Director of Communications

The Opportunity:

The highly ranked Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts (VCUarts) seeks a dynamic Director of Communications to lead the school's communications priorities and develop creative strategies to promote the school to both internal and external audiences. Under the direction of the Dean and working closely with the Dean's leadership team, the Director will oversee the flow of news and information that informs the public and ensures that the communications office is focusing on the projects that have the greatest and most immediate impact on the reputation of the school and university. The Director will be charged with the creation and execution of a strategic communications plan that leverages the School's national reputation and rankings. The Director will be a partner to all departments and units across the school including the development team. The university is planning for the launch of the next capital campaign and the Director of Communications will be a key player in supporting the Dean and Lead Development Officer in the messaging and strategic direction of the next campaign, the most aggressive in the school's history. The Director will ensure that all internal and external communications exemplify an institutional and school-wide priority to foster a welcoming and appreciative culture, model VCUarts' commitment to creating an inclusive and open environment, and align with the School's core values. The Director will bring a high level of energy and enthusiasm to lead and inspire an integrated marketing and communications team around a shared vision for the School's long-term success. It is expected the Director will provide guidance and leadership to the School's communications team to ensure a healthy workplace that values experience and new ideas. Major responsibilities will include oversight of the website, print and digital media, design and production, donor and alumni publications, public relations, internal communications, videography, social media and crisis communications.

Required Qualifications:

The Director of Communications must have:
• Demonstrated success managing multiple significant and successful communications initiatives.
• Experience in training, managing, and mentoring a staff with a variety of skill sets and the ability to build, develop, supervise and energize a team of communications professionals.
•. The highest level of integrity, accountability, and trustworthiness.
• A desire to foster an empowered, inspired, and positive culture for staff.
• A creative approach to problem solving and the ability to take advantage of emerging opportunities.
• Outstanding interpersonal skills and political savvy, with the ability to navigate a complex environment and understand and relate effectively with diverse constituents.
• Ability to function at peak in a high expectation environment is essential.
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills and the ability to communicate in a clear, consistent, and transparent manner to create shared goals and understanding.
• Master's degree in a related field required, and/or training and professional experience that equates to a graduate degree.
• Significant number of years of experience with a complex organization engaged in marketing, communications and/or advertising and public relations preferably in a higher education environment.
• Understanding of issues, controversies, and trends affecting higher education.
• Proven superior strategic and tactical communication skills, instincts, and message development.
• Significant and progressive experience in leadership roles to design and implement strategic communications plans incorporating clear definition of goals and target audiences aligned with institutional priorities.
• Demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment or commitment to do so as a faculty member at VCU.
• Demonstrated expertise in writing, editing, public relations, marketing, and/or design.
• An understanding of creative processes associated with print, web design and social media.
• Background in publications/printing; website design, architecture, navigation, user experience; social media; digital and print advertising.
• Precise attention to detail and the ability to understand and adhere to the policies and procedures of the university.
• Ability to set proactive strategy throughout the year and quickly identify and leverage current events.
• A passion for the arts and a keen understanding of donor audiences specific to the arts.

The Director of Communications must be:
• Creative and ambitious yet flexible in order to thrive in a fast paced, academic environment while juggling numerous projects and simultaneously responding to numerous constituencies with ease.
• A natural at telling stories with words and images.
• Highly motivated and flexible with compelling leadership skills that are collaborative and inclusive.
• Able to demonstrate successful and engaging writing and editing and use written language accurately and creatively.
• Adept at aligning all communications to the School's shared purpose while being open to constructive feedback from a variety of stakeholders with varying viewpoints and priorities.
• Able to quickly determine the appropriate venues for information (public relations pitch, newsletter story, events site, social media, etc.)
• Decisive and possess a solid grasp on priorities by working with Dean's leadership team in establishing those priorities.
• Able to work well under pressure on a variety of projects simultaneously.
• Champion the University's strategic plan (Quest 2025) including advancing its diversity and inclusion goals and integrating inclusive practices into all work.

Application Instructions:

Review of applications begins immediately and will continue until the position is filled. For full consideration, applications are due by April 5, 2021. For the full position announcement and to submit an application, please visit the VCU job site at VCU eJobs: . Applications will only be accepted via VCU eJobs.

For more information on VCUarts, please visit Virginia Commonwealth University, please visit and

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