Vice Chancellor, Communications

University of Tennessee 

Knoxville, TN


Vice Chancellor, Communications


General Description:

The Vice Chancellor for Communications is the chief communications and marketing officer of the University of Tennessee’s flagship campus in Knoxville and has responsibility for overall communications, including the development and implementation of campus-wide communications strategies.  The Vice Chancellor will advise the Chancellor and senior leaders on communications-related matters; manage the Office of Communications and Marketing; oversee Creative Communications, Video and Photography Center, Media and Internal Relations, and WUOT; and be in a lead role for crisis and issues management. The Vice Chancellor will lead a communications strategy that will help achieve the university’s goals and enhance its global reputation. 


Duties & Responsibilities:

Reporting directly to the Chancellor, the Vice Chancellor serves as a core member of the Chancellor’s Cabinet and is the official spokesperson of the campus. The role includes all internal and external communication, marketing, and digital strategy. The Vice Chancellor will manage core messaging and branding strategies that best emphasize excellence and serve as a key member of the campus’s crisis and issues management team. Building upon the current foundation, the Vice Chancellor will develop a proactive approach to best communicate campus messages; and advise on how best to develop and disseminate messages about key initiatives; and provide strategic direction on all communications including speeches, appearances, media campaigns, digital media, and branding and marketing strategies.  



The ideal candidate will be a demonstrated leader with a proven track record of developing and implementing multi-faceted communication and marketing plans for a variety of stakeholders. Experience in higher education is preferred.  The University of Tennessee, Knoxville is seeking candidates who have the ability to contribute in meaningful ways to the diversity and intercultural goals of the University.



Bachelor’s degree in communication, journalism, or relevant field is required; advanced degree preferred.



Minimum 10 years relevant experience in a progressively responsible role. The Vice Chancellor must have demonstrated experience in advising senior-level administrators. Experience at an institution of higher education is preferred.


Preferred Skills:

• Ability to lead communication, media, and creative teams and inspire innovation and creativity among employees

• Experience planning and managing change

• Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills to include written, oral, listening and presentation

• Ability to lead university executives in communications

• Exceptional organizational skills, including the ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously

• Media savvy with knowledge of media relations strategies

• Understanding and proficiency in social media and its impact and application to all institutional constituencies

• Ability to create a strong public presence, individually and institutionally

• Strategic thinker with demonstrated ability to develop intentional and consistent messaging

• Demonstrated ability to be a problem solver

• Ability to monitor public opinion and use audience data to develop message strategies

• Demonstrated ability to contribute in meaningful ways to the university’s diversity and intercultural goals

• Ability to plan and manage resources and prioritize new initiatives

• Proven track record in leading successful branding, media relations, and marketing programs



The Vice Chancellor will exhibit professional qualities of discretion, creativity, decisiveness, diplomacy, tact, adaptability, fairness, common sense, and political savvy.  Demonstrated behavioral expectations include:

• Unquestioned integrity and trustworthiness

• Commitment to the campus’s mission and strategic plan

• Ability to make good, consistent, and fair decisions (based on facts and data)

• Ability to work with cross-functional teams and to foster teamwork

• Ability to work with the University of Tennessee System and its counterparts and external and internal audiences


Additional Applicant Information:

A review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Please attach the following electronic documents to the application: a letter of interest, resume, and the names and contact information of at least 5 professional references. Questions can be submitted to Brooke Swart, Executive Recruiter, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, at


Apply Online:


The University of Tennessee is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA institution in the provision of its education and employment programs and services. All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment without regard to, and will not be discriminated against on the basis of, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, or covered veteran status.