Events & Communications Manager - College of Engineering (Hybrid Opportunity)

Apply now Job no: 522342
Work type: Staff Full Time
Campus: UMass Amherst
Department: Dean - Engineering
Pay Grade: 26
Categories: Public Relations, Marketing, Communications, Event Planning

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

The Events and Communications Manager (ECM) is responsible for the strategic and logistical management of high-profile special meetings and events held by the College of Engineering (COE).  Ensures all events promote a positive image and reflect the brand, values, and culture of the college and university, enhancing its stature and raising its visibility particularly to outside constituents. Provides event planning expertise and oversees details and execution of multiple programs and events simultaneously in a fast-paced environment. Additionally, the ECM creates communications in line with the college’s strategic and marketing goals. The ECM reports to the Senior Director of Communications and Strategic Initiatives and serves as a key member of the marketing and communications team. 


Essential Functions

  • Develops, implements, and collaborates with others across the college on plans for numerous events, including such complex, large-scale events as the college’s Senior Recognition Celebration; Outstanding Alumni Awards (OAA) ceremony; and the Tang Endowed Lecture.  
  • Manages multiple programs and events simultaneously, focusing on strategy, goals, timeline, impact, budget, engagement, and follow-up. Makes recommendations as needed to ensure that the college and campus’s mission, goals and objectives are met.
  • Creates systems and procedures to enhance and streamline the event management process in the college. Regularly evaluates the success of events and makes changes as necessary, paying attention to the suggestions of faculty, staff, students, or other event attendees. Generates ideas for new events to help the college meet its strategic goals.
  • Serves as the on-site production manager at assigned events or activities. Oversees proper event execution, including set-up and breakdown, addressing urgent issues, and creating an intentionally inclusive atmosphere. Ensures that volunteers, student staff, and participants adhere to the event schedule. Works closely with selected vendors to ensure adherence to contractual agreements and the success of event.
  • Liaises directly with college leadership to design, recommends and provides coordination and project management to ensure proper execution of high-profile college-level events.  Scouts and reserves internal and external event space as needed. Ensures proper scheduling and staffing. Oversees the ordering of appropriate food and beverages, paying particular attention to event theme and the dietary needs of the audience. Manages inventory of necessary event supplies.
  • Schedules and supervises event rehearsals, as needed. Organizes and trains volunteers, faculty, and students to support the execution and success of certain large-scale events.  Prepares and disseminates briefings to college leadership and faculty/staff participants on event logistics and their individual role requirements.  
  • Serves as a college resource on proper execution and details of event planning to ensure adherence to established protocols and practices. This includes information on venues, layouts, catering/vendor options. Monitors the condition of Engineering meeting spaces and alerts the building coordinator when repairs are needed, or janitorial issues need to be addressed.
  • Coordinates as needed with campus IT, University Police, Amherst EMTs, UMass Parking Services, and Disability Services to ensure safety and accessibility of events.  Obtains necessary permits.
  • Develops and monitors event budgets. Collaborates with Engineering’s Business Office on vendor options and negotiates contracts. Works closely with college accountant to ensure proper invoicing. Keeps detailed and accurate records of all expenses. Recommends ways to control costs as needed so that each event stays within stated budget constraints.
  • Represents College of Engineering on campus-wide event committees and advises and assists the Senior Director of Communications and Strategic Initiatives on a variety of topics, issues, and projects, as assigned.
  • Serves as an active member of the college’s marketing and communications team. Collaborates to develop, procure, and distribute signage, programs, speeches, awards and gifts, RSVP forms, and event announcements through multiple communication channels. Develops additional communications and marketing content, as assigned.  This may include post-event stories and procurement of photos/video.
  • Rapidly exercises judgment and demonstrates poise in problem solving for unforeseen and undesirable situations that may impact event planning and implementation. Provides legendary hospitality for all stakeholders. 


Other Functions

  • Performs related duties as assigned or required to meet college or university goals and objectives.
  • Understands responsibilities with respect to conflicts of interest and behaves in ways consistent both with law and with university policy.
  • Contributes toward creating a positive and respectful workplace defined by personal and professional competence, integrity, and collaboration.


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

  • Associate's Degree with at least 5 years of relevant experience in event planning, event marketing or project management.  A Bachelor's degree (or higher) may be substituted for 2 years of the required experience.
  • Proven ability to work cooperatively and effectively with senior management, staff and constituent groups across all levels of the organization and to maintain productive and professional relationships in complex, demanding environment.
  • Ability to independently set priorities, plan, organize, coordinate and direct multiple, concurrent projects and complex tasks, coupled with the ability to develop and move strategic agendas forward and drive a high volume of work to completion.
  • Ability to utilize independent judgment and manage sensitive and/or confidential information with discretion.
  • Strong communications and interpersonal skills. Ability to work well in teams.
  • Ability to remain calm during crisis and the high pressure of an event in progress. Problem solving skills to quickly resolve issues as they occur during events. Willingness to go beyond the call of duty to ensure guest satisfaction.
  • Strong computer skills including at least intermediate expertise with: Outlook or Google calendar; Microsoft Word or Google Docs; Microsoft Excel.


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

  • Experience working within a higher education or non-profit environment.
  • Experience with marketing events.


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

  • Must be able to sit and stand for long periods of time.
  • Must be able to occasionally lift and move furniture weighing up to 50 lbs.


Additional Details

  • Many events involve high impact visitors such as state and federal government officials, university leadership, corporate leaders, or distinguished alumni. Success of these events can have a significant impact on research funding, strategic partnerships, and the future of the College.


Work Schedule

  • Typical hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-5:00 pm, with flexibility and availability to change schedule and/or work nights and weekends for events as business needs dictate.
  • This position has the opportunity for a Hybrid work schedule, which is defined by the University as an arrangement where the employee’s work location is to work from a site other than the UMass Amherst campus. As this position falls within the Professional Staff Union, it is subject to the terms and conditions of the Professional Staff Union collective bargaining agreement.


Salary Information

Level 26

PSU Hiring Ranges


Special Instructions to Applicants

All applicants must apply online and submit a resume, cover letter, and contact information for 3 professional references.


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, caste, creed, sex, age, marital status, national origin, disability, political belief or affiliation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related condition(s), veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, natural and protective hairstyle and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination 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 UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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Applications close: Eastern Daylight Time

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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.