Director, University Communications

08 May, 2020


Director, University Communications

Ashford University
San Diego, CA

Reporting to the Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Accreditation, the Director, University Communications position is a full-time role at Ashford University, located in San Diego, California. The Director, University Communications will serve as a strategic advisor to the Executive Team and will develop, draft and release all internal communications, public messages, and manage the internal intranet content and design in alignment with the university’s mission. Additionally, the Director, University Communications will build and sustain the university’s reputation for reliable, high-quality, and timely communication.

Strategy & Vision

  • Develop, implement, and evaluate the annual communications plan that inform and engage all respective audiences in alignment with the university’s mission.
  • Lead development of external communications initiatives that promote, enhance, and protect the university’s brand reputation.
  • Maintain awareness of external competitive landscape, industry best practices, and new developments and emerging standards that may be opportunities for the university and/or the department.

Leadership & Decision-Making Responsibilities

  • Create and launch press releases, communications campaigns, and crisis management strategies and responses in partnership with the Executive Team.
  • Develop junior team members and provide mentorship to improve writing, editing, proofreading and other communications skills.
  • Collaborate with Zovio Communications department on joint communications or as directed by Ashford executive leadership.

Key Tasks

  • Transform knowledge and information into engaging and useful messages, disseminating it to the appropriate audience and through the most effective distribution channels.
  • Identify challenges and emerging issues faced by the university, determine areas where communication could help provide solutions, and oversee development and implementation of communications strategies and initiatives to support these opportunities.
  • Manage media relations and maximize media opportunities.
  • Develop strong relationships with media representatives.
  • Responsible for internal communications, public and media relations and corporate social media.
  • Drive the ongoing evolution of our employee intranet, including strategy development, design, and future enhancement planning.
  • Create strategic plan for tracking, measurement and reporting of company communications initiatives.
  • Equip Executives with media interview skills and techniques.

Minimum Requirements:

  • 7 years’ experience in Communications, Public Relations, Journalism, or related field.
  • 5 years’ experience in a leadership role.
  • 5 years experience in higher education and/or nonprofit.
  • Highly collaborative and experienced in developing and implementing communications strategies.
  • Thorough knowledge of the local, regional and national media.
  • Strong competency in all media relations tools and systems.
  • Advanced writing/editing skills.
  • Strong verbal communication skills.
  • Adaptable and flexible with the ability to successfully operate at both the strategic and tactical levels.
  • Self-starter who thrives on independent work and is motivated by creating and implementing strategic plans and new initiatives.
  • Sincere commitment to consider and engage all constituent groups, including faculty, staff, students, board members, volunteers, donors, program participants, external agencies, and other supporters.
  • Impeccable attention to detail with the ability to successfully manage multiple projects/initiatives/activities simultaneously.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Government Affairs experience a plus.
  • Experience working with SharePoint, SendGrid, vlogging, PR Newswire, Drupal, Sprinklr and other social media related platforms.


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism, Public Relations, Communications, or a related field is required; Master’s Degree preferred.

Where heritage meets innovation – that’s Ashford University. At Ashford, students discover relevant degree programs, innovative technology, and cherished tradition. Ashford offers associate, bachelor’s, and master’s online degree programs. For more information, please visit, or

Our Values:

Equity – We have inclusion and mutual respect. We learn from one another and commit to the advancement of an inclusive culture in which every individual is treated with dignity and fairness.

Empowerment – We are inspiring and enabling. We give individuals the tools they need to achieve their goals.

Quality – We are unsurpassed and have a high caliber. We are consistently striving for the highest quality.

Ingenuity – We are inventive and proactive. We thrive on positive disruption and strive to continuously improve.

Guidance – We are encouraging and supportive. We provide a nurturing environment for faculty, staff and students to learn and grow.

Learn more here

Job posted: 2020-05-08