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Vice President for Strategic Communications and Marketing

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  • Classification & Compensation
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    The University of Florida is currently recruiting for a talented and experienced leader to serve as vice president for strategic communications and marketing. The vice president for strategic communications and marketing has responsibility for overall communications, public relations, marketing and branding activity for the university. Reporting to the university president, the vice president serves as a member of the president’s cabinet.

    Role of Vice President for Strategic Communications and Marketing

    The vice president must structure a public relations and marketing program that advances the university’s stature as one of the nation’s top public research universities.  The vice president will be expected to demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of how to best impact important constituencies, both within Florida and around the nation, for this purpose.

    The vice president for strategic communications and marketing is responsible for:

    • Building and managing an outstanding strategic communications, marketing and public relations program that incorporates all traditional and digital channels and media and can be considered best-in-class among the university’s peers across public and private higher education
    • Advising and supporting the president in interactions with the press and general public, serving as a co-strategist and content manager on messaging; ensuring that the president is well briefed and highly productive with respect to communications-related activities; similarly guiding and supporting senior administrators, deans, faculty and other community members in their capacity as formal university representatives
    • Continually evaluating the effectiveness of existing and proposed communications strategies and vehicles; establishing defined goals, objectives and metrics for all communications activities and monitoring progress toward fulfillment
    • Playing a leadership role in risk and crisis management, including establishing crisis communications policies and procedures; offering real-time crisis management, counsel and support
    • Collaborating with offices across campus including the foundation, athletics, and colleges and departments to ensure a thoughtful, energetic, unified and consistent brand identity and communications style
    • Conferring with members of the Board of Trustees on communications and marketing strategies
    • Managing outside consultants on the development and implementation of communications and marketing strategic plans
    • Promoting excellence through well-defined and measurable goals; inspiring and motivating staff through the free flow of information; and continually framing


    Qualities and Qualifications

    The university seeks a proven leader with demonstrated vision and the ability to execute for results to support and enhance the University’s educational, research, and public service mission. The successful candidate must have a thorough understanding of the challenges and opportunities present at a large comprehensive research university or comparably complex enterprise; demonstrated experience in developing and implementing a substantive and cohesive vision for communications based on an institution’s history and its strategic goals; a record of successfully targeting and influencing key audiences and recognizing the need to adapt and adjust as appropriate over time; and an enthusiasm for advancing UF strategic initiatives. In addition, candidates should possess the following:

    Executive Leadership and Vision

    • Ability to develop a clear vision and strategy consistent with the university’s mission and best practices
    • Demonstrated leadership skills that result in the production of high-quality services and exceptional standards
    • Strategic thinking with the capability of contributing at the senior administrative level and leading other leaders

    Communication and Collaboration

    • Superior communication skills and the ability to connect with a variety of audiences; clear and effective written and oral presentation; and the experience, ability and inclination to be an effective, outgoing spokesperson for the university
    • Solid understanding of the challenges and opportunities presented by traditional and emerging media, from newspapers to social networks, and how best to convey information in ways that engage and involve a variety of constituents
    • Experience working in an environment serving many internal clients and external constituents, often with shared responsibility for communications
    • Ability to build relationships and collaborate across the institution, serving as a resource to others and obtaining their input; persuasive, persistent and determined to achieve goals

    Experience, Knowledge, and Education

    • Master’s degree in communications, marketing, public relations, business or related field and eight years of experience, or a bachelor’s degree in such fields and 10 years of experience. A master’s degree and at least 8 years of executive experience developing and implementing successful and comprehensive communications, marketing and public affairs programs at large comprehensive research university or comparably complex enterprise
    • Broad experience in strategic communications and marketing; communications planning; digital, social and print media; media and public relations; perception management; internal communications; and crisis management, as well as proven effectiveness engaging local, national and international media
    • A record of building, leading, mentoring and motivating staff; and the ability to encourage change and growth in both people and programs. A strong commitment to personal and professional development, and the ability to build a robust, diverse, autonomous and collaborative team


    Salary is competitive and commensurate with education and experience. The University of Florida offers a generous benefits package that includes insurances, such as health, life, and dental as well as vacation, sick leave and personal days.

    Procedure for Candidacy

    The Search Committee will begin reviewing candidates immediately and will continue until the position is filled. For priority consideration, please send materials by March 19, 2018.

    Applications should consist of a detailed resume and a letter summarizing motivation, relevant leadership experience, and qualifications.

    To ensure full consideration, inquiries, nominations, and all applications (PDF files preferred) should be submitted to Peter.mcdermott@kornferry.com

    Peter McDermott
    200 Park Avenue, 33rd Floor
    New York, 10166
    Richard Marshall
    Global Managing Director
    200 Park Avenue, 33rd Floor
    New York, 10166
    Kirsten Larsen
    Senior Associate
    One International Place, Suite 1020
    Boston, MA 02110
    Andrea Cruz
    Project Coordinator
    200 Park Avenue, 33rd Floor
    New York, 10166

    The University of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The University is committed to non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations, genetic information and veteran status in all aspects of employment including recruitment, hiring, promotions, transfers, discipline, terminations, wage and salary administration, benefits, and training.

    The “government in the sunshine” laws of Florida require that all documents relating to the search process, including letters of application/nomination and reference, be available for public inspection.