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Communications Manager

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL ~ August 04, 2022

Department
 

CSL Administration and Operations


About the Department
 

The University of Chicago is one of the nation's leading institutions of higher education and research. Campus and Student Life (CSL) carries the core mission of the University to all aspects of life outside the classroom. It enriches the lives of its students, staff, and faculty and academic staff members and contributes to a vibrant, collaborative, and diverse campus community that inspires excellence and sustains the University’s culture of inquiry, innovation, and continuous learning. The unit also works to support the overall well-being of students, including their health and safety. This happens in the context of a campus located in a dynamic, thriving city, in which opportunities abound for students to learn from, contribute to, and engage with their urban environment. CSL is importantly charged with the dual task of promoting the interests of students in the University, and managing multiple campus departments and services that serve the entire campus community, including Athletics & Recreation; the Office of the Bursar; Center for Leadership and Involvement; Disciplinary Affairs; International House; Office of International Affairs; Office of the University Registrar; Rockefeller Memorial Chapel; Spiritual Life; Student Centers; Student Disability Services; UChicago HELP; Student Wellness; and UChicago Dining. The University of Chicago community includes approximately 7,000 undergraduates and 10,500 graduate, professional, and other students and there are over 400 recognized student organizations working together to create a vibrant and dynamic student life.


Job Summary
 

The Communications Manager within Campus and Student Life will manage efforts and initiatives that support the vision and strategic objectives of CSL, promote partnerships with key campus stakeholders, market the unit’s distinct programs and services, and tell the stories of the University’s vibrant campus community to internal and external audiences. The Communications Manager must be an experienced communications professional who can think strategically about communications needs while working very collaboratively in a fast-paced environment. Of particular focus are programs and initiatives that directly impact the student experience as well as that of CSL staff.

CSL is a fast-paced environment and does occasionally require evening and weekend availability.

 

Responsibilities

  • Specifically, the Communications Manager will: Develop and execute communications for Campus and Student Life as well as communications plans for individual initiatives and departments, using a variety of vehicles and events to tell those stories, convey the larger messages and capture the full impact of the University’s work beyond its campus boundaries.

  • Collaborates and provides communications support to the various communications functions across CSL’s departments.

  • Drafts statements, announcements, press releases, emails, presentations, and other communications for the Dean of Students in the University and other senior staff members.

  • Works closely with departmental staff and the University Office of Communications to manage a range of communications projects for CSL, including: collateral materials (posters, handbooks, brochures, etc.); website content and design; photo shoots; social media; newsletters; and, other internal and external communications.

  • Partners with University and CSL colleagues to ensure consistent and compelling messaging, visuals, and design are deployed across the unit in a way that supports the overall CSL brand identity and strategy.

  • With respect to communications for Student Wellness, directs, drafts, and manages the communications for students related to broader strategic branding and awareness efforts, as well as tactical communications relating to the Student Wellness Center and student experience (e.g., the patient medical record portal; communications around appointment scheduling).

  • Demonstrates leadership in identifying and applying new, creative ways to reach students and external audiences through social media, and strategically build up and manage social media channels for Campus and Student Life.

  • Writes, assigns to freelancers, or collaborates on content for Campus and Student Life website and University web publications.

  • Assists the Dean of Students and CSL in gathering and responding to feedback from campus communities.

  • Helps assess effectiveness of communications tactics, report on data, etc.

  • Plays a key role in the launch and upkeep of new communications channels for Campus and Student Life staff by creating and managing content.

  • Works with the News Office as needed on engagement with student media and external media.

  • Works closely with Campus and Student Life staff, University Communications senior staff, and the University News Office.

  • The Manager will report to the Associate Director of Operations for Campus and Student Life and will assist the associate director on other projects as assigned.

  • Plans, develops and disseminates information designed to keep the public informed of the organization's programs, accomplishments, or point of view, with moderate levels of guidance and direction.

  • Accomplishes assigned duties through two or more of the following: written communications; visual/graphic media, which may include Web site development and maintenance; speeches and personal contact. The incumbent is still acquiring higher-level knowledge and skills.

  • Performs other related work as needed.


Minimum Qualifications
 

Education:

Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

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Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 2-5 years of work experience in a related job discipline.

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Certifications:

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Preferred Qualifications

 

Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism, public relations, marketing, English or a related field.

 

Experience:

  • Three to five years of professional experience in internal communications, public relations, media relations or a similar field.

  • Experience working with leadership, writing or editing for news publications, managing social media content and developing digital strategy.

 

Preferred Competencies

  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills.

  • Ability to communicate with clarity, tact, and courtesy.

  • Strong judgment and the ability to meet deadlines in a fast-paced work environment.

  • Ability to work independently with a high degree of initiative.

  • A proven record of working collaboratively with others.

  • Demonstrated track record of effectively managing a wide variety of projects simultaneously.

  • Ability to manage communications needs within deadlines for all phases of a project while maintaining professionalism and product quality.

  • Good attention to detail (including editing skills), and strong planning and organization skills.

  • Strong customer service orientation, the ability to work effectively with a wide variety of constituents, and the ability to work independently without close supervision.

  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and demonstrate judgment and discretion in the sharing of sensitive information.

  • Strong proficiency in Microsoft Office applications, including excellent PowerPoint skills.

  • While not a graphic design role, the candidate must have experience with or ability to quickly learn graphic design programs such as Adobe Indesign.

 

Application Documents

  • Resume (required)

  • Cover Letter (required)

  • Three writing samples (required)

When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Posting Statement
 

Employees must comply with the University’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements. More information about the requirements can be found on the University of Chicago Vaccination GoForward.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

 

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

 

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

 

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history.  A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment.  Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

 

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