Minnesota State University (MNSU) | Associate Vice President of Marketing and Communications


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Type Of Work:
Mankato, MN
Company URL:
Date Posted:
February 4, 2023


Is this you?

• Interested in leading a group of creatives who tell the amazing stories of the largest university in the Minnesota State system?
• Want to work in a national award-winning advancement unit whose stories and engagement have led to record fundraising and robust student enrollment?
• Ready to join an experienced and successful leadership team where you can grow your management and leadership skills?

We’re looking for a talented, creative, marketing and communications leader to serve as our Minnesota State University (MNSU) Associate Vice President for Marketing and Communications (AVP-MAR-COM). As MNSU’s AVP-MAR-COM, you will help us enhance the brand of the University, develop a university-marketing website, and help us tell the stories of our students and ~145,000 Maverick alumni worldwide.

Position Purpose

Essentially our chief strategic communications officer, the AVP-MAR-COM reports to the Vice President for University Advancement (VPUA) and works in concert with the Associate Vice President for University Advancement (AVP-UA), and often the University President, as well as members of the University community. Together, we strive to strengthen the University’s reputation as an internationally recognized public regional comprehensive university. The AVP-MAR-COM will work closely with the VPUA to establish the strategic direction of the unit and to develop comprehensive, innovative solutions to enhance the student recruitment and fundraising outcomes, as well as the overall University brand.

The AVP-MAR-COM also leads the development of internal communication strategy for executive leadership and oversees internal communications that are strategic. The AVP-MAR-COM supervises more than 20 staff members; that currently includes public and media relations, social and digital media, video production services, web design and development, KMSU Radio, and Creative Productions.

This position reports directly to the VPUA and serves as a member of the President’s Expanded Cabinet. The AVP-MAR-COM participates in institutional strategic planning, policy-making, and executive leadership of the University and leads cross-University collaborations that galvanize significant operational improvements in marketing and communications.

Characteristic Duties and Responsibilities

> Lead the team of creative talent, which includes the following direct reports…

• Senior Director of University Marketing and Communications
• Director of Media Relations
• Director of Web Marketing
• Director of Content Marketing
• Director of Visual Content Strategies

…as well as up to 20 indirect reports and 3-6 students.

> Manage staff and oversee budgets for the Office of University Marketing and Communications, KMSU radio station, and Creative Productions. Oversee University communications channels, including its marketing website and University social media platforms. Direct the development, production, and distribution of all University communications materials, whether print or electronic. Annual budget authority is ~$4.6 million. (40% of AVP-MAR-COM’s time)

> Creatively and strategically produce and direct social/digital and new media content of all kinds — text, photography, and video — to enhance the University’s social/digital (web) media presence. Demonstrably increase constituent engagement, partnering as necessary with other content providers in UMAR-COMM and across campus. Monitor and continually expand expertise in cutting-edge social media practices and technologies to ensure that MNSU is a leader among public regional universities in strategically using such communications platforms. Strategically grow online communities and create and execute viral and targeted outreach campaigns that achieve communications goals by partnering with Alumni Relations, Annual Giving, and other University offices as needed. (20% of AVP-MAR-COM’s time)

> Lead the proactive media team and assist with enhancing MNSU’s reputation and visibility by driving earned media placements in influential media through reporter outreach, pitch development, and using measurement/analytics to inform future strategy for growth. (15% of AVP-MAR-COM’s time)

> Develop and manage the annual media purchase and all ad campaigns. Amplify the University’s impact in the marketplace through truly integrated marketing and cross-University media buys. Lead in market research and market analysis efforts. Oversee and lead in the brand enhancement of the University including implementation of a new brand book, and keep current a campus branding master plan. (10% of AVP-MAR-COM’s time)

> Report directly to the Vice President and serve as a member of the President’s Expanded Cabinet and a member of the UA Executive Staff or as requested. Participate in institutional and strategic planning, policy-making, and executive leadership of the University. Serve as a key member of the University crisis communications team, and liaise with others on campus as necessary. (10% of AVP-MAR-COM’s time)

> Other duties as assigned by the Vice President and/or President. (5% of AVP-MAR-COM’s time)

Required Qualifications

> Education: Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, Public Relations, Communications, New Media, or related field (An official college transcript will be required if you are invited to interview on campus.)

> Professional Licensure/Certification: None

> Type and Length of Experience: Eight (8) or more years of increasingly responsible roles in strategic marketing, public relations, communications, or related field in either the public or private sector, or combination of both.

Other Required Qualifications:

• Proven expertise as both a strategic thinker and a project manager with a keen ability to synchronize the two.
• Proven understanding of the dynamic worlds of digital and social media with the ability to create content, manage creative talent in content creation, and grow brand awareness in these channels.
• Proven success in managing, motivating, and supporting creative people and building a cohesive marketing unit. Experience with identifying talent, building teams, and recommending appropriate staffing models to support overall goals and objectives.
• Effective leadership and ability to manage change, build strong relationships with people from diverse areas of the University, and inspire those outside their direct sphere of control.
• Team player; ability to work collaboratively with others; good listener. Individual who has high energy/drive, and a relentlessly positive attitude.
• Catalyst for change: Someone who is willing to challenge the status-quo and has well-thought-out recommendations and ideas.
• Experience in placing and managing large-scale advertising campaigns, and managing ad buys with print, radio, and digital channels.
• Data-driven expertise in marketing, branding, and digital tactics.
• Ability to make informed decisions and get measurable results.
• Demonstrated commitment to fostering a diverse working and learning environment.

Preferred Qualifications

• Experience in higher education marketing and/or communications.
• Master’s degree in related field.
• AdWord Certified.
• Marketo-Certified expert.
• Demonstrated success in relevant leadership roles in marketing required; a solid mix of public/private industry, higher education, and nonprofit experience desired.
• Experience in developing lead generation strategies is highly desirable.
• Experience working with communications teams and/or departments in support of unified brand messaging.
• Demonstrated ability to develop and implement innovative marketing techniques in an environment in which budgets are constrained.
• Demonstrated examples of directing outside business partners and service providers.
• Ability to work in an organization with multiple “divisions.”
• Working knowledge of backend website development practices.
• Demonstrated commitment and ability to producing communications and growing brand awareness among diverse communities, as well as a commitment to fostering a diverse working and learning environment.

About Minnesota State University

Minnesota State University/MNSU (www.mnsu.edu/) is a public university of ~14,000 students, including more than 1,300 international students from 90+ countries. The University has nearly 2,600 students of color, 13.7 percent employees of color, and an institutional commitment to welcoming underrepresented populations. (www.mnsu.edu/university-life/diversity-equity-inclusion/)

MNSU has won the “Most Popular University in Minnesota” designation each of the last two years according to the Star Tribune, our statewide newspaper.

MNSU offers more than 130 undergraduate programs of study, including 13 pre-professional programs, and more than 80 graduate programs, including master’s, specialist, and doctoral programs. Additional Fast Facts about the University can be found here: www.mnsu.edu/about-the-university/fast-facts/

The AVP-MAR-COM will work on campus, which is located in the college town of Mankato, Minnesota. MNSU is just 76 miles southwest of MSP Airport. Founded in 1852 and overlooking the Minnesota River Valley, Mankato is the 5th largest city in Minnesota, with an area population of ~103,570. Its surroundings are renowned for great parks and trails in a landscape steeped in historic significance.

A Minnesota Driver’s License will be necessary as travel is required 10% of the time.

MNSU employees work safely at all times, which includes but is not limited to, participating in and completing all required safety trainings, as well as performing all job tasks in accordance with MNSU policies and procedures, utilizing appropriate tools, equipment, and personal protective equipment.

Compensation and Benefits

Annual salary is $96,000 – $134,000, commensurate with qualifications and years of experience.

MNSU offers an excellent benefits package (admin.mnsu.edu/human-resources/our-benefits/) for eligible employees. Eligibility is determined by several factors including type and length of employment and the applicable collective bargaining agreement or personnel plan.

A stipend to assist with relocation to Mankato, MN may be negotiated, but is not guaranteed.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

Minnesota State University has a long-standing commitment to diversity and is actively seeking to nurture and enrich its underrepresented communities. We also take the opportunity to recognize that we live, work, and learn in the homeland of the Dakota people, whose language frames our place name — Mankato. Women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. In accordance with USCIS regulations, successful applicants must be legally able to accept work in the United States. Requests for reasonable accommodation of a disability during the application and/or interview process should be made to the Office of Human Resources, 507-389-2015 (V), 800-627-3529 or 711 (MRS/TTY). This Vacancy Notice is available in alternative format upon request. Minnesota State University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity University and is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System.