Vice Chancellor for Strategic Communications



US State:


Position type:

Contract type:

Vice Chancellor for Strategic Communications

University of North Carolina School of the Arts

Position summary:

Working closely with the Chancellor, the Vice Chancellor for Strategic Communications is responsible for the planning, implementation and supervision of UNCSA’s overall communication and marketing strategy including supervision of the University communication and marketing team – covering a wide variety of areas including but not limited to media relations, public relations, advertising, branding, marketing strategy, executive and leadership communications, content and strategy for the University website and social media channels, reputational advancement and image building, issues management and crisis communications, and all print and digital collateral for University advancement, admissions, financial aid, and faculty activity and recruitment.

Serves as the University spokesperson.

This position reports directly to the Chancellor and is a member of the University’s executive leadership team.

Minimum qualifications:

Master’s degree and 6-8 years of progressively responsible experience in communication and marketing, or Bachelor’s degree and 8-10 years of related and progressively responsible experience in communications and marketing.

Preferred skills:

  • Master’s degree in communications, public relations, marketing, business administration, journalism or related field and a minimum of 5 years of supervisory experience in communications and marketing, preferably in a higher education or academic setting.
  • Demonstrated experience in writing and editing for a wide variety of publications, including speeches, executive and leadership messaging, and University-wide print, digital and web-based communications.
  • An understanding and appreciation for an arts conservatory education in a residential college and high school environment with a commitment to access, equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging.
  • Demonstrated experience developing enterprise-wide website concepts, implementing web site architecture, design, content management and UI/UX, as well as providing ongoing content/design oversight.
  • Experience in strengthening institutional reputation and image with primary audiences on a local, national, and global level.
  • A highly collaborative approach that supports key operational areas through data-driven, results- oriented efforts impacting strategic revenue drivers.

Knowledge, skills, and abilities:

  • Proven ability to conceptualize, articulate, organize, and implement innovative communications and marketing in a university setting, especially as it related to promoting enrollment, arts, academics, and advancement functions.
  • Experience in successfully managing media relations in a higher education setting.
  • A demonstrated understanding of the principles of marketing including elements of brand, design, positioning, and advertising.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and skill in digital and print media.
  • Demonstrated skill to manage diverse professionals and departmental budgets.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the vital role played by the website and other digital communications in the University environment.
  • A high degree of technical expertise in website development and experience managing projects and budget is highly desired.
  • Professional skills and experience in creating and delivering presentations to the campus, Board of Trustees and the public.

Responsibilities and duties:

75% of Time:

Planning and implementing an integrated strategic communications and marketing program that refines and improves the image, perception and reputation of UNCSA throughout the state, nation and world. This plan will be aligned with the goals and objectives of the University’s strategic plan and will result in increased visibility for the University and a clear and focused understanding of the value of UNCSA as a top-tier, arts conservatory. The effort will further define the University’s brand promise, as well as its unique character, culture, achievements and aspirations through targeted media and public relations, publications, website and digital communications, advertising, and associated constituent communications. Develops and executes marketing strategies designed to promote UNCSA and strengthen brand positioning both internally and externally. Directs the planning, development, editorial content, production, and evaluation of promotional campaigns and University collateral (print, website, social media and digital).

Provides leadership in the planning, development and direction of communication strategies and long-range public relations program. Works collaboratively with institutional leaders to develop and plan public relations/media relations activities that are designed to elevate public awareness and visibility of the University (locally, regionally, and nationally). Develops and maintains effective working relationships with media representatives. Designs, executes, and manages strategic communications plans for students, employees, issues management and crisis and external communications. Oversees the ongoing development and maintenance of the University’s social media strategy.

Serves as the University’s Chief Public Information Officer. Acts as the official University spokesperson as required and/or requested by the Chancellor. Serves as a key member of the University’s crisis management team. Provides strategic communications and media relations counsel, writing, and presentation support to the Chancellor, Vice Chancellors, and other faculty and staff at the University.

Develops guidelines and procedures governing the release of information by the University. Determines needs for new policies, procedures, and revision of existing guidelines related to all campus communications, internally/externally, and print/digital. Provides guidance to departmental staff and assists in solutions to unusual, sensitive or difficult challenges. Develops the marketing budget.

25% of Time:

Closely oversees staff members who develop publications to assist in institutional promotion and student recruitment, including but not limited to view-books, brochures, Chancellor’s reports and messages, and annual magazine, along with fundraising and stewardship efforts.

Closely oversees staff members who write and disseminate news releases and pitch stories on the activities of the University, chancellor, faculty, staff and students, along with campus events. Oversees the development and implementation of strategic advertising for the University, including digital, print, display, outdoor and radio advertising.

Oversees the development and implementation of digital communication for the University, including social media, video and web. This includes oversight of the University web team responsible for ensuring high-quality content across the University website, as well as oversight of web information architecture and user experience.

Performs other related duties as required to support the mission of the University and as directed by the Chancellor.

To Apply:

For priority consideration, please provide (1) a letter of interest and (2) a resume or curriculum vitae (CV) by August 31, 2023, to This position remains open until filled. Please direct nominations and questions regarding the search and/or application process to Anne Schwarz, Director, executive search and leadership programs at