The salary of the finalist selected for this role will be set based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to departmental budgets, qualifications, experience, education, licenses, specialty, and training. The above hiring range represents the University's good faith and reasonable estimate of the range of possible compensation at the time of posting.
University Life is a central division that works with Columbia???s 17 schools and colleges and serves as a student life hub. We are committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive campus culture where students can thrive in all dimensions of their lives. We focus on connecting students to each other, to the broader University and surrounding community, and to opportunities beyond their schools.
University Life was created to develop and enhance the student experience at Columbia University. Working in collaboration with students, faculty, and staff, University Life focuses on enhancing the student experience by strengthening resources, policies, and conversations, and building community outside of the classroom. Our efforts all connect to core values for the Columbia community:
Inclusion and belonging
Health and well-being
The Chief of Staff (COS) will report to the Executive Vice President of University Life. As a member of the University Life leadership team, the COS is responsible for leading communications, staffing executive leadership, and driving critical strategic initiatives for the division.
The COS will manage a team of four and own the communications and marketing strategy for the division, focusing on clear communications and outreach for the 31,000+ Columbia student body. The communications portfolio consists of a team responsible for the organization???s robust web presence, social media, messaging, and marketing strategies. Collectively, these channels amplify a portfolio of ongoing events and initiatives across Columbia University and provide critical information resources to students.
The COS serves as the strategy lead for the University Life leadership team. The COS will have a bird???s eye view of the broader goals and priorities of the University Life division and will partner with the leadership team to ensure that the day-to-day goals and objectives of the units align with the broader strategic vision of the organization.
The COS will also lead efforts to prioritize, build and maintain an integrated team vision and team culture, serving as a cross-team liaison for the division on key leadership priorities. The COS will oversee key partnerships and strategic initiatives for the division including but not limited to: the Student Life Committee of the Board of Trustees, Presidential committees and working groups managed by University Life, and coalition-building among partners on discrete projects and initiatives.
Serving as a critical member of University Life???s leadership team, the COS will collaborate closely with a variety of stakeholders, including key partners across the University???s 17 schools and centers where relevant, and with central partners including Public Affairs, the Offices of the President and Provost and other central administrative offices.
Chief of Staff Responsibilities:
Oversees principal management for the EVP, including coordinating, supporting, and at times directing, activities, events, and initiatives within University Life and other units across Columbia. The CO-S will also facilitate the resolution of matters requiring the EVP???s attention.
Write, edit, and/or review a wide range of communications including crisis response, press releases, speeches, talking points, annual reports, program collateral, blog posts, and op-eds. In addition, the COS will provide high-level executive communications support for the Executive Vice President of University Life, the Vice President of Student Affairs, and the Senior Associate Vice President of Student Life, and coordinate the team to provide written products.
Management and oversight of a broad range of high-, medium-, and low-level projects, including strategic planning, implementation, coordination of, and logistics for select initiatives on behalf of the EVP.
Leads the EVP???s communications and relationship-building endeavors. The COS will keep communication open across all levels within the division and also across critical partners/stakeholders in service to the divisional priorities.
Represents, and accompanies the EVP in constituent and other meetings, including Trustees meetings to communicate information, share and develop ideas, and ensure appropriate and timely responsive follow-up. Coordinates closely with the University Life leadership team and with the EVP???s executive assistant to ensure seamless coordination of the EVP???s administrative endeavors.
Continually refine a strategic communications strategy for University Life, including evaluating current efforts against best practices to identify areas for growth and innovation.
Ensure accuracy, messaging, and quality of all University Life communications.
Create and lead promotion and awareness campaigns for University Life and Student Life initiatives including overseeing creative design for marketing collateral, and establishing and ensuring strong distribution plans for critical University Life initiatives with campus partners.
Successfully manage a team including full-time staff and student workers.
The CS will support the ongoing development of a refreshed digital communications strategy that fosters brand recognition across all audiences, and student engagement and furthers the values and work of the organization, setting, tracking, and reporting out on Key Performance Indicators.
Drive the planning, content development, data collection strategies, and processes for University Life???s communication channels (weekly and monthly student-facing messaging, social media, and the University Life web presences).
Manage non-personnel budgets and create systems and processes for a smooth and efficient flow of work within the team.
Oversee requisite communication work by vendors and freelancers as necessary to support University Life???s work.
Bachelor???s degree in communications, journalism, marketing, English, or a related field required
8- 10 years of professional experience required
Ability to be available as needed during off hours for rapid responses/crisis communications
Prior experience with executive advisement, communications, and strategic initiatives
A demonstrated personal and professional commitment to equity and inclusion in education and a culturally competent leader
A leader with exceptional people management and communication skills ???a good listener who can be both empathetic and pragmatic
Experience with and understanding of best practices for web-based, email, and social media content production
Possess the highest level of personal and professional integrity and quality standards
Passion for University Life???s mission and values
Graduate or advanced degree highly desirable
Demonstrated experience managing collaborative teams in a rapid and politically complex environment
Demonstrated success leading end-to-end projects
A strong learning orientation ??? the ability to learn from mistakes, the desire to continuously improve and grow, and the capacity to foster this with staff across the organization
An action-oriented style ??? the successful candidate will enjoy both strategic and tactical involvement in developing systems necessary for University Life???s evolution
Strong preference for candidates who have served in strategic planning, operational systems, and editorial director capacities in other organizations
Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran
Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.
Columbia University is one of the world's most important centers of research and at the same time a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields. The University recognizes the importance of its location in New York City and seeks to link its research and teaching to the vast resources of a great metropolis. It seeks to attract a diverse and international faculty and student body, to support research and teaching on global issues, and to create academic relationships with many countries and regions. It expects all areas of the university to advance knowledge and learning at the highest level and to convey the products of its efforts to the world.