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Duke University
OVP - Administration

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Job Details

Duke University:

Duke University was created in 1924 through an indenture of trust by James Buchanan Duke. Today, Duke is regarded as one of America’s leading research universities. Located in Durham, North Carolina, Duke is positioned in the heart of the Research Triangle, which is ranked annually as one of the best places in the country to work and live. Duke has more than 15,000 students who study and conduct research in its 10 undergraduate, graduate and professional schools. With about 40,000 employees, Duke is the third largest private employer in North Carolina, and it now has international programs in more than 150 countries.

Scope of Responsibilities:

The Chief of Staff to the Vice President/Vice Provost of Student Affairs coordinates and advances key initiatives and operations for the Vice President/Vice Provost (VPSA). The position manages short- and long-term critical priorities and activities, and represents the interests and priorities of the Office of the. VPSA through effective communication, coordination and integration of strategic and ongoing objectives. This position requires balancing competing priorities and effectively moving complex projects toward clearly defined outcomes. The Chief of Staff coordinates all functions and activities of the VPSA office and works with the VPSA and senior leadership team to ensure steady operational progress. They will draft and develop internal and external communications and manage outreach to internal and external partners, including donors, alumni, parents and Duke families. The Chief of Staff will represent the VPSA in selected internal and external interactions with staff, committees, government representatives and community leaders.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Support the VPSA’s priorities by providing context and background information on issues, and coordinating research, projects, meetings and initiatives, as assigned; work with the VPSA to establish her strategic priorities for a 12-month period and arrange reporting of priority projects on a regular basis. (25%)
  2. Develop processes and timelines for managing calendar and speaking engagements (20%)
  3. Draft funding proposals and correspondence for communications with key constituents. Expertly build slide decks for all audiences and leverage GANNT charts, SmartSheet, and other workflow management tools to drive projects to completion. (20%)
  4. Supervise an Administrative Assistant and student workers to ensure high-performance office operations. Establish excellent working relationships with key stakeholders. Develop a good understanding of current issues impacting student life and provide related timely advice to the VPSA. Support all senior leadership searches throughout the division (15%)
  5. Represent the VPSA at meetings when the VPSA’s attendance is not possible; attend selected meetings with the VPSA and ensure that action items arising from these meetings are executed in a timely fashion. (10%)
  6. Elevate challenges and key topics to the surface for consideration, ensure appropriate action, and communicate results throughout the organization as appropriate and in a timely manner. (10%)

Required Qualifications at this Level


Bachelor's degree required; graduate degree in education, business administration, public sector administration, public policy, or other related field preferred. A working knowledge of university administration or other decentralized, mission-driven organizations is essential.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Minimum of 5 years of management experience required, preferably in a highly complex organization such as a selective research university.
  • Demonstrated understanding of systems and commitment to equity and inclusion as they relate to programmatic and policy decisions.
  • Exceptional organization, management, administrative, delegation, problem solving, interpersonal and human relation skills; demonstrated maturity, leadership, awareness of and responsiveness to prioritizing equity and inclusion.
  • Superb writing, editing, and communication skills.
  • Communicates and leads in a manner that fosters understanding, employee engagement, stakeholder engagement, and commitment to advancing key goals toward action and project completion.
  • Ability to work within deadlines and as a team-player with the leaders of the organization.
  • Rely on extensive experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals. A wide degree of creativity and latitude is expected.
  • Comfort working in environment that is focused on excellence with evolving and iterative priorities.

The intent of this job description is to provide a representative and level of the types of duties and responsibilities that will be required of positions given this title and shall not be construed as a declaration of the total of the specific duties and responsibilities of any particular position. Employees may be directed to perform job-related tasks other than those specifically presented in this description.

Minimum Qualifications


Bachelor's degree required; graduate degree in education, business administration, public sector administration, public policy, or other related field preferred. A working knowledge of university administration or other decentralized, mission-driven organizations is essential.


Minimum of 5 years of management experience required, preferably in a highly complex organization such as a selective research university.

Duke is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.

Essential Physical Job Functions: Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System may include essentialjob functions that require specific physical and/or mental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests for reasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department.


Read our Diversity Profile History

Duke University was created in 1924 by James Buchanan Duke as a memorial to his father, Washington Duke. The Dukes, a Durham family that built a worldwide financial empire in the manufacture of tobacco products and developed electricity production in the Carolinas, long had been interested in Trinity College. Trinity traced its roots to 1838 in nearby Randolph County when local Methodist and Quaker communities opened Union Institute. The school, then named Trinity College, moved to Durham in 1892, where Benjamin Newton Duke served as a primary benefactor and link with the Duke family until his death in 1929. In December 1924, the provisions of indenture by Benjamin’s brother, James B. Duke, created the family philanthropic foundation, The Duke Endowment, which provided for the expansion of Trinity College into Duke University.Duke Campus

As a result of the Duke gift, Trinity underwent both physical and academic expansion. The original Durham campus became known as East Campus when it was rebuilt in stately Georgian architecture. West Campus, Gothic in style and dominated by the soaring 210-foot tower of Duke Chapel, opened in 1930. East Campus served as home of the Woman's College of Duke University until 1972, when the men's and women's undergraduate colleges merged. Both men and women undergraduates now enroll in either the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences or the Pratt School of Engineering. In 1995, East Campus became the home for all first-year students.

Duke maintains a historic affiliation with the United Methodist Church.

Home of the Blue Devils, Duke University has about 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students and a world-class faculty helping to expand the frontiers of knowledge. The university has a strong commitment to applying knowledge in service to society, both near its North Carolina campus and around the world.

Mission Statement

Duke Science"James B. Duke's founding Indenture of Duke University directed the members of the University to 'provide real leadership in the educational world' by choosing individuals of 'outstanding character, ability, and vision' to serve as its officers, trustees and faculty; by carefully selecting students of 'character, determination and application;' and by pursuing those areas of teaching and scholarship that would 'most help to develop our resources, increase our wisdom, and promote human happiness.'

“To these ends, the mission of Duke University is to provide a superior liberal education to undergraduate students, attending not only to their intellectual growth but also to their development as adults committed to high ethical standards and full participation as leaders in their communities; to prepare future members of the learned professions for lives of skilled and ethical service by providing excellent graduate and professional education; to advance the frontiers of knowledge and contribute boldly to the international community of scholarship; to promote an intellectual environment built on a commitment to free and open inquiry; to help those who suffer, cure disease, and promote health, through sophisticated medical research and thoughtful patient care; to provide wide ranging educational opportunities, on and beyond our campuses, for traditional students, active professionals and life-long learners using the power of information technologies; and to promote a deep appreciation for the range of human difference and potential, a sense of the obligations and rewards of citizenship, and a commitment to learning, freedom and truth.Duke Meeting

 “By pursuing these objectives with vision and integrity, Duke University seeks to engage the mind, elevate the spirit, and stimulate the best effort of all who are associated with the University; to contribute in diverse ways to the local community, the state, the nation and the world; and to attain and maintain a place of real leadership in all that we do.”

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