Associate Director External Affairs & Communications

Apply now Job no: 498140
Work type: Staff Full Time
Campus: UMass Amherst
Department: Dean - Social & Behavioral Sci
Pay Grade: 26
Categories: Administrative & Office Support

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


Job Summary

Reporting to the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) Director of External Affairs and Communications, the Associate Director manages and produces digital, video, and print communication leading to the advancement of the strategic goals of the College and associated departments and programs.

The Associate Director ensures that the UMass SBS brand is consistently and appropriately conveyed in all digital communications channels throughout the college. They are responsible for creating and executing new and compelling brand-building content, and ensuring that it is disseminated by the college, departments, and other units such as development and student success in digital communications platforms.


Essential Functions

  • Conceptualize and plan communications projects for integration across a variety of print, digital, web, and social media channels. Develop and manage associated implementation timelines; collaborate with the Director on projects and release timelines.
  • Gather multimedia content via photography and videography. Edit photo and video assets, and creatively direct content with input from team members or stakeholders as needed.
  • Develop and write feature ideas and content. Research and select story concepts and communicate with the parties involved to arrange for interviews. Write feature stories and news items for web, including photos and/or video. Write, design, edit, produce and distribute electronic newsletters and other informational communication for students and alumni.
  • Collaborate with the college’s student success team to manage effective communications to students about academic, co-curricular, experiential, and professional development.
  • Manage and edit content of College websites. Responsible for the ongoing development and upkeep websites with fresh and timely content.
  • Provide communications support to faculty and staff as appropriate. Interface with key stakeholders such as alumni, donors and students. Manage student workers and external vendors, such as freelance photographers and videographers.


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Bachelor's degree.  Three plus years of experience in graphic design, marketing, writing, website management, or related field.
  • Excellent writing, editing, verbal and interpersonal skills, including the ability to quickly develop and sustain productive relationships with variety of internal and external constituents.
  • Excellent managerial, negotiation and project management skills with high-level attention to detail with the ability to multitask, organize and prioritize while maintaining high standards of accuracy and quality.
  • Strong initiative and the ability to organize and manage complex activities.
  • Understanding of the potential of and best practices in new and existing technologies to advance goals of the position.
  • Knowledge of and experience in current media technology required. Includes desktop publishing, web maintenance, social media, video/photography and a willingness to learn new media technologies as they emerge.
  • Experience with basic HTML, Adobe Photoshop, video production and video editing.
  • Capability to work successfully as part of a team.


Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

Supervision experience, especially with young professionals such as student interns.


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

  • Must be able to lift 20 lbs.
  • Must be able to walk across campus.
  • Must be able to stand for 1 – 2 hours for event video assignments. 


Additional Details

  • May be required to do occasional day or overnight off campus travel.
  • May be required to work occasional evenings and weekends.


Work Schedule

8:30 am – 5:00 pm


Salary Information

PSU Level 26

PSU Salary Schedule

Special Instructions to Applicants

Please include a letter of application, a resume, and the contact names for at least three current professional references. Review of applicants will begin on March 26, 2019 and will continue until a suitable candidate pool has been identified.

May be requested to provide writing samples, video and/or photo portfolio as part of the hiring process.


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.


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The University of Massachusetts is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action, Title IX employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age over 40, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, marital status, or other protected class.