Director of Communications - Tickle College of Engineering

Updated: about 23 hours ago
Location: Knoxville, TENNESSEE

Director of Communications - Tickle College of Engineering - 21000000YX 



Director of Communications, Tickle College of Engineering

Regular Full-time, Market Range 13

The Tickle College of Engineering seeks to hire a director of communications to lead and execute the strategic direction, vision, and creative standards for communications and marketing efforts for the college, its departments, and the UT Space Institute. The director is responsible for promoting and advancing the college’s image and reputation within the community, the state, the nation, and the world. This position plays a key role toward enhancing the college's ability to achieve long-term strategic goals, including increasing research dollars, recruitment and retention, alumni and donor relations, and improving national and international rankings. The director reports to the dean of engineering and manages a team of 10 communications professionals that handle writing, media relations, marketing, graphic design, social media management, photography, strategic planning, and more.



  • Develops, formalizes, and executes a holistic, long-term communications and marketing (C&M) plans for the college and departments
  • Conducts ongoing research on higher ed trends to ensure C&M efforts are aligned with industry standards and on par with or ahead of efforts by competitors
  • Plans and executes strategy and deliverables for paid marketing campaigns to positively impact student recruitment. Works with professional media buying agencies as needed for market placement and campaigns
  • Identifies and pursues paid advertising opportunities as appropriate to advance the perception of the college to specific audiences and improve the college's ranking
  • Provides oversight, strategic planning, and support for all college groups as well as the seven academic departments and some research centers.
  • Identifies and executes strategies for target markets to advance undergraduate and graduate student recruitment and enrollment that incorporates all available communications channels, platforms, and media types for holistic execution
  • Provides strategic communication counsel to the dean and writes messaging, speeches, and assists with presentations for the dean as needed
  • Leads collaboration and branding efforts to ensure the college's image and voice is both consistent with the UT brand and appropriate for audiences
  • Initiates involvement of UT's Office of Communications and Marketing (OCM) and freelance companies/individuals in college projects as appropriate
  • Serves as a liaison between the college and the university's OCM, the Office of Information Technology, the UT Communications Council, and other key campus communications office to ensure team efforts support UT strategic priorities and follow established guidelines


  • Sets and oversees visual brand identity (within UT brand) and messaging for all college and departmental media across all print and digital platforms to ensure consistent uniformity
  • Manages all critical projects and leads or supervises project teams responsible for wide-reaching impact or high-profile assignments
  • Develops and implements policies for the college to ensure brand is adhered to across all platforms
  • Establishes design theme and tone for the college’s bi-annual magazine, 8 departmental magazines, the college’s annual report, and other college and departmental publications related to recruitment, stewardship, and other major initiatives
  • Writes or edits all high-profile content and pieces for Chicago style as well as tone and structure
  • Sets strategy for and supervises media pitching and placement with the goal of increasing external earned media coverage by reputable regional and national media outlets
  • Reviews and edits all media releases, feature articles, video scripts, and blog posts for college publications as well as scripts for the dean. Supervises the editing of writing for departments
  • Works in partnership with the UT and Engineering Development offices for alumni on design/production of print and digital media during regular year as well as campaign cycles
  • Supervises and advises management of TCE and departmental website design, redesign, content, and maintenance
  • Sets strategy for video production needs to enhance the digital presence of the college; writes, reviews, and approves all scripts, selects soundbites, and reviews/approves edits for video production
  • Facilitates the implementation of creative and project management tools to enhance effectiveness of communications team


  • Provides expert guidance, assigns work, prioritizes projects, establishes deadlines, and provides approval for work quality and accuracy
  • Hires, trains, evaluates, and mentors team members
  • Delegates work assignments and reviews for accuracy and quality
  • Approves annual leave, overtime, and determines merit increases
  • Autonomously makes final decisions regarding hiring and training of team members
  • Makes recommendations to college administration regarding future hiring needs for communications-related areas
  • Ensures all work done by employees is in alignment with the college’s strategies and goals
  • Provides supervision and oversight to other supervisory roles
  • Manages external relationships with partners
  • Determines resource allocation for team personnel, funds, paid marketing, and equipment
  • Develops project budgets including personnel, production, vendor/freelance, and equipment costs as needed
  • Plans, maintains, and executes the office’s budget and has the authority to commit funds for services and equipment related to college communications projects, including paid advertising/marketing campaigns, necessary office operational software, printing, photography, video and multi-media services, digital cameras, and computer hardware and software purchases.
  • Makes recommendations to commit funds for communications projects funded by other departments, and oversees estimates and budgets for communications projects funded by the college.
  • Makes recommendations for approval to the dean to commit funds above the office’s budget limit



Required Abilities and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in a communications field such as public relations or other related areas
  • Seven years progressively responsible relevant experience, or an equivalent combination of
  • education, training, and experience. Relevant experience in multiple specialty areas, including extensive experience working collaboratively with other communications professionals including writers, editors, print designers, web designers/developers, photographers, videographers, and video production professionals.
  • Exceptional and visionary leadership and management skills with the ability to bring together broad constituencies to build collaboration, teamwork, and synergies
  • Exceptionally strong oral and written communications skills, including editing and writing experience across long- and short-form print, web, video, and social media pieces and platforms
  • Strong understanding of video production and ability to apply it to enhance existing and future C&M efforts
  • Strong understanding of social media’s power, including current and future trends that may impact our messaging
  • Strong project management skills with proven ability to meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment
  • High-level understanding of and experience with communications strategy and branding, especially as they relate to higher education
  • Great management skills to direct and guide staff in a fast-paced environment with simultaneous complex projects and multiple deadlines to deliver excellence on time
  • Significant experience working on a wide variety of communications projects including digital and print magazines and newsletters, and website development
  • Excellent time management skills and ability to prioritize
  • Experience with industry-standard publishing tools including Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and Dreamweaver; Microsoft Office suite; Wordpress; etc.
  • Proficiency to direct vendors, including printers, writers, photographers, media buyers, and multi-media teams.

Preferred Abilities and Experience:

  • Master’s degree in a communications field such as public relations or other related areas
  • Ten years progressively responsible relevant experience including supervisory experience of a team.
  • Expertise in multiple specialty communications areas (design, writing, media relations, marketing, communications strategy, etc.).
  • Experience conducting communications and marketing work at an institution of higher education or government agency or company in the sectors of engineering and/or science.

Interested applicants must provide a resume, cover letter, link to samples of their work/portfolio that supports their ability to perform the responsibilities of the position, and a minimum of three references.  All applicants must apply online to be considered for this position.


Primary Location
  Administration - Engineering 
Campus/Institute  Knoxville 
Job Posting
  Jun 8, 2021, 6:38:20 PM 

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