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Creative Director


Salaried Staff

Job Location

1701 E. Front Street, Traverse City, MI

Tracking Code


Position Type


Northwestern Michigan College


General Information

Job Title: Creative Director

Department: Public Relations, Marketing, and Communications

Posted Date: September 27, 2021

FLSA Status: Exempt

Supervisor: Associate Vice President of Public Relations, Marketing, and Communications

Salary: $68,215 (Grade 16, Level 1)

Benefits: Excellent benefits package, including 4 weeks paid vacation, medical, dental, paid sick leave, tuition benefits, and relocation bonus. For more details about benefits, go to and click on Salaries and Benefits, or request a copy from the Office of Human Resources. 


Position Summary

The Creative Director’s primary responsibility is establishing, integrating and managing the NMC brand, enhancing the reputation, promotion and visibility of the college to advance institutional goals.



  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing, advertising, commercial design or related field 
  • Minimum of five years of marketing, brand development/management experience 
  • A portfolio of creative work across multiple media (print, web, digital, and traditional)


  • Marketing experience in higher education (Preferred)


Essential Responsibilities

Critical- Develop and implement the colleges visual identity, portfolio, brand identity, sub brands, and visual identity guide.


Critical- Oversee periodical brand refresh, validating brand positioning, target consumers, and competitive set as a result of thorough performance analysis and market trends. 


Critical- Lead as the authority and steward of the college’s visual brand identity and brand guidelines, ensuring they are consistently applied and integrated into projects, and campaigns across the institution and responsive to college needs.  


Critical- Direct creative workflow process from client consultation, development of concepts, and production according to creative briefs and marketing strategies.


Critical- Work closely as a strategic and creative partner with the Associate Vice President of Public Relations, Marketing and Communications and the Marketing Manager to set the overall tone, strategy and agenda for brand direction and marketing and communication initiatives.  


Very Important- Develop and maintain strong working relationships across the campus to develop strategies, solutions and executions to meet their marketing objectives. 


Very Important- Oversee production of photoshoots and videos; also supervise the website redesigns and website maintenance/continuous growth and content developed.


Very Important- Track and use data to evaluate the success of brand initiatives and leverage these insights to inform future strategy. 


Very Important- Establish metrics and measure brand campaigns effectiveness. 


Very Important- Develop and manage a system of internal approvals and feedback for materials created both internally and externally to ensure design work is vetted at the appropriate levels. 


Very Important- Ensure all design and creative projects are completed on time, within scope, and on budget. Examples include institutional identity and brand development, website and related collateral,  logos, signage, ads, publications, branded collateral, event promotions, images, and motion graphics. 


Very Important- Maintain a multiyear calendar and production schedule for recurring projects. 


Important- Create and maintain a robust library of frequently-needed design templates and brand-approved photography. 


Important- Manage outside vendors and ensure work is consistent with brand and college strategy.  


Important- Research and share best practices and emerging technologies in design.


Other duties as assigned. 

Foundational Competencies


Ethical Behavior and Integrity
Displays honesty, trustworthiness, and ethical behavior. Earns respect. Behaves in a straightforward manner with others with no hidden agendas. Builds trust and credibility through reliability and authenticity. Leads by example; words and actions are consistently aligned.

Commitment to Lifelong Learning

Actively pursues learning and development. Stays current in content area, acquiring and refining technical and professional skills.

Commitment to Quality Service, Responsible Stewardship, Continuous Improvement
Displays a commitment to excellence and to providing quality service to learners, coworkers, or others they serve. Consistently seeks feedback and looks for ways to improve service, promote quality, and make effective use of college resources.

Creating/Contributing to a Culture of Innovation and Thoughtful Risk-taking

Creates/contributes to an environment of safety and trust. Seeks to solve problems rather than affix blame. Willing to experiment and learn.

Agility/ Adaptability/Tolerance for Ambiguity

Easily adjusts to organizational and environmental changes; adapts responses and tactics to shifting or evolving situations; deals effectively with ambiguity and uncertainty.


Valuing All People

Genuinely interested in others. Shows concern and empathy for others. Shows patience, understanding, and acceptance of people with varied backgrounds and perspectives. Treats learners, coworkers,

and direct reports respectfully and fairly.

Actively and enthusiastically works with others to achieve a shared common goal. Gives credit and recognition to those who have contributed. Shares information and own expertise with others to enable them to accomplish group goals. Creates a sense of belonging in the team and a culture of inclusion. Collaborates across boundaries. Looks at problem solving at the institutional level (not just in own area or department). Open to sharing resources, working with other departments and organizations.

Accountability/Personal Responsibility

Meets commitments and keeps promises; gets things done. Acknowledges and learns from mistakes. Holds self and others accountable. Takes responsibility for achieving goals.



General Competencies  


Building Effective Relationships — Advanced

Importance: Critical

Relates well with all kinds of people in a variety of situations. Develops and maintains effective communication and relationships. Demonstrates understanding, friendliness, courtesy, tact, and empathy to others. Is approachable; makes time for others. Is sensitive to cultural diversity, race, gender, disabilities, and other individual differences. Develops and proactively uses networks, both inside and outside the college; presents controversial findings tactfully in even the most sensitive situations; mediates disputes; approaches even the most difficult situations with empathy and interest.


Communications / Active Listening — Advanced

Importance: Critical

Has good sense of who needs to know what and keeps others informed. Communicates in a clear, concise, organized, and compelling manner. Gives others their full attention; listens without interrupting. Seeks to understand others' points of view. Interprets both the words spoken, and the non­verbal cues used by others. Listens openly and nondefensively; asks probing, insightful questions to gain critical information; composes effective communications regarding highly sensitive matters.

Global Awareness / Internationally Skilled — Proficient

Importance: Very Important

Understands the complexities and interdependency of world events and issues. Understands one's own culture and history in relationship to others. Is open to new opportunities, ideas and ways of thinking. Is self-aware about identity and culture; demonstrates sensitivity and respect for differences. Understands the complexities and interdependency of world events and issues; understands one's own culture and history in relationship to others; is open to new opportunities, ideas and ways of thinking; is comfortable with ambiguity and unfamiliar situations.


Strategic Understanding / Leadership — Proficient+

Importance: Critical

Explains how their role supports NMC's mission and vision. Recognizes opportunities to help the organization accomplish its goals. Considers a broad range of internal and external factors in establishing goals and priorities. Consistently ensures a fit between individual or group actions and the organizational mission/strategy. Identifies the trends in the world and within higher education that will impact the organization; thinks broadly, placing current task or issue in the context of long-term implications; considers the impact of decisions on areas outside their own.


Functional Competencies       


Business Knowledge / Business Sense / Understands How Business Works (Generic) — Proficient+

Importance: Critical

Understands NMC's financial model—the elements that affect NMC's financial viability/sustainability. Knows how businesses work. Knowledgeable about how policies, practices, trends, technology, and

information affect an organization. Knows the competition. Is aware of how strategies and tactics work in the marketplace. Evaluates and reacts to current market conditions; sees how trends in one area impact other areas; sources and implements industry best practices; looks for ways to build external awareness within the organization.

Communicating a Shared Vision (Generic) — Proficient+

Importance: Critical

Encourages the development of a common vision. Demonstrates openness to new ideas. Is decisive; influences, inspires, motivates, and challenges others to accomplish goals aligned to those of the organization's vision. Ensures others are committed to shared organizational values and goal accomplishment; shows others how their long-term interests can be realized by enlisting in a common vision.


Creativity- Advanced

Importance: Critical

Fosters an environment of creativity; connects information in imaginative ways; draws upon analogies from other areas to produce unique views; develops innovative solutions for even the most complex challenges.


Customer Service Focus (Generic) — Advanced

Importance: Critical

Is positive and professional in appearance and demeanor. Personifies role model as a service provider. Responds to customer needs with respect and courtesy. Respects diverse groups. Takes ownership of customer concerns or problems. Offers sincere apologies and makes genuine attempts to fix problems. Quickly resolves customer service problems to the extent of employee's authority. Is a creative solution finder. Confidentiality is kept. Patiently and effectively deals with angry customers. Looks at things from the perspective of the learner/customer. Confronts negative attitudes of coworkers; identifies, recommends, and initiates solutions to problems and processes; expertise is sufficient to handle even the most complex service issues.

Decision Making (Generic) — Advanced

Importance: Critical

Makes sound, well-informed, and objective decisions. Perceives the impact and implications of decisions. Commits to action, even in uncertain situations, to accomplish organizational goals. Makes decisions that are complicated by the number and nature of existing controls, regulatory guidance, overlapping requirements, or organizational considerations that have an impact on the ability to apply established methods; implements operational decisions when consequences include adverse impact.


Developing Others (Generic) — Advanced

Importance: Critical

Enables, empowers people to perform at their highest levels. Builds on people's strengths. Recognizes different kinds of contributions. Makes people feel valued. Has a genuine affection for people they lead; has empathy, compassion. Trusts people who work for them. Motivates, inspires others. Believes people are capable of learning and change. Coaches, trains, mentors, and guides rather than dictates. Develops leaders, not followers. Shares their knowledge. Creates opportunities for others to lead, take on new responsibilities. Ensures each employee has a compelling professional development plan aligned with organizational goals. Grows team members to meet the future needs of the organization; inspires team members to exceed targets; plans for and puts in place development plans to ensure a strong professional workforce; creates and supports an environment of feedback and learning.

Financial Management (Leadership / Management) — Proficient+

Importance: Critical

Plans, justifies, and prepares the budget for programs or projects; accounts for and monitors funds and expenditures to ensure cost-effective programs and projects; assesses the financial condition of the organization.


Knowledge of Color and Design Graphics, and Layout

Importance: Advanced

Develops visuals for large, complex campaigns or messages; edits work or others; recognized for high impact design.


Managing Human Resources (Leadership / Management) — Not Specified

Importance: Not Specified

Plans, distributes, coordinates, and monitors work assignments of others; evaluates work performance and provides feedback to others on their performance; ensures that staff are appropriately selected, utilized, and developed, and that they are treated in a fair and equitable manner.


Measuring Results (Generic) — Proficient+

Importance: Very Important

Can identify useful outcome and process measures. Disciplined in listening to learners, stakeholders; monitoring measures. Can conceptualize, apply, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information gathered from observation, experience, reflection. Can use measurements to make sound decisions, judgments, and/or predictions. Able to determine what measures will be most useful in assessing “success” for their unit or team; designs feedback loops and tracking processes into work; uses findings for continuous improvement efforts.


Presentation Skills (Generic) — Proficient

Importance: Very Important      

Makes clear and effective formal presentations. Uses audiovisual aids, technology tools, and other supporting material effectively. Adapts communication for different audiences. Handles questions and answer sessions well. Presents facts and ideas clearly and concisely in a well-organized sequence; speaks formally with confidence and ease when presenting new topics; uses visual aids effectively to emphasize points; fields spontaneous questions effectively.


Responsiveness (Administration) — Advanced

Importance: Critical     

Willing to act quickly and efficiently on requests for information or support; prioritizes effectively to respond to critical request. Encourages others to build relationships based on rapid and efficient action upon requests; collaborates across organizational boundaries to obtain necessary information.

Technology Skills (Generic) — Proficient

Importance: Very Important

Knows when and how to use tools appropriate for the job such as computers and appropriate software, email, etc. Uses technology without assuming that technology solves problems. Is considered knowledgeable regarding work-related technology; called upon to troubleshoot relatively simple problems.


Website and Publication Design- Proficient +

Importance: Very Important

Independently produces designs for web publication, including graphics and text; develops usability features consistent with audience’s web browsing habits and preferences; knowledgeable about coding and information architecture.



Manages a department, or is an advanced-level professional individual contributor.



Conduct employee progress reviews & performance evaluations

Establish work schedules

Instruct and train others

Interview candidates

Recommend terminations

Build consensus by drawing together the ideas of others

Take calculated and responsible risks

Provide guidance and stability

Share special or technical information with others

Guide or facilitate projects

Discipline employees

Recommend salary actions

Manage expenses

Bring commitment and drive into the workplace.

Lead by example

Serve as a spokesperson or advocate

Assign work activities

Approve salary actions

Plan work

Recommend promotions

Serve as a role model

Serve as a role model

Manage profitability

Empower others to take responsibility and to be accountable

Develop and execute strategic plans





Tools and Equipment


MS Word

MS Excel

MS Power Point



Desktop Computer


Media-based digital technologies

Copy Machine

Fax Machine



Overhead Projector


Work Environment

Lifting Activities

Most frequently lifted object: under 10 lbs. lifted to waist level; carried 1-9 feet (Several times per day)

Heaviest object lifted: 20-29 lbs. lifted waist level; carried 1-9 feet (Occasionally)

Non-lifting Repetitive Activities

Arm Movement (Several times per day)

Gripping (Several times per day)

Sitting (Several times per day)

Standing (Continuously)

Talking (Continuously)

Typing (Several times per day)

Walking (Several times per day)

Writing (Several times per day)

Other Physical Demands

Extended work hours

Mental Demands

Complicated Planning

Exercising Independent Judgment

Minimal Guidance or Direction

Performing Multiple Functions/Activities

Persuading Others


Other Challenges

Protecting the physical safety of others

Safeguarding organization assets and property

Sales revenue goals


Contacts with Others


Internal Contacts

Employees in your own work unit or department — Purpose: Direct activities (Daily)

Employees in your Function — Purpose: Direct activities (Daily)

Managers in your function — Purpose: Direct activities (Daily)

Senior executives in your function — Purpose: Interact with or advise (Several times per week)

Employees in departments outside your function — Purpose: Interact with or advise (Several times per week)

Managers in departments outside your function — Purpose: Interact with or advise (Several times per week)

Senior executives outside your function — Purpose: Share information (Quarterly)


External Contacts

Vendors, Suppliers, Subcontractors — Purpose: Direct activities (Several times per week)

Federal/State Regulatory and Compliance Authorities — Purpose: Share information (Quarterly)
Customers — Purpose: Negotiate (Daily)

WORK ENVIRONMENT The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Non-Discrimination Policy Notice

Northwestern Michigan College is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, religion, disability, genetic information, height, weight, marital status or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities and admissions. Read more at

Michigan Law requires that a person with a disability or handicap requiring accommodation for employment must notify the employer in writing within 182 days after the need is known.


This is a full-time 40+ hours per week position. Some evenings, nights, and weekends may be required. 



Please submit your portfolio with your application. All applications must be submitted online at
Applications submitted by 8 am on Monday, October 18, 2021, will receive first consideration.  This position will remain open until filled. 
For assistance call 231-995-2612 or 1-800-748-0566 x52612 or email

Special Instructions to Applicants

Please attach resume and cover letter; scan and attach transcripts, if possible. Original transcripts will be required of all finalists. Please mail to: Northwestern Michigan College Attention: Human Resources 1701 E Front Street Traverse City, MI 49686, Please submit a cover letter and your portfolio with your application. Official transcripts will be required of all finalists. Please email to or mail to: Northwestern Michigan College Attention: Human Resources 1701 E Front Street Traverse City, MI 49686

This position is located at 1701 E. Front Street, Traverse City, MI. View the Google Map in full screen.