Director of Strategic Communications

California, United States
29 Oct 2020
End of advertisement period
29 Dec 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

Stanford University has an immediate opening for a full-time Director of Strategic Communications in Student and Academic Services, an organization that works to ensure student success, equity of access, and the integrity of a Stanford education. We support students throughout their academic journey from finding and selecting courses to choosing a major, paying their bill, providing visas, protecting their records, and answering their questions. We design and provide the systems and applications that enable a seamless academic experience for students. 

This position will be in the Division of Student Affairs, which supports a variety of student experiences outside the classroom in our residences, community centers, student organizations, health center, and career education center and is dedicated to Our Most Important Work.

Inclusion and diversity are integral to Stanford’s commitment to excellence. We are interested in candidates who have demonstrated experience engaging with diversity through activities such as fostering an inclusive environment, working with students and staff from diverse backgrounds, or incorporating diverse perspectives in their work.

In this role, you will:

  • Develop and execute marketing strategies and marketing plans/programs to meet departmental and/or organizational objectives.
    • Support the development of Student and Academic Services’ (SAS) long-term strategic vision. Manage communications to advance these strategic projects over the coming 3-5 years:
      • campus-wide digital student experience and next generation student portal
      • re-imagination of the Student and Academic Services web properties and their integration with the student portal and overall digital student experience.
      • the content strategy and user experience for the future enhanced bulletin.
    • Develop clear, engaging, and targeted communication strategies for diverse audiences including university executives and leadership groups, undergraduate students, graduate students, international students, alumni, faculty, and staff who support student and academic services across the university.
    • Engage with the Associate Vice Provost of SAS, directors across the organization, and other top leaders of Student Affairs and Stanford University, to develop the long-term strategic communications goals and priorities that support the mission of SAS: ensuring student success, equity of access, and the integrity of a Stanford education.
  • Manage the execution of communication and brand strategy for multiple programs incorporating appropriate channels (i.e., web presence, digital and print).
    • Ensure all communications are consistent with the Student Affairs and SAS brand, and are aligned with organizational goals.
    • Leverage traditional and digital platforms to position the organization, and to extend its reach by creating content that resonates with its key audiences.
    • Responsible for coordination and supervision of online and print publication and communication of information including but not limited to: university and departmental degree requirements; courses and scheduled classes; policies, procedures, standards, and other information; WASC-compliance related statements; and such other information as deemed necessary by the university or the Associate Vice Provost of SAS.
    • Define strategy for next-generation campus catalog as part of the 2020-22 Connected Curriculum implementation project. Oversee UX Design team to deliver new enhanced Stanford Bulletin.
    • Ongoing, oversee publishing of the annual online Stanford Bulletin.
    • Direct and oversee all SAS websites, developing content to keep it current and compliant with university policies, including accessibility standards.
  • Oversee market research and analysis. Use the results to inform decisions regarding strategic marketing direction, product segmentation and customer targeting. Assess market opportunities and track market trends. Implement marketing improvements based on findings.
    • Shape and influence the messaging for key SAS projects and initiatives and ensure those messages are distributed at the right time to the right audiences at all levels of the university.
    • Develop pre-emptive, proactive communications plans addressing target audiences to mitigate risk and drive communications around key issues that have potential to become issues for SAS or Stanford.
    • Understand emerging trends in higher education, marketing, and communications and recommend strategies and updates to protocols and resources to ensure SAS remains relevant.
    • Research and measure the impact of the communications strategies, programs, and campaigns on perception and reach, and use the results to refine strategic communications direction, audience targeting, and message segmentation.
  • Participate in university-wide and/or organization-wide initiatives and cross-functional teams to establish the organization as a strategic partner and thought leader.
    • Actively participate in the Stanford community of communicators to establish SAS as a strategic partner and thought leader.
    • Manage communication with students, faculty, and staff for SAS, including managing the monthly Student Services meetings attended by department, program, and school student services staff.
    • Play an integral role in engaging and connecting the distributed staff who support student and academic services across the university; strengthen a culture of information sharing and trust, leading to greater efficiencies and effectiveness as we serve Stanford students.
  • Be responsible for staff including the recruitment, management, development, and retention of staff.
    • Recruit, manage and develop a communications specialist.
  • Collaborate with department directors to ensure consistency of the organization’s marketing and communications message across various departments and to the broader audience. Empower senior leadership in SAS to:
    • Compellingly articulate the vision, impact, and benefits of our organization’s key initiatives to both top university leaders as well as to students.
    • Secure additional funding to help us execute on our current initiatives and propose new ones in the future.
    • Respond thoughtfully and intentionally to issues that arise with quick and professional communications to all audiences directly or indirectly impacted.
  • Select and oversee the department vendor relationships.
    • Consult with and direct vendors on communications deliverables for critical SAS projects.

To be successful in this role, you will bring:

  • Bachelor’s degree and eight years of relevant experience; or a combination of education and relevant experience.
  • Demonstrated marketing management skills and the ability to work effectively with decision-makers across many levels of an organization.
  • Extensive knowledge of strategic analysis, customer segmentation strategies, and business and marketing planning.
  • Highly detail oriented with strong ability to understand constituent needs and lead teams toward a common goal.
  • Strategic thinking and leadership skills.
  • Proven track record with branding, integrated marketing strategy, messaging and positioning.
  • Excellent project manager with the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Demonstrated experience presenting to senior management.
  • Ability to motivate, develop and train staff.
  • Prior experience in planning and managing budgets.

Working Conditions:   Able to work evenings and weekends, as needed.

How to Apply:

We invite you to apply for this position, please submit your résumé and a one-page cover letter along with your online application.

Why Stanford is for You

Imagine a world without search engines or social platforms. Consider lives saved through first-ever organ transplants and research to cure illnesses. Stanford University has revolutionized the way we live and enrich the world. Supporting this mission is our diverse and dedicated 17,000 staff. We seek talent driven to impact the future of our legacy. Our culture and unique perks empower you with:

  • Freedom to grow. We offer career development programs, tuition reimbursement, or audit a course. Join a TedTalk, film screening, or listen to a renowned author or global leader speak.
  • A caring culture. We provide superb retirement plans, generous time-off, and family care resources.
  • A healthier you. Climb our rock wall, or choose from hundreds of health or fitness classes at our world-class exercise facilities. We also provide excellent health care benefits.
  • Discovery and fun. Stroll through historic sculptures, trails, and museums.
  • Enviable resources. Enjoy free commuter programs, ridesharing incentives, discounts and more

The job duties listed are typical examples of work performed by positions in this job classification and are not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, tasks, and responsibilities. Specific duties and responsibilities may vary depending on department or program needs without changing the general nature and scope of the job or level of responsibility. Employees may also perform other duties as assigned.

Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of his or her job.

Stanford is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Additional Information

  • Schedule: Full-time
  • Job Code: 4902
  • Employee Status: Regular
  • Grade: K
  • Requisition ID: 87632