Strategic Communications Director, CALS

The University of Vermont

Location: Burlington, Vermont

Type: Full Time

Education: Bachelor's Degree

Experience: 5 - 10 Years

As part of the Division of Strategic Communications, lead communications and marketing strategy and execution for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). CALS is UVM’s second largest academic unit offering 16 undergraduate majors and 19 graduate programs centered on global food systems, healthy communities, and sustainability. CALS is the home of UVM Extension (EXT), The University of Vermont’s statewide outreach and engagement program that partners with Vermonters to solve challenging issues facing the state’s communities in all 14 counties.

Work in collaboration with Strat Comm and CALS leadership to develop a comprehensive communications strategy that advances the college’s highest priorities (mission, vision, and goals) through marketing, storytelling, digital platforms, and engaging branding to its stakeholders including students, alumni, faculty, staff, families, donors and the community.

Based on goals articulated in the college’s 2022 strategic plan, recommend and lead communications and marketing activities in the CALS Dean’s Office and—as needed—across all departments, programs and centers. Ensure alignment of messaging and brand within the college, UVM Extension, and the university.

Work in collaboration with University Marketing and UVM Studios to translate University of Vermont branding for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences audiences’, most prominently, prospective students, their families and key stakeholders across the state of Vermont and further afield.

Create, edit, and publish engaging content in digital and print media for internal and external audiences. Serve as the College’s webmaster and social media manager.

Identify and analyze data to inform project management, optimize ROI, improve processes, and evaluate outcomes. Develop key metrics and maintain performance standards.

Serve as a member of the Strategic Communications management team and the CALS leadership team, bridging the two organizations in planning, awareness, collaboration, and execution.

Supervise, guide, and mentor a diverse team of communications professionals and student interns.

Minimum Qualifications (or equivalent combination of education and experience)

Bachelor’s degree in communications, marketing, journalism, digital media, or relevant field, and at least 6 years related experience.

At least 2 years experience building, motivating and supervising high-functioning working teams.

Excellent writing/editing skills and demonstrated strength in development of online content and experience communicating effectively in a digital environment.

Demonstrated professional competency in at least four of these seven areas:

  • Web publishing (Drupal 10)
  • Social Media
  • Branding
  • Photography
  • Videography
  • Desktop publishing
  • Design (Adobe Creative Suite)

Excellent organizational, project management, written and verbal communications skills required.

Ability to complete projects within established deadlines.

Ability to work independently and as a team member within a diverse group of constituents, including academic and administrative leadership.

Creative and persuasive written and oral communications skills. Public speaking and presentation skills.

Desirable Qualifications

Experience in higher education, (specifically land-grant institutions), corporate communications, creative agency, non-profit, or other decentralized organizations.

Experience with Drupal, Google Analytics, Adobe Creative Suite programs desirable.

Knowledge of, or interest in, the life sciences and social sciences.

Strategic thinker, planner, and facilitator.

Demonstrated commitment to diversity, social justice, and fostering a collaborative multicultural environment


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