Communications Director for Student Success and Campus Climate

UC Santa Cruz
California, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Posted date
Aug 30, 2021

View more

Position Type
Executive, Executive Directors
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
UC Santa Cruz

Scotts Valley, CA


Communications Director for Student Success and Campus Climate

The Initial Review Date (IRD) for this job is: 09-23-2021


Under the direction of the Executive Director for University Communications and working closely with the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Success, the incumbent is charged with developing and implementing multi-channel communication plans to advance student understanding and appreciation of university initiatives to create student success and support the campus climate.


Aligning with campus priorities, the communications director will help strengthen community and respect through effective and transparent communications that reflect and support the campus’s commitment to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion. The director will help to develop values-forward messaging and communications plans that strengthen the campus climate and support the campus community in moments when its values are challenged by national or campus incidents.


The ability to balance short-term communication needs with developing strategic communication plans to advance long-term strategic initiatives in a fast-paced, dynamic environment is critical to the success of the university’s student-focused communications efforts.


The Communications Director for Student Success and Campus Climate must be comfortable collaborating with colleagues at all levels across campus, throughout the system and in the Office of the President, as well as creating and shaping communications so that they are tailored to a student audience and shared with faculty and staff.


Job Duties

60% - Content Creation and Management

Working closely with the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Success, the communications director develops and implements multi-channel communication plans to build understanding, awareness, and support of university initiatives to serve students and support the campus climate. Crafts values-driven messaging and communication plans to strengthen and support the campus climate. Interprets complex issues and presents them effectively to a student audience; adapts style, tone, and word choice to channel and audience needs. Implements a student-centered social media strategy. Drives an editorial calendar that balances a variety of information to engage, support, and inspire students across campus. Drafts, edits, proofreads, formats, and distributes announcements affecting student life at UC Santa Cruz.


20% - Stakeholder Relationships

Forges and maintains strong relationships with colleagues across UC Santa Cruz and engages with peers across UC. Consults with campus colleagues for new topics and content based on trends within the university’s competitive and cultural landscape. Contributes to communications projects from conception through completion. Works cross-functionally to support the rollout of communication campaigns/events across the university. Manages expectations to preserve stakeholder relationships and department reputation. Serves as a key member of the University Communications leadership team, working to ensure a coordinated internal and external communications program.


10% - Reputation Management

Supports internal brand-building and alignment. Ensures internal communications activities support public and community relations objectives. Monitors sentiment of student audiences to identify potential reputational risks and proactively offer solutions. Manages a high volume of content, both original and submitted, ensuring mission and brand alignment.


5% - Crisis Communications

Actively partners with colleagues to incorporate the student perspective in crisis communications planning and preparedness. Under supervision, communicates with internal audiences during crises, assisting with internal reputational management before, during and after such crises. Identifies reputational risks and gauges sentiment related to the university name and brand. Participates in scheduled crisis training exercises.


5% - Miscellaneous

Represents the unit's director at campus and systemwide meetings, conferences, and on systemwide conference calls; participates in governance activities of Communications and Marketing and University Relations by attending meetings, retreats, and planning sessions.


Required Qualifications

• Excellent demonstrated ability to write clear, lively, engaging, and compelling copy in a variety of styles appropriate to target audiences, while ensuring adherence to the campus’s tone and style.

• Thorough knowledge of the fundamentals of writing, grammar, syntax, style, and punctuation.

• Demonstrated fluency in the language, principles and practices that advance diversity, equity, and inclusion.

• Demonstrated ability to develop and implement strategic, long-term communication plans.

• Demonstrated ability to independently synthesize difficult material quickly and to produce high-quality, succinctly written copy under extreme deadline pressure.

• Demonstrated ability to frequently and effectively interact and collaborate with multiple stakeholders in order to develop communication plans and materials that help enhance awareness of programs, initiatives, and news.

• Demonstrated ability to collaborate effectively across units and with diverse constituencies.

• Demonstrated ability to establish and meet deadlines for all work.

• Demonstrated ability to maintain confidentiality.

• Demonstrated ability to provide advice and assistance to senior administrators regarding sensitive and/or controversial subjects.

• Demonstrated ability to maintain accurate records and files of work.

• Demonstrated ability to independently establish priorities and successfully juggle competing demands in a high production office.

• Strong understanding of the internet and Web-based technologies, including content management systems, image editing, social media, and more.


Preferred Qualifications

• Bachelor's degree in related area and / or equivalent experience / training.

• Understanding the research, teaching and public service conducted at a major research university.

• Demonstrated ability to work as part of a marketing and communications team.

• Working understanding of public-information programs at a major university.


Special Conditions

• Selected candidate will be required to pass a pre-employment criminal history background check.


Apply Online:


The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. UC Santa Cruz is committed to excellence through diversity and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees. 

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