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Director of Communications

Apply now Job no: 510573
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Commonwealth Honors College
Union: PSU
Categories: Public Relations, Marketing, Communications

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


Job Summary

Provide leadership and oversight for the communications, marketing, and national visibility efforts of Commonwealth Honors College (CHC). Initiate college and campus committees, projects, and activities in service of college mission and goals.  The Director of Communications promotes the activities, initiatives, and accomplishments of the College to constituents such as alumni, current students, and prospective students. The incumbent serves as a representative of the Dean and is the spokesperson for media outlets.

The Director of Communications is a significant contributor to the Dean’s senior staff.


Essential Functions

  • Provide oversight and direction for materials representing the College.
    • Create and oversee college branding.
    • Develop and produce multi-media marketing and communications materials (including print publications, email, website and social media) for distribution to constituents.
    • Write feature stories, news items, press releases, etc. 
    • Write, design, edit and produce documents, posters, pamphlets, special event publications and other material as needed. 
    • Support and oversee the coordination of written communication efforts in college units.
    • Prepare annual budget recommendations for communications materials and website and participate in budget determination.
    • Develop printed and digital recruitment materials and other collateral.
    • Create multimedia assets, including videos and photos.
    • Supervise team of student communications assistants (writers) and photographers; select, supervise and direct graphic designers, photographers, and freelance writers.
    • Evaluate and procure off-campus vendors and services as appropriate.
  • Provide vision/guidance for use of resources and technology to meet College's communications needs.
    • Responsible for the college website, including construction of new pages and creation of content. Ensure overall visual and navigational consistency throughout website.
    • Oversee content and distribution of weekly e-newsletter for students.
    • Manage the college’s customer relations management system account.
    • Partner with CHC's IT unit to meet college's communications objectives.
    • Create and maintain dynamic and Search Engine Optimized webpages, including news, student profiles, blogs, and multi-media sections.
    • Create and oversee social media, including CHC Facebook pages, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, blogs, and YouTube.
  • Provide leadership to various college and campus-wide communications initiatives to produce communications pieces.
    • Provide strategic planning and project management expertise to units, college, and campus-wide committees and projects.
    • Take a leadership role in website redesign.
    • Provide strategic direction to CHC units for their communications goals, including website content.
    • Consult with other academic units about website creation and development.
    • Liaise with University Relations colleagues around campus-wide communications.
    • Partner with/represent CHC on campus-wide committees and/or partnerships with other campus units (e.g., Residential Life).
  • Develop collateral for college events.
    • Responsible for communications and collateral for college events and activities.
    • Create communications and collateral for annual recruitment and new student events.
    • Create talking points, PowerPoint slides, and other materials for the Dean and Associate Dean as needed.


Other Functions

  • Performs related duties as assigned or required to meet Department, Executive Area/Division, and University goals and objectives.
  • Understands responsibilities with respect to Title IX, Clery and other compliance requirements.
  • Demonstrates capacity, skill, and willingness to engage students and contribute to student success.
  • Works collaboratively with other campus stakeholders to fulfill the mission of Student Affairs and Campus Life.


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Bachelor’s Degree.
  • Three to Five years’ communications experience, to include a combination of print and digital media production, graphic design, publication development, writing, working with vendors and editorial services.
  • Demonstrated strong communications, organizational and writing skills.
  • Demonstrated creative ability and management skills.
  • Knowledge of current media technology.
  • Ability to work independently and beyond traditional working hours.
  • Capable of working successfully with diverse populations.
  • Strong interpersonal and customer service skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to set work priorities, coordinate multiple projects, and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment.
  • Capacity for a high degree of independent action and initiative, including the ability to establish priorities and organize multiple complex tasks, while working collaboratively.
  • Demonstrated ability to take on new challenges and tasks as needed.


Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Master’s Degree.
  • Knowledge and experience in the design and maintenance of websites and media collateral.
  • Understanding of current technology and software relevant to marketing and communications, such as Salesforce, Marketing Cloud, or similar.  
  • Understanding of the potential of new technologies to advance goals of the position and college.


Work Schedule

Monday through Friday, 8:30-5, with occasional nights, weekends, and outside traditional hours, as needed.


Salary Information

Level 27

PSU Salary Ranges


Special Instructions to Applicants

Please submit your application online and include a resume, cover letter and contact information for three professional references.


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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