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Job Summary

The University of Michigan-Flint is seeking an energetic and strategic leader to advance its brand and develop an ambitious program of internal and external communication that demonstrates the value UM-Flint adds to the lives of its students, alumni, and community. The Executive Director for Communications and Marketing (ED CM) will join the senior cabinet and report directly to Chancellor.

UM-Flint is a premier urban center for learning, research, and civic engagement, focused on academic excellence, ensuring that a broadly diverse student body can benefit from the university’s educational offerings, and strengthening ties to the Flint community.

The Executive Director for Communications and Marketing (ED CM) will be a critical partner in this effort, helping to articulate and demonstrate the ways in which UM-Flint is distinctive. The ED CM will serve as a senior advisor to the UM-Flint Chancellor.


The Executive Director for Communications and Marketing will be responsible for:

  • Developing and executing a strategic marketing and communications plan that promotes a consistent, compelling brand and message to prospective and current students and their parents, alumni, faculty and staff, funders, and civic partners.
  • Serving as a member of the senior cabinet and as a strategic adviser to the Chancellor, Vice Chancellors, Deans, and faculty leaders.
  • Leading a team of staff and external consultants to implement the marketing and communications program across a variety of channels (e.g., print, presentations, video, visual and digital media, media relations, community relations, special events, email and the Web).
  • Overseeing and executing high-quality marketing communications that support:
    • Admissions recruitment and materials for prospective students and their families
    • Messaging and materials that inspire and motivate donors and funding agencies
    • Speechwriting and messaging for the Chancellor and other senior leaders
    • Storytelling in all forms that conveys the distinctive contributions and lifelong value of UM-Flint in the lives of its constituents
    •  An active media relations program that cultivates relationships with traditional and nontraditional media, pitches stories proactively and responds to media requests
    • Creative and multimedia content that convey cross-cutting institutional narratives as well as the priority activities of university departments
    • Production of appropriate periodicals including digital newsletters
    • Digital communications including websites, social media, and analytics
    • Anticipating and mitigating adverse or potentially negative issues that may impact the university’s reputation; maintaining issues management and crisis communications plans and providing counsel to senior leaders in the event of a crisis.
    • Developing an internal communications program that builds pride in UM-Flint as well as trust and confidence in organizational decision-making.
    • Making use of available market research to understand the competitive landscape, design effective marketing interventions, and recommending when additional research may be needed.
    • Developing and regularly reporting on a set of metrics for measuring the effectiveness of UM-Flint’s marketing and communications program.
    • Overseeing the day-to-day activities of the communications and marketing function including budgeting, planning, and staff development. 

Required Qualifications*

  • Bachelor’s degree required; master’s degree is preferred
  • At least 10 years of progressively responsible experience in communications, marketing and/or public relations, preferably in a higher education setting. An understanding of student recruitment, fundraising, and community relations is important
  • Experience in planning, budgeting, evaluating and managing projects and staff is required
  • Exceptional judgment and interpersonal, listening, facilitating, organizing, verbal and writing skills are essential.  Demonstrated experience in communicating with a variety of audiences (i.e., faculty, staff, students, volunteers) and media is desired
  • Knowledge of best practices in message development, storytelling, media relations, graphic design, video, websites, social media, print publications, event planning, and use of market research is required
  • Demonstrated ability as a collaborative, flexible, clear-thinking, strategic partner who puts the needs of the university first and helps colleagues to be more effective in their respective roles

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.

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.

This position will be posted until filled. For best consideration, please apply by February 15, 2017.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

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