The Office of Civic Engagementâ™s (OCE) mission is to strengthen the Universityâ™s impact on the lives of people living in Chicago and demonstrate the transformative civic role leading urban research institutions can have in cities around the world.
OCE serves a dual purpose for the University. First, we steward the Universityâ™s commitment to the city, supporting other academic and administrative units as they develop and advance their distinct civic/community priorities. We also lead areas of strategic work that extend the Universityâ™s reach and impact citywide and on the South Side.Â
OCE advances its work through four primary functions:
Navigateâ”We are Partnership Builders. We make connections, build relationships, engage diverse stakeholders, and listen to our neighbors to understand their priorities. We ensure these relationships inform the Universityâ™s civic engagement work and lead to identifying shared interests and building sustainable partnerships.
Demonstrateâ”We are Program Leaders. We creatively align the ideas and knowledge of our faculty, students, and staff with those of our local and citywide partners to design and deliver initiatives that extend economic, social, and educational opportunities beyond our campus. We lead programs that contribute to a vibrant South Side and a civically-engaged city.
Conveneâ”We are Civic Strategists. We keep civic engagement top of mind within the University and provide strategic leadership and guidance for its civic engagement work. We convene civic leaders to build shared knowledge on effective outward engagement strategies.
Amplifyâ”We are Information Sharers. We disseminate information about University programs and opportunities available to the community. We document and celebrate University and community partnerships and strategically communicate the positive impact of our commitment and contribution as a civic partner.
The Associate Vice President (AVP) for Civic Engagement will report to the Vice President for Civic Engagement and External Affairs (VP) and will be a key member of the senior Office of Civic Engagement & External Affairs (OCE&EA) leadership team along with the other Associate Vice Presidents reporting to the VP. The primary focus of the AVP for Civic Engagement will be to strengthen the work of OCE and its role within the University, and to amplify the impact and awareness of OCEâ™s work within the City of Chicago and the South Side community.
Oversee the day-to-day work and functions of OCE.
Manage, empower, and support a staff of 31, including 12 direct reports, to strengthen and scale OCEâ™s civic and community programs and local government/community engagement efforts as well as to advance and expand OCEâ™s efforts in fundraising, program design and evaluation, staff professional development, communications, and program administrative support
Build pathways for professional development of OCE staff as well as initiatives that foster a culture of collaboration, inclusivity, positivity, and openness within OCE
Communicate clearly with OCE staff and facilitate listening sessions to gain different perspectives and competing views for advancing the work of OCE
Work with OCE staff to develop creative methods and vehicles for storytelling to communicate the impact of OCEâ™s work to internal and external audiences.
Work with OCE staff to advance systems for measuring, reporting, and building accountability around OCE-led work to achieve their annual targets and goals
Spearhead the execution of OCEâ™s strategic framework.
Lead strategic planning efforts for OCE and oversee the implementation of the current strategic framework and goals for the office
Create ongoing opportunities for OCE staff, campus stakeholders and external civic/community partners to engage in and inform the strategic direction and programmatic priorities of OCE
Guide and support OCE staff in their efforts to develop and drive university-wide strategic initiatives that relate directly to OCE-led work (e.g. Civic Leadership, Student Civic Engagement, Economic Inclusion, Nonprofit Capacity Building, College Readiness and Access, etc.)
Serve as a thought partner and strategic advisor to the Vice President for Civic Engagement and External Affairs (VP) on all matters related to the advancement of OCE-led civic/community engagement efforts across the University.
Serve as a member of OCE&EA leadership team to foster cross-unit collaboration
Assist VP in thinking through prioritization of OCE initiatives and programs in the context of resource allocation
Identify new opportunities and innovations for how the University broadly, and OCE specifically, can advance its civic and community engagement impact
Serve as a leader within the University on matters related to civic and community engagement.
Advise faculty, students and staff on civic engagement related strategies, opportunities and challenges
Build new internal partnerships for OCE within the University with other academic and administrative units as well as faculty, students and staff
Make connections for faculty, students and staff within the University to partner with, or connect to, OCE programs and initiatives
Represent the Office of Civic Engagement and the University in internal and external settings.
Develop and communicate understanding and appreciation of University context as it relates to work of OCE and to the community
Serve as a representative for the VP as needed in civic, community and academic settings.
Provide strategic guidance and information on strategic urban affairs, civic and community issues to inform University civic engagement efforts
Provide leadership for the University on urban affairs and civic engagement to represent its civic engagement commitments and approach
Build relationships and partnerships and help build trust with community
Serve as one of OCEâ™s primary liaisons to external funders, including foundations and other philanthropic partners
Other duties as assigned
Work effectively across the University â“ including students, faculty, and staff â“ and with the broader community, including community and civic organizations to creating meaningful and sustainable partnerships
Work independently, with a high degree of initiative and ability to meet deadlines; maintain confidentiality, and problem solving
Knowledge about urban affairs, urban issues, academic and anchor institutions, and economic development models
Knowledge of community-based programming, community engagement and outreach
Effective organizational and time management skills with a high degree of attention to detail
Strong interpersonal skills, including excellent verbal and written communication skills
Self-motivated and able to work independently
Strong commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the role large institutions can play in advancing those values
Strong ambition and passion for making a positive impact on the lives of people living in Chicago and on the South Side
Good political judgment and demonstrated ability at delivering results when lines of authority are less clear
Cultivate buy-in to facilitate change management and to enforce accountability through outlining clear expectations, clear measurement, and facilitating feedback (bidirectional) and outlining clear consequences, as needed
Energy, creativity, and enthusiasm
Effective communication skills, with knowledge of how to leverage a diversity of media platforms
Education, Experience, or Certifications:
Bachelor's degree required
Masterâ™s degree in Public Administration, Public Policy, or similar fields
20 + years experience leading units or organizations with multiple programs, functions, divisions, including strategic planning, annual goal setting, fundraising and communications
Proven ability to lead and mentor a diverse team of professionals at various levels of their respective careers
Demonstrated experience advancing complex initiatives, partnerships, or collaborations in urban settings
Demonstrated experience coordinating and leading inter-disciplinary and/or inter-departmental processes to advance a strategic priority of an institution or organization
Experience engaging with academic research, grant writing, program design and evaluation, or teaching
Direct experience in community organizing, and/or working with grassroots and grass-tops community-based and civic organizations
Strong civic and community relationships across public, private, and civic sectors
Experience managing and leading within academic, or large institutions
Experience in developing staff and building a strong collaborative culture within an organization
Working Conditions and Physical Requirements:
May require work after normal business hours or on weekends
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