UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-Chief Marketing and Communications Officer

The University of Missouri System invites applications and nominations for the position of Executive Director, Joint Office of Strategic Communications and Marketing. Serving as the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for the University of Missouri-Columbia (also known as MU or Mizzou), and for the University of Missouri System (UM System), this individual should have a clear, strategic vision that will advance the communications and marketing efforts of the institution in a collaborative way.

The successful candidate should have an outstanding record of leading modern public relations, communications, marketing, and crisis communications efforts. Supporting both Dr. Alex Cartwright, the Chancellor of MU, and Dr. Mun Choi, the President of the UM System, this individual is responsible for the leadership and management of branding, marketing, public relations, and strategic communications.

The University of Missouri System

The University of Missouri was founded in 1839 in Columbia as the first public university west of the Mississippi River. The university had a single campus until 1870, when the School of Mines and Metallurgy (now Missouri University of Science and Technology) was established in Rolla. In the same year, the university assumed land-grant responsibilities of providing higher education opportunities for all citizens. In 1963, the university again expanded to better serve Missouri by founding a new campus in St. Louis (the University of Missouri-St. Louis) and through acquiring the University of Kansas City (now the University of Missouri-Kansas City), creating the present four-campus University of Missouri System.

Today, the University of Missouri System is one of the nation’s largest higher education institutions, with more than 75,000 students on four campuses, a health care enterprise, and an extension program with activities in every county of the state.

The University of Missouri-Columbia

With an enrollment of more than 33,000 students, 13,000 full-time employees and 300,000 alumni, the Mizzou is a $2.2 billion enterprise and an important investment for the state and nation. MU students represent every Missouri county, all 50 states, and 120 countries.

Based on quality of teaching, research and scholarship, MU is one of only 60 public and private U.S. universities invited to membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities. The state’s largest and most comprehensive university, Mizzou has more than 300 degree programs – including 89 online options – through 18 colleges and schools and is one of only six public universities nationwide that can claim schools of medicine, veterinary medicine, and law on the same campus.

The university’s nationally prominent faculty bring discoveries into the classroom, publish more than 1,600 books and scholarly articles each year, and spend $237 million annually on scientific research; they account for about 70 percent of the research dollars flowing to the state’s public universities. Research facilities include: the internationally recognized University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR), a 10-megawatt facility that is the most powerful among dozens of research reactors located on our nation’s university campuses; and the Bond Life Sciences Center, a 230,000 square-foot building that enables 41 faculty investigators from 12 academic units to solve problems in human and animal health, the environment, and agriculture.

Graduate programs, professional schools and the discovery of new knowledge through research add unparalleled value to an MU degree. Students benefit from hands-on learning while contributing 250,000 hours of community service annually, participating in undergraduate research, and taking advantage of one of many Missouri’s study abroad programs.

Supporters worldwide invest in MU through their philanthropic gifts for scholarships, academic programs, facilities and life-changing research. Hundreds of donors are participating in the university’s $1.3 billion Mizzou: Our Time to Lead campaign to endow resources for MU’s future, support signature research centers and institutes, and fuel a campus renaissance.

Designated a botanic garden, MU’s 1,262-acre main campus features more than 42,000 plants and trees in numerous thematic and special collection settings. Many university buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Individuals across the state connect with Mizzou by participating in extension programs in every county, visiting MU Health Care specialists, competing in state competitions in MU facilities and cheering on the Missouri Tigers at athletic events. A member of the Southeastern Conference, Mizzou’s NCAA Division I athletic program has 20 sports, many ranked in the top 25 nationally.

The Joint Office of Strategic Communications and Marketing

The Office coordinates MU’s and the UM System’s external and internal relations and communications programs, utilizing mass and social media, the Internet via multiple websites, publications, special events, and other forms of communication with regional, state, national, and international media outlets and constituencies to support the mission and goals of MU and the UM System.

The Office is comprised of the following components: MU Publications & Alumni Communications, Web Communications, Marketing Communications, University Leadership Communications, Constituent Relations, Technology Services, MU Licensing and Trademarks, and the MU News Bureau. By communicating the University’s distinctive identity, the office performs a marketing function supporting such areas as student recruitment, faculty recruitment and retention, fundraising, alumni relations, community relations, and governmental support.

In addition to providing MU’s marketing and communications leadership, the Office also coordinates and communicates on behalf of the UM System President and Board of Curators, as well as the MU Chancellor, speaking broadly to the entire state of Missouri.

The Executive Director & Chief Marketing and Communications Officer

The University of Missouri seeks a dynamic and proven leader to serve as the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer who will enhance the reputation and visibility of MU and further its position as a premier land-grant and AAU institution. As an institutional and UM System leader, the Executive Director will be highly involved in developing University-wide strategies for increasing local, national, and international recognition of the institution’s excellence in teaching, research, extension, service, and economic development. Additionally, the Executive Director will act as a liaison from the President’s office with the communications offices of the three other UM campuses (UMKC, UMSL, and S&T), as well as cultivate collaborative relationships with counterparts in these offices.

The Executive Director should provide visionary and innovative direction for the University’s communications and marketing efforts, while building, influencing, convening, and leading the internal team, both at the system and campus level, in a collaborative manner. The Executive Director should be on the cutting edge of the communications and marketing professions, and should embrace the opportunity to have an immediate and significant impact by implementing best practices from the field.

The Executive Director will work in collaboration with the chief marketing and communications officers of all UM System campuses to identify opportunities for collaboration, coordinate messaging and issues management strategies, and obtain buy-in for system-wide communications and marketing initiatives that impact one or more of the campuses.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • provide leadership and direction needed to oversee the MU and UM System marketing and communications team;
  • effectively promote and champion MU through all means of communication;
  • provide strong support to all functions of the University to ensure that communication and marketing efforts are consistent, effective, and clear;
  • represent MU and the UM System in a skilled, professional, and diplomatic manner;
  • provide strong oversight of crisis communications plans and issues management in partnership with campus and system entities;
  • develop, implement, and maintain plans to enhance the visibility, brand, and reputation of MU on a local, state, national, and global level;
  • strengthen partnerships with academic deans, as well as college-based communications leaders at the campus level;
  • maintain strong relationships with vice presidents and general officers at the system level, in addition to the board office;
  • provide strong communications in support of advocacy efforts for funding in a challenging public fiscal environment;
  • promote a culturally aware and welcoming environment, while also developing a strategy to communicate with a diverse audience;
  • increase public understanding and support for the University as a contributor to the vitality and well-being of the state and the nation; and
  • grasp and manage the cultural, educational, political, and cultural dynamics of the state, the University System, and the institution.

Qualifications: The University seeks a dynamic leader who brings passion and an understanding of the convergent activities that fuel the University’s visibility and identity. Candidates must have demonstrated significant achievement in leadership and administration, including personnel management experience. Candidates should have a proven record of success in leading communications, marketing, branding, or public relations, with previous experience in higher education preferred. Candidates should have significant experience and demonstrable skills in leading and managing progressive change in a complex environment, similar to that which exists in a modern land-grant university.

Candidates must demonstrate evidence of the following qualifications:

  • effective communication and public relations skills, including the ability to clearly articulate the University’s vision, goals, and accomplishments in a way that will forge productive links with the University’s academic units and external constituencies;
  • a deep understanding of current and emerging challenges and opportunities in the social, mobile, and digital environments;
  • extensive knowledge and understanding of public affairs, public relations, and crisis communications issues and trends;
  • an ability to develop a shared vision through open communication and transparency;
  • demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, including experience recruiting and retaining diverse staff and team members; and
  • an outgoing personality, positive attitude, authenticity, trustworthiness, and professional demeanor.

Nominations and applications may be sent in confidence to the University’s executive search firm:


Martin M. Baker, Managing Partner

Britt Adams, Associate

Commitment to Diversity

The University of Missouri is fully committed to achieving the goal of a diverse and inclusive community of faculty, staff, and students. We seek individuals who are committed to this goal of collaboration and inclusion and value the many unique qualities and experiences a diverse environment offers.

The University will recruit and employ qualified personnel and will provide equal opportunities during employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability or status as a Vietnam-era veteran.

Appendix: Components of the University of Missouri System

The University of Missouri-Columbia (MU)

The University of Missouri-Columbia (MU) was founded in 1839 as the first public university west of the Mississippi River. MU is a comprehensive public research university and one of the 62 members of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU). It is both a major public land-grant institution with a statewide mandate to serve the citizens of Missouri, and the state’s largest public research university, overseeing upwards of $210 million in externally sponsored research expenditures each year, the majority of which comes from federal funding agencies such as the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, the National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Its economic impact across the state is significant; MU creates jobs, attracts and fosters an entrepreneurial culture through programs supported by the Kauffman Foundation and others, and its students and faculty generate dozens of patents, invention disclosures, and new technology licenses each year that help to encourage innovation across the state. Its Intercollegiate Athletics program yields over $200 million to the state yearly. And the Mizzou Advantage initiative brings together faculty, staff, students, and industry partners across the state to address issues of critical importance to the health and well-being of Missouri, including: food security, medicine and healthcare, and energy production and distribution.

MU is the largest and most programmatically diverse of the University of Missouri System’s four campuses. Its 35,424 students—including 27,791 undergraduates, 7,633 graduate students—work towards completion of over 300 degree and certificate programs enabled by its more than11,000 full-time employees including more than 3,200 faculty members. Its yearly operations and revenues total $1.3 billion, and its endowment as of FY 2015 stood at $850 million. It is home to 11 major research centers and the world’s first journalism school. Its designation as a land-grant university allows it unparalleled access and public service state-wide to support the citizens of Missouri. It engages in collaborative activities with industrial, educational, and agricultural partners across Missouri and abroad through its schools and colleges, MU Health, its network of Agricultural Research Centers, and its statewide MU Extension program which each year provides outreach to over two million Missourians.

For more information about MU, please visit:

University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC)

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) began its origins as a private university, chartered in 1929 known as the University of Kansas City, which later incorporated existing prominent dental and pharmacy colleges, along with a music conservatory. Its expansion throughout the 20th century has been marked by partnerships and collaborations with existing, influential professional institutions throughout the city that have been formalized over the years into 12 current schools and colleges. In 1963, the University of Kansas City officially joined the UM System as the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), and it is today a public research university with a critical presence in the city’s professional ecosystem. Importantly, UMKC benefits from its deep involvement with a number of privately-supported, advanced research institutes throughout the city, including the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, which together contribute heavily to the economic vitality of the greater Kansas City region.

UMKC has a total enrollment of 16,685 students (11,243 undergraduates; 5,442 graduates) with 1,290 faculty and 2,069 staff. Its yearly operations and revenues totaled $373 million in FY 2015, and its yearly research expenditures exceed $30 million. Its six-year School of Medicine is known throughout the area for advancing community health through research and application, direct service in the community, and through economic development. The School of Law is one of four law schools in Missouri. And the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance is internationally recognized as a center for artistic excellence, innovation, and engagement with its communities.

For more information about UMKC, please visit:

Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T)

Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) is one of the nation’s top technological research universities and a critical contributor to innovation and economic progress across the state. Founded in 1870 as the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy, the school took advantage of the land-grant opportunities offered by the federal government through the Morrill Act. Known as the University of Missouri-Rolla following the establishment of the UM System in 1963, the university changed its name in 2008 to broadcast more clearly its position as a leading STEM-focused university dedicated to discovery, creativity, and innovation to benefit the citizens of Missouri, the nation, and the world. Its renowned elementary and secondary teacher education program provides Missouri with highly qualified educators in schools throughout the state. Its experiential learning programs propel students beyond the classroom lecture and basic skills to the application of material to problem solving real world challenges. And Missouri S&T is leading the way in building industry partnerships around the world to fuel Missouri’s and the nation’s growing high-technology workforce.

Missouri S&T enrolls 8,886 students (6,839 undergraduate; 2,047 graduates) from 50 states and 55 countries, who are encouraged and inspired by its more than 500 faculty members and 1,000 staff. Missouri S&T offers over 55 degree programs in engineering, science, computing and technology, business, social sciences, the humanities, and the liberal arts. Missouri S&T has 15 accredited undergraduate engineering programs, three times the average number found at U.S. universities, and ranks third among national universities for percentage of degrees granted in the STEM disciplines. Its yearly research expenditures approach $35 million and are climbing steadily, and its total operations and revenues amount to $210 million.

For more information about Missouri S&T, please visit:

University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL)

Established in 1963 and spread across 470 acres in suburban St. Louis, the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) is the largest public university in eastern Missouri. It is a metropolitan research and teaching institution that is consistently recognized for its strong programs across disciplines, and is considered a primary driver of the St. Louis economy, providing industries with educated and capable employees and leaders. While UMSL graduates can be found in all 50 states and throughout Missouri, their greatest impact is felt in St. Louis, which is home to more than 65,000 UMSL graduates powering the region’s economy and contributing to its social fabric. The UMSL campus is also home to ExpressScripts, one of Missouri’s leading companies, and it maintains strong ties to other significant manufacturers and industry leaders in the St. Louis region, such as: Anhueser-Busch Inbev, General Motors, Boeing, and Wells Fargo Advisors.

With a total enrollment of 16,738 students (13,545 undergraduates; 3,193 graduate), UMSL provides excellent learning experiences and leadership opportunities for a diverse student body whose influence on the region upon graduation is immense. Led by 900 faculty across 10 schools and colleges, UMSL offers an array of options to traditional and non-traditional students and continuing and adult learners, including 15 doctoral degree programs, numerous certificate programs, and the only professional optometry degree in Missouri. Its yearly research expenditures are over $24 million with total operations and revenues amounting to $201 million.

For more information about UMSL, please visit:

University of Missouri Extension (MU Extension)

For over 100 years, the University of Missouri Extension’s (MU Extension) distinct land-grant mission has been to improve lives, communities, and economies by producing relevant, reliable, and responsive educational strategies that enhance access to the resources and research of the university. Initially, the extension program concentrated on working with farmers and their families, which comprised the majority of the nation’s population, to improve their quality of life and standard of living. In more recent times, the MU Extension has built a strong presence in Missouri’s urban population centers through involvement in after-school youth leadership programs, nutrition education initiatives, and distance learning. MU Extension faculty advise small business owners; help displaced workers find new jobs; provide education for families to make better financial decisions; prepare young people with skills for the future workforce; and work with local leaders to help them make wise decisions for their communities.

Every year, more than two million Missourians annually turn to MU Extension. Today it focuses on workforce development, and its Business Development Program has attracted nearly $650 million in investments, $979 million in government contracts, and more than $20 million in research awards in the past three years. Its 4-H Center for Youth Development reaches nearly 300,000 youths ages five to 18, and 4-H’ers are 70 percent more likely to attend college than their peers. And the ExCEED Program has helped reinvigorate local economies throughout Missouri through developing leaders, creating entrepreneurial cultures, and retaining local wealth, helping to create over 2,100 new jobs and generating nearly $300 million in new business investments.

For more information about MU Extension, please visit:

University of Missouri Health Care (MU Health)

University of Missouri Health Care (MU Health) is a comprehensive academic health system on the Columbia campus that includes MU Health Care, MU School of Medicine and its University Physicians Practice Plan, MU Sinclair School of Nursing, and MU School of Health Professions; and it maintains a critically important presence across mid-Missouri. Its mission is to provide exemplary patient and family-centered care, education, and research to improve the health, well-being, and productivity of the people of Missouri and beyond. MU Health is among the most critical components of the University of Missouri System and has an enormous economic impact on the state, each year driving approximately $2.3 billion dollars into the state’s economy.

MU Health has annual revenues exceeding $780 million, and over the years has consistently been one of the highest performing elements of the University of Missouri System from a financial perspective. Its strengths lay in its statewide presence and partnerships with community-based clinics throughout Missouri; the system is composed of five hospitals and a network of more than 50 primary and specialty clinics located throughout Missouri, as well as the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, which is the only academic health system affiliate of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, the Missouri Orthopaedic Institute, the Missouri Psychiatric Center, the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, and the University Hospital, all in Columbia. Its strong, modern clinical footprint—the MU Health has completed more than $400 million in new construction and renovation since 2010 and is opening a number of new buildings in 2016—contribute to excellent outcomes for the more than 600,000 patients served annually. And the School of Medicine’s 662 faculty engage in transformative research in the clinical and basic sciences with the aim of making Missouri a transformational leader in improving health.

For more information about MU Health, please visit: