Secretary and Chief of Staff to the BOT

Michigan State University
East Lansing

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Job Details

Job no: 742279
Work type: Executive Management
Major Administrative Unit / College: President
Department: Secretary Of Board Of Trustees 10080759
Sub Area: FAS- Fac./Acad Staff
Salary: Salary Commensurate with Experience
Location: East Lansing
Categories: Administrative/Business/Professional, Executive Management, Full Time (90-100%), Non-Union
Working/Functional Title

Secretary and Chief of Staff to the BOT

Position Summary

General Description:

The Secretary and Chief of Staff to the Board of Trustees (“Secretary”) reports directly to the Board of Trustees (“Board” or “Board of Trustees”). The Secretary is an officer of the University. This position provides administrative, communications, leadership, and other support for the work of the Board to promote effective governance of the University. The Secretary will be expected to exercise significant initiative, independent judgement, discretion, and decision-making while working closely with the individual Trustees and the President of the University to facilitate the Board’s governance of the University.

Duties and Responsibilities:

As an external and internal liaison and adviser, the Secretary will:

  • Serve as primary liaison between Trustees and University administration, working directly with the Board and the President on a regular basis.
  • Communicate regularly with all Trustees.
  • Inform and advise both Trustees and Administration regarding pertinent issues, procedures, and Board policies.
  • Attend all meetings of the President with CORE and President’s Council.
  • Participate in administrative working groups that include Trustees as requested or required to provide appropriate support to the Board.
  • Advise the Board and the University’s senior administrators and staff regarding Board policies and procedures.
  • Serve as an ambassador of the Board, responding to communications and events on behalf of the Board and the Trustees.

The Secretary will perform duties as assigned by the Board including, but not limited to:

  • Maintaining a broad understanding of the University and the Board’s fiduciary responsibilities.
  • Serving as the principal liaison between the Board and University administration.
  • Weekly reporting of highlights or details derived from meetings in which they served as liaison.
  • Supporting decision-making and effective governance by facilitating communication to ensure the Board has information necessary to carry out its fiduciary responsibilities with due diligence
  • Conducting independent research and analysis, as needed, in providing information to the Board.
  • Reviewing and recommending new or revised Board policies and procedures to enhance effective governance and management of the University.
  • Overseeing long-range planning for Board meetings, focusing on strategic priorities.
  • Providing governance support to the Board by staffing Board meetings and Board Committee meetings.
  • Assisting the Board in carrying out special projects and initiatives.
  • Designing and conducting an orientation program for new Trustees, planning and facilitating continuing education programs for all Trustees, and planning and facilitating Board retreats.
  • Ensuring that the Board’s activities comply with all pertinent legal requirements and conform to sound governance in coordination with General Counsel.
  • Preparing and maintaining minutes of all meetings of the Board and Committees of the Board.
  • Maintaining Board Bylaws, policies, and ordinances, as well as any amendments thereto.
  • Carrying out duties specified in the Board’s Bylaws, policies, and ordinances related to the business of the Board and the legal and corporate status and operation of the University.
  • Coordinating Trustee roles across the University, working with Deans, Development, and other offices as needed.
  • Providing creative direction and oversight in Board matters to foster Trustee engagement.
  • Overseeing the Budget of the Board of Trustees and providing quarterly reports to the Board.
  • Maintaining confidentiality of highly sensitive information related to University matters, senior officials, and Board operations.
  • Supervising the Special Assistant to the Board of Trustees and other staff assigned to support the Board.
  • Performing other related duties as required or assigned.

In coordination with University Communications, the Secretary will:

  • Support the Board with proactive public messaging and communications needs, including overseeing the management of the Board’s internal and external websites.
  • Assist with communications strategies and preparation of messaging materials.

The Secretary will also provide administrative support for meetings and events, including:

  • Providing legal notice of Board formal meetings to fully comply with the University’s public transparency requirements.
  • Providing or overseeing administrative and logistical support to the Board for Board meetings, Committee meetings, and events.
  • Assisting the Board Chair, Committee Chairs, and other Trustees in developing the agenda for Board meetings and Committee meetings, in coordination with the President and other relevant administrators.
  • Overseeing and supervising staff in providing administrative support to the Board.
  • Coordinating and assisting with the preparation of material provided to the Board for action and information, including reviewing content for completeness, accuracy, and effectiveness.
  • Overseeing follow-up on action items from Board and Committee meetings.
Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, disability or protected veteran status.

Required Degree


Minimum Requirements
  • A bachelor's degree is required.
  • Demonstrated excellent organizational and verbal/written/listening communication skills.
  • Substantive knowledge of management functions in a complex organization.
  • A sense of service, tact, and attention to detail.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work with diverse populations including Trustees, administrators, staff, faculty and students.
  • Discretion and good judgment at the highest level.
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
  • Knowledge and understanding of higher education and governance.
  • Commitment to quality and integrity.
  • Demonstrated commitment to the University’s mission, strategic plan, and diversity/equity/inclusion initiatives.
  • Independence and organization necessary to manage projects, people, and daily operations with little supervision.
Desired Qualifications
  • JD, MBA, or related advanced degree is preferred.
  • Expertise in university board governance matters.
  • Knowledge and experience at Michigan State University.
  • Experience supervising staff, coordinating meetings and events.
  • Experience with Word, Excel, and database programs, and understanding of website management.
Required Application Materials
  • Cover Letter
  • Resume/CV
Together-we-will StatementThe university is requiring all MSU students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with limited exceptions. Learn more at: Instructions

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.


MSU Statement

Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.

Advertised: Oct 22, 2021 Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close: Jan 14, 2022 Eastern Standard Time


Working at Michigan State University 

Spartans work every day to advance the common good in uncommon ways.

Together, we tackle some of the world’s toughest problems to find solutions that make life better—from alternative energy to better food safety to breakthrough medical and environmental applications achieved through rare isotope research.

We teach. We explore and we discover. We collaborate and lead. We innovate, inspire, and empower. We achieve our potential and create circumstances that help our students and others achieve theirs.

We're good at it, and we've been at it for more than 150 years.

The nation’s pioneer land-grant university, MSU began as a bold experiment that democratized higher education and helped bring science and innovation into everyday life. The revolutionary concept became a model for the nation.

Today, MSU is one of the top research universities in the world—on one of the biggest, greenest campuses in the nation. Home to nationally ranked and recognized academic, residential college, and service-learning programs, we’re a diverse community of dedicated students and scholars, athletes and artists, scientists and leaders.

In ways both practical and profound, we work to create a stronger, more sustainable, and more hopeful future for all.

Top Distinctions

U.S. News & World Report ranks MSU

  • 29th among the nation’s public universities
  • First in the nation for 19 years for graduate programs in elementary and secondary education
  • First in the nation for graduate programs in nuclear physics and industrial and organizational psychology
  • First in the nation for undergraduate program in supply chain

Recognized for 11 consecutive years as one of the top 100 universities in the world by Shanghai Jiao Tong University in its annual Academic Ranking of World Universities

Ranks 46th among public universities for in-state students in Kiplinger’s 2013 edition of Best Values in Public Colleges

Silver rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s STARS program, which measures and encourages sustainability in education and research; operations; and planning, administration, and engagement

Member of the prestigious 62-member Association of American Universities

Only university in the country with on-campus medical schools graduating allopathic (MD) and osteopathic (DO) physicians, and veterinarians (DVMs)

Among the largest single-campus residence hall system in the country with 27 halls in five neighborhoods and two apartment villages.


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