An Annual Research Study by Dr. Josie Ahlquist
How would you describe the state of your student affairs division’s marketing and communications? Is staff centralized or dispersed? Are strategies effective and consistently funded? In an annual benchmark study, Dr. Josie Ahlquist is discovering trends, challenges, and strengths in student affairs.
One of the results of the study is this job description database, which will be updated on a rolling basis. All positions listed are included with permission. We’d love to include your job description too!
Mid-Level Job Descriptions
Mid-level jobs require some level of experience. They are the next step after entry-level positions and are below senior-level positions. They may require some sort of management over entry-level or student employees.
Required Years of Experience: 4-5
Salary: Not available
Location: Public research university in the central U.S.
Summary: The Communications Manager is responsible for oversight and creation of marketing and communications materials, providing a cohesive creative and visual direction for all deliverables and reinforcing the university’s branding, working with all units across the MSC Student Programs Office to develop, manage, and ensuring brand and visual standards printed, digital, social media and multimedia. Supervises full-time marketing and communications staff on the team and advises student leaders of MSC committees on marketing and communications standards.
Full Description: Communications Manager
Director-Level Job Descriptions
A Director typically manages a small group of people, and some may be managers. A higher level of experience is required. At this level, it’s “big-picture” as the role may entail strategic planning and goal setting.
Required Years of Experience: 5+
Location: Public research university in the northeast
Summary: The Communications Director plays a key role in developing and crafting the internal and external communications strategy for the Division of Student Life, in conjunction with the Office of Communications and Marketing. The Communications Director is responsible for producing communications pieces and strategies for both internal and external audiences to address the strategic goals and objectives of the Division and its respective units, as well as overarching goals and objectives of the University.
Full Description: Director of Communications, Student Life
Required Years of Experience: 3-5
Location: Public research university in the midwest
Summary: The Director of Communication advances the mission of Student Life through effective, strategic, and innovative marketing and storytelling. The Director leads division-wide marketing and communications efforts to increase awareness of Student Life programs, offices, services and events and strengthen the Student Life story. S/he provides insight and consults with all offices in Student Life to create, implement, and assess communication strategies, and creates content and manages all central Student Life social media and websites.
Full Description: Director of Communication for Student Life
Executive-Level Job Descriptions
The executive level is the c-suite of higher education. People in these positions are typically very established in the field. They make final decisions, carry out departmental goals, policies, and procedures, and most likely oversee a department including people and budget.
Years of Experience: 10+
Location: Public research university in the south
Summary: Reporting directly to the vice chancellor and dean, Division of Academic Affairs, this position provides professional direction and oversight of all DASA branded communications and communication strategies. Additionally, this position provides strategic guidance for the division, its departments, and at a university level. This position also leads a comprehensive marketing program that supports development, fundraising, organizational visibility and branding for the division and will oversee all division public and student publications and the web communications strategy.
Full Description: Assistant Vice Chancellor, Strategic Marketing and Communications
How Josie Supports Student Affairs
Marketing and Communications
Keynote, Full Day and Multi-Day Facilitation: Customized sessions to educate your entire division, MarComm pros, executives and even students
Semester and Yearly Services: Specializing in student-centered communications and division-wide strategy.
Digital Community Building Cohort: A two-month higher ed group mastermind to advance social media strategy — from goal setting, tactics and analytics.
Dr. Josie Ahlquist is a digital engagement and leadership speaker, consultant, and executive coach. She teaches organizations, executives, and education professionals how to humanize technology tools and prioritize building community online.
As a researcher and writer, Josie is extensively published and maintains an active blog and podcast, which have received accolades from EdTech Magazine, Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle of Higher Education. Her book, Digital Leadership in Higher Education: Purposeful Social Media in a Connected World was listed as an Amazon #1 new release for college and university student life.