Vice President for Marketing and Communications

Ball State University

Muncie, IN

ID: 7088491 (Ref.No. BSU27982)
Posted: November 5, 2021
Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

The Vice President for Marketing and Communications will lead and advance the University-wide marketing, branding and communication strategy and programs and be responsible for developing a comprehensive strategic plan for their division. The Vice President will manage a 31-person non-revenue generating division comprised of integrated communications, client management, and digital and creative services, and publication of online and print magazines. 

Ball State University seeks a dynamic, experienced, and strategic leader to serve as its Vice President for Marketing and Communications. 

At Ball State University, diversity is an integral part of its identity. Success depends on the University’s efforts to cultivate inclusivity within its pedagogical, scholarly, external relations, and creative pursuits. Community is an inherent and crucial aspect of such efforts at local, national, and international levels. As the University recruits and trains a diverse administration, faculty, staff, and study body, it strives to ensure its students are prepared to engage and succeed in increasingly diverse environments. 

Reporting directly to the President and serving as a member of the President’s Cabinet, the Vice President is responsible for leading and managing a centralized Marketing and Communications team of 31 FTE. The Division of Marketing and Communications is a full-service, in-house partner to the colleges and units of the University. The team develops strategic messaging and plans focused on relevant solutions across paid, owned, and earned platforms that deliver results for each client’s unique objectives while also remaining consistent with Ball State’s mission, enduring values, strategic priorities, institutional identity/brand, and positioning. As consultants, Marketing and Communications works alongside campus clients to understand their specific University target audiences, key differentiators, and enrollment/retention goals— becoming trusted extensions of the client’s team. 

The division’s work is best in class and backed by a passionate group of professionals who love the University. The members of the Division of Marketing and Communications are believers in Ball State’s Beneficence Pledge that honors the principles of excellence, respect, and responsibility. 

The incoming Vice President will advance critical priorities important to the brand position of the University and guide the development and execution of a University-wide marketing plan that celebrates and differentiates the Ball State experience. The Vice President will work with key partners across the institution to strengthen core messaging, increase market competitiveness, and educate prospective students, alumni, and donors about Ball State’s history, impact, and mission. 

The incoming Vice President will be a highly motivated self-starter with a record of success in a complex organization of similar size and scope. The Vice President will be a strong communicator, lead effectively in ambiguous environments, possess a high degree of integrity, and inspire confidence in crisis. The ideal candidate will have managed a marketing and communications department engaged in providing comprehensive in-house service to its clients and bring extensive knowledge of and experience in the higher education sector. A bachelor’s degree is required. 

Job Function:

The Vice President for Marketing and Communications will lead and advance the University-wide marketing, branding and communication strategy and programs and be responsible for developing a comprehensive strategic plan for their division. The Vice President will manage a 31-person non-revenue generating division comprised of integrated communications, client management, and digital and creative services, and publication of online and print magazines. 

Minimum Education:

A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher education.

Preferred Education:

Master's degree or higher from an accredited institution of higher education.

Minimum Experience:

• A seasoned marketer with at least ten years of professional experience developing integrated plans and programs within complex organizations. A strong background utilizing market analysis, quantitative and qualitative research, and complex data-set analysis to inform the development of successful integrated marketing strategies. 
 
• Demonstrated successful track record of driving integrated marketing strategies and programs that utilize digital and direct marketing, SEO/SEM, social media, content marketing, web presence, mobile, channel selection and optimization, creative direction, PR, owned and earned paid media and sales (high-value service). 
 
• Demonstrated acquisition and audience engagement experience with an excellent understanding of how to build relationships between an organization and targeted constituents. 
 
• Successful track record of leading a collaborative process to develop a strategic brand platform. 
 
• Proven experience and skill in hiring, developing, managing, and supporting a team of dedicated individuals. A results-oriented team player with the presence to inspire and the ability to develop a collaborative culture.

 • A results-oriented leader with the presence to inspire and the ability to develop a collaborative culture. 

Preferred Experience:

• Understands the evolving Digital Marketing & Communications landscape.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Serve as the University’s chief marketing and communications strategist, supporting the President, provost and leadership cabinet on matters of marketing strategy and tactical and operational communications 
  • Provide leadership and management oversight of the Marketing and Communications staff, coordinating at the strategic and tactical-level with all schools, departments, and centers within the University and the Ball State University Foundation. 
  • Gain an appreciation and understanding of key objectives for all constituencies as well as the history and culture of Ball State University by meeting with faculty, staff, trustees, students, and alumni. Develop and maintain effective relationships throughout Ball State in order to achieve marketing and communications goals. 
  • Take an engaged approach to building, coaching, mentoring, and guiding the Marketing and Communications team in an effort to increase the capabilities and effectiveness of this group including setting clear performance management objectives. 
  • Evaluate the structure, resources, and capabilities of the division to provide a proactive, client-focused resource for the University.
  • Under the guidance of the President, facilitate and enhance communications strategies with members of the Board of Trustees, and manage board requests for information and resolution with members of the President’s Cabinet, University, and community. 
  • In partnership with University leadership, develop and manage the Marketing and Communications budget for maximum efficiency and effectiveness in achieving institutional objectives. 
  • Lead a University-wide Marketing and Communications council made up of campus-wide representatives to ensure consistency of messaging and brand integration across key areas. As a champion for the brand, influence and lead the council to foster exchange of best practices across the campus. 
  • Develop a broad knowledge and thorough understanding of the market trends and forces shaping the Ball State brand and drive the planning and implementation of a comprehensive strategic marketing plan that will enhance the University’s position in the public and private marketplace. 
  • While developing an umbrella brand platform, provide for appropriate differentiation among the various academic programs, colleges and departments. Collaborate with leadership within Ball State’s academic and administrative units to align and enhance decentralized Marketing and Communications efforts where they exist. 
  • Identify key marketing opportunities for the University and make informed recommendations based on research and other data, regarding marketing strategy and opportunities. Devise metrics to determine the effectiveness of Marketing and Communications approaches. 
  •  In partnership with the Vice President for Governmental Relations, supervise institutional communications for proactive outreach and coordinated messaging to build awareness of the University with opinion leaders (e.g. media, legislative, business, academia). 
  • Initiate and implement marketing strategies that address opportunities, including partnering and supporting the Divisions of Student Affairs and Enrollment, Planning, and Management with specific emphasis on creating awareness and enrollment lead generation to ensure they align with institutional positioning and the organization is most effectively and efficiently coordinating efforts for maximum returns. 
  • In partnership with the Ball State University Foundation, initiate and implement marketing strategies and programs that foster brand advocacy to drive ambassadorship, volunteerism, and philanthropy. Promote and leverage signature alumni engagement and development activities that deliver immediate philanthropic support and build pipeline. 
  • Develop a robust digital strategy that deepens the University’s engagement with priority audiences. Evaluate and advance existing digital and web initiatives. 
  • Collaborate with the Division of Information Technology to ensure a robust broad, as well as customized segmented, audience experience on web and digital platforms. They will provide ongoing support to build relationships between these two departments to ensure the University’s website is  maintained as a primary “front door” to the campus experience. 
  • Develop and implement a local and national proactive media relations and issues management strategy to advance Ball State University’s visibility and standing. 
  • Participate as an expert member of the Ball State University Crisis Communications Team and provide counsel in response efforts to minimize potentially negative consequences and ensure accurate portrayal of University actions. 
  • Create a program that enhance the visibility of the University’s strategic plan. Working in close partnership with the President’s Office and developing a multiple channel strategy for optimization and demonstration of impact. 
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the President.


At Ball State University, we recognize inclusive excellence as an integral endeavor to fulfill our University’s mission and our strategic plan. We recruit, support, and retain a diverse population of students, faculty, and staff. We encourage and reward diversity of thought. We promote a work environment that encourages and rewards innovation and creativity. We pledge to keep Inclusive Excellence at the highest level of institutional importance and as a foundation in all that we strive to do. Our over-arching goal for Inclusive Excellence is to adopt a university-wide Inclusive Excellence approach to academic, administrative support, and service functions of the university. We believe Inclusive Excellence must be infused in every step we take.