Executive Director, ARD Communications and Marketing

University of Chicago

University of Chicago

Marketing & Communications
Chicago, IL, USA
Posted on Friday, September 22, 2023


ARD Communications

About the Department

Alumni Relations and Development (ARD) engages alumni (~190k), current students, parents, and friends of the University through intellectual, professional, and social activities on campus, around the world and online. ARD raises $600 Million annually to support faculty and researchers, practitioners and patients, and students and programs across the University. Our work supports priorities in every division, school, department, and institute.

ARD Communications is the central communications resource for ARD staff. Our team of communications experts, editors, designers, web developers, and project managers help ARD staff reach and engage alumni and other donors in strategic ways to accomplish our engagement and fundraising goals.

This position has a hybrid work schedule which includes weekly in office presence located in Hyde Park at 5235 South Harper Court.

Job Summary

This position manages multiple teams of managers and professional staff responsible for planning, developing, designing, and implementing the strategic and tactical marketing plans for a department, program, product or business. Coordinates and evaluates the production of large and complex marketing communication and research programs.


  • Leads in partnership with the Assistant VP, ARD Communications, in developing, implementing, evaluating, and adapting a comprehensive strategic marketing-communications plan that accelerates achievement of ARD’s key goals and advances UChicago’s mission.
  • Analyzes target market information to identify and calibrate strategies to specific goals for alumni engagement and fundraising, and guides development of donor-facing materials.
  • Understands key performance metrics and tracking tools for market research, forecasts, competitor analyses, campaign results, and consumer trends, and translate results into actionable insights for marketing team.
  • Spearheads the execution of marketing campaigns, including test and control group segmentation, testing, tracking, results reporting, analyses, and recommendations, that drive engagement and philanthropy.
  • Directs the Communications team’s expansion of innovative, effective use of social and digital tools that connect with ARD’s key constituents to advance the unit’s fundraising and engagement goals, including piloting new personalized communications that will be made possible by ARD’s new Content Management System (CMS).
  • Provides leadership and supervision to staff, including selection and development of staff.
  • Seek opportunities for professional development that will enhance job performance, including building networks within the University and with colleagues at peer institutions and with an eye towards broadly diversifying the advancement profession.
  • Plans, develops, designs, and implements strategic and tactical marketing plans for a department or program. Directs, monitors, and evaluates marketing communication and research programs.
  • May develop departmental priorities, allocates resources, and determines project direction in line with established priorities.
  • Provides leadership and supervision to staff, including selection and development of staff.
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications


Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 7+ years of work experience in a related job discipline.



Preferred Qualifications


  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • Advanced degree.


  • Minimum seven years of professional experience in communications, marketing, public relations nonprofit management, development, alumni relations, sales, or similar professional work experience.
  • Minimum four years leading a project team or managing staff.
  • Minimum two years developing and monitoring budgets.
  • Managing large, complex projects (including websites) with multiple stakeholders and constituent groups.
  • Online and digital communications strategy.
  • Working with executive leadership.
  • Working with staff and customer offices to understand and articulate business processes, data, and organizational priorities.
  • Identifying and documenting functional specifications for digital tools such as website, web applications and content management systems (CMS).
  • Developing and refining business processes and associated documentation.
  • Experience within a higher education environment.

Technical Skills or Knowledge:

  • Demonstrated skill and knowledge of, or ability to learn quickly, the internal workings of the University as well as the technology tools available to the Office of Alumni Relations and Development, including Phoenix, the University's donor relationship management system and the Microsoft Windows environment.
  • Defining and maintaining digital communications tools such as websites, web applications and HTML email programs.
  • Knowledge of web standards and best practices.

Preferred Competencies

  • Build, lead, mentor, and motivate a diverse team, and encourage growth and change in both people and programs. A strong commitment to personal and professional development, and foster a collaborative and inclusive team environment.
  • Manage confidential information with discretion and tact.
  • Act with integrity, professionalism, and confidentiality.
  • Work collegially and collaboratively in a team setting.
  • Prioritize multiple projects and independently follow through with detail.
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communications skills characterized by the ability to listen, speak, and write effectively.
  • Self-motivated and take initiative.

Working Conditions

  • This position has a hybrid work schedule which includes weekly in office presence.
  • Standard office environment.
  • Travel to campus and/or non-campus locations for University business.
  • Work evenings and weekends as needed.
  • This position is located in Hyde Park at 5235 South Harper Court.

Application Documents

  • Resume/CV (required)
  • Cover Letter, addressed to Hiring Committee (preferred)

When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family


Role Impact

People Manager

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Scheduled Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, military or veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

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