Executive Director of Communications
Commonwealth University School of the Arts
The Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts (VCUarts)
seeks an Executive Director of Communications to lead
communications, marketing and public relations activities that
promote the school to both external and internal audiences.
The Executive Director of Communications manages the strategies,
personnel, budget, projects, deliverables and day-to-day operations
of a robust unit with the School of the Arts. This also includes
designing and directing media campaigns, representing VCUarts at
media events, coordinating with the school’s development and brand
strategy teams, faculty and student affairs, the communications
office at VCUarts Qatar, and VCU’s University Relations office. The
successful candidate brings experience and energy to lead and
inspire an integrated communications team around a shared vision
for the school’s long-term success.
Reporting to the dean of the School of the Arts, the Executive
Director of Communications will direct print and digital media
(design and production), donor and alumni publications, website
content and management, public relations, internal communications,
photography and videography, social media and crisis
communications. The ideal candidate will have significant and
demonstrated experience in writing, editing, design and marketing,
and will have a vital role in developing and executing a
communications strategy that both furthers the Dean’s vision and
priorities, and leverages the school’s national and international
Ranked by US News & World Report as a top-five arts and design
school, VCUarts (arts.vcu.edu) includes over 3,000 undergraduate
and graduate students with nationally recognized programs in
design, visual and performing arts. Students are taught by over 175
full-time teaching and research faculty members, and the school is
supported by over 50 staff members that assist in daily processes.
The School of the Arts includes two campuses, one in Richmond and
one in Doha, Qatar. The Richmond campus is located on the
university’s 75-acre Monroe Park campus situated in the city’s
historic Fan District
Skills and Qualifications
A successful Executive Director of Communications has excellent
written, verbal and digital skills as well as problem-solving
capabilities. The Executive Director also must possess managerial
talent to build and guide a team of communications staff. Other
notable skills include:
- Leading and motivating staff to produce high-level,
- Utilizing analytical, creative and organizational skills to
address challenges and increase the school’s media presence and
quality of presentation.
- Working effectively in a fast-paced environment, meeting tight
deadlines, managing multiple projects and assignments
simultaneously, and managing competing priorities.
Required Qualifications and Experience:
The Executive Director of Communications must have:
- Direct and manage the school’s dynamic communications office,
and empower, lead and coach its team to achieve objectives.
- Provide executive-level development, delivery and maintenance
of print and digital communications, photography, social media,
videography, and other internal and external communication
- Lead communication projects by defining and documenting project
goals and timelines; tracking and confirming project milestones;
and coordinating project resources.
- Create and oversee communication that reflects the Dean’s vison
and design aesthetic. This includes writing and editing “talking
points”, speeches, visual presentations, social media, and video
- Develop and manage yearly budgets for the Office of
- Analyze, improve, and streamline communications and marketing
procedures, processes, and technologies. Analyze and report on ROI
and adjust strategy and spending as necessary.
- Monitor major issues that impact the school and its community
and create crisis-response content in collaboration with the Dean
and VCU’s University Relations.
- Develop a cohesive, senior-level communications and outreach
strategy including building and managing a comprehensive
forward-looking plan that supports/promotes the school’s faculty,
students, staff and programming.
- Collaborate with the school’s development team to create events
and generate promotional material for related academic affairs,
alumni, donors and others VCUarts supporters.
- Ensure compliance with University policies and School of the
Arts procedures, and serve as the official communications liaison
between the school and other communication units on campus.
- Identify, establish and manage meaningful engagement
opportunities to promote VCUarts at a national and international
level. This includes partnering with University Relations
constituents as well as partners external to VCU.
- Serve as the key spokesperson and media contact for VCUarts,
- Perform other duties as assigned.
Preferred Qualifications and Experience:
- Bachelor’s degree in a related field.
- A minimum of five years job experience in a complex
organization engaged in marketing, communications, advertising
and/or public relations preferably in a higher education or
- Experience writing, designing and implementing annual
communications plans with a clear definition of goals that align
with school and institutional priorities.
- Ability to develop compelling, creative, and effective messages
- Excellent oral and written communication skills.
- Project management skills with ability to lead substantial
marketing and communication projects in a variety of media to
- Excellent supervisory and managerial experience in building,
leading, developing, and motivating high-performing teams.
- A significant understanding of issues, controversies, and
trends affecting higher education.
- Broad and in-depth knowledge of publishing methods and writing
and editing techniques.
- Demonstrated commitment to working in and fostering a diverse
faculty, staff, and student environment.
- Experience building effective partnerships at the senior level
of an organization and collaborating with executives in an intense,
- Possess outstanding interpersonal skills with the ability to
navigate complex environments with diverse constituents.
Procedure for Candidacy:
- Experience with a major art school, university recruitment
and/or an arts organization or creative industry.
- Successful history of pitching stories to the national
- Proficiency with WordPress, Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft
Office, project management systems, and digital asset management
systems such as Resource Space.
- A passion for the arts and a keen understanding of audiences
specific to the arts.
· Candidates should complete the basic personal and demographic
application through the VCU job site.
· Candidates should provide a cover letter, diversity statement*,
resume, and the names and contact information of five professional
references. References will not be contacted without permission
from the candidate.
· Review of applications will begin the week of October 10, 2022
and will continue until the position is filled.
*Virginia Commonwealth University is committed to organizational
diversity, equity and inclusion – an environment where all can
thrive in their pursuit of excellence. Applicants are requested to
submit a Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and
Inclusion providing your career aspirations and contributions
toward promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. For additional
guidance on writing a Statement of Contributions to Diversity,
Equity, and Inclusion:
For more information on VCUarts, please visit arts.vcu.edu.
Virginia Commonwealth University, please visit vcu.edu and
Virginia Commonwealth University is committed to providing
accessible and equitable living, learning and working environments
free from discrimination and harassment based on race, color,
religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sex (including
pregnancy), political affiliation, veteran status, genetic
information, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression
Salary Range: Commensurate with Experience
Department: Dean's Office, School of the Arts
Employment Type: UF - University Employee FT
Restricted Status: No
Exemption Status: Exempt