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Director, Marketing and Communications, Development & Alumni Engagement

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Job ID: 13979

Updated: December 12, 2017

Location: Downtown Campus

Position Overview

Development & Alumni Engagement is currently seeking a Full-time Temporary Relief Director, Marketing and Communications for up to 12 months.

Reporting to the Executive Director, Strategic Events and Communications (SEC), the Director, Marketing and Communications is a key member of the SEC leadership team. He/she will support the work of the Executive Director as the leader of a critical unit connecting alumni to their alma mater, and each other, through the effective positioning of the university, the sharing of institutional and alumni stories, and the marketing of services, programs, and development opportunities available to alumni. This role will be responsible for continually evaluating and refining a portfolio of communications and marketing vehicles with an eye to return on investment. He/she has regular interaction with the Vice-President of Development & Alumni Engagement (DAE), Deans, colleagues throughout the institution, the Alumni Association Board and other alumni leaders in the community, as well as faculty-based alumni, marketing and communications professionals. The incumbent also serves as a leader within the broader DAE team and will represent the department with professionalism in the university and the community.

Position Description

Summary of Key Responsibilities (job functions include but are not limited to):


  • Lead development and implementation of comprehensive marketing and communications plans designed to maximize alumni and donor engagement with the university and as part of an alumni community
  • Lead and manage a team of approximately 10-15 people
  • To support these plans, lead marketing, communications and digital and staff in developing, implementing, and maintaining numerous departmental marketing and communications initiatives, and provide high-level leadership of these initiatives; liaise with Alumni team to ensure this work is aligned with their objectives
  • Work with other leaders and peers in SEC and within University Relations to effectively leverage other university resources and staff, and to ensure significant department support for university priorities within these respective areas
  • Provide expert recommendations/solutions related to process design and ensure consistency throughout business practices
  • Continually evaluate portfolio, refine as needed for maximum impact and cost-effectiveness
  • Provide credible expert recommendations/solutions, education and support to the team, managers and staff related to effective marketing and communications
  • Define clear outcomes for the initiatives, identify performance measures and follow a regular review and evaluation process to support continuous improvement
  • Regularly conduct market research which supports program development; strategic planning; and performance management, including the measuring of alumni and donor engagement through marketing and communications
  • Engage a wider network of alumni, communications and marketing professionals by liaising with others in the industry to review partnership strategies
  • Actively seek best practices within post-secondary education and beyond that may be suitable for the UCalgary DAE department
  • Apply insights gained across a variety of internal activities as well as from external sources
  • Effectively advocate for and nurture strong alliances between the DAE department and partners all across campus; lead discussions with alumni and development representatives from faculties and their respective staff members
  • Represent University of Calgary and the Alumni department to peer institutions, community groups, key alumni volunteers, and colleagues across campus; this involves public speaking, travel, and interaction with senior faculty, staff, alumni volunteers, administrators, and student leaders
  • Foster a culture of engagement among targeted alumni and donor populations


  • Lead a growing team of advancement professionals in developing, executing, and maintaining marketing and communications initiatives
  • Supervise staff including hiring, delegation of work, performance management, and disciplinary action up to and including termination
  • Liaise regularly with faculty-based alumni staff, and take a collaborative approach to shaping university-wide and faculty-based marketing and communications programs
  • Develop, maintain and model positive working relationships with alumni and donors
  • Actively develop strategies to promote faculty and staff engagement, through problem solving and follow through to ensure positive outcomes for all stakeholders
  • Ensure team members are well trained, competent, supported in their work, and encouraged in their development
  • Ensure team members develop collegial, positive, high-trust working relationships with each other and work effectively as a team
  • Foster a service-oriented approach


  • Oversee and direct budget planning and management for areas of responsibility
  • Work with the DAE financial team to articulate spending priorities, monitor adherence to budget commitments, and investigate discrepancies
  • Develop cost-monitoring procedures to ensure maximum impact at the least possible cost to the university and its staff
  • Collect, analyze, and present statistical and financial plan data and identify trends
  • Provides regular updates, including written reports and data collection, to the Executive Director


  • Effectively support and play a leadership role in organizational change within the SEC team, ensuring that the approach taken is coordinated and in line with that of other leaders within the DAE department
  • Effectively manage external marketing and communications supplier relationships (e.g. third-party consultants, agencies, writers, designers) including coordinating deliverables and expectations

Qualifications / Requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree (preferably in communications, marketing, or business) is required
  • Minimum of 7-10 years of marketing and communications experience in progressively more responsible positions, with at least five years at the leadership level managing staff and working with senior leaders
  • Significant advancement experience is essential, and a strong understanding of post-secondary environments is a definite asset
  • Experience in strategic planning, and developing and executing large-scale projects
  • Must be a creative thinker and problem-solver, with an orientation towards customer service
  • Experience in marketing and communications program development, delivery and management
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills; must be a skilled communicator, storyteller and a persuader
  • Unwavering commitment to understanding business outcomes and linking those to audience needs as the foundation to all successful communications
  • Deep experience effectively using and measuring communications outcomes across a broad range of channels, including social media, digital, print and online publications, and face-to-face
  • Strong understanding of demand generation, marketing campaigns, and lead/funnel management
  • Experience producing or working with creative experts to produce marketing materials/campaigns for a variety of channels aimed at various audience segments, with strong, measureable calls to action
  • A strong understanding of post-secondary environments is a definite asset, along with a high-level understanding of university advancement issues and environment
  • Excellent interpersonal, collaborative and relationship-building skills, with a strong commitment to helping others succeed
  • Proven track record managing multiple priorities in a fast-paced, deadline driven environment
  • Established success in building consensus and influencing teams comprised of peers and individuals who do not have direct reporting relationships
  • Must be flexible, have some ability to travel and be able to work outside normal business hours
  • An understanding of, and a passion for, working within a performance management culture
  • Experience in budget development and control is required
  • Volunteer management experience is required
  • High level of comfort with consultative processes; ability to be agile in a team environment and in working with a wide range of people
  • Excellent attention to detail

Application Deadline:  October 13, 2017

We would like to thank all applicants in advance for submitting their resumes. Please note, only those candidates chosen to continue on through the selection process will be contacted.

Additional Information

This position is classified in the Management Career Band, Level M3 of the Management and Professional Staff Career Framework. 

To find out more about management and staff opportunities at the University of Calgary and all we have to offer, view our Management and Staff Careers website. For more information about Development & Alumni Engagement visit

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is Canada’s leading next-generation university – a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. Located in the nation’s most enterprising city, the university is making tremendous progress on its Eyes High journey to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community it both serves and leads. The University of Calgary inspires and supports discovery, creativity and innovation across all disciplines. For more information, visit

The University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their professional success while they are here. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.


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