Nazareth College — Vice President for Marketing and Communications

Nazareth seeks an experienced marketing and communications professional who strives to advance the marketing and communications function at a complex and mission-driven non-profit learning organization. The desired candidate is a professional who is passionate about the deep integration of marketing and communications as cutting-edge strategy for taking the institution to new heights.  

This is an exciting time for Nazareth. The appointment of Dr. Elizabeth (Beth) Paul as Nazareth’s 10th president in July 2020 catalyzes a time of vision and energy in celebration of Nazareth’s transformative educational purpose in communities near and far. A new strategic framework is driving innovation in the nearly 100-year commitment to equity-minded changemaker education. In 2024-25 Nazareth will celebrate their Centennial — a powerful opportunity for amplifying their positioning strength. They seek an experienced, bold, and innovative marketing and communications professional to help maximize their strategic opportunities as Nazareth changes from College to University and enters a new century with great momentum.

As Nazareth’s chief communications and marketing officer, the Vice President is responsible for the leadership and integration of a broad range of public relations, communications, and marketing activities to advance the strategic direction and positioning of the institution. This senior leadership position is an assertion of the importance and distinct opportunity of telling Nazareth’s story in compelling and strategic ways to engage diverse constituents. The Vice President for Marketing and Communications will lead Nazareth in increasing and strengthening the institution’s reach with an authentic and coherent brand; maximizing the collective power and synergy of aligned internal and external marketing and communication opportunities; and leveraging innovative approaches to draw people (e.g., prospective students and families, alumni, donors, learning partners, employers, faculty, staff, etc.) to be part of the success and impact of Nazareth. Nazareth will be appreciated, sought out, and supported as a purposeful learning community, attracting diverse individuals of promise, educating them holistically and deeply, and graduating them with passion and preparation to live their life’s work in a world-affirming way.  

The new Vice President will be part of Nazareth’s dynamic senior leadership team. President Paul has built a strong and diverse team that is passionate, professional, forward-thinking, innovative, and strategic. She leads the team with a collective vision and expectation of collaboration, as well as high expectations for and support of each member’s individual professionalism, excellence, and growth.  The team’s unified focus is on elevating the institution so that its strength and impact is sustainable well into the future.  

The new Vice President can listen well to bring clarity and strategic vision as well as add operational experience in developing and advancing an integrated marketing and communications organization. The Vice President will work with a talented team of ten marketing and communications professionals, with robust, collaborative relationships throughout the institution.  

The new senior leader will:

  • Define and facilitate the implementation of a strategic integrated marketing and communications plan, energizing Nazareth’s strategic framework and the opportunity of their Centennial. 
  • Lead brand and messaging clarity, coherence, vibrancy, and strength throughout the institution as Nazareth traverses both a name change and rebranding.
  • Create strategies to gain and sustain advantage in Nazareth’s markets that are varied, and include communications to potential students and families, current students and families, faculty, staff, alumni, friends, and donors.
  • Design cross-institutional and internal-external communications and marketing synergies that amplify institutional visibility and impact.
  • Bring “outside-in” best practices and innovations from other industries and the best of higher education to orchestrate Nazareth’s storytelling (internally and externally) in ways that surprise, inspire and compel, as well as increase awareness and influence of multiple constituent groups.
  • Partner closely with enrollment, alumni, and advancement leaders in communication and marketing efforts.
  • Leverage contemporary, dynamic, and diverse communication tools and methods (including a robust digital strategy) that deepen the institution’s engagement with priority audiences and drives desired outcomes, particularly in enrollment and fundraising.
  • Analyze and interpret information, conditions, stakeholder and competitor positions, and other data in developing and adapting the marketing and communications plan and strategies.
  • Inspire creative thinking and foster proactive problem solving among team and many partners.
  • Oversee and provide direction for external partners engaged in helping advance marketing and communications goals on behalf of the institution;
  • Serve as a lead ambassador for the institution, developing relationships with the media and key influencers and partners, as well as other higher education institutions, and facilitating the President’s institution-advancing networking.
  • Cultivate strategies and opportunities for the institution to contribute to the national discourse on higher education and its impact on society.
  • Advise senior leadership team on media perceptions and public relations issues for reputation enhancement and risk minimization and mitigation.
  • Lead crisis communications with a quick response and around the clock, as needed.
  • Contribute to the development of a collaborative and engaged culture with internal constituents to advance Nazareth’s goals.
  • Create an agile organization that ensures effective prioritization, quality, timely accomplishment, and continuous improvement. 
  • Serve as the last checkpoint for communications efforts while engaging as a strong conduit and buffer between the creative team and internal clients.
  • Define metrics to measure success and impact of marketing communications strategies.
  • Proactively understand the institutional mission, vision, goals, activities, and achievements as well as pertinent higher education issues with the ability to champion the mission and articulate that internally to the team, cabinet, campus and externally to the world.
  • Develop and ensure budgets and timelines are met and exercise fiscal responsibility in defining and prioritizing the most efficient and effective marketing and communications strategies.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Master’s degree or higher from an accredited institution of higher education or equivalent years and depth of experience.
  • A significant track record of senior executive marketing and communications experience developing and executing ambitious and innovative integrated plans and programs in complex organizations.
  • Passion for Nazareth’s mission and the vital importance of transformational education in society for today and tomorrow. 
  • A commitment to the value of diversity and the practice of inclusion.
  • Strong executive presence and ability to represent the President with stakeholders as necessary.
  • Excellent written, oral, interpersonal, and presentation skills.
  • Demonstrated acquisition and constituent engagement experience with an excellent understanding of how to build relationships between an organization and targeted constituents.
  • Successful track record of leading a collaborative process to develop a strategic brand platform.
  • A strong background utilizing market analysis, including quantitative and qualitative research, to inform the development of successful integrated marketing strategies.
  • Knowledge of trends and best practices in marketing and public relations as well as communications technology; successful experience with cutting-edge digital media as communications and marketing tools and an understanding of their role in reaching objectives.
  • Desire to collaborate and partner with every facet of the institution including enrollment and advancement.
  • Proven experience and skill in hiring, developing, managing, and supporting a team of dedicated professionals. A results-oriented team player with the presence to inspire and the ability to develop a collaborative culture. 
  • Demonstrated managerial talent and ability to allocate resources efficiently.

DESIRED CHARACTERISTICS:

  • Energetic, creative, collaborative, positive and proactive.
  • Consensus builder and empathetic listener.
  • Articulate and at ease as a frequent presenter to the board.
  • Credible, authentic, and committed to transparency.
  • Team leader who can positively and productively impact strategic and tactical initiatives.
  • Excellent judgment and creative problem-solving skills, including negotiation and conflict resolution skills. 
  • Perceptiveness and sound judgment in balancing transparency and careful deliberation in communications and ensuring timeliness of critical communications.
  • Self-reliant and results oriented.
  • Ability to make decisions in a changing environment and anticipate future needs.
  • Skilled at balancing short-term objectives and long-term vision.
  • Ability to provide an external perspective to the institution, including innovative ideas for partnership and positioning, and understanding of marketplace demands.
  • Strong character, ethics and integrity.

The Institution: Nazareth
Nazareth is a coeducational, independent college located on 150 scenic acres in suburban Rochester, New York. As a member of the New American Colleges and Universities, Nazareth educates, supports, and serves 2,150 undergraduate students and 650 graduate students within four administrative units that work together to provide students with professional programs built on a solid liberal arts foundation, offering academic rigor and competitive programs. Recently, the board of trustees voted to approve transitioning the College name to Nazareth University; the New York State Board of Regents will meet to formally approve university status.

Founded in 1924 by the Sisters of St. Joseph, who were committed to academic excellence; they inspired the first class of 25 young women to stretch their potential. In the 1950s, the college responded to the need for graduate study by adding graduate programs, and by the 1970s, Nazareth was renowned for quality teacher education and social work. During this time of monumental change, the college became co-educational and governmentally independent of the religious congregation. Nevertheless, it has retained its original focus on academic excellence and the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph: “serving all without distinction.” 

Leaning on its deep foundational values, Nazareth has grown to be the inclusive, religiously independent, comprehensive institution it is today. Nazareth is incorporated under the authority of the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Nazareth holds membership in the American Council on Education, and the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

Coming to Nazareth with an impressive career in Higher Education, Elizabeth Paul, Ph.D. took office as President of Nazareth in 2020. Today, Nazareth is a financially sound institution supported by a community committed to a shared vision and ready to step boldly into its second century of serving students.  An active Strategic Plan, Innovation in Progress, is serving as a guide to Nazareth’s continuing success.

Nazareth offers 60 undergraduate majors including education, health and human services, management, the fine arts, music, theater, math and science, foreign languages, and the liberal arts. Nazareth is recognized nationally for its Fulbright global student scholars and commitment to civic engagement. In addition, Nazareth offers 18 areas of graduate studies, including one six-year program combining a B.S. in Health Science and Doctor of Physical Therapy.

Nazareth has maintained a steady pattern of undergraduate enrollment from 2012 to 2020, with fluctuations ranging from 1,901 in 2012 to 2,180 in 2019. 2021 undergraduate enrollment totaled 2,057. For Fall, 2021, Nazareth received over 4,000 applications, admitted 3468, and enrolled 503 undergraduate first time new students. Seventy-two percent of this new student class were female.

Graduate enrollment ranged from 815 full and part-time students in 2012 to 582 in 2021.

In 2021-22, 100 percent of first-year students received financial assistance. More than $34 million in Nazareth grant/scholarship assistance has been awarded in the current academic year.  In addition, Nazareth’s graduates learn about managing their loans and land jobs that enable repaying loans.

Nazareth is committed to students’ intellectual and personal growth. To build a strong foundation, maximize the integration of in-class and out-of-class learning, and enhance the potential for success in college, a two-year residency requirement is in place for full-time (defined as 12 or more credits) undergraduate students. Residential life on campus is encouraged for all undergraduate students.   

Students are invited to immerse themselves in over 50 clubs and organizations on campus.

Resources are available to students to support their academic success and everyday well-being. The Academic Advisement Center and Center for Life’s Work help students connect with their advisors and career coaches to guide them through major selection and academic needs, as well as co-curricular experiences and future careers. Community and Belonging, Campus Security, and Health and Wellness programs, services and centers are available to students to guide, educate, and support them throughout their time at Nazareth. 

Twenty-two percent of students participate in 25 athletic teams, as Golden Flyers, within NCAA Division III sports, and as members of the Empire 8 athletic conference. In addition, students can participate in six club sports which provide a great way to compete, learn and improve — and socialize with people who share the same love for the game.

Nazareth embraces a society that is both diverse and inclusive, and values both respect for the person and freedom of speech. Respect for the dignity of all people is an essential part of the institution’s tradition, mission, and vision for the future as they advance a socially just and equitable community. Nazareth’s commitment to diversity and inclusion continues.  One set of strategic initiatives have been met, and more plans are underway. 

For more information about Nazareth, go to https://www2.naz.edu/

A note from President Paul
Nazareth College was formed to be an agent of revolutionary positive social change at a pivotal time.  Founded in 1924 as the nation was emerging from the world-changing Pandemic of 1918, Nazareth was developed to educate and elevate new leaders – from marginalized populations so as to bring forth fresh potential – to advance social innovation, social justice, and social progress.  

On the precipice of our Centennial, and again on the heels of a once-in-a-century pandemic, we renew our commitment to elevate fresh and innovative leaders to realize new possibilities in building a healthier and more just world. Today, Nazareth is an inclusive, secular, co-ed higher education institution with a wide array of undergraduate and graduate programs that are constantly innovating. We continue to be inspired by the values and bold commitments of our founding Sisters of St. Joseph, including active commitment to holistic and purpose-driven changemaker education; innovation and future focus; and social justice, equity, and inclusion.  

The coinciding of Nazareth’s presidential transition, our centennial, and this time of revolutionary change creates an exceptional opportunity for new vision and direction. I seek a dynamic and experienced partner who feels a deep connection with the contemporary power of Nazareth’s founding mission, and is ready to create an inspiring and innovative marketing and communications strategy for powering Nazareth’s next 100 years.   

An inclusive and engaging strategic planning process generated a dynamic forward-looking strategic framework.  Our vision and strategies are moving Nazareth boldly forward. This Framework, and the authenticity of our strategic foci, is a powerful driver for compelling storytelling, expanded market penetration, and strengthened institutional positioning. We are primed for fresh and innovative leadership.

Managing crisis brings out the best and worst in communities. As I have transitioned to Nazareth during this time of social sea change, I am awed by the strengths in the Nazareth community. Nazareth students and alumni embody our founding values, applying themselves to learning and pursuing their life’s work with passion and purpose. Our faculty and staff are expert and committed deeply to our students’ learning and development. The ingenuity and innovation with which our faculty and staff have adapted new approaches to student learning, development, and support over the last few years is nothing but extraordinary!  And I am honored to work with a strong senior leadership team – a set of colleagues that are eager to welcome a new partner in advancing our powerful mission.  

We are eager to join together with the Vice President for Marketing and Communications in strengthening our identity and amplifying our reach. Our upcoming Centennial – and the launch of our second one-hundred years as Nazareth University – is a stellar platform for celebrating and reinvigorating Nazareth’s transformational role in our community and society.

–Dr. Elizabeth Paul, President

Pittsford and Rochester, New York
Nazareth is located in Pittsford, NY, a suburb eight miles southwest of Rochester. Pittsford is a cozy village with unique shops, tree-lined streets, and is situated beside the Erie Canal, with bike trails as far east as Rome, NY, or as far west as Buffalo. Widely known for its beautiful scenery, rich history, and strong sense of community, Pittsford also enjoys a reputation for excellent services, including a first-rate educational system.

Rochester is a great place to live, with something for everyone. Rochester’s population of over two hundred thousand within the greater metropolitan area, is part of a nine-county region of nearly 1.2 million people, with an eclectic mix of ethnic backgrounds and religions. Rochester offers a host of attractions and events, including classical music, professional sports, and music and arts festivals. The city’s rich history as a center for civil rights and social justice remains an important element of Rochester’s legacy and continues to draw visitors to such places as the Mount Hope Cemetery, the final resting place of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass. Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre hosts the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the headline acts during the annual Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival. The Strong National Museum of Play is home to the National Toy Hall of Fame and the annual Lilac Festival recalls Rochester’s early history as the Flower City. Rochester is also home to many professional minor-league sports teams including the Americans (ice hockey) and Red Wings (baseball).

A unique blend of natural and man-made resources and amenities give Rochester a high quality of life. Straddling the Genesee River between the Erie Canal and Lake Ontario, Rochester offers a natural beauty that is easily accessible by a network of parks, trails, boat launches and scenic overlooks. The city is divided into dozens of distinct neighborhoods and urban villages supported by an eclectic mix of stores and restaurants. Quality housing is available at reasonable prices. The city’s central location in Western New York provides residents a short drive to such destinations as Niagara Falls, the Finger Lakes region and the Adirondack Mountains. Big city destinations, including New York, Toronto, and Boston are also within an easy day’s drive.

To Apply
NES is assisting Nazareth with the search for the Vice President for Marketing and Communication. To arrange for a confidential conversation or to nominate a candidate, please contact Laura Robinson (laura.robinson@nessearches.com), or Mary Napier (mary.napier@nessearches.com).

Candidates who wish to apply should submit their credentials including:  1) a resume, 2) a detailed letter outlining interest specifically in the opportunity at Nazareth, and 3) contact information for three professional references. All materials may be sent via email to naz@nessearches.com by December 30, 2022 for best consideration. Credentials will be reviewed upon receipt and the search will continue until the position is filled. All applications and nominations will be considered confidential and notice will be given before references are contacted.

Nazareth College is an equal employment opportunity employer. The College does not permit discrimination or harassment in its programs and activities on the basis of race including traits historically associated with race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, disability, medical condition, reproductive health decision making, pregnancy-related condition, genetic information or predisposing characteristic, military or veteran status, political affiliation or belief, arrest or conviction record, domestic violence victim status, marital status, familial status, or any other protected status under applicable law. The College does not discriminate on the basis of sex or gender in its educational, extracurricular, athletic or other programs or in the context of employment.

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