Communications and Events Coordinator - 12963BR

Communications and Events Coordinator

Biodiversity Institute
University of Kansas - Lawrence
Employee Class: 
U-Unclassified Professional Staff

Position Overview

The University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute (BI), on the Lawrence campus, is one of the premier research and education institutes in the U.S. in biodiversity science, biodiversity informatics, paleobiology, biogeography, and evolutionary biology. The BI, one of the University’s designated research centers, reports to the KU Office of Research and comprises three units:

  • Natural History Museum (NHM), in Dyche Hall, provides public programming in informal science education, science outreach and engagement, and in its 50,000 sq. ft. of exhibits.
  • Research and Collections in Dyche, Lippincott, Lindley, Haworth, Spooner and Bridwell halls and the Public Safety Building, includes 14 scientific research divisions and departments, ~10.5 million specimens and cultural objects in research collections with associated biotic and archaeological data that document the life and past cultures of the planet, and research laboratories, offices and equipment.
  • Paleontological Institute, in Lindley Hall, is the global hub for production of the Treatise of Invertebrate Paleontology, an encyclopedic compendium on fossil invertebrate animals.

The BI and its three units are housed in seven buildings on Main and West Campus. The BI is home to 55 staff members and 60+ graduate and undergraduate students who work in its research and public programming divisions and departments.

Staff members and students are engaged in scientific research, education and service in archaeology and in the faunistics, floristics, biogeography, history, paleobiology, ecology, phylogenetics, systematics, genomics, behavior, and morphology of the world’s plants and animals. Taxonomic foci include mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish, insects, corals, sea anemones, parasites, and plants, as well as fossil vertebrates, invertebrates and plants. Archaeological foci include Great Plains cultures, European and Middle Eastern rock art, and horse cultures of the Eurasian steppe peoples.

The BI acquires, manages, and stewards collections of recent and extinct plants and animals, and of past cultural objects, along with their associated data. The BI serves the worldwide biodiversity science and archaeology communities through free and open access to collection-based data, and through extensive loans of specimens and tissues of animal and plants, and of cultural objects. In addition to graduate and undergraduate educational opportunities, the BI provides a wide variety of public programs to approximately 50,000 visitors including 10,000 K-12 students, youth and families annually onsite and through science outreach to local and regional communities. The BI has an annual state operating budget approaching $3 million, which is approximately doubled or tripled through extramural grants and contracts.

The Communications and Events Coordinator promotes and publicizes Biodiversity Institute research and public programs using print media, social media, news media, radio advertisements, the BI website and other outlets. Additionally, the position works in collaboration and coordination with BI staff responsible for development, science engagement and visitor services to plan and implement promotional events for the Biodiversity Institute and Natural History Museum.

Job Description

60% - Communications and Marketing
  • Develop a strategic communications plan that supports BI goals for fundraising, marketing, and visibility.
  • Produce and distribute a print newsletter three times per year.
  • Produce and distribute electronic newsletters every two weeks.
  • Coordinate with researchers to publicize BI research
  • Develop advertising content to publicize museum public programs on radio, in print ads, and through various social media.
  • Guide and develop print materials and graphics to promote events, including web banners, posters, fliers, postcards, and other appropriate materials.
  • Update and distribute institute and museum brochures as needed.
  • Maintain and update the BI website; monitor the museum’s web presence in forums that include public reviews.
  • Maintain and manage the BI and museum’s social media presence on relevant platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Serve as the BI and museum contact for news media in disseminating information and responding to inquiries.
25% - Publicity Events: Develop and directly implement events that promote the Biodiversity Institute and Natural History Museum, in coordination with the research and public programming strategic plans.

10% - Management: Supervise student assistants and, possibly, one full-time staff member.

5% - Other duties as assigned, such as copyediting.

Required Qualifications

  1. Bachelor’s degree in journalism, public relations, marketing, communications, or relevant field.
  2. At least one year related professional experience.
  3. Excellent writing skills and command of AP style, as evidenced by application materials.
  4. Excellent oral communication skills as evidenced by work history or application materials.
  5. Experience with event planning and implementation.
  6. Experience with Adobe software such as Illustrator, Photoshop, or InDesign.
  7. Excellent organizational skills as evidenced by application materials.
  8. Experience working with diverse groups as evidenced by application materials and work history.
  • Ability to work some evenings and weekends.
  • Ability to lift up to 30 lbs with or without accommodation.

Preferred Qualifications

  1. Master’s degree in journalism, public relations, marketing, communications, or relevant field.
  2. Five or more years related professional experience.
  3. One or more year experience supervising staff or students.
  4. Professional experience at a large, public research institution or museum/cultural institution.
  5. Experience working with Drupal or another Content Management System (CMS).
  6. Social media experience in community engagement.
  7. Experience developing a strategic communications plan.

Additional Candidate Instructions

In addition to the KU application form, applications should include the following documents submitted online:
  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Contact information for three professional references
  • Writing sample, such as a news release or professional brochure or newsletter (submitted in the attachments section of the online application)
Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications must be submitted through the KU website.

Application deadline is November 8, 2018.

Contact Information to Applicants

Advertised Salary Range

Starts at $41,299

Application Review Begins


Anticipated Start Date


Search Jobs
Posting Information
Posting ID:
Biodiversity Institute
University of Kansas - Lawrence
Employee Class:
U-Unclassified Professional Staff
Application Review Begins:
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times
KU Today