Communications Director
Deadline for Applications is 07/19/2020

Code: 16526 Posted: 07/06/2020

The University of Wisconsin-Parkside invites applications for the position of Communications Director.

The Communications Director is an integral member of the university’s leadership team, representing and promoting the university, increasing its visibility and supporting the institution’s mission, vision and goals.

Directs strategic planning and execution for university communications. Provides approval and guidance for communications within an area of specialty in support of unit or institutional communication goals.

Essential Job Functions

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Develops, implements, and monitors strategic communication initiatives for designated audiences and internal stakeholders within a program or work unit to maximize engagement and to strengthen collaboration efforts

Serves as the university’s legislative liaison working with local, state and federal elected officials to maintain awareness of strategic university topics, issues and events

Identifies, establishes, and directs media relationships and partnerships with internal and external sources

Identifies, proposes, and implements new or revised unit operational policies and procedures

Audits and directs day-to-day operational unit plans to align with strategic initiatives and to meet established objectives

Determines unit personnel needs and the unit personnel resource allocation including budgets, planning, hiring, training, supervision, and resolution of personnel issues

This position is responsible for:

  • Enhancing and unifying strategic communications with a variety of audiences
  • Building and maintaining positive media, legislative and community relations
  • Expanding the university’s strategic communications on digital platforms, and with local, regional and state media
  • Collaborating throughout the university to ensure cohesive and coordinated internal and external strategic-communications initiatives

The Communications Director serves as the university’s lead communications officer, the university’s public information officer, the university’s legislative liaison, and the university’s public records custodian.

Detailed Duties and Responsibilities

Develop and execute a comprehensive, long-term and proactive university-wide communications strategy aligned with the goals, plans, and aspirations of the university.

Utilize a strategic approach to identify key messages and audiences, work consistently to tell the university’s stories in collaboration with and support of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and University of Wisconsin System brands.

Create a collegial, team-building work environment, directing and motivating the public relations coordinator and cultivating productive, collaborative relationships with all constituent groups.

Develop community-relations strategies and tactics and work with campus leadership to align community-relations opportunities with the mission and vision of the university.

Receive and reply, as appropriate, to open records requests. Work with the university’s public relations coordinator to maintain a database of open records requests and actions.

Ensure a fiscally sound operation of University Communications by exercising management practices which result in operations within allocated budgets.

Remain competent and current through self-directed professional reading, developing professional contacts with colleagues, attending professional development courses, and attending training and/or courses as required.

Contribute to the overall success of the university by performing all other duties as assigned.

  • University Communications
    • Leadership and vision for official communications of the university
    • Communications for Chancellor and Leadership Team
    • Campus-wide announcements
    • Budget/legislative communications
    • Crisis and emergency communications
    • Updates to website: Chancellor’s page, Faculty & Staff page, News, Events
  • Media Relations
    • Communicate the university’s position and policies on a variety of issues
    • Develop and maintain accurate media contact lists
    • Media Releases / Op-Eds – issue all approved releases, statements and commentary
    • Coordinate posting media releases on university website
    • Support any media events or press conferences
    • Coordinate local and regional media weather alert systems
  • Legislative Liaison and PIO
    • Develop and maintain relationships with elected official and their staff members
    • Manage and support legislative outreach that integrates key campus leaders including Chancellor’s Cabinet
    • Serve as communications liaison at UW System events
    • Serve as lead on UW System PIO/Legislative Affairs calls
    • Annual communications plan for legislative contingent (commencement communications, convocation etc.)
    • Support events and meetings specific to legislative affairs
    • Schedule and support all PIO/Legislative Affairs calls; track and record agendas
  • Events and External Sponsorships Manage and support strategic sponsorship budget
    • Economic Development – dues and memberships
  • Major Sponsorships – Future 50 / Kenosha Area Business Awards / Mahone Foundation, etc.
  • Ad Hoc/emergent opportunities


  • Key Communications
    • Convocation – theme, messaging and script
    • Commencement – media relations, leadership messaging, keynote prep and positioning


The Communication Director reports directly to the Vice Chancellor for Advancement and supervises the public relations coordinator.



Education, Experience, Training and/or Certifications


  • A bachelor’s degree with a major in marketing, communications, public relations, journalism, business administration or a related field is required. A master’s degree and/or a professional certification in marketing or public relations is preferred.
  • At least five years of experience in marketing, public relations, and media relations in one or more of the following settings: education, not-for-profit, government, business and/or industry, is required. Experience in one or more of these areas is preferred: government relations, event coordination, and digital and social communications.
  • Crisis communication, media relations, public relations, government relations, research and measurement, social media, strategic leadership, stakeholder management, resource and talent management, and presentation development.
  • A commitment to working with and an awareness of issues affecting diverse audiences is required.
  • This position frequently requires attendance at evening and/or weekend activities, meetings, and seminars. Some travel is required.
Salary and Benefits

Commensurate depending on qualifications and experience.

The University of Wisconsin System provides a liberal benefits package, including participation in a state pension plan. 

Benefit Details:

Total Compensation Estimator:

Application Process

Applications must be submitted electronically through our employment portal. If you need additional assistance you may contact Human Resources at (262) 595-2204. Hours 8:00am-4:30pm Monday-Friday.

STEP 1: Please select the applicable link below:

External Applicants: (NOT currently employed by the University of Wisconsin System)

Internal Applicants: (Currently employed by the University of Wisconsin System)

STEP 2: Submit application materials

Please be sure to complete all required fields and include all required documents before submitting your application. Once submitted, you will not be able to edit or attach any application materials. Files must be complete to be considered. All materials must be added at one time, once submitted you may not edit/add to profile. Please include the following documents:

  • CV/Resume
  • Cover Letter
  • Names and emails of three professional references

Review of Applications

Applications received by 11:59 p.m. Sunday July 19, 2020 are ensured full consideration.

You must select "SUBMIT". Selecting "Save" will not forward your application materials to the search committee. 

Please be sure to complete all required fields and include all required documents before submitting your application. Once submitted, you will not be able to edit or attach any application materials.

In instances where the Review Committee is unable to ascertain from a candidates application materials whether she/he meets all of the required qualifications, or if all of the application materials are not submitted, they will be evaluated as not meeting such qualifications and may be excluded from further consideration.


Laura Menarek
Available Until: 07/20/2020

Diversity Jobs Employer Member
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