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A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position. In your cover letter, please indicate how you discovered this opportunity.

Job Summary

Market Title:  Communications Top Executive Unit (102697)

Working Title:  Senior Executive Director, Marketing and Communications

Office of University Development

Reports to:    Vice President of Development

Supervises directly:    Senior Director, Executive and Internal Communications; Senior Director, Marketing and Brand Strategy; and Administrative Specialist

Position summary:    The Senior Executive Director, Marketing and Communications leads the marketing and communications initiatives for the Office of University Development (OUD). The Senior Executive Director provides leadership in integrated brand management for overall messaging in OUD. In concert with the other members of the OUD Management Team, the Senior Executive Director will propel the core communication and promotion of a culture of philanthropy at the University of Michigan.  The Senior Executive Director will be expected to integrate into the university-wide Marketing and Communications community and ensure that development is consistently and effectively represented.



 45%    OUD Marketing: strategy and creative development

•    Defines objectives and strategies in collaboration with development colleagues

•    Develops marketing plans based on a deep understanding of marketing, media and production principles 

•    Generates innovative ideas to raise funds for the university, steward donors, and/or enhance the U-M development community

•    Liaises across OUD and university partners to build relationships and deliver expertise

       o    Guides non-marketing colleagues in understanding marketing processes

       o    Serves as strategic consultant for ad-hoc school/college/unit (S/C/U) and OUD interests and projects

       o    Champions best marketing practices

•    Develops and presents consistent, timely reporting on internal key performance indicators 

•    Supports broad reach communication

       o    Leaders & Best magazine and eZine

       o    Leaders & Best People newsletter and eZine

       o    Leaders & Best website

            -    Liaises with the Strategic Partners in E-Communication Solutions (SPECS) team on refinement of online giving function

       o    Social media

            -    Leaders & Best Facebook and Twitter

            -    Forever Go Blue

•    In partnership with the Campaign Director, plan and execute campaign marketing plans

       o    Work in partnership with Office of the Vice President for Communications (and university agency of record) on university branding and its extension into campaign branding

       o    Develop targeted strategies and tactics as they relate to:

            -    Volunteer recruitment

            -    Volunteer leadership meetings and events

            -    Campaign messaging, nationally and in regional markets

            -    Campaign kickoff and closing events

            -    Post-campaign volunteer/donor stewardship and recognition events

•    Marketing thought leadership for emerging market segments

       o    Parents and family

       o    Student philanthropy

       o    Reunions and reunion giving

       o    Faculty and staff

       o    International giving

•    In partnership with the University & Development Events (UDE) team and other stakeholders, provide creative consultation to engage donors at OUD-sponsored special events


30%    OUD Communications: strategy and creative development

•    Internal Communications

       o    Manage interactions with Regents on major gift communications topics

       o    Manage development and execution of communications with development community, including Development Council meetings and In The Know newsletter

       o    Work with the Associate VP to plan and support Chief Development Officer (CDO) meetings

•    External Communications

       o    Media relations regarding major gift announcements

       o    Oversee communications for the Vice President for Development’s (VPD) presentations, speeches, etc.


15%    Departmental Leadership

•    Develop and advocate for a marketing strategy for OUD Marketing and Communications

       o    Collaborate with SCUs to extend and amplify that strategy 

•    Maintain and prioritize the investment of OUD marketing and campaign budgets

•    Recruit, mentor and motivate a staff of approximately 20 

•    Participate on OUD Management Team: setting divisional strategic priorities and managing the budget 


10%     Other Tasks as Assigned

•    University marketing

       o    Participate on university-wide Executive Marketing Council

       o    Serve as counsel to University Vice President for Global Communications

•    Serve as VPD’s representative on university-wide Bicentennial Committee

•    Serve as OUD liaison to Michigan Radio

•    Serve as co-host at football games in Regents Guest Area


Required Qualifications*

•    Bachelor’s degree required.  7-10+ years of applicable experience in management and marketing, communications, journalism, or public relations.

•    Demonstrated ability to successfully foster a positive team environment with a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

•    Advanced knowledge of current and emerging marketing trends and best practices, such as expanded use of internet and web resources.

•    Advanced market research, analytical, and problem recognition, avoidance and resolution skills.

•    Advanced skill in strategic planning, effectively organizing resources and setting and establishing priorities.

•    Extensive experience with crafting, presenting and sharing a message in an imaginative and creative way that is part of a well-orchestrated process for generating revenue and building and strengthening relationships with constituents.  

•    Exceptional interpersonal and communications skills with a strong commitment to customer service and open communication.

•    An appreciation for a rigorous academic environment, coupled with a familiarity with the complexities and politics of the university setting.

Desired Qualifications*

•    Advanced degree, preferably in marketing, journalism, or communications.  Candidates who have had hands on experience in marketing, public relations, product rollout and promotion or event production will be strongly considered. 

•    Familiarity with University Policies and Procedures.

Additional Information

For additional information about this position and to review other current openings in Development, please visit our website at:

Mission Statement

The Office of University Development maximizes private support for the University of Michigan through high-quality collaboration with the development programs of schools, colleges, and units. We also provide fundraising leadership through the stimulation and facilitation of healthy, productive and life-long relationships with our colleagues, alumni, friends, foundations and corporations.

Application Deadline

Although the Posting End Date may indicate otherwise, this job may be filled and closed anytime after a posting duration of seven calendar days.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

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