Assistant Secretary of the University
The University of Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

Posted in Education and Training

Job Info


Secretary of the University

About the Department

Within the Office of the President, the Office of the Secretary of the University has primary responsibility for supporting the governance of the University. The office supports the work of the Board of Trustees, including its triannual meetings, annual retreats, publications, directories, committee staffing, and orientation for new Trustees. The office also staffs and coordinates the work of other boards including the Medical Center, Marine Biological Laboratory, Laboratory Schools, Baptist Theological Union, Court Theatre, Smart Museum and the Advisory Councils of 14 academic units. In supporting institutional governance efforts at the University, the Office of the Secretary partners closely with other departments and units, including Alumni Relations & Development, University Communications, the Office of the Provost, the Office of Events and Ceremonies, the Office of Legal Counsel, and the CFO's office.

Job Summary

The Assistant Secretary will ensure effective management and implementation of various board and council activities related to the Marine Biological Laboratory Board, Baptist Theological Union Board of Trustees, and the Advisory Council program and will coordinate the preparation and production of materials for several other boards and councils at the University, including the Board of Trustees. This individual will provide ongoing support and research for key events and meetings and the corresponding written materials, communications, and archiving. In addition to these tasks, the Assistant Secretary will assume overall responsibility for providing executive-level strategic and logistic administrative support to a variety of internal and external constituents.


  • Manages and implements various board and council activities related to the Marine Biological Laboratory Board and Baptist Theological Union Board of Trustees, and oversee aspects of the Smart Board and Court Board.
  • Manages the planning and implementation of the University Advisory Councils Program, including semi-annual Advisory Councils staff meetings, and the annual Advisory Councils Chairs meeting hosted by the President.
  • Works closely with and leads organizing efforts with board and committee staff for the Laboratory Schools Board of Directors, and Baptist Theological Union Board of Trustees in order to prepare for and successfully execute board and committee meetings as well as the production of meeting materials.
  • Assists with preparation of strategic and logistical aspects of board and committee meetings including working with other units on agenda content, meeting materials, talking points, and annotated agendas for key board members and staff, as well as scheduling and calendaring.
  • Builds and maintains excellent working relationships and open lines of communication with campus partners and offices.
  • Oversees production and mailing of printed materials for the Marine Biological Laboratory Board, the Baptist Theological Union Board of Trustees, and the University Board of Trustees.
  • Manages cross-divisional projects and tasks as needed, including correspondence and scheduling for various boards.
  • Researches and drafts memos, resolutions, reports, dockets, and letters, as assigned.
  • Monitors budgets for various board meetings and events including but not limited to the Advisory Councils staff meetings and annual Advisory Councils Chairs meeting.
  • Prepares high-level briefings for the Office of the President on projects, boards, and councils related to the Assistant Secretary's portfolio.
  • Performs detailed reviews and editing of documents representing the University.
  • Drafts, edits, and manages communications to various internal and external constituents on behalf of the Vice President and Secretary of the University.
  • Monitors, maintains, and updates digital databases, websites, directories, and document archives.
  • Provides troubleshooting and technical support for several board websites.
  • Produces design templates for office brand consistency; maintains style guides.
  • Handles design projects as assigned, including signage, stationery, maps, invitations, seating cards, web graphics, letterhead, envelopes, and other print and digital products.
  • Assesses vendor capability and expertise; sources and contracts vendors for special events.
  • Assists with the development and coordination of special events and VIP visits, including arranging meeting logistics, and catering.
  • Provides on-site support to ensure successful execution of events.
  • Schedules individual and group meetings on and off campus.
  • Screens, directs, and responds to confidential communications with the utmost courtesy and professionalism.
  • Answers telephones and responds to routine and unusual inquiries.
  • Works independently to develop detailed work plans, schedules, project estimates, resource plans, and status reports. Assembles and leads a project team, assigns individual responsibilities, identifies appropriate resources needed, and develops schedules to ensure timely completion of projects.
  • Leads and coordinates the successful integration of vendor tasks and tracks and reviews vendor deliverables.
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications

Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.
Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 7+ years of work experience in a related job discipline.


Preferred Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree.

  • At least seven years work experience.
  • Experience providing support for high-level executives, a board of trustees or board of directors, or direct experience with institutional governance.
  • Experience in higher-education setting, or similar non-profit setting.

Technical Skills or Knowledge:
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and various web browsers.
  • Proficiency on both Mac and PC computers.
  • Proficiency in HTML, Microsoft SharePoint, Adobe Acrobat, and Adobe Creative Suite.
  • Proficiency with information technology, including managing databases, maintaining websites, using mobile devices, and preparing graphics and publications.

Preferred Competencies
  • Exceptional oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Exceptional organizational skills and keen attention to accuracy and detail.
  • Outstanding time management and follow-up skills.
  • Work independently and manage, prioritize, and accurately complete multiple tasks and projects.
  • Maintain confidentiality, exercise judgment, and discretion.
  • Communicate with maturity, tact, and courtesy towards Trustees, staff, visitors, and colleagues.
  • Problem-solve, function effectively in a fast-paced office environment, and to produce quality work on tight deadlines.
  • Experience interacting with high-level constituents and volunteer leaders.
  • Strong communicator and collaborator who enjoys working both independently and on a team.

Working Conditions
  • Some evenings and weekends work, as needed.

Application Documents
  • Resume/CV (required)
  • Cover Letter (required)

When applying, the document(s) MUSTbe uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family

Administration & Management

Role Impact

Individual Contributor

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Scheduled Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Requires Compliance with University Covid-19 Vaccination Requirement


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

Employees must comply with the University's COVID-19 vaccination requirements. More information about the requirements can be found on the University of Chicago Vaccination GoForward.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.

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