Colleges in the Midwest, according to U.S. News & World Report; and U.S. News, Money and Forbes magazines consistently rank Elmhurst as one of the Midwest’s best values in higher education.


Position Details

Executive Director, Marketing and Communications
Northern Illinois
Elmhurst, IL

The Executive Director provides effective leadership to the Office of Marketing and Communications, with an overarching goal of enhancing the image and reputation of Elmhurst University. They oversee all marketing strategies and tactics, including print, interactive and digital, advertising, public relations, community relations and internal communications.

Essential Functions:

  • Lead the overall marketing strategy for the University, and advise the President and campus leadership on effective tactics and best practices to position the institution as a leader in higher education marketing. 
  • Oversee the execution of a wide-ranging marketing program to support the Office of Admission, incorporating an integrated marketing approach that fully supports the institution’s enrollment goals. 
  • Partner with the University’s agency of record on annual media campaigns for undergraduate and graduate recruitment, including audience research and reporting. 
  • Collaborate with the Office of Institutional Advancement on the creation of publications, tactics and campaigns to drive fundraising and alumni engagement efforts. 
  • Lead the strategy for the University’s web properties, social media and content marketing initiatives. 
  • Meet regularly with internal content strategy group to brainstorm news releases, web stories and social media posts. 
  • Supervise department of nine with six FTE direct reports, and develop an effective and high-performing team dynamic across the office. 
  • Manage the office’s budget. 
  • Partner with the campus community on developing and improving internal communications. 
  • Oversee major University periodicals, including the flagship magazine, Prospect. 
  • Manage outside agency and vendor relationships, including printers and freelance videographers, photographers, designers and writers. 
  • Collaborate with campus leadership, outside consultants and other offices on crisis communications. 
  • Work closely with internal and external designers to ensure the University brand is consistent and dynamic across all creative collateral. 
  • Collaborate with the senior director of communications and external relations on cultural event promotions, writing projects for leadership and public relations reporting. 
  • Develop and share data insights from a variety of sources to track advertising and channel effectiveness. 
  • Participate in executive meetings (President’s Cabinet, Administrative Council, committees, etc.) as needed. 
  • Act as the executive liaison to the marketing subcommittee of the Board of Trustees, and attend the Enrollment Management and Strategic Communications committee to provide marketing updates.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in marketing or related field. 
  • Five (5) years of work in marketing, with wide-ranging experience across print and digital channels. 
  • Demonstrated understanding of integrated marketing strategies, media management and reporting, and print production. 
  • Experience leading a cross-functional team and collaborating with internal and external clients. 
  • Demonstrated problem-solving skills, project management experience and a dedication to high-quality work. 
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Seven (7) or more years of work in marketing, with wide-ranging experience across print and digital channels. 
  • Previous higher education work experience. 
  • Prior management of agency and vendor relationships. 
  • Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills. 
  • Familiarity with web analytics and search engine optimization (SEO). 
  • Ability to tell a compelling and consistent story across a variety of media types.

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