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Job ID: 120194

Associate Vice President, Public Relations & Communications
The University of St. Thomas

Date Posted Feb. 25, 2019
Title Associate Vice President, Public Relations & Communications
University The University of St. Thomas
St. Paul, MN, United States
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Associate Vice-(Provost/Chancellor)
  • Public Relations/Marketing

Associate Vice President, Public Relations & Communications

The University of St. Thomas invites qualified candidates to apply for AVP, Public Relations & Communications position within the Marketing, Insights & Communications Department.

Inspired by Catholic intellectual tradition, the University of St. Thomas educates students to be morally responsible leaders who think critically, act wisely, and work skillfully to advance the common good. A successful candidate will possess a commitment to the ideals of this mission statement.

We welcome applications from candidates representing a diverse group (racial, religious, sexual orientation, etc). We seek and welcome different personal styles and ways of thinking.


The University of St. Thomas offers a competitive and comprehensive benefits program, which includes:

Up to 100% tuition remission for employees, spouses, and dependents upon eligibility
A generous Employer retirement contribution of 9.4% of annual salary upon eligibility
Medical, dental, and vision options
Employer-paid disability, life, and AD&D benefits


The AVP, Public Relations & Communications leads the team responsible for storytelling at St. Thomas managing and leveraging multiple channels: institutional social accounts, the St. Thomas magazine, the St. Thomas Newsroom (on-line news portal), media outreach, etc. S/he ensures the stories we tell connect with our audiences (internal and external) and align with University strategic priorities. S/he connects deeply across the St. Thomas community to build trust and collaboration, while always looking to spot opportunities to shine a spotlight on what makes St. Thomas unique and special. This person will lead a team of 6 professionals, representing deep skills sets from magazine editing, writing, social media, public relations and media relations. As needed, s/he will also assist with crisis operations through the University Action Response Team. Other duties will include consulting with University executives on media response, and preparing media releases, FAQ documents, talking points or other communications. This position reports directly to the Chief Marketing Officer and is part of the Leadership Team of the Marketing, Insights and Communications (MIC) department.

It is essential that this person form strong connections with her/his colleagues in MIC as close collaboration and teamwork are critical to delivering value to our campus partners. The AVP, Public Relations & Communications works across all eight schools and colleges at St. Thomas, and all of our departments to provide strategic direction, sound decision making, crisis management expertise and thought leadership. This leader also supports opportunities to connect St. Thomas students, faculty and staff by ensuring the University is effectively communicating progress against key priorities and other noteworthy items of interest. It is imperative that this leader have interest in and facilitate developing her/his team.


Development of Public Relations Strategies – Work to advance the marketing objectives of our schools, colleges and the institution in consultation with the AVP of Marketing Strategy. Lead development of strategic communication plans that support overall marketing goals and which build relationships between the University and its stakeholders (prospective students/families, current students, faculty & staff, donors, alums, the Twin Cities community, etc). Write, edit and revise plan content as necessary. Actively influence strategic discussions with senior leaders to facilitate alignment on overall objectives and metrics. Act as consultant to other St. Thomas departments seeking to build internal communication plans and capabilities.

Media Management – In collaboration with the Senior Media Relations Manager, work with local, regional and national media outlets to proactively promote organizational information aligned with St. Thomas key priorities and advise on media calls received for fit with St. Thomas goals. Cultivate staff and faculty relationships to prepare and promote them as spokespeople. Create materials such as press releases, FAQs and other communications as needed. Ensure cultivation of strong relationships with media outlets. Ensure University Senior Staff is aware of any key conversations or developments in the media or on social.

University Publications & Newsroom Leadership – Direct staff of journalists, writers and editors to publish the St. Thomas Magazine as well as edit and support various college publications. Provide strategic oversight of the activities of the St. Thomas Newsroom, our in-house news portal, as well as collaborate with the manager of OneStThomas, our intranet, on internal communication strategies.

Social Media Leadership – Collaborate with the St. Thomas Senior Social Media Strategist who executes all University-level social media and provides thought leadership and strategy support for social media managers in the schools/colleges. Ensure the University leverages a current social/digital toolkit.

Crisis Management – Work with senior leaders to support communication during times of crisis (weather-related, incident-related, etc). Provide counsel and mobilize team resources quickly. Must be available to work outside of normal business hours during these periods as needed.

Team Leadership – Lead and manage staff of talented, seasoned professionals. This includes hiring, supervising, training and developing direct reports. Create collaborative, supportive environment whereby members are working toward similar outcomes and are able to cover for one another in an absence. Create joint accountability for results with campus partners. Ensure transparency of communication so the team always understands how their work fits into the broader context of the University’s goals. Support efforts from team to create direct relationships with key leaders (within MIC and the University)

Other duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree in public relations, journalism or a related field
Ten years of progressively responsible experience in a public relations lead position, corporate communications, and/or journalism


On the University of St. Thomas Jobs page, follow the instructions to complete an online application which includes uploading a resume and copy/pasting a job specific cover letter.

In light of its commitment to create and maintain a safe learning and working environment, employment with the University of St. Thomas requires consent and successful completion of a background screening.

The University of St. Thomas, Minnesota Human Resources Department advertises the official job listing on its website at

The University of St. Thomas is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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applying for or inquiring about this job announcement.

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