Executive Director of Communications and Marketing
Position Is Open Until Filled

Code: 20403 Posted: 12/05/2023

The University of Wisconsin-Parkside is a dynamic learning community grounded in academic excellence and focused on student success, diversity, inclusion and community engagement. One of 13 four-year institutions within the University of Wisconsin System, Parkside provides an educational value to our students that’s unparalleled. An affordable, high-quality education is an investment in one’s future, and we believe the cost of an education should not prevent any student from achieving his or her educational and professional goals. The university is the proud recipient of the 2022 AASCU Excellence & Innovation Award for Student Success and College Completion from The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), a testament to years of strategic efforts.

UW-Parkside is a great place to start or enhance your career. The campus is nestled in 700 acres of woodland and prairie and two miles west of Lake Michigan in Kenosha, WI. At Parkside we offer competitive pay and benefits, as well as an engaging and supportive work environment. Parkside is a community that’s easy to call home. Find out why.


Position Summary

Title: Executive Director of Communications and Marketing

Level: Chief Communications Officer (Inst) C

Job Code: CM087

Position Reports to: Chancellor

The Executive Director of Communications & Marketing lead’s the University of Wisconsin-Parkside’s integrated strategic communications, branding, and marketing efforts to advance the reputation of the university. The Executive Director will provide visionary leadership in formulating strategies to enhance the mission, visibility, image, awareness, and engagement levels among all stakeholders including prospective and current students, parents, alumni, donors, faculty, staff, and internal and external constituents.

The Executive Director will oversee a collaborative team of individuals that contribute in the areas of media relations, publications, marketing, social media, graphic design, website, videography, photography, and printing. The Office of Communications & Marketing is organized for strategic marketing and communication and includes internal and external communication, public relations, marketing, legislative relations, media relations, publication, print purchasing, news service, design, web design and maintenance, photo/video, and advertising. The Executive Director serves as the university’s primary public information officer, supports campus legislative strategy, and works to strengthen connections with groups and organizations in Kenosha/Racine, region, and the state.

Reporting to the Chancellor, the Executive Director of Communications & Marketing serves as a valued member of the chancellor’s leadership team and is responsible for advising the chancellor on the development of an institution-wide marketing and communications strategy, including initiatives, policies, and messaging. This position also works directly with members of the leadership team on marketing strategies and communication needs, from inception to expression, on both a routine, day-to-day basis and when crises arise.

Essential Job Functions

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Strategic Leadership - Marketing, Communications, and Creative Services
    • Oversee the development and implementation of the strategic marketing and communications plan in support of the university’s mission, including the articulation of clear communication themes and messaging for all campus units, including:
      • Chancellor, Vice Chancellors, and the Leadership Team
      • Campus-wide announcements
      • Budget and legislative communications
      • Crisis and emergency communications
    • Media Relations
      • Coordinate and approve press releases
      • Support any media events or press conferences
      • Coordinate local and regional media weather alert systems
    • Budget management to ensure optimal return on investment and efficient use of resources.
    • Lead the university’s communication and marketing functions including strategic communication planning, media, and public relations, publications, event marketing, branding, social media, web communications, multi-media productions, marketing plans, graphic styles, and advertising.
    • Supervise marketing, communications, and creative services professionals with a strong emphasis on customer service.
  • Administrative Liaison
    • Acts as liaison between the university, the Chancellor, and the public: regents, UW System president, and other administrators, state and local governmental officials, senior administrators, faculty, staff, students, Alumni Association Board, Foundation Board, etc.
    • Discuss communication strategies with the chancellor. Draft letters/memos/communications for the Chancellor and Vice Chancellors, as needed, for review and signature.  In response to general requests, prepare documents and send, using independent judgment.
    • Assist the Office of the Chancellor in planning written and personal correspondence with the university staff, legislators, government officials, and community.
    • Administer guidance and/or solutions by meeting with and listening to individuals with concerns or complaints and effectively handle, or appropriately refer, to maintain a compatible relationship with university staff, governmental agencies, students, parents, and the general public.
    • Assist the Chancellor beyond regular workday when needed, including evenings and weekends when necessary.
  • Planning and Research
    • Research and analyze information for projects and provide background as necessary.
    • When requested, interpret state and university policies through analysis of written documents and/or consultation with appropriate university personnel.
  • Public Information Officer
    • Serve as the Public Information Officer (media spokesperson) for the campus.
    • Serve as the university’s primary representative for public relations, interacting with constituents, legislators, the general public, governmental agencies, and attends internal and external functions to meet institutional goals.
    • Serve on various professional, civic, community, or university organizations and attend events in lieu of the chancellor or other leadership to further enhance the visibility of the campus.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Knowledge of and proven experience in applying the principles of integrated marketing and communications, including understanding brand strategy and strategic communication planning.
  • Knowledge of and proven experience in public relations with an understanding of working with diverse groups.
  • Knowledge and possession of high professional standards and a personal code of ethics characterized by honesty, integrity, openness, and fairness.
  • Strong communication skills, including experience writing and editing news releases, reports, web content, social media posts, and executive level messages, talking points, and/or speeches.
  • Strong marketing skills, including brand management and using data analytics to increase market share
  • Strong leadership skills with proven success in hiring, training, leading, motivating, assessing, and supervising professionals within a team environment.
  • Strong administrative skills including planning, budgeting, managing resources, and presenting.
  • Strong analytical and critical thinking, project management, problem recognition, and resolution skills, including the ability to utilize departmental data and data analytics for effective planning.
  • Skill in operation of modern office machines, equipment and computers, and relevant software.
  • Ability to lead and develop personnel through a collegial, collaborative, and transparent leadership style.
  • Ability to think strategically while being a “hands-on” team leader and team player.
  • Ability to communicate and develop relationships with legislators, community members, and business leaders.
  • Ability to research, analyze and articulate complex educational and legislative issues, as well as the ability to plan effective, strategic responses.
  • Ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously and work well under limited time constraints.
  • Ability in setting priorities, resolving conflicts, and managing multiple priorities.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing.
  • Ability to participate in evening and weekend events as necessary.
  • Demonstrated experience in crafting and presenting high profile communications and presentations.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Six years of related professional work experience
  • Professional work experience in governmental or community relations
  • Supervisory experience

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Professional work experience in higher education or related industry
Salary and Benefits

Commensurate with qualifications and experience.

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

Benefit Details: 


Health & Retirement Contributions Estimator: https://www.wisconsin.edu/ohrwd/benefits/benefits-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:

  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • Names and contact information for 3 professional references

Review of Applications

Applications received by 1/2/2024 are ensured full consideration. Position open until filled.

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.


Amber Marzette
Available Until: 02/13/2024

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