Southern Methodist University (SMU), a nationally ranked private university located near the heart of Dallas, seeks an energetic and creative professional to serve as its next Associate Director of Public Affairs and Alumni/ae Relations. This position requires an experienced public affairs practitioner with a knowledge of The United Methodist Church, and she or he must possess wide-ranging communication skills, as well as have a commitment to Perkins’s role in the University, church, and world.
A nationally ranked private university with seven degree-granting schools, SMU is a distinguished center for teaching and research located near the heart of Dallas. SMU's 11,600 students benefit from small classes, research opportunities, leadership development, international study and innovative programs. The University is strengthened by its partnership with the Dallas region, a global center of commerce and culture. SMU students, faculty and alumni are changing the world through their chosen fields, civic engagement and service to society. SMU’s progress in the last 20 years includes a near tripling of applications, an increase of more than 165 points in the student SAT average scores, an increase in underrepresented student population enrollment to 25 percent, and a more than doubling of the University endowment, currently valued at $1.5 billion.
Perkins School of Theology is one of the 13 seminaries of The United Methodist Church and one of only five university-related United Methodist theological schools, located in the heart of Dallas, Texas, with an extension program in Houston/Galveston. The faculty and staff of Perkins are committed to their mission of preparing women and men for faithful leadership in Christian ministry. Students study with a faculty, diverse both culturally and in theological perspective, in the school's graduate degree and certificate studies programs. Practical internships integrate classroom learning with hands-on ministry, and the world-renowned Bridwell Library offers students and scholars theological resources for pastors and scholars unrivaled in the United States. Faculty and practicing clergy also work together to offer continuing education for clergy and laity, as well as other programs such as the United Methodist Church's Course of Study school for local pastors.
About the Position:
The Associate Director of Public Affairs and Alumni/ae Relations is responsible for strategizing with the director on the planning, directing, and execution of the daily logistical aspects of Public Affairs and Alumni/ae Relations programs, projects, and events.
The person in this position will counsel the director on strategizing for the implementation and effectiveness of media relations and communications, marketing objectives, and print and electronic publications.
The position is also responsible for writing, design support, and oversight for various print and digital publications and resources.
Requires interaction with internal and external constituencies, including Perkins-SMU faculty/staff/students, denominational and secular media, alumni/ae, donors, friends of the School and advisory boards.
Writing, design support, oversight, and working with external vendors as needed for various print and electronic publications or resources, including (but not limited to): Perspective magazine, press releases, reports, promotional materials, website, e-newsletter, display advertising, and other communication materials in support of events/programs.
Media Relations and Communications: Generate and successfully place news and feature story ideas with secular, denominational, ecumenical and community-based media outlets highlighting Perkins faculty, students, alumni/ae, courses, programming, events, and institutional objectives. Ongoing expansion and maintenance of media contact database.
Implementation of Perkins marketing objectives.
Interaction with alumni/ae, donors, friends of the School, and advisory boards.
The position requires attendance at/responsibility for occasional evening and/or weekend events. This position also requires some seasonal travel during May-July, with periodic travel during the remaining months.
Education and Experience:
Bachelor’s degree is required, preferably in Journalism, Marketing or Communications. Masters is preferred.
A minimum of three years of professional work experience in public relations or media relations and communications is required.
Experience monitoring financial transactions and providing project accounting is preferred. Experience maintaining a central departmental project calendar is a plus. Experience in managing social media accounts for an organization is desirable.
Knowledge of The United Methodist Church is preferred.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
The ideal candidate must possess strong interpersonal and verbal communication skills, with the ability to communicate broadly across the University and cultivate and sustain collegial relationships. A strong customer service orientation is essential.
Candidate must demonstrate strong written communication skills with ability to disseminate information into precise and effective written communications. Must also possess the ability to copy, edit and proofread, as well as write in a range of styles appropriate to target audience. A strong focus on attention to detail is essential.
Candidate must possess strong time management, organizational and planning skills with the ability to manage concurrent projects. Must also possess strong problem-solving and critical thinking skills with the ability to be resourceful, proactive, and seek assistance as needed. Strong project management skills are essential.
Candidate must be a self-starter with the ability to work independently with minimal supervision. Demonstrated ability to work in a high pressure, fast-moving office setting is essential.
Candidate must possess a strong working knowledge of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel). Experience with or knowledge of MS Outlook and with database software is preferred. Experience with In Design (or other graphic design program) is desirable.
Experience with or knowledge of Constant Contact (or other e-newsletter software) is desirable. Website content management system experience is a plus. Photography skills are preferred. Experience with photo editing software (such as Photoshop) is preferred.
Carry/lift 25 lbs.
Sit for long periods of time
SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional Salary Information: Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications
As a private, comprehensive university, Southern Methodist University seeks to enhance the intellectual, cultural, technological, ethical and social development of a diverse student body. SMU offers undergraduate programs centered on the liberal arts and excellent graduate, professional and continuing education programs.
SMU comprises seven degree-granting schools: Dedman Colleg...e of Humanities and Sciences, Cox School of Business, Meadows School of the Arts (performing, visual, and communication arts), School of Engineering, Dedman School of Law, Perkins School of Theology, and School of Education and Human Development. Total fall 2006 enrollment was 10,941.
Why Work at SMU?
Employees can gain satisfaction in knowing that they are helping, in their own ways, to complete the educational experience for a myriad of students. For that, SMU seeks to offer competitive salaries and a broad array of benefits. Options include – but are not limited to – comprehensive medical benefits, retirement plan with immediate vesting, 100 percent tuition benefits, recreational privileges, and some on-site day care.
The University also is committed to its Work/Life Balance Program that focuses on innovative ways to help employees balance work life and personal life. Cultural development includes free or reduced-price tickets for theater and dance performances, lectures and museum exhibitions on campus. The Wellness Program promotes a healthy lifestyle through coordinated exercise programs, free health screenings, CPR training and lectures ranging from nutrition issues to stress reduction. Employees are invited to participate in activities such as volleyball and bowling leagues, choir and intramural sports. The SMU Staff Association coordinates luncheons, lectures and a Staff Development Day. Employees also are encouraged to update and polish their work skills through regularly scheduled technology training and career guidance. In addition, employees can fulfill a desire to participate in volunteer or community service by joining coworkers on various projects such as Meals-on-Wheels and Habitat for Humanity.
The campus is nestled in a traditional residential neighborhood five miles north of downtown Dallas. SMU’s spacious park-like campus features red brick buildings of Collegiate Georgian architecture and beautiful fountains. Dallas ranks among the most livable cities in America and is consistently ranked by Fortune magazine as one of the top cities in the nation for business. Dallas has more than 150 museums, galleries, and artistic attractions; more shopping centers per capita than any major U.S. city; and four times more restaurants per person than New York City. Just a short walk away from the campus is Mockingbird Station, which includes a light rail train station, restaurants, shops, and an art house movie theater.
SMU also has a campus in Northern New Mexico that draws upon the area’s rich natural and cultural resources to offer summer courses in the humanities, sciences, and studio and performing arts. The site includes excavation of a 13th-century Indian pueblo.
• Full-time staff: 1,414
• Part-time staff: 47