Director of Marketing/Communications Manager II

The Honors College at Michigan State University seeks a strategic thinker and hands-on communications professional for the position of Director of Marketing. As a member of the College administrative team, this position has responsibility for development and execution of strategic, organizational and brand marketing and communications that support the College’s overall strategic priorities. In close coordination with the Dean and College leadership, this position will work collaboratively across the organization to develop and execute a robust, multi-channel communications framework that conveys the college’s reputation of excellence, raises visibility of the College nationally and internationally, and communicates effectively with core stakeholders including students, faculty, prospective faculty, donors, alumni, and other professional/industrial/governmental/international stakeholders. A critical element of the position will be to focus the College’s marketing approach on digital approaches using state-of-the-art strategies, tools and platforms to engage students, alumni, and donors.

This position reports administratively and functionally to the Honors College Dean with a dotted line to University Communications for the purposes of collaboration and alignment with regard to institutional level activities. This position will work in conjunction with other colleges across campus to identify and develop powerful content that highlights the College and complements University-level activities.

The Director of Marketing in the Honors College will be responsible for development of a communications strategy operationalized throughout the College, project and vendor management, website development and maintenance, multimedia storytelling, social media efforts, email campaigns, as well as development of new digital strategies and enhanced utilization of metrics and analytics as capabilities evolve. A significant role of the position is to support units within the Honors College in addressing their communication needs and coordinating those units with the overall College strategy and with Colleges across the University where Honors students are located. Duties involve managing relationships and assignments with faculty and staff to ensure that deadlines are met.

Other responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Reporting to the Honors College Dean, the Director of Marketing works with the College leaders to develop an integrated organization-wide communications plan with key messages for all stakeholders that align with the organization’s strategies and goals to help build and maintain the College’s mission and reputation.
  • Work collaboratively with the college leadership to provide the products and services necessary to meet the Colleges marketing and communication goals and priorities.
  • Work collaboratively with lead communicators throughout campus to develop joint content, focus on shared initiatives that benefit MSU, share learning and best practices as part of strategic partnership. This position has a dotted line to University Communications to encourage greater partnership across campus. 
  • Develop and then execute an integrated marketing plan that includes specific approaches to address needs in student recruiting, publicizing accomplishments, event marketing, research, outreach, alumni relations and fundraising. The candidate will leverage earned, owned, shared and paid communications channels to drive supportive actions that benefit the college and MSU. 
  • Manage public relations, media relations, issues and crisis communications, and provides issues/crisis counsel to senior leadership. Manage communications relationships other colleges on campus and with external agencies.
  • Help manage and craft compelling stories that communicate the far-reaching impact of the college and the essence of MSU to increase reputation and connection with the college and MSU from a student perspective (prospective and current). Ensure all communications are aligned with University brand standards.  
  • Work closely with University Communications and other Colleges to engage, cultivate and manage press and external relations to gain coverage of the college’s projects, programs, special events, and announcements.
  • Work closely with fundraising, alumni relations, and development office to connect and engage with alumni and donors through the creation and managing of marketing collateral, print or digital.
  • Utilize metrics, analytics and research to better connect communications with our audiences. Encourage adoption of new campus technologies that enhance personalization in communications.   
  • Build a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) communications strategy (partnering with Dean’s Office team) including communications plans, reviewing creative assets with a DEI lens, proactively prioritizing DEI initiatives and connecting the dots between the College’s DEI strategic plan, the current environment, and our stakeholders.
  • Manage direct report(s) including marketing staff and potential interns.
  • Oversee the day-to-day operations of the marketing and communications function including budgeting, planning and staff management.

 STANDARD 8-5 with occasional evening/weekend hours during special events.


Unit Specific Education/Experience/Skills

Knowledge equivalent to that which normally would be acquired by completing a four-year college degree program in Journalism, Telecommunications, Marketing, Advertising, Public Relations, or related field; three to five years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in public and media relations; composing, editing and publication production; news, broadcasting, and print media; and/or marketing, advertising, and creative services; graphic design; word processing; desktop publishing; web design; presentation; spreadsheet and/or database software; public presentation or radio production; or computer programming/technology; and/or experience in a field related to are of employment; may require management and supervisory experience; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Desired Qualifications

Demonstrated experience and excellence in development of integrated strategic marketing and communications plans; development and launch of marketing campaigns; campaign development and execution including creative elements; superior writing, editing, and verbal communication skills, especially related to storytelling with a focus on advanced science and technology; ability to manage complex projects and meet multiple deadlines. Experience working in a higher education or agency environment; ability to work in industry design software and content management systems; effective organizational, time management, and project management skills; application and demonstration of strong editorial judgment; proficiency with standard industry software, advanced computer knowledge detailed knowledge of a wide range of digital communications strategies and tools.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, age, disability or protected veteran status.

Required Application Materials

The names and contact information for at least three professional references.

Three samples of work required.

Special Instructions

The university is requiring all MSU students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with limited exceptions. Learn more at:

Work Hours


Advertised: Sep 1, 2021 Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close: Sep 21, 2021 Eastern Daylight Time