Senior Communications Officer for the School of Arts and Sciences

Rochester, NY


General Purpose:

Reporting to the Director of Communications for Arts, Sciences & Engineering, the Senior Communications Officer for the School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) works closely with the Dean of SAS, its award-winning faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, and other colleagues to support the school’s internal and external communications priorities. With 19 departments, more than a dozen programs, and numerous centers and institutes, SAS is the largest school at the University of Rochester in both number of academic programs offered, and number of undergraduates enrolled in those programs. The school continues to expand and is focused on raising the profile of its programs and scholarly offerings in the arts and humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

The Senior Communications Officer produces a high volume of original content including feature stories for print and digital channels, electronic newsletters for internal and external audiences, speeches and presentations, website copy, and engaging posts for social media. This position is also responsible for proactively pursuing national and international media coverage for significant scientific research, scholarship and art making and to raise the visibility of the School of Arts and Sciences. The Senior Communications Officer should possess a keen interest in higher education and the areas of distinction in SAS, and have relevant experience synthesizing complex scholarly writing and concepts into print, digital, and multimedia products

This position is crucial to an integrated communications effort led by the Office of University Communications and works with colleagues in the department to advance the University’s reputation, strategic goals, and its mission.


Content Creation

  • Identifies narratives that showcase initiatives, programs, and key priorities for the School of Arts and Sciences; faculty, staff, and student accomplishments; and research and scholarly work that advance the University's reputation as a global leader in higher education. Also implements a communications strategy for event/program promotion. (10%)

  • Writes compelling stories for University-owned media channels, including the News Center, Rochester Review, @Rochester,, and the University's flagship social media channels. Ensures content conforms to University style guidelines including brand and editorial guidelines, organization, and appropriateness. (15%)

  • Synthesizes complex scholarly writing and concepts to share with a broad, non-specialist audience via print, digital, and multimedia platforms. (5%)

  • Produces monthly newsletter and other publications as needed by the Dean. Ensures message continuity, design, and tone for digital and print publications. (5%)

Strategy and Assessment

  • Serves on the SAS Leadership Team. Meets regularly with the Dean of SAS, department chairs, faculty, researchers, staff and other experts in assigned units.

  • Develops and executes "audience-first" communication plans with a clear focus on goals, audiences, and measurements for success.

  • Applies analytical skills to improve content performance, delivery, and audience engagement by evaluating metrics such as email open rates, click through rates, web sessions, SEO informed storytelling performance, social media engagement, and more.

  • Coordinates with other communications professionals across the University to share content, including those who manage e-newsletters, print publications, blogs, social media channels, and web sites.

  • Develops and maanges a content calendar for use across multiple platforms, including web and social media.

Leadership Messaging

  • Works with the SAS Dean to create leadership messages, talking points, "state of the school" addresses, and institutional messaging as needed

  • Consults with colleagues in University Communications to ensure messaging is in alignment with strategic priorities.

  • Serves as a content resource to other academic and administrative leaders for complex, scholarship, scientific research, and art making topics.

Media Relations

  • Develops and maintains relationships with relevant media outlets at the local, national, and international levels.

  • Writes and pitches media stories to promote SAS faculty, scholarly research, and peer-reviewed publications.

  • Responds to media inquiries for faculty comment and expertise from local, national, and international news outlets.

  • Stays apprised of issues, trends, and innovations in higher education and signature institutional programs through key publications, influential thought leaders, social media, and other engagement.

  • Works with media team in University Communications to coordinate photography and video shoots.

Other duties as assigned


  • Bachelor's degree required

  • Masters Degree in journalism, communications, or related discipline preferred

  • 3 years of experience in multimedia, public relations, communications, broadcast, digital publications, corporate communications, or agency work required.

  • or an equivalent combination of education and experience required.

  • 3–5 years’ experience in comparable role preferred.

  • Experience working in a University academic setting or in higher education preferred.

  • Strong oral and written communication skills required.

The University of Rochester is committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion to advance the University’s mission to Learn, Discover, Heal, Create – and Make the World Ever Better. In support of our values and those of our society, the University is committed to not discriminating on the basis of age, color, disability, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, military/veteran status, national origin, race, religion/creed, sex, sexual orientation, citizenship status, or any other status protected by law. This commitment extends to the administration of our policies, admissions, employment, access, and recruitment of candidates from underrepresented populations, veterans, and persons with disabilities consistent with these values and government contractor Affirmative Action obligations.

How To Apply

All applicants must apply online.

EOE Minorities/Females/Protected Veterans/Disabled

Pay Range

Pay Range: $ 62,200 - $ 93,300 Annually

The referenced pay range represents the minimum and maximum compensation for this job. Individual annual salaries/hourly rates will be set within the job’s compensation range, and will be determined by considering factors including, but not limited to, market data, education, experience, qualifications, expertise of the individual, and internal equity considerations.

Location: Central Administration
Full/Part Time: Full-Time
Opening: Full Time 40 hours Grade 053