Director of Communications and Special Projects

March 18, 2024

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Job Description


Director of Communications and Special Projects

University Overview

The University of
Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This
historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12
highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn’s
distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning. As an employer Penn has been ranked nationally on many occasions with
the most recent award from Forbes who named Penn one of America’s Best Large Employers in 2023.

Penn offers a unique working
environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of
educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide
variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive
benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a
wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and
resources, and much more.

Posted Job Title
Director of Communications and Special Projects

Job Profile
Title

Director D, Arts and Media, Communications and Marketing

Job Description Summary
Reporting to the
Vice Provost for University Life (VPUL), the Director of Communications leads the development and execution of a comprehensive communication
plan for University Life. The Director collaborates closely with the University Leadership team (which includes the Associate & Assistant
Vice Provosts for University Life) and the department directors to ensure our divisional goals are met, working in particular with the
Assistant Vice Provost for Strategic Planning and Operations to help the division realize its mission and goals.

The Director leads
communicating the University Life’s vision for student life and integrating the efforts of the division’s 15+ departments and 130+ staff
members into a cohesive approach. The Director supports the Vice Provost’s communications to internal and external constituencies as well as
lead special projects and priorities set by the VPUL.

The Director supports work related to strategic planning and change management,
divisional messaging and communications, and media relations. The Director is a member of the University Life leadership
team.

University Life supports undergraduate, graduate, and professional students engaging in academic, artistic, civic, cultural,
and pre-professional experiences. The division is deeply committed to its guiding principles which facilitate the student experience:
cultivating a life of meaning and purpose; diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging; a culture of care and support; and organizational
effectiveness.

Candidates must have excellent organizational and interpersonal skills, outstanding oral and written communication
skills, and strong attention to detail. Strong problem-solving skills and time management skills are required. Excellent adaptability,
cultural competence, and an ability to work with many different types of individuals within an organization that values diversity
are
required.

Candidates must be effective decision-makers with the ability to manage competing priorities. They must be able to
analyze and interpret data to solve problems and to provide effective communication across all stakeholders (internal and
external).

Job Description

Job Responsibilities

  • Represent the Vice Provost and/or the University
    Life organization on high-level matters involving policy, practice, and crisis prevention/response. Serve as a key collaborator with campus
    partners in the exchange of essential information about issues concerning students, alumni, faculty, staff,families, and community members.
    Maintain and strengthen relationships with key colleagues in the President’s Office, Provost’s Center, University Communications, the Office
    of the General Counsel, the Division of Public Safety, Development and Alumni Relations, the Office of the Secretary, Wellness at Penn, the
    Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics, Schools, and other internal and external partners. Be on-call for any emergent
    matter.
  • Facilitate strategic planning, assessment, and professional development initiatives for the University Life organization.
    Coordinate agenda and scope of University Life AVP meetings, directors’ meetings, and division meetings in alignment with divisional
    priorities. In partnership with senior leadership team of University Life, develop impact/annual report of divisional strategic
    priorities.
  • Collaborate with University Communications on the dissemination of strategic and crisis communications to undergraduate,
    graduate, and professional students and families. Prepare, write, and distribute press releases, handle media queries and nurture content
    placement under the direction of the University Life leadership team and the guidance of the Executive Director of Communications in the
    Office of the Provost.
  • Oversees special projects assigned by the VPUL that integrate the different functions of University Life or
    focus on emerging issues that impact the student community.
  • Coordinate content development and prepare presentations for various
    meetings, including, but not limited to, the Trustee Student Life meetings, committees, and working groups.
  • Perform additional
    duties as assigned.

Qualifications

Master’s degree and 7 to 10 years of experience, or equivalent combination of
education and experience, are required. Candidates must have excellent organizational and interpersonal skills, outstanding oral and written
communication skills, and strong attention to detail. Strong problem-solving skills and time management skills are required. Excellent
adaptability, cultural competence, and an ability to work with many different types of individuals within an organization that values
diversity are required.

Candidates must be effective decision-makers with the ability to manage competing priorities. They must be
able to analyze and interpret data to solve problems and to provide effective communication across all stakeholders (internal and external).
Candidates should preferably have experience working in higher education.

Application Requirement

A Cover Letter and
Resume/CV are required to be considered for this position. Please upload your Cover Letter where it asks you to upload your Resume/CV;
multiple documents are allowed.

Job Location – City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department /
School

Student Services

Pay Range
$90,860.00 – $144,600.00 Annual Rate
Salary offers are made based on
the candidate’s qualifications, experience, skills, and education as they directly relate to the requirements of the position, as well as
internal and market factors and grade profile.

Affirmative Action Statement
Penn adheres to a policy that
prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin,
citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements

Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the
requirements of the job.

University Benefits

  • Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers
    comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family’s health
    and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax
    dollars.
  • Tuition: Take advantage of Penn’s exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can
    get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other
    institutions.
  • Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn’s Basic, Matching, and
    Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options
    through TIAA and Vanguard.
  • Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the
    course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with
    family-whatever your personal needs may be.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers
    faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services
    received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you’re newly hired, you won’t have to provide proof of good
    health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to
    underwriting.
  • Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the
    competing demands of work and personal life. That’s why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health,
    your family, and your work-life balance.
  • Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help
    you advance yourself personally and professionally.
  • University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access
    to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University’s libraries and
    athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There’s always something going on at Penn, whether it’s a new exhibit at the
    Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few
    examples. As a member of the Penn community, you’re right in the middle of the excitement-and you and your family can enjoy many of these
    activities for free.
  • Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you’ll find
    great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and
    memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General
    Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.
  • Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options
    offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of
    non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.
  • Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for
    eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home
    improvements.
  • Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal
    adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.

To learn more, please
visit: https://www.hr.upenn.edu/PennH
R/benefits-pay

To apply, visit https://wd1.myworkdaysite.com/en-US/recruiting/upenn/careers-at-penn/job/VPUL/Director-of-Communications-
and-Special-Projects_JR00087471

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