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Assistant Vice President of University Communications

University of Texas at Austin
Texas, United States
Salary Not specified
Posted date
Aug 6, 2021

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Position Type
Executive, Other Executive
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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Assistant Vice President of University Communications

The University of Texas at Austin


As the state's flagship University, UT Austin seeks to be among the top public research universities in the country. To help us achieve this aspiration, the Assistant Vice President of University Communications, reporting to the Vice President, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, is responsible for developing university-wide communications strategies and implementation plans to facilitate cohesive messaging across university topics, channels and audiences, while proactively managing and protecting the university's reputation from known and anticipated issues, and elevating presidential and executive communications.

The ideal candidate for this position will embody UT Austin’s core values: learning, discovery, freedom, leadership, individual opportunity, and responsibility. Moreover, the new leader will value principles of diversity, equity and inclusion, and will commit to producing meaningful results and outcomes in their daily work, including the decisions that they make and the ways they mentor and communicate with their staff.


The AVP will lead and develop a team of media relations and social media professionals, issues managers, and executive and internal communications planners and writers, in distilling, packaging and amplifying key university messages across the appropriate channels and audiences, resulting in broad message reach, resonance and adoption. 

The AVP’s scope includes the following:

Public Relations and Newsroom: Lead university media relations efforts - including proactive pitching and press releases as well as response requests for key issues - to help drive university reputation gains. Develop engaging news content for UT News, our university editorial platform, and prioritize positive placements supporting our brand narrative, including our exclusive programs, faculty experts and groundbreaking research.  Further develop and expand Texas Perspectives, our op-ed platform, to offer diverse perspectives on a variety of issues to state, regional and national papers. Drive continued gains in reach/UVPM and placements in tier one/target press outlets. Coordinate with communicators who manage media relations within colleges, schools and units to ensure consistent messaging and priorities.

Crisis/Reputation Communications: Build on, develop and refine the university’s robust crisis communications strategies, playbooks and messages to help the university be better prepared for known and anticipated issues and respond more effectively to unforeseen crises and threats to its reputation. Develop effective plans to help shape stakeholder perceptions about the university's strategic initiatives and burgeoning issues. Elevate the crisis communication function and level of integration across centralized units to deliver more cohesive messaging, beyond just the President’s Office.

Presidential & Executive Communications:  Develop presidential messaging and communications strategies that deliver on the president's vision for the university and support the university's strategic plan. Help expand the audience for presidential expertise and thought leadership. Manage the writing and editing of signature addresses, keynote speeches, talking points and general correspondence that delivers relevant messages and content to key audiences. Review, coordinate and contribute to messaging from other university-level officials to ensure consistency with university and presidential messages.

Social Media Management: Develop and execute effective social media strategies and tactics across our university/branded platforms: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, and others as they evolve. Drive increased reach, followers, and engagement via a mix of organic and paid efforts that support university message priorities and complement/amplify other marketing and communications campaigns.

Internal Communications:  Champion strategies and tactics for effective communications with our campus community, which build awareness of and support for the university's mission, initiatives and positions. Oversee our 3X/year employee magazine, Texas Connect.  Collaborate closely with key constituent units - Provost, Financial and Administrative Services, and Student Affairs - to support consistent messages to faculty, staff and students.

Analytics & Insights: Work with analytics team members and other UC staff to provide regular reports and insights about communications performance. Leverage resulting data to refine and improve PR and social media strategies and tactics.

Leadership & Collaboration: Lead a team of 10-15 professionals to develop integrated communications plans to support university goals and initiatives, as well as the professional and career development goals of each individual. Serve as a member of the University Communications leadership team, reporting to the VP, CMCO, and working alongside the AVP for Marketing. Build strong partnerships and tightly collaborate with communicators inside the vice-presidential portfolios, as well as marketing and communications leaders and other stakeholders across campus, including Admissions, Development, Student Affairs, Research, Diversity and Community Engagement and colleges & schools, among others. 

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree, with significant coursework in crises communications, strategic communications, marketing and/or public relations.
  • At least 10 years of experience managing broad communications efforts for a large institution of higher education or other large organization.
  • Deep expertise in developing stakeholder communications plans in preparation for known and anticipated issues and that enable more effective response to unforeseen crises and reputation threats.
  • Strong track record of managing a large staff of diverse functions, including PR and media relations, crisis communications, issues management, presidential/executive communications, and internal communications.
  • Substantial experience synthesizing and articulating the mission and priorities of a large, complex organization and implementing a communications strategy and program to enhance the organization’s reputation.
  • Experience building influence and alignment with people across a large enterprise and navigating the complexities of a decentralized organization.

Equivalent combination of relevant education and experience may be substituted as appropriate.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree.
  • Higher Education experience.
  • Experience navigating legislative and government affairs issues and communications.
  • Experience collaborating with content marketing, advertising, creative and web teams.
  • Willingness and ability to bring ideas from across higher education and other industries to bear in developing a distinctive and effective communications strategy for UT Austin.

Salary Range

Additional Information
Austin-area base required for this position. Nights and weekends may be required during peak periods. Typical office environment. This position is security sensitive.


Go to for complete description and to apply for job requisition number R_00014410.

The University of Texas at Austin, as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action. The University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.

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