Vice Provost and Chief of Staff
Reporting to the Provost, the Vice Provost and Chief of Staff is primarily responsible for leading, planning, and executing administrative, financial, and academic operations for the Provost Office. This individual also works in close collaboration with the University President and serves as the primary coordinator and manager responsible for organizing and tracking outcomes and action items each year as determined and outlined in the university strategic plan. This individual provides strategic guidance and direction to the Contract Center, who is responsible for administering faculty contracts, and letters of appointment for all faculty. This individual also supervisors an Office Coordinator in the Provost Office, who is responsible for supporting day-to-day activities in the Provost Office. The Vice Provost and Chief of Staff also serves as a primary contact to investigate and respond to student concerns escalated to the Provost Office for review.
The Vice Provost and Chief of Staff works closely with multiple external and university stakeholders, including faculty, college leadership, President’s Cabinet, Academic Cabinet, and student services/affairs personnel. This individual will intervene as necessary to solve problems in a proactive and positive manner, ensuring collaboration with relevant stakeholders and adherence to state and federal laws and policies of the University and Board of Trustees. The Vice Provost and Chief of Staff will act as a confidential sounding board and close advisor to the Provost.
The Vice Provost and Chief of Staff will be responsible for an array of duties, including but not limited to, creating implementation plans in a coordinated and strategic manner; oversee and track strategic initiatives and processes; plan the Board of Trustees Academic Affairs Committee, oversee the Contract Center, review expenditures and budget reports, conduct research, recommend actions, and provide advice to the Provost on complicated, sensitive and confidential issues.
- Partners with the President and Provost to manage the institution's strategic plan. This includes facilitating meetings and retreats with President's Cabinet and key stakeholders to identify annual priorities, monitor implementation of the plan toward goals, and report to the Board of Trustees on a regular cadence. The Vice Provost/Chief of Staff is responsible for managing the process of developing action plans for the Provost Office and reporting on progress against college level action plans.
- Manages and organizes budget related activities, including expense reports, travel requests, P-Card transactions, reviewing and addressing financial variance reports, serving as a liaison to Provost Office team on approved budgets and various purchases, and serving as the primary contact to the CFO and Provost on budget inquiries and decisions.
- Organizes and provides oversight on critical issues, projects of high importance, and required information for the Provost to facilitate efficient decision making and acts as an adviser to the Provost and senior academic team.
- Ensures faculty governance structures receive appropriate representation and support from the Provost’s team. Helps bring issues to the surface and ensure that they are considered, appropriate action is taken, and the results communicated throughout the organization as appropriate and in a timely manner.
- Assists the Provost with planning, organizing support materials, and serving as secretary to the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees.
- Manages and supervises Provost’s administrative staff (i.e. Provost Office Coordinator, Contract Center staff). Supports and prioritizes the professional development of her/his direct reports and creates opportunities to grow within the role and institution.
- Leads operational initiatives to support the efficiency and continuous improvement across Academic Affairs. This includes partnering with the Provost to identify and prioritize areas for standardization and updating policies and procedures to align with the long-term vision for the institution. Keeps Provost briefed on current work across the academic environment and on any emerging academic issues and the resolution of those issues and ensures academic policies are reviewed, updated as necessary, and published accurately on the Provost’s web pages.
- Establishes excellent working relationships with key stakeholders, including Vice Provosts, Deans' offices, the President's office, Vice Presidents and other key university administrative offices. Develops a good understanding of current issues and provides related timely advice to the Provost. Acts as a point of contact between academic management and other stakeholders, assessing inquiries directed to the Provost, determining the proper course of action and delegating to the appropriate individual to manage.
- Ensures Letters of Appointment, contracts, and workload plans for faculty are accurately processed and compliant with various university, state, and federal regulations.
- Work with the Provost, Vice Provosts, Deans, and VP of HR Director of Employment to proactively engage in personnel planning to ensure an efficient and strategic use of personnel resources and to project and budget for future personnel needs. Collaborates with the Director of Employment on all academic hiring practices, keeps Provost abreast of vacant positions and hiring processes, and ensures the Provost interviews all candidates as deemed appropriate. Tracks all new faculty hires, ensures new hire paperwork and Letters of Appointment are processed in a timely manner to meet payroll deadlines.
- Provides oversight and management for academic agreements for services and goods that are used across the university.
- Works with Academic Leadership and Provost to plan and facilitate Academic Cabinet meetings, Provost Office working meetings, and Provost Office personnel convenings and team building activities.
Experience, Skills and Competencies:
- Master’s Degree in Business, Higher Education, or related field, Doctorate degree preferred
- 5+ years of experience of management at the executive level
- 3+ years of experience organizing and managing mid to large size budgets
- 3+ years of experience supervising a team with multiple projects
- Strong skills with Microsoft Office modules (particularly Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Outlook)
- Exceptional interpersonal, organizational and communication (writing, speaking, listening) skills
- Organizational Awareness - Understands the internal climate of the organization, including the most productive channels of communication, and makes use of the appropriate communication channels to achieve goals and objectives. Has learned about both formal and informal communication channels and understands when to stick to the formal hierarchy of reporting relationships. Understands unwritten protocols and the political aspects of how communication takes place. Avoids errors in judgment when selecting strategies for accomplishing tasks.
- Analytical Thinking - Breaks down problems and issues into sub-components and then assesses the costs, benefits and risks of various options prior to selecting a particular approach.
- Leadership - Articulates a vision that others choose to follow. Models behaviors expected of others and inspires others to undertake challenging tasks and projects.
- Relationship Building - Builds rapport and develops alliances with a broad range of people. Adjusts communication style to meet the needs of individuals at various organizational levels and to meet the needs of clients. Forms alliances by demonstrating concern and respect for others, as well as by highlighting common interests and aspirations. Leave others feeling that he/she will be a trusted ally and is careful to act in ways that reinforce that trust over time.
- Decisiveness - Investigates all viable options, along with the potential consequences of each, and then makes timely decisions. Can direct a group through this process and does not hesitate to make difficult decisions. Can speed up the decision-making process when time is of the essence, yet can also slow it down when there is time to do so.
- Vision - Sees to it that the organization’s vision and strategic plan are both aligned and well-understood by internal and external stakeholders. Ensures that business practices are consistent with the strategic plan and the vision.
- Conflict Resolution - Takes actions that resolve conflicts in a manner that is best for both the organization and the individuals involved. Addresses complaints and problems quickly and effectively, keeps all parties informed of the status of any negotiations required, encourages employees to report problems or concerns and negotiates outcomes that are viewed as fair and even-handed.
- Budgeting - Creates and adheres to realistic budgets in a manner that helps achieve the organizations objectives. Tracks expenses against the budget frequently enough to make adjustments at the optimum time. Communicates budget concerns and adjustments to all appropriate stakeholders so that they can adapt their plans and expectations.
- Managing Meetings - Runs efficient meetings that help achieve organizational goals. Plans for efficiency by only holding meetings that are clearly necessary, inviting the appropriate people, creating and communicating objectives and agendas and effectively leading participants through the items on the agenda.
National Louis University (NLU) is looking to honor its past while defining a bold new future as a contemporary, comprehensive university that prepares diverse students for sustained professional success with a deep commitment to Access, Excellence, Innovation and Equity. We are a pioneering community that uses innovation to improve outcomes. NLU questions the status quo and strives to adapt and evolve with the changing needs of its students. We are a community that cares about each other and our students and we work collaboratively, tirelessly and quickly to advance change in the service of students. We have a long venerable history, but we are not typical. We seek to solve intractable social issues through education; we believe we have not succeeded until graduates achieve sustainable career related employment; and we foster a culture that promotes failing fast so that we may constantly improve our work.
Founded in 1886, National Louis University is a private not-for-profit university offering over 70 programs from short-term certificate through the doctoral level across its five colleges. The University serves over 10,000 students per year and has experienced unprecedented growth over the last several years. Most students are from Illinois, but the University also attracts students from throughout the U.S. and from around the world who take advantage of campus based, blended and online programming.
NLU is located in the center of Chicago’s downtown loop, across the street from the Art Institute, in an area which has been recognized as America’s largest campus with over 25 institutions and 50,000 students attending a college across the city. In addition, the University has two suburban locations and a Florida regional campus.