Senior Designer / Development Manager Advancement Communications
University of Rochester - Rochester, NY

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The University of Rochester is one of the country's top-tier research universities. Our 158 buildings house more than 200 academic majors, more than 2,000 faculty and instructional staff, and some 9,300 students - approximately half of whom are women.

Learning at the University of Rochester is also on a very personal scale. Rochester remains one of the smallest and most collegiate among top research universities, with smaller classes, a low 9:1 student to teacher ratio, and increased interactions with faculty.

Location: Central Admin-SrVP Advancement

Full/Part Time: Full-Time

Regular/Temporary: Regular


Full Time 40 hours Grade 055 Ofc Sr Vice Pres Advancement



Position Overview

Reporting to the Director of Creative Services, and working in close collaboration and partnership with the Director of Editorial Services, Advancement senior leaders, department heads, program managers, and other members of the Advancement Communications team, the Senior Designer helps to conceive, develop, and manage the production of marketing and communications materials produced by the Office of Advancement Communications, Advancement departments, and external vendors. The Senior Designer ensures that projects are delivered on time, within budget, adhere to the highest possible standards, and meet customer expectations while conveying a consistent strong brand message for Advancement, the University, and its schools and units.

The Senior Designer works in a collaborative team environment with other designers, writers, content providers, and clients to create publications, newsletters, video and multimedia, campaign communications, event materials and signage, ads, Web sites, commemorative pieces, presentations, highly customized proposals and correspondence, and other communications materials. With limited supervision and with a considerable latitude for creativity, the Senior Designer meets with clients, conceptualizes design, schedules projects, assigns resources, art directs, designs, communicates and negotiates with vendors, manages project budgets, tracks progress, keeps clients updated, and ensures delivery to meet or exceed client expectations.

The Senior Designer helps recruit, hire, train, and manage junior design staff and freelance designers, writers, editors, Web developers, photographers, illustrators, printing vendors, and other suppliers of creative and editorial services.

Multi-tasking and organizational skills are critical, as is the ability to develop detailed project schedules, project estimates, resource plans, status reports and track key project milestones and adjust project plans and/or resources to meet the needs of customers. The Senior Designer performs these duties in a professional and positive manner, and demonstrates integrity, good judgment, and the ability to work well with a variety of people and styles. The Senior Designer will interact at a high level with the Senior Vice President’s office and must embrace the opportunity to work as a collaborative partner with a wide variety of colleagues involved in advancing the University.

Principal Accountabilities

Under limited direction of the Director of Creative Services and with considerable latitude for exercising creativity:

Graphic Design/Art Direction
  • Designs, and oversees the design of publications, illustrations, brochures, invitations, programs, presentations, graphs, charts, Web sites, and other projects
  • Works with clients, the Advancement Communications team, and vendors to produce design materials in support of major Advancement strategies working with graphic design software programs including, but not limited to, Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and Acrobat
  • Consults and conceptualizes with clients about ideas and design elements to be presented in visual form
  • Consults with supervisor and client about interpretation of client’s needs, taking into account aesthetics, budget and specifications for production
  • Designs and/or directs the design of layouts for publications and other projects, combining visual elements and techniques, such as illustration, typography, color, format, photography, and other art forms
  • Staffs and art directs photo shoots for advertisements, brochures, case statements, web sites, events, etc.
  • Requisitions equipment, software, and other supplies necessary to the production of work
  • Builds relationships with communicators (writers, designers, photographers, etc.) working in other parts of the University
  • Negotiates with printers, photographers, and other vendors and assists in furnishing clients with cost estimates
  • Oversees execution and delivery of final project to client satisfaction
  • Independently consults with clients within Advancement and the University and manages/executes design projects of limited scope. With limited supervision, assists in same for programs of larger scale, such as George Eastman Circle, Wilson Society, Meliora Moments, major stewardship initiatives, and campaign publications including case statements, newsletters and special initiative publications.
  • Relatively independently, develops design concepts to meet strategic and fiscal objectives on creative services projects through consultations with clients to interpret their needs. Such objectives include building productive, lasting internal relationships with all levels of Advancement to include Senior Leadership and faculty to develop depth of understanding of priority programs and projects, analysis of all programmatic materials, tracking of related materials, web searches to gain an understanding of comparative national programs and the like.
  • With limited supervision, considers University and Advancement branding and logo guidelines and graphic and style standards on all design projects (including stationery, invitation and alumni degree style) and acts as a resource and advisor to clients on these guidelines and standards.
  • Helps manage the quality of all visual creative and editorial output of Advancement Communications, for print and Web, including supervision of junior staff members, freelance writers and designers and other external vendors
General Communications and Project Management
  • Through meetings and discussions, assists with the development and production of design documents, online photo galleries, and PowerPoint presentations
  • Through in-depth meetings and consultations with all of Advancement at all levels, to include Senior Leadership, aids all of Advancement Communications with job responsibilities to ensure all projects meet their deadlines
  • Through in-depth meetings and conversations, develops project specific deadlines to meet budget guidelines, assists to prioritize and plan short-term and long-term workload, and suggests course of action for all projects
  • Maximizes productivity of the Office of Advancement Communications through effective project management and consistent client communications
  • Develops relationships with faculty, staff, alumni, students, and volunteers to help identify and generate design ideas and concepts; manage a complex approval process
  • Understands organizational policies and procedures, and assist in advising administration on Advancement graphic and style standards including stationery, invitation and alumni degree style, and logo usage, and ensure appropriate decision-making protocols are followed
  • Assists with research for various communications projects and helps build a database of peer research, best practices, and University facts and information for use in Meliora Challenge campaign materials
  • As a senior member of the team, assist with the development of the Campaign Case Statements and subsequent Campaign documents and materials through meetings and consultation
  • Develops and manages detailed project schedules, project estimates, resource plans, status reports and tracks key project milestones/adjust project plans and/or resources to ensure that projects are delivered on time, within budget, adhere to the highest possible standards and meet or exceed customer expectations
  • Makes every effort to integrate communication activities into the daily operations of the division of Advancement
Additional Responsibilities
  • Participates in the activities of appropriate professional organizations, establishing relationships with staff in comparable institutions to participate in information exchange, professional development activities, special projects, etc.
  • Fosters supportive and productive relationships with colleagues both within Advancement and the University as a whole
  • Represents Advancement Communications, Advancement and the University of Rochester at special functions and on appropriate committees
  • Supports the Director of Creative Services, Senior Assistant Vice President for Capital Projects and Advancement Communications and Senior Associate Vice President for University Advancement and Director of University Campaigns, Director of Editorial Services, and other members of the Advancement Communications with special projects as needed
  • Recruits, hires, trains, and manages the graphic design intern/freelancer and other graphic design staff as the program develops
  • Serves as role model and mentor to junior design staff
  • Other duties as assigned
  • The incumbent must have a bachelor's degree preferably in graphic design or a related field. The ideal candidate should have four to five years (prefer five to ten years or more) of direct graphic design, art direction, and project management experience in an advertising, design, marketing or communications work environment preferably in higher education and specifically in advancement; prior staff supervision preferred.
Skills and Abilities

The Senior Designer will bring these core qualities to his/her role:
  • Mastery and highest degree of technical skill with a variety of software programs including Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop. Proficiency in Dreamweaver, Acrobat, and Microsoft Office. Advanced PowerPoint skills and database experience are a plus
  • Previous experience as a senior designer or art director
  • Ability to design and write for print or Web
  • Experience with all types of print production including pre-press, digital printing, offset printing, wide format and other specialty printing techniques
  • A passion and knowledge of design, fonts, paper, color, Macs, and all things creative
  • Experience working in a higher education setting, particularly from a research university
  • Outstanding writing and verbal communications skills
  • Experience developing and maintaining Web pages, Web forms, and content and materials that are easily integrated with the Web, minimizing maintenance requirements
  • Ability to motivate team members through dynamic leadership and by personal example
  • Ability to organize activities effectively, prioritize assignments, and participate in high level communication strategy discussions
  • Strong references from volunteers and relevant workplace sources
  • Excellent reporting, interviewing, interpersonal and communication skills are essential, as are diplomacy and a team orientation
  • Demonstrated qualities of creativity, imagination, and initiative
  • Demonstrated ability to set priorities in successfully accomplishing complex projects
  • Demonstrated ability to successfully work independently as well as collaboratively with others on a team
  • Demonstrated commitment to outstanding customer service
  • Outstanding writing and verbal communications skills
  • A high level of energy and enthusiasm for communications and the mission of Advancement
  • Solid relationship-building skills and an ability to interface with internal clients at all levels, including Advancement staff, University faculty and administrators, and external vendors and suppliers
  • Experience selecting, negotiating with, and managing outside vendors, including writers, editors, designers, photographers, Web developers, and printers
  • Experience managing print production and Web site development
  • Highly organized with the ability to organize schedules and meet deadlines
  • Exceptional project management skills
  • A desire to expand management skills and experience
  • Problem-solving, research, and analytical skills
  • Exceptional service to all, and commitment to excellence in everything he/she does
  • The ability to see and understand the objectives of the Advancement program and all other divisions of the University Advancement Office, and to integrate his or her goals with those objectives
  • Knowledge of campaign procedures including goal-setting, conceptualizing plans and strategies, volunteer recruitment and training, prospect assignment, developing materials, writing cases, evaluating processes, and delivering results
  • The ability to work closely with a highly motivated and active Advancement Communications and Capital and Special Projects Team
  • The ability to initiate, analyze, monitor, evaluate, and advance strategic Advancement plans
  • Ability to represent the University at industry conferences
  • He or she must be a student of the development profession, always willing to improve his/her skills and learn from industry best practices
  • The ability to initiate, analyze, monitor, evaluate, and advance strategic Advancement plans
  • Must be willing to travel occasionally to support regional events and activities

How To Apply

All applicants must apply online.

The University of Rochester is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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