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Managing Director of Operations and Strategic Initiatives

Chapman University
Orange, CA

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Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Job Details

Position Title:

Managing Director of Operations and Strategic Initiatives

Position Type:


Job Number:


Full or Part Time:

Full-Time 40 Hours Weekly

Fair Labor Standard Act Classification:


Anticipated Pay Range:

$150,000 - $170,000

Pay Range Information:

Chapman University is required to provide a reasonable estimate of the compensation range for this position. This range takes into account a variety of factors that are considered in making compensation decisions, including experience, skills, knowledge, abilities, education, licensure and certifications, and other business and organizational needs. Salary offers are determined based on the final candidate’s qualifications and experience, as well as internal equity and other internal factors. The anticipated pay range is not a promise of a particular wage.

Job Description Summary:

Dodge College is the #4-ranked film school in the country, with 1,600 students from across the globe. In collaboration with the Dean of Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, the Managing Director plays a pivotal role in advancing the college’s mission, vision, and values. The Managing Director requires a varied but detailed background in administrative managerial functions, it would be preferred that the candidate has a comprehensive understanding of film and media arts, a background in academic administration, and experience to drive excellence in a fast-paced, dynamic, and creative environment. However, the University is open to candidates of varying and diverse backgrounds that lead to the culmination of essential functions of the job. The position supports the overall business goals of the college and university and will foster an environment that encourages innovation in leading a team of directors and managers to high performance; this role will also work with and alongside industry-experienced professionals as needed. The incumbent focuses on effective communication and feedback to promote inclusivity and support informed decision-making; strategic acumen, sound judgment, and initiative are essential in guiding the future direction of the college. ScopeStrategic Vision and Operational Resource Review: The Managing Director possesses a strong professional acumen to engage in strategic planning for resource allocation, which involves not only understanding the current culture but also the future direction of the college. The Managing Director has key responsibilities for ensuring operational excellence within Dodge College which includes a thorough review of resources: talent, financial, and physical, and develops comprehensive plans to optimize their utilization. This requires a leader who can translate strategic objectives into actionable plans and effectively execute them within the college. Integrated Leadership, Team Communication, and Development: With the dean, the Managing Director ensures effective communication and team engagement throughout Dodge College to promote an inclusive environment for sharing ideas and insights, fostering informed decision-making, and talent planning for future leaders in Dodge College. Safety, Compliance, and Accreditation: Adhering to compliance, accreditation, and recognition of programs, the position requires strong leadership in adhering to industry standards and strict regulatory technical and safety requirements. Proactively assessing risks and establishing systems and procedures to protect organizational assets underscores the leadership’s commitment to safeguarding the college’s interests. Reporting StructureThe Managing Director of Operations and Strategic Initiatives reports directly to the dean, overseeing the leadership team within Dodge College, consisting of directors and subordinate managers, and will liaise with various industry-experienced professionals. This role involves coordinating and executing operational and strategic objectives, acting as a senior liaison for admissions, administrative operations, production and technical operations, and safety operations.


Strategic Leadership and Operational Oversight Provides leadership to the following areas: production and technical operations, admissions, publicity and communications, and administrative and safety operations:

  • Production and Technical Operations: Provide strategic leadership for the film and media production operations.
  • Production Safety: Collaborate with relevant departments to ensure a safe and compliant working environment. Develop and enforce safety protocols for all production activities. Evaluate risks and opportunities, making informed decisions that balance the interests of various stakeholders while proactively identifying and mitigating potential risks.
  • Publicity and Communications: Provide strategic support for publicity and communication strategies to promote the college’s programs and achievements.
  • Administrative Operations: Provide strategic oversight of the administrative and operational functions to optimize processes.
  • Develop and implement policies and procedures within the college to drive efficient and effective operation, ensuring alignment with organizational goals and regulatory requirements. Ensure documentation and evaluation of college processes, identifying opportunities for increased efficiency and recommending improvements to existing internal controls and approval processes
  • Lead the development and implementation of plans to achieve short- and long-term goals, ensuring alignment with program outcomes and overall strategy.
  • Ensures consistent university policies and procedures are followed and adhered to within the college.
  • Act as the primary liaison between the dean’s office and various university departments, representing the college in university activities related to academic issues, building strategic relationships and increasing collaborative partnerships.

Required Qualifications:

  • Minimum bachelor’s degree in a relevant field preferred; master’s degree optional. Seven or more years of progressive experience in senior leadership roles, preferably within higher education or the film and media industry, demonstrating success in operational management, strategic planning, and resource optimization.
  • Exceptional leadership abilities with a proven track record of leading diverse teams and driving organizational excellence.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to foster collaboration, inspire teams, and promote a culture of inclusivity and innovation.
  • Proven ability to demonstrate strategic thinking and planning skills, aligning operational efforts with the college’s mission, vision, and goals; visionary leadership with the capacity to anticipate future trends, challenges, and opportunities in the film and media landscape.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, effectively engaging and influencing stakeholders at all levels. Proven ability to build and maintain strategic relationships with internal and external partners, including university departments, donors, and industry professionals.
  • Proven work experience and expertise in risk assessment and management, safeguarding organizational assets, and ensuring compliance with industry standards and regulatory requirements.
  • Experience developing and implementing policies and procedures to promote operational efficiency and regulatory compliance.
  • Proven work experience and expertise in production safety, risk assessment and management, safeguarding organizational assets, and ensuring compliance with industry standards and regulatory requirements.
  • Experience developing and implementing policies and procedures to promote operational efficiency and regulatory compliance.
  • Demonstrated commitment to ethical leadership practices and a strong sense of integrity in decision-making and governance. Upholding and promoting the college’s values of diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of leadership and operations.
  • Ability to demonstrate tact and diplomacy and maintain a high level of confidentiality
  • Technical skills to learn and use Chapman’s administrative systems, with the ability to provide training and evaluate system effectiveness to provide alternative solutions.
  • Experience leading and supervising manager and director-level positions within a department and/or division in a relevant industry.
  • Work experience with production, safety, and/or technical operations within the industry or a related field with previous experience.
  • Strong organizational skills, with proven ability to plan and prioritize multiple projects and complete them in a timely manner.
  • Ability to learn and interpret university and departmental policies and procedures.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated knowledge of the entertainment industry and/or relevant experience in film and media arts is highly desirable.

Special Instructions to Applicants:

Chapman University is an equal opportunity employer committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive academic global community. The University is dedicated to enhancing diversity and inclusion in all aspects of recruitment and employment. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, military and veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, genetic information or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law.

The University is committed to achieving a diverse faculty and staff and encourages members of underrepresented groups to apply. More information on diversity and inclusion at Chapman University can be found at

Applicants for Staff and Administrator positions must be currently authorized to work in the United States on a full-time basis. Chapman University does not sponsor applicants for Staff and Administrator positions for work visas.

The offer of employment is contingent upon satisfactory completion and outcomes of a criminal background screening and returning to the Office of Human Resources a signed original acceptance of the Chapman University Agreement to Arbitrate.

Minimum Number of References:


Maximum Number of References:



Chapman University, located in the heart of Orange County, California, offers traditional undergraduate programs in the arts and sciences and select pre-professional and graduate programs. Ranked in the top tier of Western universities, by U.S. News and World Report, Chapman has gained national recognition with its commitment to excellence through research and ground-breaking teaching. The University is classified by Carnegie as an R-2 research institution; Chapman has gained national recognition with its commitment to excellence through research and innovative teaching. More information is available at 

The University is dedicated to enhancing diversity and inclusion in all aspects of recruitment and employment. More information on diversity and inclusion at Chapman University is available at

Company info
(714) 997-6815
One University Drive

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