University of Chicago Associate Director, Office of University Events and Ceremonies in Chicago, Illinois


50624 Secretary Of The University

About the Unit

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 quarterly meetings, annual retreats, publications (some in partnership with the Office of the Provost), directories, committee staffing, and orientation for new Trustees. The office coordinates the work of 15 visiting committees and staffing of other boards including the Medical Center, Marine Biological Laboratory, Laboratory Schools, and Baptist Theological Union. Moreover, the office plays a role in:

  • Coordinating searches for Deans, Directors, and Officers;

  • Planning and executing the annual Convocation (Graduation Ceremony);

  • Conferring honorary degrees, awards, and medals;

  • Arranging special events and visiting Dignitaries;

  • Managing special projects as assigned by the President. ln supporting institutional governance efforts at the University, the Office of the Secretary of the University works closely with other departments and units, including Alumni Relations & Development, the Office of Commucations, and the Office of Legal Counsel, to name a few. The Office of University Events and Ceremonies is a department comprised of special events professionals who oversee complex initiatives for the Office of the President, Office of the Provost, and other campus partners who require consultation, production, and event management services. Among other high-profile public and private events, the department oversees the protocol, planning, and execution for the institution’s annual Convocation ceremony. It is the responsibility of the Office of University Events and Ceremonies to uphold the exacting standards of the University, and to ensure all events exhibit the same level of quality that reflects the University of Chicago’s longstanding commitment to tradition, excellence, and academic inquiry.

Job Information

Job Summary*:*

Reporting to the Director of the Office of University Events and Ceremonies, the Associate Director bears primary responsibility for overseeing the protocol and execution for the annual university convocation ceremony along with the division and school diploma ceremonies. In addition, the Associate Director assists withevents involving high levels of University administration as assigned.

Job Responsibilities:

The primary duties and responsibilities of the Associate Director, Office of University Events and Ceremonies, including but not limited to the following:

  • Oversee the planning and executionforthe annualuniversity convocation ceremony:
  • Act as the point person for all convocation-related questions, including protocol, academic regalia, marching orders, best practices, etc.
  • Serve as primary liaison with various university partners, including police, facilities, transportation, venues, divisions and schools, university administration, etc.
  • Develop and coordinate all communications and programmatic collateral including the communications timeline, script, program, procession, marketing materials, online content, and lead the university-wide convocation communications committee
  • Oversee relationships with vendors and negotiate contracts. Vendors include those involved with event production, audio/visual, communications and marketing collateral, rentals, catering, etc.
  • Develop detailed staffing plans and oversee event-relatedtraining for approximately 150+full-time staff, staff volunteers, and student staff
  • Provide strategic direction for successful ceremony execution by identifying opportunities to enhance and implement best practices and alleviate challenges
  • Responsible for thecohesive event execution and production schedules for all ceremonies
  • Oversee the annual convocation budget

  • Manage and produce other events for the Office of the President, Provost and other campus partners:

  • Assist in creating the overall event concept in coordination with event partner
  • Create planning timelines and serve as project manager for the completion of each deliverable
  • Coordinate and oversee logistics, including but not limited to, venue search and selection, catering, security, transportation, stage and floral installations, rentals, and facilities requests
  • Oversee the budget for each event and provide financial projections and track cost saving initiatives
  • In coordination with the List Management team, coordinate the production and execution of event invitations and guest list tracking
  • Create and distribute comprehensive event memos to University Leadership
  • Coordinate event debrief meetings following each event

  • As a member of the management team within the Office of University Events and Ceremonies, assist with the development of office protocol and guidelines as well as the staff evaluation processes

  • The Associate Director oversees one (1) full-time Event Specialist whois responsible for assisting with Convocation as well as independently managing an event portfolio along with Temporary Event Support as needed.
  • Build collaborative relationships with the campus community, vendors, and key stakeholders
  • Manage special projects, and additional events upon request
  • Other Duties as assigned


  • Appropriately represent the Office of the Secretary of the University and the Office of the President, including strict adherence to professional appearance, demeanor, and manner of interacting with others required.
  • Ability to maintain a calm and courteous demeanor while handling competing priorities, a heavy workload, complex problems and tight deadlines required
  • Ability to work independently and in a team environment
  • Ability to deliver high-quality results in a dynamic environment and to anticipate future needs
  • Ability to execute events/meetings within an established budget required
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills required
  • Sound judgment andexcellent problem-solving skills required
  • Ability to work non-traditional hours required
  • Demonstrated ability to be highly organized and take initiative required
  • Ability to multi-task and handle multiple priorities simultaneously required
  • Excellent organizational and analytical skills are required. Ability to handle highly-sensitive and confidential information required
  • Ability to ensure a high degree of accuracy in a fast-paced environment required
  • Ability to provide superior customer service skills, teamwork, and attention to detail required
  • Maintain working knowledge of a range of computer systems required, including Microsoft Office Suite
  • Understands the University culture and reflects it well in the quality of the events planned and executed required
Additional Requirements​​

Education, Experience or Certifications:


  • Bachelor's degree required.

Experience*: *

  • The successful candidate will be a seasoned professional with prior experience planning and implementing complex events.
  • A minimum five to seven years of progressively responsible experience in event and meeting planning and management required, preferably in a higher education setting.

Required Documents:

  • Resume
  • Cover Letter

NOTE: When applying, all required documents MUSTbe uploaded under the Resume/CV section of the application

Benefit Eligibility


Pay Frequency


Pay Range

Depends on Qualifications

Scheduled Weekly Hours




Job is Exempt?


Drug Test Required?​​


Does this position require incumbent to operate a vehicle on the job?


Health Screen Required?​​


Posting Date


Remove from Posting On or Before


Posting Statement:​​

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.

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: Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.

  • Posted Yesterday
  • Full time
  • JR03368