Vice President of Communications and Marketing Strategy

Minneapolis College of Art and Design

About Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD):

Founded in 1886, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design is a private, nonprofit teaching institution located in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. MCAD is an independent, accredited institution with 14 BFA degree programs in Design, Fine Arts, and Media Arts. It also has a BS degree in Entrepreneurial Studies, an MFA program, and online degrees. Dedicated to the creative and professional success of its students, MCAD is an important participant in the Twin Cities’ thriving cultural community. Minnesota enjoys a long history of cultural community, furthered by the generous support of numerous private foundations. Notable cultural institutions include Walker Art Center, Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis Institute of Art, and Weisman Art Museum. The Twin Cities host abundant live theater, music venues, galleries, art film festivals, and are home to many celebrated international advertising and design companies. Major sports teams in football, men and women’s basketball, baseball and hockey complement the arts. Bicycling Magazine recently named Minneapolis the most bike friendly city in America. The Twin Cities frequently rates as one of the best places to live in the United States. In June 2014, CBRE rated Minneapolis as the greenest city in the nation. Ranked as the 14th largest metropolitan area in the nation, the area hosts 19 Fortune 500 Companies and seven of the largest private companies in the country.

Position Details

Vice President of Communications and Marketing Strategy
Twin Cities Metro
Minneapolis, MN

The Vice President of Communications and Marketing Strategy (VPCMS) has overall responsibility for leading, developing, and implementing marketing and communication efforts, research-based messaging, public and media relations, and branding activity for MCAD. This role is essential in the differentiation and elevation of the MCAD brand and directly and indirectly enhances effectiveness of recruitment, retention, fundraising, and overall brand recognition. This role is responsible for developing communication, marketing and service policies, programs and systems to support strategic direction, media and public relations, and aligning MCAD marketing and communication planning to the vision, mission, and goals of the college. The ideal VPCMS will be a key member of the Presidential Advisory Committee (PAC) to ensure the best possible service and effective communications to various college stakeholder groups. Additionally the VPCMS builds strong and productive relationships with all college leaders and constituents, communicating with and advising the MCAD community on marketing, media, and communication policies, standards, procedures, methodology, etc. in order to achieve integrated, cohesive, and innovative marketing and communication goals, and a distinct and recognizable MCAD brand.



  • Serve as Chief Communications and Marketing Strategy Officer of the college, providing support in the area of marketing strategy and management.
  • Develop the short and long term marketing plans and the strategies, tactics, and resources necessary to achieve MCAD’s goals.
  • Increase MCAD’s positive media presence to build local, national and international audiences.
  • Provide leadership for and/or support of the design, development, and implementation of marketing and communication strategies and tactics.
  • Provide input and support to the President, Board of Trustees, and the Presidential Advisory Committee (PAC) in the development of joint ventures, affiliations and partnership arrangements.
  • Ensure that all marketing communications (internal and/or external) are coordinated, support marketing plan objectives, and are executed in an effective manner and with efficient expenditure of resources.
  • In conjunction with the VP of Enrollment Management and VP of Institutional Advancement, provide support and leadership for marketing communications.
  • Oversee issues-management and crisis communications plans and advise senior leaders in the event of a crisis.
  • Direct implementation and execution of marketing and service policies and practices.
  • Maintain knowledge of and mentor staff on best practices and effective strategies in marketing and communications, including new media and SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Research and Analysis:

  • Create an institutional and system-wide marketing reporting function that can track, measure and analyze performance.
  • Coordinate marketing efforts of resellers, including international resellers, with strategic plans and objectives.
  • Oversee and direct market research, competitor analysis and customer service and retention monitoring processes and initiatives.
  • Prepare presentations to explain the college’s current and future strategies. Develop annual marketing and service plan in support of organizational strategy and objectives.
  • Participate fully in professional societies and activities related to higher education in general, art and design school in particular, and the marketing profession overall.
  • Leverage both qualitative and quantitative information to develop effective and creative solutions to strengthen MCAD’s brand and increase overall brand engagement across channels and within stakeholder groups (prospective students, students, alumni, prospective employees, staff, faculty, donors, etc.)


  • Prepare and manage department budget.
  • Prepare annual reports, including but not limited to strategy, execution, budget, effectiveness, etc.
  • Provide marketing skills and expertise to the college by building, developing, and managing a communications and marketing team capable of carrying out the necessary marketing strategies and tactics.
  • Provide supervision and leadership for the daily operations and strategic planning for the following teams, including development, management, and enforcement of policy and procedure: Web Communications and Design Works

General Functions:

  • Hire, develop, manage, mentor, and retain talented and qualified staff.
  • Collaborate and influence effectively to develop creative, alternative solutions if and when needed.
  • Serve as a facilitator, convener, bridge-builder, and mediator across campus to cultivate brand awareness and strength.


  • Bachelor's Degree Marketing and/or communications required.
  • Master's Degree Marketing and/or Communications strongly preferred.


  • Seven or more years of experience in marketing and/or communications in one or more of the following settings: education, not-for-profit, government, business and/or industry, is required.
  • A record of success in progressively responsible positions is required.
  • At least three years of management experience is required, as is experience in one or more of these areas: marketing, public relations, media relations, and publications. Project and budget management experience strongly preferred.
  • Demonstrated appreciation of the visual arts and working within a creative community of artists and designers.
  • Demonstrated grasp of electronic communications usability issues and practices, including familiarity with CRM and UI/UX best practices.
  • Good communication skills (verbal and written) with varied levels and types of constituents at a higher education institution (faculty, students, administration, staff).
  • Ability to value and work in a diverse and inclusive environment and craft communications with multiple audiences in mind.
  • Ability to liaise with members of the community at every level and present complex information to community members and leaders in a way that results in appropriate and confident decision making.
  • Ability to effectively represent the college as its spokesperson during an emergency or crisis.

Other: This position has been identified as security sensitive, and as such will require a background check. At the discretion of the college, various background checks may be done during the course of employment.

Environment: This job operates in a professional office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, filing cabinets. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear. The employee frequently is required to stand; walk; use hands to finger, handle or feel; and reach with hands and arms. Upon request, reasonable accommodation will be provided to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

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