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Vice President for University Communications

University of Oregon
Oregon, United States
Salary Not specified
Posted Date
Aug 29, 2023

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Communications, Public Relations & Advertising
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Vice President for University Communications

Vice President for University Communications

Job no: 531695
Work type: Officer of Administration
Location: Eugene, OR
Categories: Communications/Public Relations/Marketing, Executive/Management/Director
Department:University Communications

Department: Office of the President
Appointment Type and Duration: Regular, Ongoing
Salary: Commensurate with experience
Compensation Band: OS-EXEC-Fiscal Year 2022-2023
FTE: 1.0
Application Review Begins

September 19, 2023; position open until filled (Updated)
Special Instructions to Applicants

The Search Committee invites nominations, applications (a letter of interest, full curriculum vitae or resume, and the names and contact information of 5 or more references) or expressions of interest to be forwarded to the search firm assisting The University of Oregon (electronic submissions preferred). Confidential review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. All nominations and applications should be submitted to the search firm prior to June 14, 2023.
Department Summary

The division of University Communications (UC) is charged with telling the University of Oregon's (UO) stories to a broad range of audiences, positioning the university to succeed and thrive. The division develops and implements research-driven, results-oriented communications and marketing plans in support of the university's mission. It is also responsible for crisis communications and issues management during challenging times. The division also plays a critical role in communicating the UO's value of diversity and seeks to foster equity and inclusion in a welcoming, safe, and respectful community. The division manages a comprehensive suite of communications strategies including public relations, brand journalism, executive and internal communications, branding, advertising, licensing, marketing, social and digital media, analytics, and more.

The division's units include Content Strategy, Marketing and Brand Strategy, Integrated Communications, Strategic Initiatives and Issues Management, and Digital Strategy.
  • The Content Strategy team manages brand journalism, internal communications, and executive communications. The Content Strategy team also provides strategic communications advice to university constituencies, including the Office of the President.
  • The Marketing and Brand Strategy team manages trademark licensing, branding, advertising, design, video and photography, and social and digital media. The unit also supervises KWAX, the UO's classical radio station.
  • The Integrated Communications unit manages academic communications; school- and college-based communications directors report jointly to this unit and the deans. The unit also manages proactive media relations and story pitching.
  • The Digital Strategy unit elevates the strategic priorities of the university with an emphasis on web publishing. The unit designs and creates content for top-tier university web properties while also developing, supporting, and integrating a dynamic, feature-rich, branded web platform to support strategic communications efforts staffed by schools, colleges, and select administrative departments.
  • The Strategic Initiatives and Issues Management unit leads communication efforts for major UO priorities which have a significant impact to the institution and the reputation of the university. The unit manages the division's day-to-day operations and responds to university issues and crises as they arise within a communications context.

UC partners with University Advancement and the UO Alumni Association in support of alumni and development communications. Similarly, it partners with Student Services and Enrollment Management as well as Student Life in support of student, recruitment, and enrollment communications. University Communications works in an integrated communications model partnering with communicators and others across campus to create strategic, accurate, professional, and consistent communication and marketing strategies that conform to UO style and standards.
Position Summary

Reporting to the University President, the Vice President (VP) for University Communications will serve as the Chief Communications Officer for the university, leading and managing internal and external communications and marketing strategy, execution, and evaluation.

The VP will provide strategic vision and leadership in the creation and implementation of a comprehensive, innovative communications and marketing program that highlights the university's academic strengths and research, demonstrates its commitment to creating an inclusive environment, and fosters relationships with university constituents. For example, prospective students, current students, university administrators, and faculty and staff. And external audiences, including alumni and donors, affinity groups, university friends and key constituents, local, national, and international media, local community members and leaders, local, state, and national government officials; peer institutions, associations, and influencers.

This professional will serve as a member of the President's senior leadership team and work closely with the President's chief of staff, vice presidents and deans, the university secretary, and other senior leadership on campus. The VP will also work closely with unit-based communication teams to ensure the university has a comprehensive communication and marketing plan that serves the needs of the overarching university as well as the specific colleges and units.
Minimum Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree.
  • Seven years of progressively responsible leadership experience in strategic communications, brand strategy, public relations, or related field for a large, complex, mission-centric institution; or an equivalent combination of experience, skills, or education in lieu of the minimum years of experience listed above.
  • Experience with executing strategic communications or marketing plans to advance an institution's priorities, such as an institution-wide rebranding campaign, enrollment marketing, or fundraising effort.
  • Experience effectively communicating with a diverse group of constituents.
  • Five years of supervisory experience and skill in hiring, developing, managing, and supporting a diverse team or an equivalent combination of experience, skills, or education in lieu of the minimum years of experience listed above; and
  • Possesses key communication skills, including the ability to be engaging and persuasive in both verbal and written contexts, and conveys a professional presence as a trusted and credible representative of the university.
    Professional Competencies

  • Unwavering focus on diversity, inclusion, equity, and anti-racism, and acuity in how this work is amplified in the language, images, and channels used by an institution. Commitment to and experience with promoting and enhancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Able to communicate, relate to, and work effectively with people at all levels of the organization and a wide variety of diverse backgrounds and cultures.
  • A record of success as an innovative and collaborative leader in a large, complex, mission-driven organization with numerous and distributed stakeholders, shared decision-making, and often rapidly shifting priorities. Collaborative and collegial orientation, eager and able to engage diverse groups and build strong professional relationships. Demonstrated experience serving as a resource to others and obtaining their input, thereby being able to synthesize many ideas and deliver work products that address a wide variety of goals and objectives. Personifies servant leadership by prioritizing the needs of the team and institution and supporting their growth and development.
  • Advanced knowledge of the strategies and industry best practices for all aspects of communications, marketing, positioning, and messaging, including sophisticated and creative use of brand journalism, social media, analytics, and other forms of digital communications to achieve organizational goals and priorities. Ability to navigate emerging media and communications trends and to develop innovative approaches for engaging target audiences and achieving objectives.
  • Substantial experience evaluating the strengths of existing communications and marketing programs and identifying opportunities for improvement. Ability to increase efficiency and effectiveness of the communications process without sacrificing quality or impact. An aptitude for using data and metrics in decision-making and evaluating the success of programs and campaigns. Sharp eye for operational efficiency and optimal use of resources including a deep understanding of budgets and proven success managing them.
  • Proven effectiveness in engaging and working directly with local, national, and international media on background and on the record.
  • Experience managing and inspiring teams in a complex organization, leading by influence and unifying the work of communications professionals across the enterprise. The ability to build, lead, mentor, motivate and retain high-performing professional teams in order to create a robust and collaborative communications and marketing ecosystem. Experienced staff manager capable of working effectively with, delegating to, and providing direction and leadership for a team with budget constraints, deadline requirements, and while demonstrating a commitment to and promotion of work-life balance. Outstanding management, operational, and planning skills, including the ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Demonstrates exceptional professionalism and sound judgment. The ability to intuit the unspoken and perceive what others do not understand. Exceptional diplomacy, discretion, and judgment as well as political savvy. High degree of integrity, character, and emotional maturity, treating all individuals at every level of an organization with respect; models a culture of appropriate candor, transparency, and open communication; strong executive presence; and commitment to the highest standards of professionalism.
    Preferred Qualifications

  • Advanced degree.
  • Professional leadership experience at a public research university similar in size and complexity to the University of Oregon.
  • Experience with crisis communication and issues management; and
  • Experience acting as an institutional spokesperson.

    FLSA Exempt: Yes

    All offers of employment are contingent upon successful completion of a background inquiry.

    University of Oregon students and employees are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. For additional information see:

    The University of Oregon is proud to offer a robust benefits package to eligible employees, including health insurance, retirement plans and paid time off. For more information about benefits, visit

    The University of Oregon is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution committed to cultural diversity and compliance with the ADA. The University encourages all qualified individuals to apply, and does not discriminate on the basis of any protected status, including veteran and disability status. The University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees with disabilities. To request an accommodation in connection with the application process, please contact us at or 541-346-5112.

    UO prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national or ethnic origin, age, religion, marital status, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression in all programs, activities and employment practices as required by Title IX, other applicable laws, and policies. Retaliation is prohibited by UO policy. Questions may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator, Office of Civil Rights Compliance, or to the Office for Civil Rights. Contact information, related policies, and complaint procedures are listed on the statement of non-discrimination.

    In compliance with federal law, the University of Oregon prepares an annual report on campus security and fire safety programs and services. The Annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Report is available online at

    Advertised: 26 Apr 2023 Pacific Daylight Time
    Applications close:

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