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Associate Vice President for University Communications

California State University, Fresno
California, United States
Salary Not specified
Posted date
Aug 27, 2021

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Position Type
Executive, Other Executive
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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Associate Vice President for University Communications

Job No: 503161
Work Type: Management (MPP)
Location: Fresno
Categories: MPP, At-Will, Full Time, Marketing/Communications

Associate Vice President for University Communications
(Administrator III)

Compensation and Benefits

Salary is competitive and negotiable depending on the strength of qualifications. This is a full-time, exempt, CSU Management Personnel Plan (MPP) position.

The CSU system provides a comprehensive benefit package that includes medical, dental and vision plans, membership in the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), sick and vacation time, and 14 paid holidays a year. Eligible employees are also able to participate in the fee waiver education program. A summary of benefit information can be found here.

Job Summary

Reporting to the vice president for University Advancement and serving as a member of the University Cabinet, the AVPUC will work in partnership with the director of University Brand Strategy and Marketing, the communications staff, and the deans and communications specialists across academic units to coordinate a unified strategy, including the development of associated metrics in support of the communications plan. The Associate Vice President serves as the official campus spokesperson on behalf of the University and will be tasked with telling the University's story, gathering accounts that encapsulate the good work being done by faculty, staff and students inside and outside of the classroom, including in athletics, and disseminating them via local media outlets, social media and other platforms. In addition, the University seeks a seasoned communications executive who will provide an effective infrastructure in which the staff can grow, learn and feel empowered.

As a member of the president's senior administrative team, the AVPUC will be expected to provide meaningful input on the full range of issues facing the institution: and, thus, a person with a contemporary and comprehensive knowledge of higher education is desired.

Key Qualifications
  • Advanced knowledge of the academic and administrative structure of universities, as well as trends and emerging issues in the realm of higher education at a state and national level
  • A self-starter who advances a clear set of priorities with efficiency and demonstrates a high level of integrity, trust and resourcefulness
  • Capacity to manage, motivate, and support a staff of varied levels and talents and lead them toward increasingly stronger performance as a team with positivity and confidence
  • Ability to build bridges and interact successfully with diverse constituent groups, including fostering collaborative relationships across the campus and in the community
  • Demonstrated knowledge of current and emerging technology and trends as they relate to social media and other communications tools and platforms
  • Excellent written communication and public speaking skills
  • Strong organizational skills with the ability to simultaneously handle the pressures of crises and the regular demands of intersecting projects

To view the full list of qualifications and job responsibilities, please click the Position Description button above.

Education and Experience
  • A bachelor's degree is required; master's degree preferred
  • Demonstrated success in the field of communications with at least 5 years of leadership experience and a career showing progressive responsibility within a complex environment; experience in higher education preferred
  • Extensive leadership experience designing and executing creative, impactful strategic communications plans in an organization with varied priorities and a wide range of stakeholders
  • Well rounded experience in managing crisis communication

Department Summary

University Advancement ensures that a strong brand inspires and deepens the University's bond with the public it serves. As such, it advances communications that uplift the image and reputation of the University and supports the University Strategic Plan.

Dates & Application Instructions

Applications will be actively reviewed on a rolling basis as submitted and will be accepted until the position is filled.

California State University, Fresno is being assisted by Academic Search. Prospective candidates may arrange a confidential discussion by contacting Dr. Shirley Robinson Pippins at or Andrea Cowsert at Nominations may also be submitted directly to Dr. Pippins and Ms. Cowsert.

Interested applicants must complete the employment application, including attaching a cover letter that addresses the responsibilities and requirements described in this position prospectus; a curriculum vitae; and a list of three professional references. References will not be contacted without the explicit permission of the candidate. Please click “Apply Now” to complete the employment application for California State University, Fresno.

Fresno State

Fresno State, nestled in the center of California, serves as an anchor to one of the richest agricultural valleys in the world and one of the most culturally diverse regions in the country. The University's roots date back to 1911, when the doors of the then Fresno State Normal School opened to 150 hopeful students. Today, Fresno State has come a long way from its modest beginning and is a minority-serving institution with federal designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI), reflecting the ethnic and cultural richness of Central California. The University serves over 25,000 students and offers degrees in 71 bachelor's, 48 master's and three doctoral subject areas, and nine certificates of advanced study programs housed within its eight schools and colleges.

Deeply committed to the success of its students, Fresno State admits, enrolls and graduates hard-working students from families of all income levels in larger numbers than ever before. Ninety percent of Fresno State's students hail from the surrounding San Joaquin Valley and 65.7% are the first in their families to earn a college degree, changing the future trajectory of their families. It's a statistic virtually unparalleled among doctoral universities in the United States. More than 82% of students receive assistance through grants and scholarships, and Fresno State has improved its first-year student retention to 86.8%, with the goal of increasing the 6-year graduation rate to 70% by 2025. While 80% of recent Fresno State graduates remain in the Valley to become the next generation of leaders, innovators and critical thinkers in every industry, to date more than 235,000 alumni are transforming communities globally by serving every state in the nation and across the world.

Service to the region is an important part of Fresno State's mission and “learning by serving” is at the core of the University's identity. Students, faculty and staff have contributed over 1 million hours of volunteer service each year for 12 years in a row, enriching the area and driving approximately $40 million of economic impact annually. The prestigious Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching awarded the University its Community Engagement classification, acknowledging its extensive partnership with the region. Through transformational applied research, technical assistance, training and other related public service activities, the University builds meaningful partnerships and linkages with community benefit organizations, arts programs, business, education, industry and government.

Fresno State offers a diverse array of co-curricular opportunities to complement students' college experience, with more than 300 student organizations, including club sports teams, fraternities and sororities. In addition, academic excellence and athletic accomplishments go hand-in-hand at Fresno State. Fresno State is a Division I member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Mountain West. The Fresno State Bulldogs begin their Athletics Centennial this year. A decade after Fresno State Normal School was founded in 1911, the inaugural seasons of competition for Fresno State's football and men's basketball teams debuted in 1921, while baseball debuted that same academic year in the spring of 1922. Fresno State currently sponsors six men's and twelve women's sports at the varsity level. In the first 100 years of Fresno State Athletics, the Bulldogs have won multiple national championships, over 215 team conference championships and over 345 individual conference championships, and produced over 350 All-Americans, Olympians and community leaders - with athletic and academic excellence representing the Pride of the Valley around the world.

For more information about Fresno State, visit

Equal Employment Opportunity Information

California State University, Fresno is committed to maintaining and implementing employment policies and procedures in compliance with applicable state and federal equal employment opportunity laws and regulations. Executive Order 883 prohibits discrimination and Executive Order 927 prohibits harassment, on the basis of a protected status: race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex (including gender identity), sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, mental disability, physical disability, medical condition and covered veteran status. Fresno State's commitment to diversity informs our efforts in recruitment, hiring, and retention. We are proud to be an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer.

Supplemental Information

Following a conditional offer of employment, a background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate may start work with California State University, Fresno. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may result in the withdrawal of the offer of employment. Current employees who are offered positions on campus will be required to undergo a background check for any position where a background check is required by law or that Fresno State has identified as sensitive.

The person holding this position is considered a "mandated reporter" under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment.

This position may be a "designated position" under the California State University's Conflict of Interest Code. This will require the filing of a Statement of Economic Interest on an annual basis and the completion of training within six (6) months of assuming office and every two (2) years thereafter.

Fresno State is a tobacco-free, smoke-free and vapor-free campus.

To apply, visit

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