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Executive Director

Oregon Community College Association
Salem, Oregon
Closing date
Jul 24, 2021

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Executive Administration Jobs
C-Level & Executive Directors
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Job Details

Summary Statement of the Position

The Executive Director is a collaborative, visionary and strategic systems thinker who leads strong advocacy efforts, provides excellent organizational, staff and fiscal management and follow through. They both lead and facilitates college leaders to work together to amplify the importance of community colleges at the local and state level. They are the primary voice for Oregon’s 17 community colleges on legislative, policy and regulatory issues at the state and federal level. The Executive Director models integrity, respect, caring, a future focus, and is a proven problem solver with a passion for the community college mission. They demonstrate emotional intelligence through active listening, ability to form and nurture relationships, empathy and is culturally fluent with a proven commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The Executive Director serves as OCCA’s chief executive officer and reports to a 34-member Board of Directors through the Board President. The Board of Directors establishes policies and programs; and the Executive Director is responsible for their implementation and administration, as well as organizational performance.

About OCCA

The Oregon Community College Association (OCCA/Association) represents the seventeen publicly chartered community colleges and their locally elected board members. Founded in 1962, OCCA is an ORS 190 council of governments whose purpose is to support and advocate for the colleges before policy-makers and partners whose actions affect the well-being of community colleges across the state. OCCA plays a dynamic role in helping presidents and board of education members shift and shape colleges to meet the needs of the students and communities they serve.

Position Responsibilities:

Leads and Advocates on Behalf Community Colleges

o Collaborates with college presidents and locally elected board of education members to develop a shared, strategic and actionable vision for Oregon community colleges grounded in national, state, and local trends and policy frameworks

o Serves as the primary voice for colleges by advocating to, and coordinating with, state agencies such as the Higher Education Coordinating Commission and the Office of Community Colleges and Workforce Development; represents community colleges to the media, Oregon State Legislature and Congressional delegation, the Governor’s Office, and other state agencies and associations

o Sets organizational strategy and implementation plans to advance policy, budget appropriations (including capital funding) and legislative goals

o Oversees the Oregon Student Success Center and aids in engaging the OCCA Board and membership in equity-minded student success reform

o Provides a strong state-level voice for diversity, equity, and inclusion as foundational principles in all of our collective community college efforts

Oversees OCCA Staff, Operations, and Budget

o Leads OCCA as a working manager by promoting a sustainable and positive work culture that supports the OCCA staff in meeting Association goals and in their development as professionals

o Hires, empowers, motivates, organizes, and coaches staff

o Develops strong personnel systems that provide clarity on work plans, performance expectations and accountability measures to advance the work of the Association

o Oversees finances and budget to assure the highest level of fiscal and operational integrity and transparency through a system of operational and fiscal policies and internal controls

o Ensures that the OCCA promotes and exhibits diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace

Empowers and Supports OCCA Board and College Leadership

o Facilitates the work of the OCCA Board, including elected board member leadership, and college presidents in regular meetings, retreats and committee work

o Ensures the OCAA Board is aware of national and state trends and facilitates the development of strategic priorities for the Association

o Implements strategic priorities with appropriate monitoring metrics and reports

o Develops a robust program of Professional Learning for elected board of education members, board of education chairs, and presidents including the Annual Conference and membership development events, with strong emphases in diversity, equity, inclusion and student success

o Provides clear and consistent communication to the OCCA Board, presidents and other stakeholders

o Understands and promotes policy-based board governance and the role of locally elected board members vis-a-vis college administration.

o Engages and develops elected board members and others involved with community colleges in statewide issues and advocacy to continually build advocacy capacity and advance the OCCA statewide agenda

o Fosters partnerships/coalitions to further community college interests

o Develops relationships with students, business, and labor and workforce organizations, and community college groups to advance OCCA’s mission and goals

Advocates for State-Level Leadership of Student Success Efforts

o Provides leadership for statewide student success grounded in diversity, equity, and inclusion.

o Deepens and strengthens the integration of student success work in the Association, its membership, and its policies

o Collaborates with national and state partners to identify equity-minded and student-centered practices and engage with colleges to make necessary changes to better serve students

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Minimum qualifications

o At least 5-year work history demonstrating senior-level leadership, general management experience, policy development and advocacy

o Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and effectively with a board of directors

o Skill in team building and collaborating with stakeholder leaders to develop a common agenda leading to the achievement of desired outcomes

o A proven commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and social and economic justice with evidence that demonstrates achievement of positive outcomes.

o Ability to lead strategic planning processes at the organizational and fiscal level and assure shared ownership to fulfill the strategic priorities

o Ability to balance diverse interests and work successfully in a changing political environment

o Excellent interpersonal skills and proven relationship management experience with a board of directors, with multiple and diverse internal/external constituencies and government policymakers

o Skill in effectively interacting and communicating, both orally and in writing, with staff, management groups and other stakeholders, including experience in presenting to boards, commissions, and the legislature.

Preferred qualifications

o Knowledge and background that includes a deep understanding of higher education, particularly community colleges and policy-based governance

o Experience with and knowledge of state and nationwide student success efforts such as guided pathways and how to position the Association as a continued catalyst for those efforts

o Ability to conceptualize ideas and make decisions quickly and under pressure

o Mental agility, emotional intelligence, flexibility, and entrepreneurial mindset

o Significant leadership experience in a collaborative environment

o Knowledge of state-level agency and regulatory processes

Education and Basic Skills

Minimum qualifications

o Bachelor’s degree required

o Basic computer skills including proficiency in Word, Outlook, Excel, and presentation software

Preferred qualifications

o Masters or higher degree

Transferrable or Equivalent Skills

Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for jobs unless they meet every one of the qualifications listed. We are most interested in finding the best candidate for the job, and that candidate may be one who comes from a less traditional background. If you have strong written communication skills, a passion for political and policy work, and proven leadership experience, we encourage you to apply, even if you do not meet every one of our qualifications listed. If you are unsure whether you meet the qualifications of this position, please feel free to contact our consultants Greg Hamann [email protected] or Mary Spilde [email protected] to discuss your application.

To Apply

Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to contact our search consultants Dr. Mary Spilde [email protected] or Dr. Greg Hamann [email protected].

Please submit the following materials electronically to [email protected]:

1. A cover letter not-to-exceed three pages that clearly outlines the manner in which you meet the qualifications and are able to fulfill the responsibilities as presented in the Position Description.

2. A resume detailing relevant experience, work history, education and accomplishments.

3. A written statement not-to-exceed two pages and in a form suitable for public distribution, that responds to the following question: In what ways can a state-level organization such as OCCA foster and support the equitable achievement of student success across multiple dimensions of diversity?

4. Professional and personal references will be requested of candidates who are selected as semi-finalists.

5. Evidence of degree attainment, such as unofficial transcripts, will be required of semi-finalists.

For more information and full position description, please visit our website:

Closing date: July 23, 2021

Anticipated start date: November 1, 2021

Please direct inquiries and questions to:

Dr. Mary Spilde [email protected]


Dr. Greg Hamann [email protected]

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