Cornell’s College of Engineering (COE) has a long and storied history of distinction, creativity and impact. The departments of mechanic arts (now mechanical engineering) and civil engineering date to the University’s founding. The College established the nation’s first electrical engineering department in 1889 and awarded the nation’s first doctorates in both electrical and industrial engineering. Its legacy continues to this day, as Cornell Engineering brings together the best minds from across disciplines to invent disruptive technologies and discover novel solutions to complex and challenging problems. It is a global leader in research, teaching, and advancing diversity in the field. COE is also a key collaborator across the rich interdisciplinary landscape at Cornell University, playing a role in all of the university’s Radical Collaborations to address society’s most challenging problems. The college enrolls a diverse and talented student body that includes 3,200+ undergraduate students and 2100+ graduate students, and has over 46,600 living alumni around the globe. COE is home to a diverse, collaborative, talented and dedicated 200+ tenured and tenure-track faculty, plus research faculty and professors of practice who work each day to change the world. Faculty span 10 departments, schools and programs with a footprint in both Ithaca and New York City.
About the Role
The Director of Marketing and Communications serves as the COE’s executive marketing and communications officer. As a strategic partner in all COE functional areas and reporting to the Dean of Engineering and the Vice President for University Relations, the Director is responsible for planning, developing, directing, and implementing the college’s internal and external messaging and communications strategies to advance its mission. This person will have the opportunity to:
Play a powerful role in helping the Dean shape and execute on the college’s 2030 vision;
Help world-renowned experts “tell their story,” showcasing their cutting-edge research to gain exposure that can lead to exciting new opportunities for the university;
Dream big, get buy-in on those dreams and successfully execute on them using your high-caliber project management experience;
Tell the world about the life-changing impact of Cornell Engineering discoveries;
Work in a fast-paced, rapidly-growing and collaborative environment;
Strategically lead the communications function, partnering with University leadership;
Make a significant impact by shaping and developing the communications function and department;
Work in an environment that highly values and puts diversity, inclusion and belonging at the forefront;
Partner with colleagues who are light years ahead of current trends (just like you);
Make all of this information relatable and understandable to a multifaceted audience;
Manage and develop a close-knit and high-performing team.
The Director will have the opportunity to perform these critical elements of the job:
The communication needs of the college are diverse and ever evolving. The Director will be responsible for developing an overall communication strategy for the college that delivers across a broad range of communication objectives and audiences while establishing and maintaining a common look and feel identifiable with the college. A primary goal will be to proactively foster enhanced local, national, and global recognition for the college.
The Director will play a powerful role in collaboration with other COE leaders for these marketing and communications elements of the role:
College-level messaging and marketing – The Director will ensure an integrated messaging and graphics strategy to communicate the Cornell Engineering 2030 vision developed by the Dean and his team.
Department-level messaging and marketing – The Director will develop a synthesis of critical communication elements for each engineering department and school, along with ensuring a common “look and feel” across the college.
Leading faculty messaging – The Director will work with members of the college’s distinguished faculty to help them tell their stories about their accomplishments and raise their profiles.
The Director will dream big, get buy in on those dreams and successfully execute on them using the following elements of the marketing mix:
Print materials – A broad range of print efforts, ranging from marketing pieces to internal communication memos will need to be managed. The Director will be responsible for both development and dissemination.
Social media - A critical element of reaching both internal and external constituents will be taking optimal advantage of a rapidly changing social media environment. The Director will be responsible for all aspects of social media including what platforms to use and how best to take advantage of them.
Video and broadcast – The college is increasingly using video tools to communicate its messages. The Director will be responsible for defining a video strategy for the college that includes placement in social and traditional media.
This person will have the opportunity to balance communication strategy across a broad range of audiences, including:
Internal Cornell audiences – These audiences, while closest to Cornell’s day to day, are very diverse and include our current students, our faculty, academics, staff, and the broader Cornell campus community. The Director will build broad relationships on campus to understand these constituencies and optimize communication to them.
Alumni – Alumni are a source of inspiration, support, and advice for the school. In partnership with other COE leaders, the Director will be responsible for crafting a strategy that helps keep them informed and maximizes their engagement with the college.
Industry – Industry provides opportunities for the college’s graduates, supports research efforts, and commercializes our discoveries. The Director will work to optimize our communication with this important group.
General public – The Director will look for focused opportunities to build the profile of the college through designing well crafted, high-profile opportunities to bring our message to a broader population.
The Director of Marketing and Communications has a strong and well-developed set of management skills to work across a broad range of constituents to ensure a well-crafted and accepted marketing and communication strategy. Specifically:
The Director has proven ability drawing on resources and aligning messaging from across an organization. Specifically, this will translate to:
Message alignment – Cornell Engineering shares common goals such as a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion with the university. The Director will ensure that these shared goals and topics are incorporated into college’s messaging.
Resource sharing – At Cornell, the broader community will have resources the college can draw on. They will also look to Cornell Engineering for support of their efforts. The Director will work closely with other Cornell leaders including University Relations, Admissions, Alumni Affairs, and partner colleges such as Arts & Sciences, Medicine, and Agriculture.
The Director will use their broad leadership skills across number of areas:
Team management – The Director will build and manage a small, high-performing team to achieve their shared goals.
Program leadership – The Director will lead diverse teams to develop various communication initiatives, requiring leading senior faculty and administration who do not directly report to them.
Thought leadership – The Director will be a part of the Dean’s senior leadership team and will contribute to broader strategy development and management issues across the college.
Rewards and Benefits
We hope you appreciate great benefits. Cornell receives national recognition, as an award-winning workplace for our health, wellbeing, sustainability, and diversity initiatives.
Our benefits program includes comprehensive health care options, access to wellness programs, employee discounts with local and national retail brands, and generous retirement contributions;
Our leave provisions include three weeks of vacation during the first year and 12 holidays, which include an end-of-year winter break, from December 25th through January 1st;
Cornell's impressive educational benefits include tuition-free Extramural Study and Employee Degree Program, Tuition Aid for external education, and Cornell Children's Tuition Assistance program;
Enjoy the beauty and splendor of all four seasons in the Finger Lakes Region with remote work flexibility;
We invite you to follow this link to get more information: https://hr.cornell.edu/summaries-benefits.
Cornell Engineering offers a fast-paced and dynamic environment for a motivated marketing and communication professional. Are you someone who:
Brings both management and leadership experience across a diverse set of marketing and communication challenges;
Has a high level of emotional intelligence;
Thrives in an evolving environment;
Understands and has relationships with the vendors and channels necessary for success;
Is engaging and creative;
Can work with our team to bring Cornell Engineering towards the future we all find so exciting?
If so, we look forward to reviewing your application!
Additionally, successful candidates will have:
Demonstrated experience as a self-directed strategic, creative and innovative thinker;
Proven track record of leading the communications function with a particular emphasis on developing a compelling communications strategy.
Expertise in crafting creative, inspiring stories that communicate complex concepts simply;
Experience in the direction and development of multimedia products including video, flash animation, digital signage, blogs, etc. as well as active participation in online social networks;
Ability to handle multiple projects and relate to diverse audiences;
Demonstrated ability to present to diverse audiences and convey a clear, concise message
Exceptional writing, written expression, editorial, interpersonal, qualitative and quantitative research and organizational skills;
Razor sharp editing skills;
Ability to collaborate and gain support from diverse viewpoints;
Demonstrated leadership and supervisory skills.
Successful candidates will hold a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and have and seven to ten years of relevant experience in communications, marketing, public relations, media relations or journalism, with demonstrated experience as a communications leader serving multiple stakeholders, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
Preferred Qualifications include:
A Master’s degree in communications, marketing, public relations, media relations or journalism or a related field.
Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations.