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How to Apply

Interested candidates must apply through the UM Jobs website ( A cover letter, not to exceed one page, is required and must answer the following questions:

  1. Based on your understanding of Development, Marketing, and Communications, please explain why you are applying for this position.
  2. Teamwork is critical to our success. Please share how you have ensured others are successful or how do you help others be at their best.
  3. Please share your experience in supporting a positive organizational culture.
  4. How did you learn of this posting?

Please submit your cover letter and resume as a single electronic document. In addition, please submit a writing sample as either a link in your cover letter (be sure to provide the entire URL) or following your resume. Candidates who are not in compliance with these requests will not be considered.

The target salary range for this position is $105,000-$115,000.

Job Summary

LSA Development, Marketing and Communications (DMC) joyfully creates a culture of giving and engagement for the nation’s preeminent public liberal arts college. DMC seeks a Communications Director who will be responsible for raising the public profile and stature of LSA.  This position’s primary responsibilities will be:

To serve the College by raising and enhancing its public profile,

To provide outstanding leadership and a positive work environment to communications team members,

To build and execute PR, editorial, and social media strategies that are strong, flexible, backed by data, and collaborative with our campus partners,

To build, as part of DMC’s service model, an internal communications network with the departments, programs, and key stakeholders in the College, including students, faculty, staff, and others.


Specific responsibilities include:

(40%)  Strategic Communications Planning

In collaboration with the director of marketing and communications, the associate dean for advancement, and the dean of the College, sets clear and ambitious goals for college communications and team members.

Develops and executes strategic plans for communications and media relations that successfully engage LSA’s multiple audiences.

Builds a communications network of stakeholders across the College and University as a foundation for executing internal communications plans.

Collaborates across organizational boundaries in LSA and across the University to advance the College’s goals.

Carries forward and expands LSA’s heritage of outstanding storytelling through print and multimedia channels, including LSA Magazine, LSA Today, live presentations, and more.

Coordinates planning with U-M’s central communications office.

Develops and executes strategies to keep LSA highly visible in a changing media landscape.

Anticipates the impact of news events on faculty, staff, and students and develops communications strategies to respond as needed.

Establishes ambitious measures of success for LSA communications efforts; evaluates and adjusts strategies in order to meet those metrics.

Keeps abreast of important trends in the Marketing and Communications industry, particularly as it applies to higher education.

(40%) Implement communications strategies

In collaboration with the Director for Marketing and Communications and University partners such as Michigan News, U-M Public Affairs, and others, effectively delivers messages that enhance the visibility and reputation of the College.

Oversees print, online, and event-based storytelling (including LSA Magazine, LSA websites, student recruitment and donor events, among others) that engage important audiences.

Assigns and, when appropriate, writes high-level communications for the dean for both internal and external audiences.

Builds and maintains strong and productive relationships with journalists in both print and electronic media.

Positions LSA faculty as thought leaders in the media.

Helps create emergency communications plans and leads communications response to unfolding emergencies.

Provides final copy edits and approvals for text.

Fosters the independent communications work of LSA’s departments and units.

Provides media training to the dean and his management team as needed. Ensures management and volunteers have the skills and confidence to deliver appropriate messages during interviews with the media.

Performs other related duties as assigned.

(20%)  Departmental Leadership

Provides positive, effective, and highly visible leadership to the Communications team that fosters a culture of creativity, collaboration, and effectiveness.

Ensures that all employees are motivated and guided to contribute fully to the realization of the College’s mission, vision, goals and objectives.

Makes decisions relative to the selection, promotion, utilization, retention, and compensation of Communications staff (5 FTE) in consultation with the Director of Marketing and Communications.

Empowers employees to identify innovative approaches to enhance organizational performance.

Incorporates the values of Positive Organizational Leadership into the team’s culture.

As a member of the LSA Marketing and Communications manager team, works with other leaders in the development and marketing and communications teams to develop strategic goals and encourage cross-team collaboration and innovation.

Required Qualifications*

The most competitive candidates for the position will possess excellent written and oral presentation skills, media relations experience, sound judgement, political sensitivity, strong collaborative instincts, and highly developed leadership skills.  They also need to be willing to support and create a culture which values the philosophy of Positive Organizational Scholarship. The role will require a highly productive approach as both a hands on doer and leader of the College’s overall communications planning. In addition, candidates should have

Bachelor degree and 8 or more years journalism/public relations experience.

Exceptional writing, editing, and oral communications skills as well as experience in communicating effectively to and through the media for a wide range of audiences.

Hands-on experience creating content for a variety of channels including print, online, email, social media, broadcast media, and in-person presentations

Supervisory experience with a staff of journalists or communications professionals and the ability to manage performance and strategy. Demonstrated ability to provide inspiring leadership to team members including direct reports and others, and to create a positive culture that supports personal and professional growth.

Experience building successful working relationships with journalists in various media.

Facility communicating with social media platforms and evaluating the success of social media strategies.

Expertise in the changing media and communications industry and the demonstrated ability to take advantage of opportunities created by these changes.

Experience developing strategic communication plans that include goals in support of the organization. Ability to effectively evaluate existing communications, using tools including benchmarking, market analysis, and digital analytics tools.

Experience positioning people to successfully deliver messages via the media and other communications venues.

Demonstrated commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Ability to navigate a decentralized work environment, using expertise and relationship-building skills to achieve objectives. 

Working knowledge of communications technology including but not limited to MS Word, Google applications, InDesign, and digital content management systems.

Desired Qualifications*

Masters degree with 10+ years of progressive public relations, media relations, and communications planning are preferred.

Passion for the University of Michigan and the liberal arts.

Experience in editing/managing a University or College level magazine (online or print).

Experience developing and executing internal communications plans for complex organizations.

Experience leading effective communications response to emergency or controversial situations.

Experience in executive communications.

Strong awareness of the impact of local, regional, national, and international events on the University and on higher education, and the ability to communicate that impact clearly to a variety of audiences.

Proven understanding of the complexity of communicating about diversity, equity, and inclusion to broad audiences with differing priorities.

Working knowledge of the University organizational policies, rules, regulations, procurement and purchasing is desired.

Experience managing communications in a higher education development setting, and an understanding of trends in higher education marketing and communications.

Additional Information

This position requires evening and weekend availability.

The College of Literature, Science, and the Arts seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce as a reflection of our commitments to serve the diverse people of Michigan, fulfill the College’s Guiding Principles, and sustain the excellence of LSA.  

To learn more about diversity, equity, and inclusion visit

To learn more about LSA’s Guiding Principles visit

Background Screening

The University of Michigan conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background checks. Background checks will be performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Mission Statement

The mission of the University of Michigan is to serve the people of Michigan and the world through preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving and applying knowledge, art, and academic values, and in developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future.  The University of Michigan is committed to foster learning, creativity and productivity, and to support the vigorous exchange of ideas and information, not only in the classroom but in the workplace by: 

  • Creating a work environment in which people treat each other with respect and dignity, regardless of roles, responsibilities or differences. 
  • Providing support, direction and resources enabling us to accomplish the responsibilities of our jobs and to reach the goals that are set for professional and personal growth.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days. This job may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.