The University of Portland, a Catholic university founded in 1901 and overlooking the Willamette River and the city of Portland, seeks a dynamic and visionary leader for its newly defined Vice President for Marketing and Communications function. The new VP-MC will contribute to institutional strategy and will possess the ability to translate subject-matter expertise into actionable, sustainable, and impactful communications and branding programs. The VP-MC is responsible for developing and implementing an integrated strategy across internal and external communications, media relations, crisis communications, digital communications, and executive communications. The VP-MC will have the opportunity to shape how the University of Portland communicates, how it develops and advances its brand, and how it invests in and deploys the resources – human and technical, on-campus and off – necessary to define and convey its distinction and advance its strategic priorities. The outcomes will include a clear, compelling, and widely recognized brand identity and a set of strategic communications practices and programs that convey the uniqueness of the institution and its impact, are embraced by all constituents, and establish the strengths and trajectory of the University of Portland as an academic enterprise which values the development of the whole person and embraces the themes of teaching and learning, faith and formation, and service and leadership.

The successful candidate will bring experience engaging local, regional, and national media and audiences; excellent communication, interpersonal and representational skills, including multicultural acumen and the ability to successfully communicate with diverse groups of people; a team approach to problem-solving, commitment to collaboration, and skill at building coalitions; and a track record of leading innovation in digital communications and marketing technologies. Minimum qualifications include a bachelor’s degree and ten years progressively responsible marketing experience, preferably in higher education. Experience in crisis communications is required. The VP-MC must be a collaborative and generous colleague who can create alignment and influence by means of vision, credibility, and domain expertise. The VP-MC must be a person of integrity whose beliefs and actions align with and advance the University of Portland’s mission, values, and stated policy objectives including its strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The VP-MC will provide wise, proactive, and strategic counsel to the President and the President’s Leadership Cabinet.

Led by Rev. Mark L. Poorman, C.S.C., president since 2014, the University of Portland is Oregon’s only comprehensive university with schools of business, education, engineering, nursing, a College of Arts and Sciences, and a graduate school. There are more than 40 undergraduate programs and 30 minors, as well as 18 graduate programs, and more than 1,300 courses. The University features small class settings (12:1 student-faculty ratio) and award-winning faculty. For 23 consecutive years, the University has earned a top-10 ranking by US News & World Report in the “Regional Universities – West” classification. For six consecutive years, UP has been the top Oregon school in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance annual ranking of best values in private universities. And for three consecutive years, Bloomberg Businessweek has named University of Portland the top school in Oregon for “return on investment” in a state-by-state ranking of schools providing graduates with the most return for the price of their education.

*To attain its Catholic mission, University of Portland is committed to the principles of diversity, inclusion and affirmative action and to equal opportunity policies and practices. As an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employer, we will not discriminate against minorities, females, protected veterans, individuals with disabilities, or on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

University of Portland has retained Opus Partners ( to support this recruitment. Jim Hess, Partner, and Marisea Rivera, Senior Associate, are leading the search. Confidential inquiries, applications, and nominations should be sent by email to [email protected].

Position Description: UPortland_VPMC_ad_‌FINAL.DOC