Chief Communications Officer

Adelphi University
New York, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Posted date
Oct 18, 2021

View more

Position Type
Administrative, Business & Administrative Affairs, Other Business & Administrative Affairs, Public Relations & Marketing (Campus)
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Chief Communications Officer

Academic Career & Executive Search is pleased to assist Adelphi University in their search for Chief Communications Officer (CCO).

For best consideration, please apply by November 12th.

This position offers the potential for a hybrid work arrangement.

This is a remarkable opportunity for a results-driven strategist and change agent to serve as the inaugural Chief Communications Officer (CCO) of the University.  The successful candidate is a highly collaborative, visionary, and skilled leader with demonstrated experience in spearheading and executing comprehensive strategic communication plans and reputation-building campaigns. 

The ideal CCO thrives in a fast paced, fluid and dynamic environment and understands the nuances of effectively communicating with all stakeholders and developing successful integrated communication strategies and campaigns. The next CCO will be well-versed in current trends and best practices of communications in higher education.

The Chief Communications Officer (CCO) is a key member of the University Communication and Marketing leadership team and is responsible for ensuring a coordinated communications strategy across micro, mid, and macro levels of internal and external messaging.

The CCO oversees the activities of the Executive Communications team, supporting the delivery of messages from key executive functions across the University, along with the coordination and management of public relations, social media, and crisis management. This individual proactively manages the development and execution of a communications strategy, ensuring key messages are delivered to and received by all relevant stakeholder audiences.

Reporting to the Vice President of Enrollment Management and University Communications, the CCO Officer is expected to work closely with the Chief Marketing and Branding Officer to ensure brand and messaging alignment. Reporting to the CCO are a Director of Executive Communications and a Senior Director of Media and Public Relations.

The position offers a competitive salary and benefits.


Executive Communications

  • Provide leadership to Executive Communications in coordinating critical and at times sensitive messaging to community members and various stakeholders.
  • Develop integrated communication plans that communicate appropriate versions of messages to each impacted community.
  • Proactively anticipate communication needs throughout each academic year and prepare executive messaging with appropriate voices.
  • Develop specific communication strategies for Presidential voice in written and social platforms.
  • Develop specific communication strategies for executive leaders in written and social platforms.
  • Identify opportunities to leverage strategic executive communications in external public relations and social media messaging.
  • Coordinate production of executive messaging with University’s Senior Director for Client Services and Production Operations and additional distribution of said messaging with the Lead Editor and Senior Director of Content.
  • Ensure all divisional leaders have consistent messaging and clarity on talking points in advance of any important executive messages being delivered to campus and stakeholder groups.

Crisis Management

  • Lead Crisis Management Response teams as needed throughout the academic year.
  • Regularly develop and update crisis management templates and communication strategies.
  • Maintain University’s Crisis Management and Response plan.
  • Proactively develop an integrated crisis response plan including talking points, media statement, FAQs, internal updates, social media response plans, etc.
  • Identify proactive crisis prevention tactics through executive training and collaboration.
  • Conduct crisis management trainings with key Adelphi community members on an annual basis.
  • Provide regular reporting on crisis management operations to executive leadership.

Public Relations

  • Actively manage and engage with the University’s contracted Public Relations firm(s).
  • Develop and pursue local, regional, and national public relations media strategies, each clearly defined with distinct approaches.
  • Partner closely with the Delphian, Adelphi’s student run newspaper.
  • Collaborate with the Chief Marketing and Branding Officer to develop and implement a rankings management strategy, including a peer influencer campaign to raise reputation and awareness.

Social Media

  • Develop social media accounts into mature, robust messaging platforms while growing engagement rates.
  • Identify new platforms to build and introduce to Adelphi’s social media portfolio.
  • Identify departments and voices to add to social media channels for appropriate messaging to reach internal and external communities.
  • Conduct op-ed and social media workshops throughout the year for Adelphi community members.
  • Implement influencer-based strategies across various social media platforms.

General Administrative and Managerial

  • Oversee, evaluate, and change processes as necessary to ensure efficiencies, quality, and best practices in communication modalities and deliverability.
  • Assist in the planning and management of UCOMM’s operating budget.
  • Play a key role in the development and successful implementation of communication-related strategic priorities.
  • Work with the Chief Marketing and Branding Officer as well as internal and external partners to develop, implement and continuously improve Adelphi’s brand throughout all areas of the University.
  • Keep current on best practices in higher education, particularly in the areas of public relations, social media, crisis management, and communications.
  • Serve on various university committees and projects as assigned.
  • Perform other job-related duties as assigned.


  • Operational and visionary leadership with a focus on efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Relationship builder with an ability to develop internal and external relationships, mentor staff, and provide a high level of service across the University, interacting with people at all levels of the organization.
  • Creativity and innovation, offering an assertiveness in presenting and selling ideas, with a sensitivity to the values and expectations of others.
  • Knowledge of the principles, practices and methodologies of communications, public/media relations and speech writing.

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS: (Knowledge, skills and abilities)

  1. Demonstrated ability to provide leadership, talent development, strategic direction and execution.
  2. Demonstrated ability to recruit, retain, and reward high quality, diverse staff.
  3. Demonstrated management style that delegates authority, mentors and empowers staff, sets high expectations, and holds departmental colleagues accountable.
  4. Demonstrated expertise in integrated communications and public relations.
  5. Demonstrated experience using data and metrics to drive decision-making.
  6. Commitment to transparency and continuous improvement.
  7. Excellent organizational and administrative skills, along with a clear sense of goals and timelines.
  8. Excellent interpersonal skills.
  9. Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  10. Knowledge of and experience creating a wide range of communications materials.
  11. Knowledge of social media landscape and experience of building a brand on social media on a variety of platforms.
  12. Ability to prioritize projects in a high volume/stress, complex, dynamic environment.
  • Ability to be a self-starter and work independently.
  • Ability to condense complex messages into consistent, concise, and easy to understand messaging, along with the ability to vary delivery to match audiences, as appropriate.
  • Strong computer skills with using Gmail, Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

    • Bachelor’s degree
    • Minimum of 7-10 years of related experience
    • Supervisory experience
    • Demonstrated understanding and commitment to the mission of higher education


    • Advanced degree is preferred.


    Adelphi University located in Garden City since 1929 was the first private, coeducational university on Long Island. Adelphi was first founded as Adelphi Academy in 1863 and originally located in Brooklyn.

    Currently, more than 8,100 students are thriving in their classrooms, programs, on sports fields at the main Garden City campus and at centers in Manhattan, Hauppauge, and Poughkeepsie.  Adelphi reaches more students than ever before with multiple dynamic learning hubs and convenient online options. Colleges include the College of Arts and Sciences; the Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology; the Honors College; the Robert B. Willumstad School of Business; the College of Education and Health Sciences (comprised of the Ruth S. Ammon School of Education and the School of Health Sciences); the College of Nursing and Public Health; the School of Social Work; and the College of Professional and Continuing Studies.

    Scholars throughout the University are making significant contributions to their disciplines. In recent years, Adelphi faculty members have been recognized as Fulbright and Hartford Scholars, and have received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. The School of Social Work is accredited for the maximum time that the accrediting agency grants.

    Adelphi University has a strong and demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. 


    Grand houses. Wide boulevards. Charming scenery. A safe, small-town community feel. It’s no wonder Garden City, a village of about 20,000 residents, earned a rare overall A+ by in Best Suburbs to Live in New York category. This Long Island locale is filled with shops, restaurants, pubs, architectural gems, historic landmarks, museums and recreational activities. Long Island’s famous beaches and other shopping, dining and entertainment destinations; and of course, our nearby neighbor, New York City.

    The campus is easily accessible via public transportation.


    For best consideration, please apply by November 12th.

    Applications will be reviewed as they are received and should include a cover letter and CV. You may apply directly at

    To be considered, applications must be made through the application link and not emailed.

    Review will begin upon receipt. Inquiries, referrals and nominations are treated confidentially and can be sent to: Jennifer Muller, Academic Career & Executive Search at

    Adelphi University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, committed to building a diverse and inclusive workforce. They encourage you to consider becoming part of their community and welcome applications from all candidates, including people of color and those who are, or identify as, members of any marginalized, underserved or underrepresented group. You can read their University statement on diversity here:

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