Job Listings

Senior Director of Marketing and Communications

Black Hills State University
Job Location:
Spearfish, South Dakota
Communications, Marketing, and Public Affairs

Black Hills State University seeks a Senior Director of Marketing and Communications

Location: Spearfish, South Dakota

Click here to view position profile:

The Position:

Reporting to the President, the Senior Director of Marketing and Communications oversees the university’s marketing and brand strategy, website and online presence, strategic content development, and printing center. The Senior Director will play a critical role in enhancing the university’s visibility, implementing internal and external strategic marketing initiatives, identifying key marketing goals, and ensuring staff time and marketing budgets are utilized to meet those goals. This individual is a member of the senior leadership team and directs all aspects of the university’s strategic marketing efforts including marketing, media relations, public relations, online and digital communication, social media, website oversight, graphic design, photography and videography, stewardship of the organization's brand, and development of messages that increase awareness and enhance the reputation of BHSU programs and initiatives. This includes writing press releases and providing/coordinating interviews with television and radio stations particularly for major university announcements as well as crisis communication. The Senior Director will also oversee all internal communications including oversight of the BHSU Print Center.


  • Provide oversight, direction, and day-to-day operations management of the Marketing & Communications department staff.
  • Provide leadership, direction and support for all university communications efforts including marketing/branding, publications, media relations, news writing, outreach communications, photography, printing, and distribution.
  • Effectively manage, communicate, and build awareness of the Black Hills State University brand to support admissions and enrollment growth within a limited budget.
  • Ensure consistent imaging and high standards are maintained throughout all marketing and communications efforts.
  • Monitor, analyze, and adapt to evolving changes in strategic communications, integrated marketing, branding, university image, and other communication efforts/activities.
  • Regularly track and analyze the effectiveness of marketing and communications campaigns/strategies and adjust as needed.
  • Facilitate the review and recommendations for changes to departmental operations to develop and implement successful university communication efforts.
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive plan for strategic communications in coordination with the university’s strategic plan; collaboratively work with university leadership and staff to ensure all communications reflect a cohesive and consistent image.
  • Develop the department budget and request and supervise use of funds in support of the university’s marketing and communications activities.
  • Work closely with Admissions, University Advancement, Athletics, deans, and various departments to develop marketing communications strategies that support the objectives of the university’s academic programs and the institution's branding and student recruitment goals.
  • Assist University Advancement by providing marketing and public relations support in alignment with annual fund-raising goals and in support of capital campaign fundraising.
  • Manage the university web and social media presence developing analytics to optimize university website and social media outreach effectiveness.
  • Oversee the university’s marketing and communications policies and procedures including regular review and revision of existing policies and creation of new policies as needed.
  • Serve on committees and working groups as assigned.
  • Additional tasks and areas of responsibility as assigned by the President.


Skills and Abilities:

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Strong leadership skills in setting a vision for the unit, developing strategic plan and initiatives, working with colleagues across campus and empowering staff to deliver on the mission of the unit.
  • Experience in developing and managing budgets from various funding sources.
  • Knowledge of higher education issues in the public sector, including relations with state and federal governments, BOR office, alumni, and other important external and internal audiences.
  • Demonstrated experience in designing and/or specifying market research to serve as a tool in strategic communications.
  • Experience with various software platforms for web, creative design work, social media, etc.
  • Strong website development and management experience.
  • Experience developing and tracking targeted landing pages, social media outreach, and search engine optimization.
  • Experience leading a marketing team and targeted marketing campaigns.
  • Ability to multitask and exhibit practical time management skills.
  • Excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Excellent presentation skills.
  • Experience in working with local and regional media outlets.
  • Experience with digital marketing forms such as content marketing and social media marketing.
  • Experience in branding, positioning, and messaging.
  • Proven budget management abilities.


  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications, journalism, English/writing, or related field AND a minimum of 5 years of experience in a marketing/communications field. Master’s degree would distinguish the candidate.
  • Experience working within the higher education or nonprofit sector is desirable.

About the Marketing and Communications Office:

The Marketing and Communications Office serves the BHSU community through creative services, including Public Relations, Graphic Design, Photography, News, Web, and Print Publications. The office strategically markets the university by promoting the academic reputation and the unique educational experiences offered to a broad range of stakeholders including students, donors, and the community. The team shares the BHSU story in a way that supports the university’s goals and core values. Every team member is committed to providing information in a compelling manner. Below is an organizational chart that outlines the specific roles found in this Office.

About the Institution:

Black Hills State University (BHSU) is a regional, comprehensive, public institution that provides access to a higher education for aspiring students with a personalized approach. BHSU offers a generous number of baccalaureate and select master’s degrees, generates new knowledge, promotes excellence in teaching and public engagement, and serves as a regional economic leader. Graduates make significant contributions to the workforce and the betterment of their community. To learn more, visit

Vision Statement

Black Hills State University will innovate to provide cutting-edge education, promote student success, be a sustainable campus, and serve as an economic engine for western South Dakota.


“At Black Hills State, we encourage every high school senior to consider attending college, regardless of their socioeconomic status or race. I was a first-generation college student. My education completely changed my life. As a lifelong educator, I started my career right here in the Black Hills as a secondary teacher. Impacting young lives was the reason I entered this profession 40 years ago and has kept me motivated all these years. I believe it is our obligation to open doors so that same opportunity that I, and many of you, experienced is also available to the next generation of students.” - Dr. Laurie Nichols

Dr. Laurie Nichols began her career at the University of Idaho. She was the dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences at South Dakota State University from 1994 to 2008, and interim president of Northern State University from August 2008 to June 2009. She was the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at South Dakota State University from 2009 to 2016 and then was appointed president of the University of Wyoming in 2016 serving a three year term. She assumed the presidency of Black Hills State University in 2019, initially on an interim basis. Her appointment as president was confirmed by the South Dakota Board of Regents in December 2019.

To Apply:

Confidential review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled; parties who apply by August 2, 2021 will be given first consideration. Please submit a PDF version of your resume and a letter of interest explaining your suitability for this position. To apply online, go to

For more information or to offer recommendations:

Arasi Adkins, MA

Senior Consultant

Summit Search Solutions, Inc.

Direct: 336-693-7612

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