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On April 28, 2022, The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) welcomed Jennifer Cowley, Ph.D., as its 10th president. President Cowley’s goals for UTA include raising its standing on the national stage through inspirational storytelling, promoting a differentiated identity, and increasing audience and community engagement. To achieve these ambitions, the University invites applications, expressions of interest, and nominations of candidates in its search for an inaugural Vice President of Marketing, Messaging, and Engagement to oversee the communications and marketing team. The Vice President will join a growing leadership team that is energized to take the institution to a new level of accomplishment.
The elevation and transformation of UTA’s marketing and communications has been identified as a top priority in this next chapter of the University's history. The Vice President will report to President Cowley and serve as a member of her senior staff. The Vice President will lead a centralized division of 30 professionals who are valued as a resource of best practices to divisional partners and will ensure synergistic campaigns and storytelling to best position the University in the eyes of diverse external audiences. The Vice President will effectively communicate the President’s vision to key stakeholders internally, regionally, and on a global scale and educate the public on UTA's mission and contributions to scholarship, research, and access to education, among other successes.
The Vice President will act as the University’s official spokesperson, advisor to the president on high-profile issues, and primary contact with major media. Working actively and collaboratively with institutional leaders across campus, the Vice President will advise on the creation of effective communication and marketing plans; of particular importance will be partnerships with the divisions of enrollment, advancement, and athletics, among others designated by the President. The Vice President will also assess, engage, and manage outside vendor partnerships to supplement internal resources as needed.
UTA is in a uniquely strong position and enjoying a number of momentous celebrations and new levels of achievement and stability. UTA is the most diverse university in the UT System and the third-most diverse in the nation. It is not only a Carnegie R-1 institution, but is also a Hispanic-Serving Institution, an Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution, No. 1 in Texas for degrees awarded to African American students (Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, 2021), and No. 1 in the nation for veterans and their families (Military Times, 2022). UTA has attracted its largest freshman class ever and now supports more than 48,000 students. Leadership across the University are committed not only to elevating the institution’s profile and reputation but also to ensuring access to education and resources for a diverse community locally and abroad.
The successful candidate brings strong and proven strategic leadership and highly developed writing and communication skills essential in interacting with multiple constituent groups. The University seeks a creative, collaborative leader with a hunger to innovate and try new things. The Vice President will be a strategic thinker with broad functional experiences in the areas of brand management and marketing, strategic planning, research, consumer insights, competitive analysis, and advertising.
A bachelor’s degree is required and experience covering a range of communications disciplines—including executive communications, public relations, crisis management, and issues management—is highly desirable. Experience in higher education brand marketing and communications is desired but not required for candidates with compelling industry portfolios. The Vice President will be an executive with humility and respect. A courageous and collaborative leader with a record of support and advocacy for individuals from diverse identities, histories, backgrounds, and experiences is paramount.
All applications, nominations, and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in the leadership profile, available at www.wittkieffer.com. WittKieffer is assisting The University of Texas at Arlington in this search, which will remain open until an appointment is made.
Application, nominations and inquires may be directed consultants to:
Melissa Fincher and Ashlee Winters Musser
The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) is committed to providing equal employment and educational opportunities for all qualified persons without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, disabilities, pregnancy, genetic information, and/or veteran status. Retaliation against persons who oppose a discriminatory practice, file a charge of discrimination, or testify for, assist in, or participate in an investigative proceeding relating to discrimination is prohibited. See The University of Texas at Arlington’s Notice of Non-Discrimination here which includes contact information.