Position Overview: We are seeking an innovative communicator passionate about science and the mission of a land grant university. The successful candidate will design, execute, and maintain internal and external coordinated communications and engagement strategies to foster awareness of, interaction with, and support for the Department of Plant Pathology and the Stakman-Borlaug Center (SBC) for Sustainable Plant Health among existing and potential students; the CFANS and UMN communities; alumni; donors; stakeholders; the broader public; and other identified groups. The successful candidate will enjoy significant creative license and support from a broad collegiate and university communications community. As a tertiary responsibility, this position will also provide administrative support of Plant Pathology.
Major Areas of Accountability:
Communications support of Plant Pathology (40%) and SBC (20%) Design, implement, coordinate, and execute on an on-going basis a communications and engagement strategy in support of the Department and the SBC in partnership with relevant Plant Pathology and CFANS staff, as appropriate (e.g., Plant Pathology Department Head; Plant Pathology Science and Outreach Committee; Plant Pathology Awards & Honors Committee; CFANS Communications Office; CFANS Office of Information Technology; etc.). Create modern, innovative communications content focused on the research, teaching, and outreach/extension mission of the Department of Plant Pathology and the interdisciplinary impacts of the SBC. Manage and maintain all aspects of existing communications platforms (e.g., Aurora Sporealis; Living Legacy Project; monthly electronic newsletter; websites; social media; etc.) and position our communications efforts to take advantage of new and/or evolving communications platforms. Employ metrics-based assessments to validate and improve communications strategies and effectiveness.
Communications goals include: 1) Enhance relationships with potential graduate students, alumni, donors, and other external stakeholders 2) Increase awareness of Plant Pathology as a program of study for potential and existing undergraduate and graduate students 3) Contribute to a strategy to enhance student enrollment in Plant Pathology undergraduate and graduate courses 4) In partnership with the Head of Plant Pathology, create, foster, maintain, and manage an advocacy network for Plant Pathology and the SBC 5) Increase the visibility and awareness of Plant Pathology and the SBC within CFANS and the UMN, among external stakeholders, and supporters 6) Increase visibility of Plant Pathology scientists nationally and internationally 7) Maintain and enhance the Department’s and the SBC’s web and social media presence
Alumni Relations and Development (35%) Duties will include but will not be limited to expanding and maintaining donor and alumni relations in partnership with the Department Head. Specific objectives include designing, implementing, and maintaining a communications and engagement plan; maintaining donor and alumni databases; fostering new interactions through innovative and traditional means; working closely with the Department’s Development, Alumni, and External Relations Committee on projects and activities; providing leadership and management of a robust web and/or social media presence aligned with alumni interests in coordination with the CFANS Alumni and Constituent Relations Office and the CFANS Office of Information Technology; and working with the CFANS Development Office to develop, implement, and maintain a robust donor engagement strategy for the Department.
Administrative Support (5%) This position will play a tertiary role in supporting the day-to-day function of the Department’s administrative office, in partnership with other administrative staff. Activities may include but will not be limited to planning and executing Departmental functions and events, serving as a first point of contact for Departmental visitors, and fulfilling clerical needs of the Department. Additional responsibilities may be assigned by the Department Head or the Department’s Administrator.
Required Qualifications: • Bachelor’s degree in Communications or a related field and four years of relevant work experience • Demonstrated enthusiasm for and experience with modern social media platforms • Functional understanding of and experience with communications metrics • Ability to work independently and as part of a team • Ability to adjust to changing job responsibilities as departmental needs and associated communications platforms may change over time • Ability to work effectively with different groups including academics, students, alumni, industry representatives, and government officials • Documentable history of content creation as part of a visual communications strategy (e.g., photography, graphic design, video, etc.) • Excellent written communications skills • Excellent organizational skills • Proficiency in website development and maintenance • Proficiency with commonly used relevant software products (e.g., Adobe Creative Suite, Drupal, and/or WordPress) • Familiarity with and/or willingness to learn University of Minnesota branding guidelines and style • Commitment to diversity in the workplace
Preferred Qualifications: • Creativity in designing and producing a variety of communication materials (candidate will be asked to provide work samples) • Master’s degree in Communications or related field • Functional understanding of a plant science, mycology, or related field of biology • Formal experience in development and implementation of a communications strategy • Strong video technical skills (i.e., videography, video editing, etc.) • Proficiency with graphic design software or vector graphics editing software • Experience writing promotional copy • Strong interpersonal skills • Experience supervising student employees • Experience coordinating complex logistics in support of events or related activities
Internal Number: 328469
About University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
The University of Minnesota, founded in the belief that all people are enriched by understanding, is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth; to the sharing of this knowledge through education for a diverse community; and to the application of this knowledge to benefit the people of the state, the nation, and the world.