VICE PRESIDENT FOR STRATEGIC
Academic Career & Executive Search is pleased to assist
Hartwick College in their search for Vice President for Strategic
For best consideration, please apply be October 7,
Reporting to the President and serving as a key member of the
College’s Senior Leadership Team, the newly created position of
Vice President for Strategic Communications (VPSC) is responsible
for the development, implementation, evaluation and continuous
improvement of a strategic communications and marketing program
that advances the College’s success in achieving its strategic
This is an exciting time to join Hartwick College serving in
this new role as the College moves to highlight their strategic
focus and goals and enhance communications and messaging. The VPSC
leads the development and implementation of the College’s brand
vision, positioning strategy, and public relations campaigns to
attract and retain the best students and employees, motivate alumni
and donors, and raise Hartwick’s reputation in the marketplace. The
Vice President for Strategic Communications represents and promotes
the College, increasing its visibility and supporting its mission,
vision, and goals through the development and leadership of an
intentional program of strategic communications.
The VPSC is also responsible for the development, integration,
and implementation of public relations and marketing activities
that communicate about and advance the strategic direction and
positioning of the College and its leadership. This individual is
the College’s official spokesperson, advisor to the President on
high-profile issues, and primary contact with major media.
The successful candidate brings strong and proven strategic
leadership skills. Highly developed writing and communication
skills are an essential tool in communicating with multiple
constituent groups. The VPSC will be a thoughtful and active leader
and collaborator willing to roll up their sleeves to accomplish
goals. Hartwick College is open to both academic and non-academic
experience and backgrounds.
Working actively and collaboratively with the other members of
the Senior Leadership Team, s/he will advise on, influence and
collaboratively and actively guide the creation of effective
advancement and enrollment communications. The VPSC will be
accessible to serve as an advisor on communication strategy with
other members of the community as well. The VPSC develops and
oversees a comprehensive communications calendar for the
The Vice President manages a staff of eight to nine
communications professionals who have direct responsibility for
publications, periodicals, media relations, social media, digital
communications, visual communications, crisis communications, and
Strategy and Implementation
- Develop, implement and evaluate an integrated strategic
communications plan to advance Hartwick College and its brand
identity. Broaden awareness of Hartwick’s FlightPath approach to
education and its distinct programs and priorities. Increase
visibility of FlightPath across key audiences, including the media
and other influencers.
- Manage the College’s relationship with its brand agency and
affiliated partners. Assure accountability for planning and
deliverables that are provided on time and on budget.
- Engage proactively and collaboratively with the other members
of the Senior Leadership Team and other leadership staff across
campus. Advise on, influence and
collaboratively guide the creation of effective advancement and
- Develop integrated communication plans that reflect
institutional priorities and oversee the creation of messaging
appropriate to each impacted community.
- Identify, evaluate, and advise on current challenges and
emerging issues faced by the College and/or across higher
- Work with the President and Senior Leadership Team (SLT) to
recognize internal and external communications opportunities and
solutions. Define and execute effective strategies.
- Serve as communications counsel to the President and as a
resource to the SLT.
- Support and strengthen the College’s relationships in the
community through effective communication strategy and
- Anticipate communication needs each academic year. Lead
delivery on same.
- Serve as senior staff support of the Board of Trustee’s Image
& Reputation Committee.
- Evaluate, prioritize, and realize both earned and paid media
- Actively engage, cultivate, and manage press
- Serve as primary spokesperson and lead point person on media
outreach and interactions that promote and/or impact the
- Position and promote College initiatives, programs, events, and
personnel in the media and through other outreach efforts.
- Evaluate and recommend advertising opportunities; oversee
- Lead crisis communications and prepare associated plans and
outreach. Develop and update crisis management templates and
- Prepare talking points, speeches, presentations, and other
supporting material as requested by the President.
- Develop and promote Hartwick senior leadership and faculty as
experts and thought leaders.
- Conduct op-ed and social media workshops for members of the
- Evaluate the effectiveness of communications strategies and
tactics in serving the College’s strategic goals.
- Be proactive.
- Partner with vice presidential colleagues and the College’s
outsourced marketing partner in developing strategies and plans for
reaching enrollment and fundraising goals, including digital
- Employ market research to test ideas and initiatives; engage
external partners as appropriate.
- Oversee the integration of print and digital outreach to
- Manage internal and external communications initiatives.
- Lead, guide and support staff in developing major marketing
materials, both in print and online. Including The Wick
magazine, the President’s Report, the annual report, FlightPath
newsletters, the College website, student recruitment, key
fundraising initiatives and digital media.
- Contribute written materials to support the implementation of
- Evaluate the effectiveness of marketing operations in serving
the College’s strategic goals.
Management & Team Development
- Oversee a professional staff responsible for print, web-based,
digital and social media, and earned and paid media
- Develop the team’s ability to advance and promote Hartwick’s
FlightPath initiative and partner with enrollment, fundraising,
alumni relations, and on-campus offices in marketing associated
- Support the team’s ability to balance concurrent demands as
they focus on new student recruitment through the lens of
FlightPath, donor relations as the College moves into a
comprehensive campaign in support of FlightPath, active student
retention, alumni engagement, innovation and business
- Oversee the division’s day-to-day activities, including
budgeting and planning.
- Establish and monitor staff performance and development goals,
set objectives, establish priorities, and conduct annual
performance appraisals. Ensure Hartwick's communications and
marketing efforts are aligned with the College's strategic goals
and evaluate the effectiveness of staff in serving these
- Bachelor's degree in communications, journalism, or a related
- Minimum 10 years’ experience as a senior manager in strategic
communications and marketing from planning through execution and
- Demonstrated ability to lead and motivate colleagues and
prioritize projects in a high volume, complex, dynamic
- Active knowledge of current trends and best practices of
- Experience and leadership in managing comprehensive strategic
communications, media relations, and marketing program to advance
an organization's mission and goals.
- Innovative thinker, with a track record for translating
strategy into action.
- Experience creating a wide range of communications materials to
reach a variety of audiences, including a proven track record in
employing digital media.
- Experience in media relations that includes proactively
building relationships with top tier reporters and editors and
positioning the College with the media to achieve high-impact
- Writing and editing experience focused on a variety of external
audiences using various print and online communications media.
- Experience building and managing brand through a variety of
- Demonstrated management style that includes delegating
authority, mentoring staff, setting high expectations, and holding
- Demonstrated expertise in integrated communications and public
- Demonstrated experience in evaluation and using data and
metrics to drive and improve decision-making.
- Excellent organizational and administrative skills,
interpersonal skills, oral, written, and presentation skills as
well as an engaging and persuasive communicator.
- Ability to condense complex messages into consistent, concise,
and easy to understand messaging supported by compelling
- Creative in applying new media technologies to reach
- Excellent judgment and creative problem solving skills,
including negotiation and conflict resolution.
- Demonstrated commitment to collaboration and cooperation.
- Roll-up-your-sleeves, lead by example approach to inspiring the
work of others.
- Advanced degree
- Leadership level experience in higher education
- Active knowledge of current trends and best practices of
communications in higher education.
About Hartwick College
Hartwick College is a non-denominational, private, four-year
liberal arts and sciences college in Oneonta, New York offering 35
majors leading to a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree.
In addition, it offers over 30 minors, pre-professional programs in
law, medicine, engineering and allied health professions; and five
cooperative programs in engineering, law, business, and physical
and occupational therapy.
Hartwick College was featured by journalist and scientific
writer Malcolm Gladwell in his book David and Goliath: Underdogs,
Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants as a liberal arts college
that offers the same academic rigor and quality of education with
similar career outcomes of an ivy league university or elite
liberal arts college in the United States, without the
competitiveness or admission criteria of these top colleges and
Hartwick has been recognized year after year in numerous reviews
including for its committed implementation of High-Impact
Educational Practices, earning its title as one of the
nation’s Colleges of Distinction for 2019. Hartwick has proven
itself to be at the forefront of American higher education with a
modern, student-centered approach to teaching. The College also
earned distinction for its Nursing, Business and Career Development
programs. Hartwick is one of 225 colleges chosen for the “Best in
the Northeast” by the Princeton Review. The Wall Street
Journal/Times Higher Education ranked Hartwick 380 this year of 968
schools covered as well as the #138 private, liberal arts school
ranked overall. The U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges
Guide, U.S. News & World Report (2019) ranks Hartwick among the
229 “Best National Liberal Arts Colleges” in the
Living in the Area
Situated in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains’, Oneonta is
a scenic college town boasting a lower cost of living, lower
unemployment rates, lower crime rate and higher educational levels
than the national average. With median home values of $141K and
monthly rents of $835, the area offers an affordable lifestyle in a
picturesque environment with close access to New York City. The
idyllic environment is an exceptional area for the outdoor
enthusiast, raise a family, or simply enjoy a more laid-back
lifestyle void of rush hour traffic. A 2020 study rated the
Oneonta community among the top 10 small communities in the US for
arts vibrancy: https://culturaldata.org/arts-vibrancy-2020/top-10-small-communities/
The College is located just 3.5 hours north of New York City, 4
hours west of Boston, MA, and 4.5 hours north of Philadelphia. The
campus sits on a hilltop that spans 425 picturesque acres and
overlooks the Catskill Mountains.
Conveniently located just off Rt. 88 in Oneonta, Hartwick is
also just 59 miles from Binghamton, NY, 82 miles to Albany, NY, and
60 miles from Utica, NY. Cooperstown, NY, known for the Baseball
Hall of Fame, and Glimmerglass Opera is just right down
For best consideration, please apply be October 7,
You may apply directly at: https://acesrch.applicantstack.com/x/detail/a21esjy456ea
Review of applications will continue until the position is
Materials should include a cover letter and CV.
Inquiries and nominations are treated confidentially and can be sent to
Managing Partner with Academic Career & Executive Search:
Candidates advanced in the process will be required to provide a
Information regarding Hartwick College’s Diversity Statement is
Hartwick College is an Equal Opportunity Employer
and does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, color,
religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation,
veteran, or marital status. We welcome applications from the
community, alumni, and the general public.