Senior Director of Communications and Community Engagement

Class: Management | Exempt status: Exempt | Grade: O

grad with arms raised in celebrationUnder the direction of management, the Senior Director of Communications and Community Engagement articulates and advances PCC’s vision through communication. This position provides strategic management and integration of district communications, public relations, stakeholder engagement, community relations and media relations activities across the College. Provides strategic counsel and project advancement for internal and external audiences, creating high-quality editorial content, communications and experiences that heighten the College’s reputation and accurately and favorably represent PCC, both internally and externally. Represents PCC and is the key contact for internal and external communications. May serve as a member of the Cabinet.

Leadership competencies

  • Advances Racial and Social Justice
    Actively works toward the elimination of racism and social oppression; utilizes culturally responsive practices and processes to achieve equitable student and employee outcomes
  • Drives Vision and Purpose
    Participates in the creation of and executes a vision for the College’s mission balancing compliance with flexible, multimodal, inclusive delivery of financial services.
  • Drives Engagement
    Initiates and drives authentic exploration and engagement cross-departmentally to arrive at collaborative solutions that lead to employee and student success.
  • Accelerates Agility and Innovation
    Analyzes systems, policies and practices and commits to continuous program improvement through the strategic use of culturally responsive data.
  • Builds Partnerships
    Partners to solve problems, adapts communication and approaches, supports healthy conflict, and develops strong relationships with associated areas to advance institutional goals.

Our mission

To support student success by delivering access to quality education while advancing economic development and promoting sustainability in a collaborative culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Our vision for equitable student success

Recognizing the unique value, perspectives, strengths, and challenges of every person who comes to PCC for education, all students will achieve their academic goals through equitable support, quality instruction, clear guidance to persist, and an unwavering commitment to completion shared by the entire College community.

YESS logo

Yes to Equitable Student Success (YESS)

Our roadmap to dismantling barriers and building inclusive systems of education and support.

Strat plan

Strategic planning

The College’s overall map for ongoing planning and strategic actions.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Provides strategic leadership for internal and external communications including creating and disseminating high-quality editorial content, communications and experiences that heighten the College’s reputation; strategic communications; content development; public and media relations; community relations; internal communications; crisis communications; and social media strategy.
  2. Designs, develops, and implements strategic communications plans by partnering with executive leadership and internal and external stakeholders to advance strategic priorities and support equitable student success.
  3. Serves as key consultant to College leadership and departments and advises on internal and external communications strategies supporting College initiatives. Creates a cohesive communications strategy ensuring effective communications in support of PCC’s goals.
  4. Manages communications and relationships with local public officials to partner on local issues and resolutions.
  5. Coordinates with the President and their office to identify opportunities for community engagement and partnership, interviews and press recognition, and other opportunities to highlight PCC’s achievements.
  6. Directs and manages PCC’s crisis communications. Designs, develops, implements, and improves crisis communication strategies and plans. Oversees and acts as point of contact in crisis situations to ensure communications are effective.
  7. Oversees Community Relations strategies that advance the College’s goals with key external constituents, divided to cover the college’s Eastside and Westside regions and to support the College’s Strategic Plan.
  8. Creates and implements a media relations strategy which enhances understanding of the College’s mission and its accomplishments as Oregon’s largest institution of postsecondary education. Oversees print, broadcast and web media strategies and planning; produces written and multi-media content in partnership with PCC departments such as the Foundation, and Marketing and Communications.
  9. Acts as liaison with the Board of Directors for individual and group communications. Provides guidance and counsel on media relations for Directors, including but not limited to creating talking points, researching questions and providing responses, and identifying opportunities to engage the media and community.
  10. Establishes, monitors, evaluates, and modifies processes, procedures, and/or standards, ensuring alignment with the College’s mission, values, goals, and objectives, as well as all local, state, and federal laws and regulations.
  11. Serves as a liaison to applicable external agencies and industries, internal departments, and applicable educational institutions representing the College with respect to processes and procedures.
  12. Advises and responds to questions from College departments and external agencies regarding complex issues or policies impacting assigned programs and services. Investigates, addresses and resolves problems, grievances, and complaints related to area of responsibility.
  13. Supervises management and staff. Mentors, coaches, provides guidance and support regarding professional development plans and goals for managers, faculty, and staff in assigned areas of responsibility in accordance with good management practices, College policies, and collective bargaining agreements. Hires, evaluates, trains, disciplines and recommends dismissal of staff as necessary.
  14. Conducts ongoing needs assessment and gap analysis related to teaching excellence, program effectiveness, accountability for student outcomes, and support for full and part-time faculty within the assigned programs; recommends and implements modification of programming for continuous process and outcomes improvement.
  15. Develops, oversees, analyzes, and makes budget decisions in alignment with College strategic plan, values, and priorities at the program level. Forecasts funds needed for staffing, equipment, materials, and supplies in their programs. Approves expenditures and implements budgetary adjustments as appropriate. Directly oversees grants, contracts and technology that support programs in the assigned area.
  16. Supports, implements, and promotes advancement of the district’s equity goals and assists in the hiring of a staff that reflects the diversity of the district. Participates in and supports activities that enhance equity-minded recruiting, hiring, and employee retention practices.
  17. Performs other related duties as assigned.

Work Environment

Work environment includes frequent disruptions and changes in priorities. Work is generally performed in an office environment with frequent interruptions and irregularities in the work schedule. Working hours may vary and occasional evening or weekend work is required. Frequent travel to other locations is required. No special coordination beyond that used for normal mobility and handling of everyday objects and materials is needed to perform the job satisfactorily.

Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor’s Degree in Community Development, English, Journalism, Marketing, Political Science, Public Administration, Public Affairs, Public Relations, Urban Development or related field. Eight (8) years of progressively responsible professional experience related to Communications and five (5) years of related experience in the management of a large organizational unit providing services to a wide range of clients, to include supervisory, planning, fiscal, and evaluation responsibilities.

OR Bachelor’s Degree in any field AND ten (10) years of progressively responsible professional experience related to Communications and five (5) years of related experience in the management of a large organizational unit providing services to a wide range of clients, to include supervisory, planning, fiscal, and evaluation responsibilities.

OR twelve (12) years of progressively responsible professional experience related to Communications and five (5) years of related experience in the management of a large organizational unit providing services to a wide range of clients, to include supervisory, planning, fiscal, and evaluation responsibilities.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Knowledge of:
  • Leadership and managerial principles;
  • Budgeting principles and practices;
  • Advanced theories and principles related to communications and public relations;
  • Strategy development principles and procedures;
  • Applicable local, state and federal laws, codes, rules, and regulations;
  • Public administration principles and practices;
  • Policy and procedure development and administration principles and practices;
  • Conflict mediation principles and practices;
  • Strategic management principles and practices;
  • Program management and development principles;
  • Higher education principles and practices.
Skills in:
  • Directing and providing leadership to subordinate staff;
  • Providing strategic leadership;
  • Planning, implementing, improving, and evaluating programs, policies, and procedures;
  • Developing, administering, and managing budgets;
  • Speaking in public;
  • Managing multiple priorities simultaneously;
  • Analyzing and developing policies and procedures;
  • Managing change and sensitive topics;
  • Planning, analyzing, and evaluating programs and services, operational needs, and fiscal constraints;
  • Evaluating research to identify potential solutions, resolve problems, or provide information;
  • Working with diverse academic, cultural and ethnic backgrounds of community college students and staff;
  • Utilizing computer technology for communication, data gathering and reporting activities.
Ability to:
  • Drive systemic change for racial and social equity and justice;
  • Communicate and execute a vision for student-centered (flexible, multimodal) delivery of instruction and services through oral and written mediums;
  • Manage and mediate healthy conflict and sensitive topics;
  • Counsel, direct, and facilitate professional development of employees while motivating them toward goal achievement;
  • Apply independent judgment to interpretation and application of rules, regulations, policies, and procedures;
  • Manage urgent situations and crises appropriately.

New: 10/2021

Portland Community College is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer, making decisions without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or any other protected class.