Job Listings

Associate Director for Health and Welfare Plans, Benefit Services Administration

Cornell University
Job Location:
Ithaca, New York
Health and Medical Services

Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty and staff of all identities and backgrounds. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply.

Effective immediately, all new Cornell hires, regardless of work location, must be fully vaccinated with an FDA- or WHO- authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine or have obtained a university-approved disability/medical or religious exemption by December 8, 2021, or before their start date if after December 8.

Cornell University takes pride in offering generous benefits to support and enhance the health, wealth, and wellness of our faculty, staff, and retirees. As the Associate Director (AD) for Health and Welfare Plans, you will be a key member of the Benefit Services Administration (BSA) leadership team and report to the Director of the BSA. In this role, you will have primary responsibility for administering Cornell University's Health & Wellness and Educational Benefit plans. You will be accountable for ensuring the effective delivery of benefit programs, benefits vendor management, plan analytics and compliance, and employee communications. In addition, you will partner with fellow BSA ADs and the leadership team members across departmental units to optimize benefits delivery and service. Your day-to-day responsibilities will include:

  • Management, development, and coaching of the Health and Welfare team.

  • Vendor management of Health and Welfare and Educational program providers for endowed plans, including developing performance standards, negotiation of contract terms and renewals, and regulatory compliance and communication requirements.

  • Administration and reporting of contract college health and dental plans sponsored by the State of New York and direct management of Health Benefits Administrator for Department of Civil Service.

  • Ensuring HIPAA compliance in benefits plans and communications, routine reporting to governmental agencies, completing annual surveys and periodic comparative university checks/benchmarking, etc.

  • Partnering with the Associate Director, HR Services and Transitions Center (HRSTC), to understand customer service trends and ensure employees are well-informed of all benefit plan changes.

Remote Work

This position is located in Ithaca, New York. The successful applicant can perform this role remotely at a location in the United States, however they will be expected to work on campus a few times during the year and will be responsible to cover the cost of travel and lodging during those times.

The New York Convenience of employer guidelines require New York State individual tax reporting and withholdings for this position. Additional individual state income tax filings may also be required if working temporarily outside New York State.

Required Qualifications: As a top candidate, you will hold a Bachelor's degree and have 5-7 years of progressive employee benefits work experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Professional certification in benefits is preferred but is not required.

Additionally, you will:

  • Have a comprehensive working knowledge of health and welfare benefits market practices and trends with an eye to the future to anticipate needs and challenge the status quo.

  • Have a track record for successfully managing people and coaching for peak performance.

  • Know how to use data to articulate trends and drive decisions.

  • Have prior experience successfully designing, negotiating, and administering complex employee benefit programs and benefit strategies tied to business goals or customer needs.

  • Led by example and motivated others to deliver customer service excellence.

  • Have honed the use of active listening, excellent writing, and interpersonal, verbal communication skills to engage with a wide range of diverse stakeholders and customers.

  • Be skilled at delivering informative presentations and facilitating groups.

  • Have prior experience developing project plans and managing multiple projects against tight timelines.

  • Have a track record of positively influencing others, developing collaborative relationships, and working toward consensus with a broad range of stakeholders.

  • Be proficient with Microsoft Office, specifically Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

What we offer:

Great benefits that include educational benefits, access to a plethora of wellness programs, employee discounts with local and national retail brands, health care options to choose from, generous paid leave provisions: Paid vacation and health/personal time, 12 university paid holidays (including end of year winter break through New Year's Day) and superior retirement contributions.

An active and diverse community to work and thrive in! Cornell is situated in picturesque Ithaca, New York, the heart of the Finger Lakes. Ithaca is home to two academic institutions, state parks, waterfalls, gorges, and a wide range of art galleries, theaters, eateries, wineries, and breweries. Ithaca has something to suit all ages and interests!

No Visa sponsorship available for this position.

University Job Title:

Benefits Specialist IV

Job Family:

Human Resources



Pay Rate Type:




Contact Name:

Sonja Baylor

Number of Openings:


Job Titles and Pay Ranges:

To learn more about Cornell's non-union staff job titles and pay ranges, see Career Navigator. The final rate of pay for the successful candidate will be determined considering the following criteria:

  • Prior relevant work or industry experience.

  • Education level to the extent education is relevant to the position.

  • Unique applicable skills.

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Employment Assistance:

If you require an accommodation for a disability in order to complete an employment application or to participate in the recruiting process, you are encouraged to contact Cornell University's Department of Inclusion and Workforce Diversity at voice (607) 255-3976, fax (607) 255-7481, or email at

For general questions about the position or the application process, please contact the Recruiter listed in the job posting.

Applicants that do not have internet access are encouraged to visit your local library, or local Department of Labor. You may also visit the office of Workforce Recruitment and Retention Monday - Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. to use a dedicated workstation to complete an online application.

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EEO Statement:

Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University's heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations. Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose, and contribute creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement.

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