Job Openings >> Kansas State University - Vice President for Communications & Marketing
Kansas State University - Vice President for Communications & Marketing
Title:Kansas State University - Vice President for Communications & Marketing
Kansas State University
Vice President for Communications & Marketing

Academic Career & Executive Search is pleased to assist Kansas State University in its search for Vice President for Communications & Marketing (VPCM).

For best consideration, please apply by September 6th.

This is a pivotal and exciting time at Kansas State University with a new president, a bold economic prosperity plan, a record year for research awards, a record fundraising year, the opening of a $1+ billion-dollar National Bio and Agro-defense facility, and the strongest state budget supporting higher education in a decade.

This is an exceptional opportunity to join an inspiring R1 institution as its next strategic visionary to enhance the institution’s communications, brand vision, and public relations campaigns, both nationally and internationally. Serving as a key member of the President’s Cabinet, the next Vice President for Communications & Marketing (VPCM) is an accomplished communications professional of unquestioned integrity, sound judgment, and considerable energy, with a commitment to collaborative work and empowerment, a passion for higher education, the ability to embrace, support and communicate vision internally and externally.

The VPCM is responsible for the development, integration, and implementation of public relations and marketing activities that communicate about and advance the strategic direction and positioning of the University and its leadership. The successful candidate brings strong and proven strategic leadership skills. Highly developed writing and communication skills are essential tools in communicating with multiple constituent groups.

Leading the division of communications and marketing, the next VPCM serves as the chief communications officer for Kansas State University and leads a centralized strategic communications team that provides reputation management, crisis communications and proactive public relations efforts. Moreover, the VPCM will drive the internal communications at the institutional level while setting the overall strategy for institutional responses, and providing counsel to the university president, provost, cabinet, and deans. Serving on the Crisis Management Team, the VPCM will respond to crises that develop during the year.


Public Relations, Reputation Management, and Crisis Communications:
  • Serves as the university’s official spokesperson, leading a strategic communications team to provide proactive public relations efforts, reputation management and crisis communications. Oversees public relations efforts, including generation of content that compellingly tells the institutional story and mission. Enhances visibility of university efforts nationally and internationally. Develops and implements plans to strengthen ties to local, state and national media. Assists in the development of communications strategy with local and state governments and participates in outreach activities to foster relationships with local, state and federal stakeholders.
  • Sets strategy for institutional responses, provides counsel to the university president, provost, cabinet and deans. Includes primary responsibility for internal communications at the institutional level to the university community. Serves on the Crisis Management Team and develops and implements crisis communication plans, as necessary. Effectively leverages technology, including social media, multimedia and video content to advance communication goals. Leads a team in building K-State's presence and brand in local, state and national media outlets.

Institutional Marketing and Communications:
  • Leads overall marketing efforts for the university. Working collaboratively with others, coordinates the development and implementation of the university’s overall integrated marketing and communications strategy to enhance the university’s visibility and reputation. Establishes priorities for all marketing, advertising, website, public relations, social media, and communication initiatives and projects. Supports enrollment and admissions efforts by providing strategic communications services to assist recruiting efforts and grow enrollment. In partnership with the vice provost for enrollment management and others, executes in-state and national recruiting efforts for undergraduate and graduate students, consistent with university strategic enrollment plans. Division services include video, photography, design, media placements, marketing, news and communications, and virtual presence on websites and social media. Defines creative strategy at the university level and drives alignment with campuses, colleges, departments, and other major units. Manages the institutional advertising and marketing budget.

Institutional Branding:
  • Leads collaborative efforts to create and manage a unified institutional brand strategy for the university. Convenes One Voice team consisting of K-State Athletics, K-State Alumni Association, KSU Foundation, and Kansas State University communicators ensuring alignment regarding brand identity, messaging, and style. Maintains strategic relationships with external communications partners, including K-State Athletics, K-State Alumni Association, KSU Foundation, Kansas Board of Regents, and other key constituents. Oversees university licensing efforts to ensure compliance with university brand standards. Recommends, develops, and maintains university-wide policies and guidelines related to branding, advertising, and marketing strategies. Serves as visionary brand steward and brand ambassador.

Division Leadership, Management, and Development:
  • Leads and manages the Division of Communications and Marketing with overall responsibility for effective and efficient operations and services, budgetary planning and management, and personnel management and development. Promotes staff development, sets performance objectives, evaluates outcomes, and maintains accountability. Fosters a responsive and inclusive culture that welcomes change and innovation and values teamwork and collaboration. Sets priorities with finite resources, effectively planning and managing the financial resources and staffing of the division to meet current needs while allowing for attainment of strategic initiatives.

  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field.
  • 7-10 years of experience with some or all of the following communications, marketing, public relations, and brand building to include:
    • Proven record of success in an administrative position with responsibility for guiding strategy; fiscal planning and management; supervising, motivating, and developing employees; and fostering diversity, belonging and teamwork to create collaborative working relationships across culturally diverse groups.
    • Demonstrated success as a strategic and creative planner, master collaborator and relationship builder with strong interpersonal skills.
    • Excellent oral and written communication skills with a demonstrated ability to articulate matters of complexity and nuance to multiple and varied groups of stakeholders.
    • Proven success developing and implementing branding and marketing strategies to enhance institutional reputation and/or grow enrollment for a large, culturally diverse organization.
    • Excellent organizational, problem-solving, and decision-making skills.
    • Knowledge of best practices, emerging issues, trends, and opportunities in university/higher education communications.
    • Understanding of the scope and strategic impact of technology used in marketing and social media branding and promotion with experience strategically deploying marketing and communication tools to disseminate messages across difference platforms and to diverse audience.

  • Master's degree in a relevant field
  • Proven ability to initiate, lead and facilitate change, successfully engaging with others to achieve results.
  • Proven ability to adapt and execute strategy in a complex and evolving space and be comfortable with the ambiguity that accompanies a large public university.
  • Higher education administrative leadership experience with similar responsibilities to this position.
  • A deep understanding of and passion for the role of public higher education and firm grasp of the opportunities and advantages of a land-grant university with R1 status.
  • Private industry experience in news media, public relations, communications, and/or marketing.

About the Institution

Kansas State University educates nearly 22,000 of tomorrow’s potential leaders and provides some of the best global food systems and biosecurity research in the world. The university is progressing toward its goal of becoming a Top 50 public research university by 2025.

The university has nine academic colleges and offers more than 250 majors and options. The Graduate School offers 73 master’s degrees, 44 doctoral degrees and 43 graduate certificates in multiple disciplines. The Princeton Review recognizes the university as one of the nation’s best colleges and the association of Public and Land-grant Universities designated Kansas State University as an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University.

Commonly referred to as K-State, the university is proud of its welcoming environment and considers all K-Staters family. Our athletic teams, known as the Wildcats, compete in the Big 12 Conference and frequently win titles and championships.

Diversity and Inclusion

Kansas State University has a long, storied history of embracing diversity and inclusion as a core component of their educational mission. As the nation’s first operational land-grant, K-State has always admitted students without regard to race, gender, or creed. Their commitment to meeting the needs and interests of a diverse student body and preparing all constituents for meaningful engagement in an ever changing, diverse world is unwavering. They believe that diversity adds value to the educational fabric of their institution and students are encouraged to capitalize on the learning opportunities that differences can create.

To learn more information about diversity and inclusion at K-State, please visit

The Community

Situated in the heart of northeast Kansas’ scenic Flint Hills, Manhattan’s 56,000 citizens enjoy a dynamic community with shopping, dining, entertainment, and nightlife. Manhattan is affectionately known as the “Little Apple,” a nod to its East Coast namesake, but has a vibrant culture all its own. Here is just a sampling of what residents look forward to year-round:
  • Shopping, dining, and socializing in Aggieville, a local entertainment district with a fun, energetic vibe.
  • A vibrant, revitalized downtown area with fine dining options and local boutiques.
  • The Flint Hills Discovery Center, featuring exhibits about the beautiful surrounding region.
  • Beautiful outdoor life at Sunset Zoo and The Gardens at Kansas State University.
  • Recreation opportunities at the Konza Prairie, Tuttle Creek State Park, Linear Park Trail and more.
  • The university’s McCain Performance Series, which hosts acclaimed Broadway musicals, comedians, musicians, and other entertainers.
  • Exciting Big 12 athletic events (faculty and staff are eligible for discounted tickets).
  • Colbert Hills Golf Course, ranked as the top public golf course in Kansas.
  • Excellent K-12 education. The local high school ranks among the top 5 percent of U.S. high schools, and the district is home to several Kansas Master Teachers.

Learn more about the Manhattan community, at

To Apply

For best consideration, please apply by September 6th.

Please do not email applications.

Applications will be reviewed as they are received and should include a cover letter and curriculum vita. All applications are treated confidentially.

Inquiries, referrals, and nominations are treated confidentially:

Inquiries and questions: Please send to
Nominations and referrals: Please send to

Institution’s EEO Statement
Kansas State University is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran.

Background Screening Statement
In connection with your application for employment, Kansas State University will procure a Background Screen on you as part of the process of considering your candidacy as an employee.


Alternatively, you can apply to this job using your profile on one of the following sites:

ApplicantStack powered by Swipeclock