Mizzou | Vice Chancellor for Communications and Marketing
At a pivotal time for both the (Mizzou or MU) and for public higher education, Mizzou seeks a dynamic, innovative officer with the expertise and leadership to advance an essential strategic function. The Vice Chancellor for Communications & Marketing leads efforts to shape and implement communications and marketing strategies that support the University of Missouri’s position as a premier institution of higher education and economic driver for the state, region and beyond; the role’s core purpose is to drive outcomes that enhance the reputation and visibility of MU as well as further its position as a leading land-grant and AAU institution. In short, the University seeks a leader who brings both a passion for and an understanding of the convergent activities that fuel the institution’s visibility and identity.
The reach and impact of this position is notable and distinguished among such positions at public institutions given its scale of impact across the entire state of Missouri and the region. Serving as both an institutional cabinet leader for the flagship campus (MU) as well as an executive for the , the Vice Chancellor will be highly involved in developing University-wide strategies for increasing local, national, and international recognition of the institution’s excellence in teaching, research, clinical healthcare, extension, service, and economic development. Additionally, the Vice Chancellor will act as a liaison from the to engage the communications offices of the other (UMKC, UMSL, and S&T) and the governing to identify opportunities for collaboration, coordinate messaging and issues management strategies, and obtain buy-in for system-wide communications and marketing initiatives.
Finally, the Vice Chancellor leads and advances the , a robust team of more than 100 talented communication professionals, all committed to helping the university reach its many missions and serve Missouri. To excel, our next Vice Chancellor should be on the cutting edge of the communications and marketing professions and embrace the opportunity to maximize impact.
The Joint Office of Strategic Communications & Marketing
Illustrating significant leadership buy-in and support, the University has invested in a strategic effort to centralize and integrate all services within the communications and marketing purview. The coordinates MU’s and the ’s external and internal communications, utilizing mass and social media, publications, marketing and branding initiatives, special events, and other forms of communication for regional, state, national, and international media outlets and constituencies to support the mission and goals of MU and the UM System.
The Joint Office is composed of the following functions:
- Digital Publications (Show Me Mizzou and Social Media)
- Digital Service
- Research Communications
- IDE Communications
- Licensing & Brand Management
- Internal Communications
- Student Communications
- Extension and Engagement Communications
- Alumni & Advancement Communications
- Integrated Strategic Communications (Executive Communications and University Events)
- MU News Bureau
- Mizzou Visual Productions
This talented team has been strategically designed to realize division capabilities that place us ahead of the curve and peers. The division’s centralized structure means that all institutional communication efforts are driven through direct leadership from the President and Vice Chancellor. This structure gives the university unique opportunities to align messaging, issues management, and storytelling across critical functions such as enrollment management, student affairs, inclusion and diversity, human resources, finance and IT, as well as research, advancement, extension and academic affairs. Additionally, the division has established tightly coordinated efforts with each academic unit through partnerships with deans and their communication teams. This last set of partnerships represent fertile ground for continued growth, integration and impact of the division.
Through its diverse operations, the Joint Office communicates the University’s distinctive identity and in so doing performs a marketing function that supports student recruitment, faculty and staff recruitment and retention, fundraising, alumni relations, community relations, and governmental support.
In addition to the above, the Joint Office also coordinates and communicates on behalf of the UM System President/Chancellor and Board of Curators, speaking broadly to the entire state of Missouri as the University extends its outreach, research and economic impact far beyond its campus boundaries.
Opportunities and Expectations for Leadership
- Lead integrated, comprehensive and aligned strategic marketing and communications initiatives —working with communications partners across the university by coordinating shared goals, messages, issues management strategies, branding, and reputation-building for , , , the , , and the .
- Work with senior university leaders to shape and communicate key messages related to the institution’s highest priorities and key initiatives.
- Foster a proactive, long-term approach to the development and implementation of marketing and communication plans with a distinct willingness to challenge status quo modes of operation and thought in support of MU’s institutional priorities.
- Effectively manage the communications and marketing needs that support the varied and important relationships of both the University of Missouri System and MU, as well as enhance the public understanding of and support for the University as a contributor to the vitality and well-being of the state.
- Strengthen partnerships with academic deans, as well as college-based communications leaders at the campus level.
- Lead and manage the with overall responsibility for effective and efficient operations and services, budgetary planning and management, and personnel management and development.
- Coordinate crisis management efforts involving both MU and UM System entities.
- Enact a vision for the strategic evolution of the marketing infrastructure university-wide, including partner and leadership relations, and promotion and advancement of strategy and goals.
The University seeks a dynamic leader who brings both passion for and an understanding of the convergent activities that fuel the University’s visibility and identity. Given the breadth of the Vice Chancellor’s role and responsibilities, this challenging position requires visionary leadership, exceptional judgment, strong management skills, and a deep understanding of and commitment to the academic, research, and service missions of the University. Candidates should have a proven record of success in leading communications, marketing, branding, or public relations, with previous experience in higher education preferred. Candidates should have experience in leading and managing progressive change in a complex environment, similar to that which exists in a modern land-grant university.
Candidates should demonstrate strategic thinking and have experience managing highly productive teams and overseeing budgets and operations. Candidates will be expected to be familiar with and comfortable deploying a wide range of leading-edge communication and marketing tools and platforms.
Successful candidates will also possess many of the following qualities and competencies:
- Record of success in an administrative position with responsibility for guiding strategy; fiscal planning and management; supervising, motivating, and developing employees; and fostering diversity, belonging, and teamwork to create collaborative working relationships across culturally diverse groups.
- High degree of energy, initiative, and organization; self-confidence, creativity, and willingness to take risks to develop and evaluate new programs with knowledge of best practices, including the ability to use research, data, and assessment to guide decision-making.
- Passion to innovate and keep moving forward in both approach and thinking. Mindset that accepts and encourages new paths and interprets mistakes and setbacks as essential to progress. Moreover, values and is open to contrary thinking and pushback.
- Outstanding oral and written communication skills with an ability to speak to a variety of audiences, transform ambiguity into clarity, and articulate campus needs with persuasiveness and conviction; excellent listening skills; and the capacity and willingness to engage in intellectual debate and discussion.
- Digital-first mindset that understands the scope and strategic impact of technology used in marketing and social media branding and promotion with experience strategically deploying marketing and communication tools to disseminate messages across different platforms.
- Personal and professional ethics and integrity to the highest degree.
- Approachable, optimistic, and intellectually curious with personal warmth, generosity of spirit, a can-do attitude, and strong resilience and level-headedness in the face of criticism.
- Ability to model a commitment to personal growth and development, and to nurture the talents of others through strong mentoring, coaching, and team building.
- Demonstrable understanding of and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Political acumen with a keen sense of how and when to engage different constituencies and the ability to build productive alliances.
- Extensive knowledge and understanding of public affairs, public relations, and crisis communications issues and trends.
- Inspires respect and trust.
To be considered, candidates must possess a master’s degree in a relevant field and at least 10 years of experience from which comparable knowledge and skills can be acquired.
The Search Committee will begin reviewing candidates immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Priority consideration will be given to materials received by April 7, 2023.
Candidates should include a cover letter that addresses the opportunities and expectations described above as well as a detailed CV/resume. Later in the search process, additional information may be sought from interested candidates, along with names and contact information for references. Candidates will be notified before references are contacted.
Nominations and inquiries of interest may be sent in confidence to the University’s executive search partner:
Tim McIntosh, Senior Director of Recruitment
University of Missouri System
The full position profile can be viewed at .
The University of Missouri is fully committed to achieving the goal of a diverse and inclusive academic community of faculty, staff and students. We seek individuals who are committed to this goal and our core campus values of respect, responsibility, discovery and excellence.
The University of Missouri is an Equal Opportunity/Access/Affirmative Action/Pro Disabled & Veteran Employer. To request ADA accommodations, please contact our ADA Coordinator at (573) 884-7278 (V/TTY). Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.
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