Director of Strategic Operations - College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (A1

Champaign, IL
May 05, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution


Director of Strategic Operations - College of ACES

College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Everything we do is designed to improve the quality of life of the people in the state of Illinois, across the nation, and around the world. We discover, develop, translate, and disseminate knowledge to address societal concerns and train the next generation of experts and leaders.

Be a part of our story. Join our team of more than 180 tenure-system faculty members; nearly 1,400 academic professionals, civil service staff and assistants; 2,700 undergraduates; and 650 graduate students each year. ACES plays a key role in national and international research initiatives in bioenergy, biotechnology, integrated landscapes, environmental sustainability, food and agricultural systems, global climate change, family resiliency, public policy, and more.


The College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences (ACES) is seeking a dynamic, enthusiastically engaged, dedicated individual with exceptional interpersonal communication and organizational skills to provide executive leadership within the Office of the Dean. Reporting directly to the Dean, the Director of Strategic Operations will handle a variety of strategic, administrative, operational and confidential matters with faculty, staff, students, alumni, senior university administrators, and government and community leaders. The incumbent will help develop and sustain strategic priorities and initiatives for an integrated senior executive team. Specifically, the Director of Strategic Operations' responsibilities are:
  • Develop and implement a strategic management plan for the executive workflow of the Dean, including development of executive priorities and management of complex and evolving commitments.
  • Manage communications and outreach made to the Dean's office, including the research and development of appropriate responses for a wide range of constituents on matters of significance. Identify, prioritize, and synthesize relevant communications, information and developments of significance, which impact the Dean and college leadership. Identify and evaluate pertinent communications issues, and using discretion and judgement develop and execute strategies for addressing them.
  • Work closely with the Dean, Associate Deans, Department Heads and college units to identify and advance strategic priorities, including providing leadership for special projects and programs on behalf of the Dean. Research, conduct analyses, prepare reports and advise college leadership relative to current issues and projects using a variety of University, State and national resources.
  • Provide operational leadership in the Office of the Dean to accomplish the organization's goals and objectives effectively.
  • Supervise office staff including the hiring, management, evaluation, and advancement of office personnel. Counsel staff on matters of significance related to policy, rules and procedures involving significant discretion and judgement. Provide guidance and interpretation regarding the administration of other guiding principles and governance structures as they relate to the college and campus.
  • Serve as the primary resource and confidant to the Dean in managing and advising relative to sensitive and confidential issues and documents.
  • Plan and prepare for leadership meetings working closely with the Dean to identify priorities and to develop short and long-term strategic plans for college leadership.
  • Independently initiate high-level contacts of a sensitive nature regarding routine & non-routine issues internally and externally requiring a high degree of discretion, diplomacy and time sensitivity. Develop and maintain an understanding of the program goals and priorities of the Dean, in order to prioritize issues according to importance.
  • Research and develop presentations (in collaboration with the communications and marketing team and Director of Planning & Resource Development) to the college's Executive Committee, for alumni interactions, for faculty meetings and other college, university, and public events
  • Research and develop college-wide communications (in collaboration with the communications and marketing team) on a wide range of topics including organization announcements and other news that impacts the College community.
  • Work closely with the Associate Deans and Directors to set priorities for the Dean's presence at internally and externally focused events and meetings; provide strategic consultation to the Dean and Advancement staff on planning and execution of development trips, events and appointments.
  • Work closely with the Dean on the facilitation of staff development and evaluation processes to include administrator evaluations, third year reviews, tenure rollbacks and emeritus/emerita status.
  • Other duties as assigned that further the mission of the Dean's office.


All candidates must hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree, with a master's degree preferred. The position requires at least five years of professional experience in a management-level position with responsibility for administrative projects and processes. The candidate must have a proven ability to maintain confidentiality and ensure managerial discretion. Candidates should possess excellent analytical, project, and time management skills, including the ability to prioritize work and manage a variety of complex projects simultaneously with accuracy and detail in a complex environment with changing deadlines, priorities, and frequent interruptions. The candidate must have exceptional interpersonal skills, including tact, diplomacy, and effective conflict resolution skills. Candidates must have a demonstrated ability to communicate and collaborate with all levels of constituents and possess a strong work ethic and ability to see the big picture, attention to detail, and follow-through. The candidate must have exceptional communication skills including professional writing ability and verbal communication. The candidate must maintain exceptional poise under pressure at all times.


Preference will be given to candidates who have more than five years of experience in a professional-level management position with responsibility for supervising staff and managing administrative projects and processes. Clear evidence of initiative and self-direction is preferred. Candidates who have experience or familiarity with college-level or higher education executive leadership will receive preference.


The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus ( has a student enrollment of over 40,000, and nearly 2,000 tenured/tenure-track faculty members. With our land-grant heritage as a foundation, we pioneer innovative research that tackles global problems and expands the human experience. Our transformative learning experiences, in and out of the classroom, are designed to produce alumni who desire to make a significant, societal impact.

Urbana-Champaign is located approximately 120 miles south of Chicago in a vibrant and diverse community of 110,000. Our community offers the residential advantages of a medium-sized university city, excellent cultural opportunities, and a high quality of life as reflected by its ranking as one of the Great Neighborhoods in America by the American Planning Association:


The starting date is as soon as possible after closing.


Compensation is commensurate with experience and qualifications.


This is a regular, full-time, 12 month Academic Professional position.


To ensure full consideration, please create your candidate profile at and upload a letter of application, resume, and the names, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of three professional references. Review of applications is expected to begin on May 22, 2017 and will continue until suitable candidates are identified. All requested information must be submitted for your application to be given full consideration.

For further information, please contact Joe Bohn, Search Committee Chair via e-mail at For technical assistance with the online application process, call 217-333-6747 or email .

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit To learn more about the University's commitment to diversity, please visit

Organization Name: Dean's Office
College Name or Administrative Unit: College of ACES
Category: Academic Professional
Open Date: 05/04/2017


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