Required qualifications
Bachelor’s degree in field related to Communications, Marketing, Agriculture, Environmental Studies, or a combination of related education and experience to total 4 years.

Preferred qualifications
A general interest in plants and basic scientific understanding
Experience with web content management systems (e.g., Drupal, Wordpress, etc.)
Demonstrated experience writing and developing content strategy for a general public audience (journalistic articles, web content, social media content, etc.)
Experience designing print and/or digital materials, including:
Graphic design software or vector graphics editing (e.g., Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.)
Design according to industry accessibility standards
Experience in a higher education setting
Video production and editing experience
Demonstrated project management skills (ability to develop project timelines, attention to detail, manage joint projects, build collaborations across diverse stakeholders)
Experience coordinating event logistics
Demonstrated commitment to inclusiveness, including the ability to communicate effectively with audiences from a variety of cultural and socio-economic backgrounds

About the Job

The Communications Associate supports educational, outreach, and research programs in the Department of Horticultural Science through strategic communication projects. This position will assist in articulating the department’s brand image using current communications methods, including maintaining an up-to-date web presence, and writing news and feature stories for the department’s various communications channels. The overall goals are to increase the department’s visibility within the university and externally to state, national, and international audiences; to increase students’ awareness and interest in enrolling in horticulture coursework; and to increase stakeholder engagement and private support. Methods applied to achieve these objectives include, but are not limited to, the creation and coordination of an enhanced online presence; print and electronic communications pieces; and the development and implementation of promotional campaigns, programs, and events.

Print Communications (35%)
Design, write, and edit departmental print newsletters for release to stakeholders, including current students and alumni
Format news articles or feature stories for release to various communications media, such as websites, newspapers, and public announcements
Design and write departmental brochures, pamphlets, and other related publications
Work with faculty, staff, and graduate students to write promotional copy and design flyers for departmental events and course advertisements
Create other print marketing materials such as brochures and pamphlets as needed

Digital Communications (30%)
Design and write regular department e-newsletters
Maintain, update, and develop social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. to advance and develop the department’s image and connect with stakeholders, including current students and alumni
Update, maintain, and improve departmental websites
Update HORT course descriptions on Google Sites

Advancement (25%)
Plan and execute departmental advancement plan, with a focus on web-, social media-, print-, and partnership-based tactics
Work with the CFANS office to increase the reach of news stories and events
Engage in departmental events to learn about mission, vision, focus, faculty research, student activities to understand culture and trends for more targeted communication
Coordinate events intended to connect with friends and alumni of the department
Develop materials and communications to promote the image of the department with prospective donors and supporters of our programs
Steward donors through thank you letters, arranging faculty meetings, and ensuring timely follow up with questions and concerns
Maintain donor and friends mailing lists

Administrative Support (10%)
Assists department head with reports and scheduling
Assists and coordinates with other office staff members as needed
Assists in creating an inclusive community through organizing departmental team-building activities
Supports departmental committees as assigned

How To Apply

Applications must be submitted online. To be considered for this position, please click the Apply button and follow the instructions. You will be given the opportunity to complete an online application for the position and attach a cover letter and resume.
To be considered for this position, candidates must submit
1) Resume/CV (.pdf)
2) A cover letter outlining why you are interested in working in the Department of Horticultural Science - and including work samples (see #3) (.pdf)
3) Work Samples (.pdf - please includes as an addendum in your cover letter file). Please include at least 1 writing sample of a piece geared toward a public audience. Other work samples should showcase your professional portfolio (ex., links to websites you've worked on, design projects, videos, communications plans, professional correspondences, etc).
4) A list of 3 professional references (.pdf)
To request an accommodation during the application process, please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (612) 624-UOHR (8647).


The University recognizes and values the importance of diversity and inclusion in enriching the employment experience of its employees and in supporting the academic mission. The University is committed to attracting and retaining employees with varying identities and backgrounds.
The University of Minnesota provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. To learn more about diversity at the U:

Background Check Information

Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check. Our presumption is that prospective employees are eligible to work here. Criminal convictions do not automatically disqualify finalists from employment.

About the U of M

The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (UMTC)
The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (UMTC), is among the largest public research universities in the country, offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional students a multitude of opportunities for study and research. Located at the heart of one of the nation's most vibrant, diverse metropolitan communities, students on the campuses in Minneapolis and St. Paul benefit from extensive partnerships with world-renowned health centers, international corporations, government agencies, and arts, nonprofit, and public service organizations.