University Editor at Washington and Lee University

May 5, 2023
Lexington, VA

Job Description:

The University Editor works as part of a collaborative team in the Office of Communications and Public Affairs (C&PA), whose charge is to develop strategic communications and tell engaging, authentic stories that sustain and enhance Washington and Lee University’s reputation, strengthen its community, and advance its mission. Reporting to the Senior Director of Constituent Communications, the University Editor serves as editor-in-chief of the university’s signature publications, develops content geared toward an alumni audience, copyedits all official university publications, and serves as a writing coach and mentor. As editor of the flagship publication for alumni, parents, and friends of the university, they work with staff in University Advancement and across the university to plan and execute communications in support of W&L’s strategic priorities.

Washington and Lee University actively promotes a dynamic and inclusive environment that allows students and employees of multiple backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives to learn, work, and thrive together. Successful candidates will contribute to that environment and exhibit potential for excellence in their areas of expertise.

Essential Functions:

  • Serves as editor-in-chief, developing signature university publications such as W&L: The Magazine, Discovery: The Newsletter from Washington and Lee University Law School, and a variety of annual reports, from conceptualization to production.
  • Leads the development of, and ongoing content strategy for, a digital alumni magazine presence.
  • Oversees the creation and distribution of designated alumni-facing electronic newsletters with an Advancement focus including monthly e-newsletters for alumni and parents.
  • Supervises the Assistant University Editor, provides mentorship and coaching, and completes the annual performance development process. Also mentors other writers in C&PA.
  • Works collaboratively with the Director of Advancement Communications and the design and website teams to ensure brand and messaging consistency across all platforms of advancement communications.
  • Manages publications budget.
  • Writes alumni-related news articles, feature stories and profiles for the W&L magazine, website, capital campaign newsletters, and other university publications.
  • Serves as a member of the C&PA content strategy group, participating in the development of story ideas and the strategic integration of key messages in Advancement communications.
  • Consults with the Senior Director of Content Strategy to assign stories to staff and freelance writers.
  • Oversees proofreading operations for C&PA, copyedits stories written by staff and freelance writers, edits and proofreads material designed and produced by the department.
  • Maintains editorial style guide and conduct training for university community; serves as an editorial resource for other departments.
  • Coordinates creation and distribution of obituaries for faculty, staff, retirees, and alumni of note.
  • Additional related duties as assigned.

Work Schedule: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., M-F. The Office of Communications and Public Affairs offers a hybrid work schedule option with a combination of in-person and remote work.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree and substantial experience in writing, editing and periodical development, preferably in higher education.
  • Experience writing for, editing, and producing periodicals, as well as knowledge of current and emerging practices in advancement communications and in the writing and design of publications.
  • Superior writing, editing, verbal, interpersonal, and management skills and a superb attention to detail. Excellent storytelling abilities and the capacity to frame W&L's current and evolving story in a clear and compelling way to W&L alumni.
  • Aptitude for strategic thinking and the use of metrics in developing content strategy, assessing effectiveness, and achieving goals.
  • The ability to collaborate with, and coordinate the work of, writers, editors, designers, photographers, and printers.

Application Instructions: Review of applications begins immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Please include a cover letter, resume and three writing samples (either uploaded with application materials or shared through a link). Attach documents in the Resume/CV document upload section of the application. You will be asked to provide names and contact information for three professional references.

External Applicants: Application instructions for external applicants are located on the or here.

Current W&L Employees: Apply from your existing Workday account. Instructions are located at or here.

Physical Requirements:

  • Fingering: Picking, pinching, typing or otherwise working, primarily with fingers rather than with whole hand or arm as in handling.
  • Grasping: Applying pressure to an object with the fingers and palm.
  • Repetitive motions: Making substantial movements (motions) of the wrists, hands, and/or fingers.

Working Conditions: The worker is not substantially exposed to adverse environmental conditions.

Types of Work: Sedentary work: Exerting up to 10 pounds of force occasionally and/or a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects, including the human body. Sedentary work involves sitting most of the time. Jobs are sedentary if walking and standing are required only occasionally and all other sedentary criteria are met.

Position Type:
Exempt, Full Time, Benefit Eligible

Minimum Pay:
$74,316.20 - Pay Commensurate with Experience

The university requires employees to become fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and new employees must provide proof of at least their first shot prior to the first day of employment. Boosters are required. Individuals may seek a medical or a religious exemption to the vaccination requirement.

For more information, click here.