Ballinger | Leafblad is proud to present the following information on behalf of our client, Luther College, in its search for Vice President of Marketing and Communications
OVERVIEW OF THE POSITION The Vice President of Marketing and Communications provides strategic direction and oversees programs that enhance and promote the image of Luther College. This is a high-impact role at the institution and works closely with key internal and external constituencies including prospective students, alumni and friends, current and prospective donors, the campus community, and local and global communities.
Leading a diverse team of creative professionals, the Vice President has responsibility for the institution’s brand and image, and directs the strategy and planning for all communications, marketing, and public relations functions. At the heart of this position is a passion for realizing the values and mission of Luther through thoughtful and consistent implementation of creative messaging strategies that engage multiple audiences.
The Vice President reports to the President of Luther College and is a member of the President’s Cabinet along with Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College, Vice President for Finance and Administration, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Vice President and Dean for Student Life, Vice President for Development and Dean for Institutional Planning and Mission. He or she will have significant interaction with the Board of Regents and will attend the Finance & Enrollment and Marketing Committee meetings.
Reporting directly to the Vice President of Marketing and Communications are the Director of Web Content, Director of Publications and Design, Director of Media Relations, Director of Visual Media, Sports Information Director and Coordinator of Music Organizations and Marketing. A total of 18 people work in the department.
In partnership with the many stakeholders of Luther College, the vice president will shape the College’s communications vision and strategy and lead the marketing and communications team to share the unique and evolving voice and narrative of the institution with multiple communities in creative and compelling ways.
PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES The Vice President of Marketing and Communications is responsible for the development of an innovative strategy for the marketing and communications function at the college. The Vice President will be an innovator, relationship builder, strategist and collaborator. He or she will bring oversight abilities along with an exceptional background in the technical aspects of the job. At the core of this vital work is finding, shaping and sharing the narrative stories of Luther College to its many communities. Specific responsibilities include:
Strategy and Development
Set a bold and comprehensive marketing and communications plan that furthers the college’s existing strategic priorities. Act as the visionary leader toward achievement of the goals of the function’s strategic plan.
Elevate the image of Luther through enhancing a consistent visual and narrative brand throughout all activities and programs.
Work closely with the Vice President for Enrollment Management in recruitment and research efforts that support enrollment goals, affirm institutional strengths, and evaluate constituency perception and satisfaction with Luther.
Support the work of institutional advancement with high quality marketing and communication.
Develop and implement a comprehensive communications plan for the Office of the President.
Continually improve college marketing and communications through the use of carefully selected research and surveys.
Leadership and Management
Provide comprehensive strategic management and direction to the marketing and communications function.
Manage and oversee the following departments:
Publications and Design
Music Organizations and Marketing
Hire, train, coach and develop the Directors in the department. Bring a servant leadership style and a sophisticated management approach to the job, with an eye to the ongoing development and engagement of each staff member.
Create a strong, cohesive and collaborative culture in the marketing and communications department. Reward and recognize staff for outstanding work. Celebrate success.
Manage department budgets and assure appropriate resource allocation to key priorities of the department.
Serve as a member of the President’s Cabinet, staff liaison to the Marketing Committee of the Board of Regents, and member of ad hoc task groups as assigned.
External Relations and Advertising
Develop and maintain professional contacts and affiliations with public relations firms, advertising channels, and other external resources that can assist the college in its marketing efforts.
Proactively seek earned media opportunities to elevate the profile and recognition of Luther’s accomplishments as a leading education institution.
Manage all advertising and promotion campaigns (online, social, and print) to ensure that messages are accurate, brand consistent, and effectively support strategic goals and marketing objectives.
Support and enhance the work of departments that have significant external relations (e.g., Athletics, Summer Conferences, Bookshop, Catering, College Ministries, Outdoor Recreation, and specific summer camps).
Oversee editorial direction for all print publications, web content, social media platforms, design, advertising, and media efforts.
Create an integrated content strategy that reflects key branding attributes and cross-department goals that support Luther’s strategic priorities and initiatives.
Online and Web Development
Ensure web content and online properties are consistently updated, accurate, and utilize the most current and effective technology.
Develop and implement strategies to improve the website and email experience to disseminate college news and information.
Provide communications support to Luther events.
The fully qualified candidate for this key position should be an experienced and passionate leader in a marketing and communications function. The successful candidate will have a shared commitment to the mission and values of Luther College, and the ability to capture and articulate the uniqueness of the institution to a broad array of communities.
A master’s or professional degree is preferred and a bachelor’s degree is required. The fully qualified candidate will possess 10 years of executive experience in marketing and communications in higher education, business, government or related sectors, with some previous experience in higher education preferred.
Proven ability to create and implement an integrated communications and marketing plan that aligns priorities of the department the institution’s overall strategy and direction.
Demonstrated versatility in communication ability across multiple media platforms (print, web, social, etc.). • Exceptional written and oral communication skills, both at a strategic level and with a thorough attention to detail.
Experience managing high impact, controversial and high-profile issues.
Background in strategic planning, project management and management of objectives via dashboards or similar metrics.
Demonstrated commitment to uphold and celebrate diversity and inclusion with colleagues, stakeholders, vendors, and partners.
Ability to analyze and measure the effectiveness of communications and marketing efforts as related to specific objectives and goals.
Communications management experience related to higher education or related nonprofit organizations.
Meaningful knowledge of the latest communications trends, including leading-edge tactics for creative use of social media and other digital communication.
Leadership Qualities and Attributes
Proven ability to develop and lead a superior performing, collaborative professional organization. This is done through influencing, inspiring, mentoring, recognizing and developing full-time staff and student staff. Create consensus and engage a diverse group at all levels to work toward common goals.
Intentional focus on positive, progressive change initiatives and a strong bias for progress. This will stem from a can-do attitude, a focus on specific, ambitious goals and results-orientation along with a demonstrated sense of personal accountability for achieving results.
Passion and commitment to delivering the highest-quality services to the institution and its stakeholders. Encourage and promote creativity and innovation.
Professional and enthusiastic but genuine demeanor, effective one-to-one and group communication skills, a capacity to build and maintain respectful and trusting relationships, and an ability to listen.
High ethical standards and integrity paired with the ability to earn the respect of others.
Demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion and a history of building broad and successful relationships and partnerships. Interact authentically with multiple stakeholder groups and honor the views of each.
Impeccable judgment, discretion, diplomacy and confidentiality.
Relentless commitment to the mission of Luther College.
Additional Salary Information: The compensation package for this position is dependent upon qualifications and includes an executive base salary and participation in the institution’s comprehensive benefits program. The benefits program includes an attractive family tuition discount.
Founded in 1861 by Norwegian immigrants, Luther College is an esteemed and values-driven undergraduate liberal arts college affiliated with the Lutheran Church (ELCA). Located in the vibrant town of Decorah in northeastern Iowa, the central campus overlooks a breathtaking 200 acres of limestone bluff country. Luther offers more than 60 majors and preprofessional programs l...eading to the bachelor of arts degree.
The college’s learning philosophy highlights connections between disciplines. Its thoughtful and rigorous curriculum moves beyond immediate interests toward engagement in the larger world.
This approach to education helps Luther earn inclusion in the top tier of national liberal arts colleges in the U.S. News and World Report’s college guide.
The faculty are committed to their areas of expertise—83 percent of them hold the most advanced degree in their field. And because 87 percent are tenured or tenure-track and have earned a permanent position, they’re also committed to Luther. This means that Luther students receive an education from qualified professors who are passionate about what they teach and fully invested in the college and its students.
Luther’s nearly 2,200 students are highly engaged in campus life. Almost 27 percent of them compete in one or more of the college’s 19 intercollegiate sports. Nearly 750 students participate in the school’s six choirs, three bands, three orchestras, two jazz bands, and numerous smaller ensembles, all of which combine to form one of the world’s largest, most acclaimed collegiate music programs.
In 2014, Luther College named Dr. Paula J. Carlson its 10th president. President Carlson is a 1976 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of St. Olaf College. She holds an M.A., M. Phil., and Ph.D. in English and comparative literature from Columbia University. She has taught at the University of Dubuque, Yale University, and St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. Prior to becoming Luther’s president, Dr. Carlson served as vice president for mission at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.