Chief of Staff and Secretary of the College

Swarthmore College
Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
Jul 10, 2018
Executive Administration Jobs
Other Executive Administration
Position Type
Tenured & Tenure-Track
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Chief of Staff and Secretary of the College

Swarthmore College is a highly selective liberal arts college located in the suburbs of Philadelphia, whose mission combines academic rigor with social responsibility. Swarthmore has a strong institutional commitment to inclusive excellence and nondiscrimination in its educational program and employment practices and encourages candidates who will further advance the goal of fostering a diverse and inclusive community. As one of the nation’s finest institutions of higher learning, Swarthmore College is global in outlook and draws students from around the nation and world. The 425‐acre campus is a designated arboretum, complete with gardens, rolling lawns, a creek, wooded hills, and hiking trails in the Crum Woods.

The Chief of Staff and Secretary of the College (CSSC) provides high-level executive support to the President to ensure that the needs of members of the College community are met in a strategic, coordinated, and timely manner.  The CSSC will manage processes of cultural and institutional change that relate to the college’s strategic initiatives and will play a key role in implementing and communicating major campus and institutional initiatives. The CSSC will support the College’s active partnerships with local, state, national, and global communities and will facilitate coordination of the senior staff as a team.  The CSSC will collaborate with colleagues to align operations as well as special projects in the College’s administrative units. The successful candidate must be committed to fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment for a diverse population of students, faculty, staff, and outside constituents.

The CSSC represents the President on and off campus if the President cannot attend meetings or events.  With the VP for Communications and the Special Assistant for Presidential Initiatives, the CSSC coordinates written communications to alumni and to the community from the President.  The CSSC manages searches for senior staff appointments and assists with special projects such as strategic planning, ad hoc planning committees, and presidential events.

As Secretary of the College, the CSSC will also provide support to Swarthmore’s Board of Managers and the Board Chair; support the Honorary degree committee; staff the Nominating and Governance committee; and, with the Assistant Secretary, help to coordinate the planning of Baccalaureate and Commencement.

Essential Responsibilities:

  • Handles a wide range of matters of institutional importance and sensitivity on behalf of the President.
  • Oversees all operations of the President’s Office including administration, policies, and procedures.
  • Provides coordination and oversight in the development of defined core initiatives for the President’s Office.
  • Represents the President and the College to the external community as necessary and appropriate.
  • Works closely with the President’s staff and their offices to assist the President in coordinating the strategic initiatives and operations of the College.
  • Oversees technical office support as needed and ensures all office operations and staff are using best practices in technology.
  • Works with Special Assistant for Presidential Initiatives to develop relationships and maintain an in-depth knowledge of the College. Responds to queries from faculty, staff, students, parents, and members of the public to help address any concerns or questions and makes referrals as appropriate.
  • In collaboration with Administrative Coordinator and Special Assistant uses independent judgment and discretion to manage President’s Office communications, including correspondence, and visitors to determine how each matter should be handled as appropriate. Oversees President’s Website.
  • Monitors and administers expenditures of the President’s office budgets and coordinates the President’s Office annual budget process in consultation with the President.
  • In partnership with the Vice President of Advancement, develops programs for the Council on Presidential Initiatives.
  • Manages and executes special projects as requested by the President.
  • Promotes a positive image of the President’s Office and the College, internally and externally.
  • Oversees and ensures prompt and efficient access to relevant records and information.
  • Maintains broad knowledge and understanding of College policies and procedures. 


  • Bachelor’s degree required. An advanced degree in business, higher education, or a related field is preferred.
  • A minimum of 5-7 years of relevant experience with higher education, public policy, and/or healthcare required. 
  • Expertise in a key area of institutional priority, such as diversity and inclusion, Title IX policies and procedures, civic engagement, curriculum development, technology and innovation, sustainability or relevant areas of expertise.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills, including demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and to manage cultural change.
  • Strong writing skills and a clear record of exceptional writing and editorial experience.
  • Ability to speak confidently and persuasively before small and large groups.
  • Self-confidence, assertiveness, flexibility and ability to maintain composure and professionalism under stress.
  • Ability to work independently and as a team member.
  • Solid understanding of budget preparation and fiscal management.
  • Advanced computer and technology skills required including experience with Microsoft Word, Excel, Adobe Acrobat, web-based content management systems, database software, scheduling software, and/or similar programs.
  • Experience working with capital campaigns desirable.

For full consideration, applications should be received by July 30, 2018.  Please submit your cover letter and salary expectations in the application.

This is a full-time position that offers a competitive benefits package and paid time off.  Click here to view employee testimonials and learn about what it’s like to be a part of the Swarthmore community.

For more information and to apply, please visit:

Swarthmore College actively seeks and welcomes applications from candidates with exceptional qualifications, particularly those with demonstrable commitments to a more inclusive society and world. Swarthmore College is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.