Director, Reputation & Issues Management (Onsite) | DePaul University

Posted on May 19, 2023
Type: Job

The Director for Reputation and Issues Management is an experienced communications professional who supports the Associate Vice President, Senior Advisor to the President in: (1) Crisis response and mitigation, as well as issues management research. (2) Serves in an advisory capacity to senior administrators on strategic, time-sensitive issues and events of potential impact on the institution’s reputation. (3) Short- and long-term strategic communications planning and implementation. This role requires a seasoned communications professional who has the ability to give constructive counsel to senior administrators. Serves as a university spokesperson in the event of a crisis. Directs University Communications  in the absence of the Associate Vice President, Senior Advisor to the President. 

Issues Management Research & Crisis Response/Mitigation

  • Serves as the team lead for all communications in the event of a crisis, working in close collaboration with university leadership, public safety, and all communications staff;
  • Delivers time-sensitive intelligence to institutional leadership for rapid response incidents;
  • Manages and updates the university’s crisis communications plan and proactively organizes crisis communications training exercises for communications staff and key partners;
  • Monitors and analyzes higher education initiatives, current events, public policy concerns and other relevant issues having potential impact on DePaul;
  • Constantly researches and evaluates multiple external data sources (i.e., special interest groups, industry analysts, and non-profit agencies, weblogs, and subject matter experts) for relevant opinions and strategies applicable to DePaul;
  • Monitors and evaluates DePaul’s media coverage (web, social media, broadcast, print, radio) for regional and national competitive presence as well as reputation risks.

Strategic Planning and Counsel

  • Establishes short- and long-range communication plans that include objectives, messages, target audiences that specify the strategies and actions to achieve them;
  • Develops communications strategies and helps identify the resources to execute their implementation, not only by leveraging communications staff but also by collaborating with staff in the General Counsel’s Office, EM, Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, Advancement, Public Safety, Athletics and others across the university as may be appropriate;
  • Analyzes the objectives and communication needs of colleges, centers, institutes and campus-wide initiatives to develop strategies that help support the communications efforts of these university entities that have the capacity to influence public opinion, enhance the university’s reputation and support DePaul’s strategic plan;
  • Directs thought leadership strategy and identifies thought leadership opportunities;
  • Appraises and synthesizes communication intelligence into key areas of focus to heighten relevancy, credibility and visibility with target audiences;
  • Substantiates (or realigns) DePaul’s communications direction with up-to-date information via written reports and summaries, electronic presentations and team briefings;
  • Formulates customized communication strategies for institutional leadership (deans and other senior administrators); 
  • Evaluates the success of communication initiatives using quantitative and qualitative methods to determine effectiveness, better inform decision-making and ensure that resources are allocated to deliver greatest impact.

Communications Research

  • Directs all phases of primary and secondary communication research (e.g. communications audits, audience needs assessments, perception and public opinion research, and outcomes testing);
  • Directs the design and administration of research instruments; coordinates data collection, analyzes content; prepares summary reports and presentations, and provides recommendations for future action;
  • Monitors and analyzes demographic trends, relevant secondary communication research, applicable national rankings, government data, and institutional research for relevancy to DePaul’s communication needs; forecasts potential impact on DePaul and future communication strategies;
  • Tracks DePaul and selects peer/benchmark institutions media presence, content dissemination and frequency; evaluates for competitive advantage;
  • Conducts comparative analyses and competitive intelligence on peer/benchmark institutions and the private sector relative to public relations and communications.
  • Oversees University Communications in the absence of the Associate Vice President, Senior Advisor to the President.


What You'll Need: 
  • 8-12 years of full-time public relations or communications experience (five within the higher education arena preferred)
  • Master’s degree in public relations, communications, journalism, English or related field preferred
  • Significantly accomplished with planning and implementing strategic communications plans and crisis response, as well as building strong relationships with campus colleagues;
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience regarding how best to leverage a variety of communication platforms to achieve communication goals and objectives: online communications, social media, publications, traditional media and photography/videography and graphic design in support of communications goals;
  • Demonstrated proficiency in writing and editing;
  • Experience counseling, coaching and communicating effectively;
  • Experience with conducting communications research and a plethora of public relations monitoring, social listening and analytics-based platforms;
  • Ability to self-start; proven track record of excellent strategic thinking with a high degree of comfort and flexibility managing multiple, competing priorities and with attention to complex details;
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to interface with all levels of senior management as well as with campus colleagues;
  • Ability to thrive in fast-paced, high-energy environment;
  • Working for a stable and well-known University that values diversity and inclusion.
  • Top choice medical, dental, and vision benefits.
  • Retirement plan matching contribution of 10%.
  • Tuition waivers for employees and dependents.
  • Generous paid time off, sick time, holidays, floating holidays, and more!
  • Full-Time Benefits
For consideration, please include a resume and cover letter.

Diversity and Inclusion Statement:
Guided by an ethic of Vincentian personalism and professionalism, DePaul compassionately upholds the dignity of all members of its diverse, multi-faith, and inclusive community. We seek to hire collaborative, open-minded, and dedicated professionals who are committed to advancing our university mission to making education accessible to all, with special attention to including underserved and underrepresented communities. Successful candidates thrive in an environment where ideas and perspectives representing a wide variety of cultures, backgrounds and experiences are welcome and supported.

Required Background Check:
Employment at DePaul University is contingent on passing a background check. Only final candidates who are extended an offer of employment will undergo a background check.

Mandated Reporting of Child Abuse & Neglect:

Upon accepting an offer of employment with the university, you will also be required to sign an Acknowledgement of Mandated Reporter Status at the time of hire. A mandated reporter is required to make a report to the Illinois DCFS Hotline whenever there is reasonable cause to believe that a child known to them in their professional or official capacity may be abused or neglected. For more information, please visit the following pages:
Illinois Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) 
Illinois Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act 

DePaul University is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, protected veteran status, genetic information or any other legally protected status, in accordance with applicable federal, state and local EEO laws.


14 E Jackson
Chicago, IL 60604

How to apply

Director, Reputation & Issues Management (Onsite) - DePaul Talent Acquisition Careers (

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