Senior Director of Communications - REMOTE

  • University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Remote (Santa Clara, CA, USA)
  • Apr 26, 2022
Full time Deans & Directors External Relations, PR, Marketing Other Administrative Positions

Job Description


Senior Director of Communications - REMOTE

Location: Silicon Valley
Job ID: 34412


This position works remotely requiring a telecommuting agreement and adherence to the UCSC Telecommuting/Remote Work Guidelines. The employee shall be available in a full-time capacity during assigned telecommuting work hours (specific hours to be discussed with supervisor). While telecommuting/remote working, the employee is responsible for ensuring a worksite environment suitable for accomplishing their regular job duties during scheduled hours of work and, if applicable, arranging for dependent care just as they would if they were working at the regular UCSC worksite.




UC Vaccination Policy: With limited exceptions, COVID-19 vaccinations are required for Covered Individuals under the Policy. Covered Individuals include all employees, students, or trainees who physically access a University facility or program in connection with their employment, appointment, or education/training.

Covered Individuals do NOT include employees who work 100% remotely with NO expectation that they will physically access any University location or program at ANY time. If 100% remote work ends, the employee is subject to policy.



UC Santa Cruz staff jobs are posted until filled. Application materials submitted by 11:59 pm on the IRD will be routed to the hiring unit for consideration. NOTE: Materials submitted after the IRD will be forwarded only at the request of the hiring unit. Submit your materials before the IRD to ensure consideration by the hiring unit.

The IRD for this job is: 05-10-2022



UC Santa Cruz is a public university like no other in California, combining the experience of a small, liberal arts college with the depth and rigor of a major research university. It's known as an unconventional place where innovation and experimentation is part of the campus's DNA. That playful, bold spirit still thrives today, all on a campus renowned as among the most beautiful in the world.



The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) is a public agency supported by 15 members (13 states, one territory and the Bureau of Indian Education). Through the work of thousands of educators, Smarter Balanced created an online assessment system aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), as well as tools for educators to improve teaching and learning. Smarter Balanced is housed at the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) Silicon Valley Extension.

Our work is guided by the belief that a high-quality assessment system can provide information and tools for teachers and schools to improve instruction and help students succeed — regardless of disability, language, or subgroup. We involve experienced educators, researchers, state and local policymakers, and community groups working together in a transparent and consensus-driven process.

Smarter Balanced staff have a profound commitment to UCSC's Principles of Community including embracing diversity, equity and inclusion.

UCSC Extension provides professional training that reflects the academic rigor of the University of California and the hands-on, roll-up-your-shirtsleeves practicality of Silicon Valley culture. Developed with guidance from key industry leaders and academic experts, our certificate programs match the economic demand of your industry, from engineering to business, education to bioscience. The University of California reviews and approves UCSC Extension courses and programs for academic content, merit and instructor qualifications. Many of our courses may be applied toward degree programs, or may be eligible for professional certificates and licenses.



Manages a comprehensive communications program and projects for the Smarter Balanced Consortium that supports the diverse needs of 13 state members. Designs team member oversight and workflow systems to address complex and technical issues. Oversees budget and establishes project plans as necessary including internal review deadlines to achieve audience and stakeholder-specific goals. Motivates, guides and supports subordinates to help staff grow professionally and better achieve organizational goals. Serves as part of a leadership team that addresses critical and emergent issues that can have system-wide and multi-state effects.



Salary Information: Salary Range: $81 600 - $144,058 / Annually. Salary commensurate with skills, qualifications and experience.

No. of Positions: 1

Benefits Level Eligibility: Full benefits

Schedule Information:

  • Full-time, Fixed
  • Percentage of Time: 100%, 40 Hours per Week
  • Days of the Week: Mon-Fri
  • Shift Includes: Day

Employee Classification: This is a Career appointment

Job End Date: None

Work Location: Remote

Union Representation: Non-Represented

Job Code Classification: 006545 (COMM SUPV 2)

Travel:  Up to 25% of the time



40% - Supervision and Program Administration

  • Understands and ensures compliance with University policies and the Consortium's procedures. Maintains strict confidentiality as necessary to fulfill the program manager and program supervisor's roles.
  • Ensures the publications program conforms to the organization's brand strategy and style guides as well as stringent accessibility requirements.
  • Evaluates and selects communications and public affairs vendors and monitors contractors' services.
  • Advocates for diversity and inclusivity in support of the UC principles of community and a more effective organization.
  • Serves as the frontline media relations officer for the organization. Cultivates and maintains effective working relationships with writers, editors, and producers in print and electronic media on international, national, and local levels.

30% - Strategy, Consultation, and Planning

  • Oversees comprehensive communications programs and / or projects. Establishes and recommends changes to practices which affect the department. Ensures the operations of the department run smoothly, including: quality control for message alignment and error-free communication; the production of publications and expeditious delivery; responsible in terms of costs, methods and employees (within the communications team and across the Consortium).  Implements a continuous improvement process regarding communications systems to address root causes of problems and to enhance program effectiveness.
  • Works with staff, consortium members and contractors to create, develop, and implement long- and short-term integrated strategic communications plans, including plans regarding social media,  written documents and publishing materials. Develops and implements programs to publicize and promote the organization through the use of news releases, industry and other conferences, feature stories, audio and visual presentations, advertisements and targeted social media campaigns.
  • Advises and consults with Executive staff regarding all aspects of communications including developing and delivering strategic messages and talking points, interpreting relevant policy, and proactively identifying and resolving emerging political and operational challenges.
  • Consults with each team in Smarter Balanced and with each member agency to support their communication needs to inform Smarter Balanced communication plans.
  • Develops robust systems to store, publish, and disseminate materials.
  • Selects, trains, guides, mentors, evaluates, and as required, takes correction action with staff.
  • Responsible for comprehensive personnel administration, including selection and training regarding policies, procedures, as well as training regarding communications software applications. Motivates, guides, mentors, evaluates and as required takes disciplinary action with staff. Responsible for developing, implementing, and administering a budget.

30% - Public and Media Relations

  • Proactively identifies communication needs and develops strategies as well as develops informational materials to inform appropriate stakeholders.
  • Oversees contracts and contractors as appropriate, and works closely with relevant groups to  to develop standard practices in support with the organization's mission. 
  • Serves as the primary point of contact to identify, monitor and resolve reports of test security breaches via social media, websites and other online and print media. 



  • Bachelor's degree in related area and / or equivalent experience / training.
  • Advanced knowledge of all aspects of communications, including strategic planning for various media venues, technical aspects and requirements of various venues, and the most appropriate and effective applications.
  • Broad knowledge and understanding of technical aspects of communications including design concepts, various media and mediums, software for design and editing various media.
  • Strong knowledge of current affairs, issues and influential actors and organizations in education.
  • Strong management experience to select, train, evaluate, lead, direct, guide and motivate subordinate staff to produce high quality work; skill to take corrective action as required.
  • Experience and advanced skills to create, develop and implement comprehensive long and short term strategic communications plans that are stakeholder specific and designed to yield specific outcomes in support of the organization.
  • Experience and advanced skills regarding advising and consulting with executive leaders and policy/public affairs experts to ensure delivery of the desired messages to the intended audiences.
  • Experience and advanced skills regarding writing, presentations, interpersonal communications and political acumen, to effectively engage a diversity of audiences.
  • Advanced experience engaging in analysis, critical thinking, project management, and proactive problem identification and resolution skills to promote an organization and address emerging political issues.
  • Advanced skills to ensure production of high-quality work within budget and time constraints.
  • Experience ensuring that organizational practices, services, and behaviors support and promote diversity among staff.



  • Selected candidate will be required to pass a pre-employment criminal history background check.
  • Ability to work remotely from a home office and be able to fulfill requirements of the UCSC telecommuting agreement.
  • Ability to work long periods of time at a computer with or without accommodation.
  • Ability to work occasional nights, weekends and/or holidays.
  • Ability to travel to support in-person training events (approximately 2-6 team events per year).
  • The University of California has implemented a COVID-19 Vaccination Policy covering all employees. To be compliant with the policy, covered employees must submit proof of vaccination or have an approved exception or deferral, eight (8) weeks from date of hire.



All UCSC employees must understand and follow job safety procedures, attend required health and safety training, proactively promote safety at work, and promptly report actual and potential accidents and injuries.


Application Details


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The University of California is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. UC Santa Cruz is committed to excellence through diversity and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees.

View full job description and access on-line application:

To ensure review of application materials by the hiring unit, they must be submitted on or before the initial review date (IRD) via the Staff Employment Opportunities web site; A computer is available at the UC Santa Cruz Staff Human Resources Office located at Scotts Valley Center. The Scotts Valley Center is located at 100 Enterprise Way, Suite E100, Scotts Valley, CA 95066. To learn more or to request disability accommodations, call 831-459-2009. Hearing impaired are encouraged to use the California Relay Service at 800-735-2922. UC Santa Cruz is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. UC Santa Cruz is committed to excellence through diversity and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees.

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