Reporting to the Executive Vice President for University Life, the Executive Director of Communications is responsible for overseeing a small, dynamic team and robust communications portfolio for the office including the strategic communications plan for University Life, day-to-day communications and marketing support for the Student Life team and their programs, and providing consultation and support as needed for communications professionals on student-life issues across the University.
The Office of University Life was created in 2015 to develop and enhance the student experience at Columbia University. Working in collaboration with students, faculty and staff throughout Columbia's many undergraduate and graduate schools, we serve as the hub for University-wide student life information and initiatives and work to enhance policies, strengthen resources and support community across Columbia.
Writes, edits, and reviews a wide range of communications including crisis response, speeches and remarks, annual reports, program collateral, and blog posts, and oversees communications on strategic projects as appropriate. In addition, provides high-level executive communications support for the Executive Vice President of University Life, the Vice President for Student Affairs and the Associate Vice President for Student Life, among others. Routinely writes for a wide range of audiences and in several different voices. Ensures accuracy and excellent quality of all communications from the Office.
Develops and implements a strategic communications plan for the Office as it takes on new portfolios and responsibilities, including building brand consistency, establishing best practices, ensuring quality and consistency across messages, and designing or redesigning a multitude of processes and platforms including websites, talking points, and templates.
Oversees the digital communications and web presence of the division, including several websites, the University Life app, social media, and other platforms. Develops and executes a digital communications strategy that fosters student engagement and furthers the values and work of the Office. Ensures digital communications across the division are consistent in messaging and quality and provides additional support, training, and guidance as needed.
Partners with the University's Office of Public Affairs to respond to press inquiries and maximizes the value of opportunities with student and external media. Serves as the liaison to other communications offices throughout the University, especially student-facing communications offices, to better reach internal audiences. Initiates and leads a quarterly meeting of communications professionals in student-facing offices across the University, building on the Office's leadership role on University-wide student-life issues. May occasionally serve a spokesperson for the Office, if needed.
Collaborates with colleagues across the Office on a wide range of initiatives, provides guidance and advice to colleagues, and follows and tracks issues for the Office and its initiatives on campus and in the larger media.
Supervises a small team including full-time, temporary, and student staff and manages vendors and freelancers as necessary in order to support the work of the Office.
Additional duties as assigned.
Bachelor's degree or equivalent experience and a minimum of ten years of relevant experience required.
The right candidate is detail-oriented, possesses strong organizational skills and superior verbal and written communication skills, and is a team player. Amazing writer with attention to detail and nuance. Capable of providing strategic leadership, guidance and manage a small team to execute on a wide-body of work. Not afraid to roll up sleeves to get the work done. Calm, welcoming demeanor and ability to maintain a sense of humor in a fast-paced environment while getting work done is essential.
Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran
Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.
Internal Number: 499937
About Columbia University
Columbia University is one of the world's most important centers of research and at the same time a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields. The University recognizes the importance of its location in New York City and seeks to link its research and teaching to the vast resources of a great metropolis. It seeks to attract a diverse and international faculty and student body, to support research and teaching on global issues, and to create academic relationships with many countries and regions. It expects all areas of the university to advance knowledge and learning at the highest level and to convey the products of its efforts to the world.