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The University of Idaho invites nominations and applications for the position of Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Director, Communications.

The University

Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s land-grant institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation, and the world. The student population numbers 12,000, including first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars, at locations in Moscow, Boise, Coeur d’Alene, and Idaho Falls. As the only institution in the state to be classified by the prestigious Carnegie Foundation as high research activity, University researchers attract over $100 million in research grants and contracts each year.

Consistently recognized as one of the best public colleges in America by The Princeton Review, the University combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities and a focus on helping students succeed and become leaders. Over 2,500 faculty and staff support and guide 130 Bachelor’s, 88 Master’s, and 32 doctoral degree options in the colleges of Agricultural and Life Sciences; Art and Architecture; Business and Economics; Education, Health and Human Sciences; Engineering; Law; Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences; Natural Resources; and Science. Through an institution-wide commitment to diversity, multiculturalism, and community, the University actively engages in recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce and student body.

The University is a dynamic and integral part of the fabric of Idaho, and, as such, plays a key role in the state’s economic development. With programs in all of the state’s 44 counties, the University is committed to enhancing the scientific, economic, social, legal, and cultural assets of the state and takes pride in a commitment to teaching, research, outreach, extension, and collaboration. The University provides access to publicly supported medical and veterinary education through a multi-state partnership with University of Washington’s School of Medicine and Washington State University College of Veterinary medicine, respectively. The College of Law is among the nation’s best small state public law schools. Unique academic partnership opportunities are also afforded with other universities and colleges in Idaho, as well as Washington State University, located only 8 miles away in Pullman.

The residential campus located in Moscow is a place of transformation and lasting traditions. With its research and outreach centers, scientific and artistic advancements enrich lives. The University has more than 200 student organizations, more than 20 minority student groups, and is home to the renowned Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival. Vandal athletic teams compete in 16 men’s and women’s NCAA Division I sports.

About the Position

The Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Director, Communications provides visionary leadership and direction over the University’s branding, marketing and strategic communications. Reporting to the President, the position offers an exciting opportunity for an ambitious leader to build a university branding strategy in alignment with the University’s mission, vision and principles and values, while executing such strategy with the resources needed to be successful in an evolving and complex space.

Other Responsibilities include:

  • Direct all institutional marketing and communications, including advertising, digital marketing and media, direct marketing, creative services, media and public relations, and internal communications;
  • Lead the University’s central team of marketing and communications professionals to include overseeing Communications & Media Relations, Marketing, Creative Services and Web & Digital teams;
  • Manage the vision and operational plans for marketing, communications and branding within the Office of University Communications and Marketing;
  • Cultivate collaborative partnership relationships with critical externally facing units such as Admissions, Alumni Relations, Athletics, Advancement, Research and Economic Development, Federal Relations, Extension and collegiate units to improve brand management and the alignment of messaging, achieve greater synergies, and maximize efforts and resource investments;
  • Serve as the University’s chief spokesperson and maintain strong relations with media executives and other opinion leaders;
  • Provide strategic oversight to media relations staff to cultivate effective working relationships with national and local reporters, and to secure coverage that illustrates the University’s mission and vision by highlighting the accomplishments of leadership, faculty, students and staff;
  • Provide strategic counsel to senior leadership on executive communications, and assist the President, senior leaders and faculty in effectively representing the institution;
  • Lead public relations initiatives that position the University to the media and general public in a positive and progressive light;
  • Establish standards, templates and guidelines to actively manage the University brand and work collaboratively with college and administrative units to support consistent presentation of the institutional identity and brand;
  • Lead effective crisis communications.
    Qualifications
    • The successful candidate will possess a Bachelor’s Degree in an applicable field related to communications or marketing with at least five (5) years of experience in the field of communications, marketing and/or public relations. In addition, the successful candidate will have demonstrated leadership experience in a complex academic, public or private sector environment.

Other preferred qualifications include:

  • Prior experience within a high performance marketing and communications environment to include internal/external higher education or corporate communications departments, destination marketing, brand marketing teams, new product launch teams or public relations agencies;
  • Proven supervisory experience and demonstrated track record of leading cross-functional teams;
  • Understanding of the mission of a land-grant institution and the University of Idaho’s position as the State’s primary research university;
  • Understanding of and appreciation for media culture and deadlines and how best to strategically leverage them on behalf of the University;
  • Understanding of the alignment between marketing and enrollment management as they support the University of Idaho’s strategic goals;
  • Experience partnering with other campus units to leverage expertise and resources;
  • Demonstrated experience working with public relations and media executives, policy makers, industry leaders, legislators and other opinion leaders throughout Idaho, and the region, on behalf of the University;
  • Demonstrated experience with effective research-based communications;
  • Demonstrated experience in effective brand development and market positioning for a large, complex organization;
  • Understanding of the scope and strategic impact of technology used in marketing and social media branding and promotions;
  • Successful engagement of third parties in both hiring and management;
  • Experience strategically deploying marketing and communication tools to disseminate messages across different platforms and to diverse audiences;
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, inclusion, affirmative action and equal employment opportunity;
  • Skilled decision‐maker, with transparency in decision-making and management;
  • Experience managing budgets, including contract negotiation with vendors and procurement;
  • Excellent oral and written communication and presentation skills.

Application Process

The Search Committee invites letters of nomination, applications (letter of interest, full resume/CV, and contact information for at least five references), or expressions of interest to be submitted to the search firm assisting the University. Review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the appointment is made. It is preferred, however, that all nominations and applications be submitted prior to July 20, 2020.

Please send materials to the following:

Laurie C. Wilder, President
Porsha L. Williams, Vice President

pwilliams@parkersearch.com || eraines@parkersearch.com
Phone: 770-804-1996 ext. 109 || Fax: 770-804-1917

The University of Idaho is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. It is the policy of the regents that equal opportunity be afforded in education and employment to qualified persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam-era veteran. It is also the policy of the University of Idaho to not discriminate based on sexual orientation.

The Location

Just minutes away from the forests, rivers, lakes, and mountains of northern Idaho, Moscow is home to more than 21,000 residents and the urban amenities of the Coeur d’Alene-Spokane metropolitan area are all within a 100-mile drive. In addition to art galleries, movie theaters, and coffee shops, Moscow offers a large organic and natural foods co-op, Northwest-style pubs, and many locally-owned restaurants.

Moscow is known as the “heart of the arts” for its consistent ranking among the top small arts towns in America. The Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival brings some of the world’s best jazz artists, along with 20,000 visitors each year. The ARTWALK, Fresh Aire Concert Series, and Third Street Gallery are a few examples of its dedication to the arts. The Renaissance Fair, a downtown Moscow favorite, celebrates the arrival of spring with artists, crafters, live music, and international foods.

The area is surrounded by the rolling Palouse hills, an area so picturesque it was featured in National Geographic magazine. Reflective of these surroundings, the University ranked in the top 30 in the nation as a “great university to hit the books and backcountry” by Outside magazine. Living and learning in Moscow is just minutes from opportunities for hiking, biking, climbing, skiing, snowboarding, whitewater rafting, camping, and more.

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