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UNIVERSITY OF OREGON
HUMAN RESOURCES

Assistant Director Strategic Communications - Archive
Office of the Vice President for Student Life

Posting: 16082
Location: Eugene
Closes: 2016-10-25

Appointment Type:  Officer of Administration

Reports to:  Director of Strategic Communication and Marketing

Duration:  12 months, renewable annually

Closes:  Open Until Filled

Type of appointment:  Full-time (1.0 FTE), 12 month

Anticipated Starting Salary:   $50,000-$60,000 commensurate with experience

Excellent Benefits:  Health and dental, employer-paid retirement, tuition benefits for employee or an eligible dependent, and sick and vacation leave.

Who we are:

The Division of Student Life provides and promotes exceptional and transformative experiences that prepare students to be healthy, successful, inspired global citizens.  Within collaborative and inclusive communities that embody the values of diversity, innovation, and social justice, we actively facilitate experiential learning and engage students in meaningful and deliberate activities, programs, and services. The Division is comprised of eight departments: Career Center, University Counseling and Testing Center, Office of the Dean of Students, Erb Memorial Union, University Health Center, Holden Center for Leadership and Community Engagement, University Housing, and the Department of Physical Education and Recreation.

Our values and goals:

The Division of Student Life values and is committed to integrity, multicultural competence, care and compassion, sustainability, innovation and adaptability, accessibility, personal development and responsible stewardship. We have three key strategic goals: create an exceptional experience for every student, serve as a model of equity, inclusion, and collaboration and work to maximize effectiveness and efficiencies, prioritizing decisions using evidence-based analysis.

What you will do:

The Assistant Director for Strategic Communications is the division’s primary copy writing and media relations professional, and provides leadership to the Student Life strategic communication and marketing team, in support of and in the absence of the director. The position is responsible for content creation that communicates our core values and mission as demonstrated through our programs, services to students, faculty, staff, parents, and the community, and is expected to promote a consistent, recognizable, and positive university and division image; maintain and support university and division-wide policies and procedures related to strategic communications, marketing, and media strategies. This position will ensure that the efforts are promoted and coordinated with Student Life departments, University Communications, and other university-wide communicators. The position reports to the Director of Strategic Communication and Marketing in the Division of Student Life.

Due to the nature of work the department is involved in, this position will be aware of and need to be able to communicate about, as directed, division and university leadership’s viewpoints on strategies, negotiations, responses, and other matters around the Vice President’s office, SEIU collective bargaining issues, Title IX issues, and the work of the University of Oregon Board of Trustees.

The selected candidate will need to be a self-starter, with the appropriate instincts to identify opportunities that showcase excellence and align with institutional priorities. 

Specifically you will:

  • Create written content and provide editorial support for publications, both print and digital, distributed from Student Life. A primary element of the writer/media relations coordinator portfolio is Around the O–student edition, the student e-news. This tool plays a critical role in supporting the mission of Student Life and enhancing our university retention efforts.
  • Write and assign content for Student Life department publications, websites, and other communication channels. Provide copyediting and proofreading oversight for the Division of Student Life.
  • Participate in planning and strategic development of messages for publications and communications through regular meetings, interactions, and collaboration with members of the Student Life communications team, the central University Communications team, and other campus communicators and colleagues.
  • Provide copywriting, assist in the preparation of talking points and briefing and other materials for the Vice President for Student Life and other Student Life leadership.
  • Work closely with the Student Life strategic communications and marketing team to develop editorial strategy, seek out and develop story ideas, and foster relationships with University Communications teams.
  • Work closely with central communications and Student Life leadership to facilitate response to media requests.
  • Serve as primary point-of-contact for the Division of Student Life staff in responding to media requests—including assisting with student crisis communication, public health briefing, etc.
  • Provide prompt and professional response to journalists, facilitating the meeting of their needs with appropriate campus sources.
  • Provide communications support in a confidential capacity to the administrative staff that formulate and effectuate management polices during collective bargaining. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, providing written and media communications relating to collective bargaining negotiations with all UO unions.
  • May be called upon to serve as the public information officer or to use social media during an emergency using incident command model. 
  • Work closely with central communications and Student Life leadership to facilitate response to media requests.
  • Ensure division-wide understanding of and adherence to centralized media response protocols, best- practices, and resource guidelines.
  • Support and coordinate efforts for proactive/ earned media opportunities.
  • Assume operational responsibilities and serve on behalf of the Director of Strategic Communication and Marketing if the director is out of the office or during times of exceptionally high workload.
  • Assist with the development of special projects and project management under the direction of the Director of Strategic Communications and Marketing.
  • Supervise and mentor student staff, including student writers and social media strategists.
  • Maintain a healthy, fair, and inclusive work environment by promoting diversity, inclusion, and exercising collaboration when working with diverse groups, donors, volunteer groups, students, parents, and coworkers.
  • Actively promote a professional workplace culture of mutual respect and collegiality for all members of the institution.
  • Other duties as assigned.

To join our team you must meet the following qualifications:

  • At least a bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, English, writing, public relations, or related discipline.
  • At least three years’ professional experience as a communications professional for an organization which involved gathering information, writing and producing materials, presenting information to the public, and handling communications, marketing, or public relations, with an emphasis on writing and editing.
  • Excellent writing skills and copyediting skills and demonstrated success in brand journalism and digital storytelling, in ways that engage and capture the attention of the target audience.
  • At least one years’ experience working with media and/or writing for media.

And demonstrate the following required professional competencies:

  • Demonstrated experience with and/or commitment to working effectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds and cultures.
  • Demonstrated success working in a team environment.
  • Excellent interpersonal and oral communication skills.
  • Proven ability to work cooperatively with individuals including staff, volunteers, parents, and students, in a service-oriented environment.
  • Familiarity with the Chicago Manual of Style and Associate Press style.
  • Ability to produce high-volume, high-quality work in a rapidly changing environment.
  • Basic knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite.

A preferred candidate will also possess:

  • Project management experience.
  • Experience writing and editing in higher education.
  • Demonstrated experience in leveraging social media and online communications channels.
  • Communications experience with donors and fundraising.
  • Basic web skills (e.g. web-based content management, social media tracking tools.)

The finalist for this position is required to complete a criminal background check.

Application Procedure:

Please note: Cover letter, résumé and answers to supplemental question(s) must clearly demonstrate how applicant meets the requirements of the position.  

For full consideration, applicants must submit:

  • Cover letter, which expresses your interest in the position
  • Current résumé, which includes dates of employment
  • Completed Unclassified Employment Application-Short Form, available at: http://hr.uoregon.edu/jobs/forms
  • Name, title/organization, email address and phone number of at least three professional references, one of which must be current (or most recent supervisor, if not currently employed).  Candidate will be notified prior to references being contacted.
  • Answer to the following supplemental questions:
  1. What makes a good story?
  2. The Division of Student Life is intentionally creating a multicultural organization that actively includes and engages everyone. What does this mean to you and, if you are selected as the Assistant Director for Strategic Communications, how will you help the Division of Student Life achieve this goal?

To ensure consideration, please submit complete application materials by 5:00 PM PDT, August 19, 2016. The position will remain open until filled.  Please send all documents as separate pdf email attachments, (not in the body of the email) to amandaro@uoregon.edu.  Please reference ASSISTANT DIRECTOR STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS AND THE APPLICANT’S LAST NAME IN THE SUBJECT OF THE E-MAIL. Paper applications may be sent to:

Assistant Director Strategic Communications
c/o Amanda Rosenberg
Executive Assistant to the AVP/COS
Office of the Vice President for Student Life
6203 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-6203


The University of Oregon is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution committed to cultural diversity and compliance with the ADA. The University encourages all qualified individuals to apply, and does not discriminate on the basis of any protected status, including veteran and disability status.

UO prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national or ethnic origin, age, religion, marital status, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression in all programs, activities and employment practices as required by Title IX, other applicable laws, and policies. Retaliation is prohibited by UO policy. Questions may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator, Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity, or to the Office for Civil Rights. Contact information, related policies, and complaint procedures are listed on the statement of non-discrimination.