Assistant Director

Apply now Job no: 496338
Work type: Staff Full-Time
Location: Denver, CO
Categories: Events, Business Operations / Services, Admin / Executive / Office Support

Come join our team at Higher Education Resource Services (HERS): a dynamic and independent non-profit dedicated to advancing gender equity in higher education leadership. HERS is committed to creating and sustaining a diverse and inclusive community of leaders through various strategies with a special focus in higher education. HERS alums include more than 6,000 individuals on approximately 1,400 campuses in the U.S. and in institutions in Canada, South Africa, Uganda, Nigeria, and other nations. HERS offices have been located on the University of Denver campus since 1983. Full-time HERS staff members can use and take advantage of all University of Denver employee benefits and services.  

Position Summary

The Assistant Director of Programs is responsible for planning, managing, and coordinating the successful execution of all HERS program events, both in-person and virtual. HERS programs vary in size, complexity, duration, and purpose but all programs are designed to support the mission and vision of HERS. The Assistant Director provides organizational leadership for all HERS institutes, conferences, workshops, and related programs. The Assistant Director is the project lead for all in-person program sites and related facilities. In this capacity, the Assistant Director works closely with the programs team to select program venues and related facilities that not only suit the size and purpose of each program but will also enhance HERS’s ability to meet or exceed program outcomes for all stakeholders and constituents.

The person in this position will travel to all in-person programs and be the on-site lead for HERS, serving as the primary liaison between program vendors, facility providers, a/v technicians, and catering staff, working to ensure that all orders and contracts are fulfilled and that the needs of program participants and facilitators are met. The Assistant Director regularly communicates with registered program participants to share all logistical information related to the program and, in partnership with the Programs team, executes all registered participants’ program onboarding for both in-person and virtual programs.

The Assistant Director reports to the Vice President of Programs and Operations. The Assistant Director must be able to work in a high-paced environment and be able to prioritize competing deadlines. HERS regularly hosts a variety of programs ranging from a two-hour virtual workshop to a six-month program that includes several three-day in-person convenings. The majority of HERS programs enroll mid to executive-level leaders in higher education. It is critical that the Assistant Director communicates clearly and respectfully with HERS constituents to share accurate and timely program information with program participants and facilitators. The successful candidate will possess a keen attention to detail and organizational savviness. Excellent communication and conflict resolution skills are critical for success in this role as the Assistant Director will need to effectively manage the expectations of program stakeholders with various, and sometimes competing, interests and needs.

Essential Functions

Program Management (50%)

  • Manage the design and execution of program-related events in a manner that complements each program’s purpose and contributes to a holistic program participant experience; this is inclusive of program event planning and project management, pre-program interactions, vendor relations, all on-site details, program schedule and preparation, and post-event/program follow-up
  • Regularly vet program facilities and venues; solicit RFPs (requests for proposals) for in-person programs to get competitive bids from vendors; review all agreements and contracts with an eye to detail and to mitigate risk to HERS and HERS program participants
  • Proactively anticipate where conflicts and issues may arise, especially as it pertains to the use of multiple facilities for in-person program delivery on the same campus/in the same location
  • Organize and schedule meetings and video conference calls as needed for key programs team members and outside vendors, facilitators, and contractors to facilitate pre-program planning and post-program debriefing
  • Consistently and professionally communicate with all outside vendors contracted for program delivery
  • Manage all program event tasks and deliverables through HERS’s project-management software
  • Manage program supply inventory; ensure all program materials and swag are ordered and on-hand well in advance of program delivery dates
  • Travel to all in-person programs and serve as the primary liaison between program vendors, facility providers, a/v technicians, and catering staff; while on-site, ensure that all orders and contracts are fulfilled and executed as specified in any agreements and strive to meet the needs of program participants and facilitators
  • Work with various programs team members to help manage the successful electronic delivery of virtual programs and help provide technical support for participants and facilitators; assist with the accessibility and distribution of all electronic program materials, resources, and recordings to program participants

Participant Experience (35%)

  • Work closely with the programs team and the accounting team to manage program registration for participants in both the CRM and the LMS or virtual event site, when applicable
  • Manage and communicate all logistical information to participants and work with the marketing team to ensure that any FAQs, packing lists, program schedule, and facility information are also available online via our website and/or the HERS LMS
  • In partnership with the programs team, create and implement a thorough onboarding and offboarding process for participants in each HERS program
  • Distribute and manage all required program participant intake/registration forms and communicate relevant information to relevant parties about participant needs and requests
  • Assemble and distribute all program materials (both physical and electronic) to program participants
  • Relentlessly strive to meet individuals’ needs throughout program delivery, working diligently to resolve any conflicts and address any concerns

Financial Stewardship (15%)

  • Create and track program event budgets and revenue expectations in collaboration with the programs team
  • Negotiate with external vendors and partners to ensure that program event budgets are managed within established constraints and that exceptions are approved in an appropriate and timely manner

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including verbal and written communication skills
  • High degree of diplomacy and organizational savvy; able to partner with a wide variety of stakeholders
  • Willingness to take initiative, keep a positive attitude, and maintain a professional demeanor
  • High level of customer service skills, including demonstrated ability to understand and address the needs of a variety of program constituents
  • Flexibility and adaptability; ability to keep calm under pressure and de-escalate tense situations  
  • Excellent time-management skills
  • Outstanding attention to detail and commitment to quality
  • Working knowledge of the higher education sector
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Adept at problem-solving, critical thinking, and using judgment in situations that require sensitivity and tact
  • Experience tracking program and event progress using a project management tool
  • Technically adept with working knowledge of most Office 365 apps (e.g., MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook) and Zoom
  • Ability to travel (at least 30%) to in-person programs and to offsite locations for program delivery and planning purposes
  • Ability to work nights/weekends (10+%) to serve as the on-site logistical lead for in-person program services and activities

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and work experience
  • 2 years of experience in program and/or event management, including direct experience working with high-profile guests
  • Project/program management experience

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience managing programs and/or events of varying size and complexity
  • Experience stewarding program or event budgets exceeding $75,000
  • Experience managing events in a university or non-profit setting
  • Experience soliciting proposals from prospective vendors and contractors
  • 4 years of experience in program and event management, including direct experience working with high-profile participants and guests

Working Environment

  • Standard office environment with occasional remote work opportunities
  • Noise level is quiet to moderate
  • Unexpected interruptions occur and stress level is moderate to high
  • Ability to travel up 30% or more for program delivery and program planning

 Physical Activities

  • Ability to sit in front of a computer for an extended period of time
  • Occasionally required to move about the office/campus with the capability of transporting objects up to 20 lbs.

Statement of Other Duties Disclaimer

This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change, or new ones may be assigned at any time with or without notice.

Statement of Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

The University of Denver is committed to enhancing the diversity of its faculty and staff and encourages applications from women, minorities, members of the LBGT community, people with disabilities and veterans. The University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

Work Schedule

Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Some weekends and evenings as programs require; 30%+ travel for program planning and delivery purposes.

In accordance with the University’s flexible work policy, this position is eligible to be considered for partial remote work. Further details regarding this plan will be determined with the hiring manager and are dependent on the division and team specific needs. Remote work is not possible when delivering in-person programs, as the Assistant Director will be expected to travel to and be on site.

Application Deadline

For best consideration, please submit your application materials by 4:00 p.m. (MST) June 30, 2023.

Special Instructions

Candidates must apply online through to be considered. Only applications submitted online will be accepted.

Salary Grade Number:

The salary grade for the position is 9.

Salary Range:

The salary range for this position is $60,000-$65,000.

The University of Denver has provided a compensation range that represents its good faith estimate of what the University may pay for the position at the time of posting. The University may ultimately pay more or less than the posted compensation range. The salary offered to the selected candidate will be determined based on factors such as the qualifications of the selected candidate, departmental budget availability, internal salary equity considerations, and available market information, but not based on a candidate’s sex or any other protected status.


The University of Denver offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO pass. The University of Denver is a private institution that empowers students who want to make a difference. Learn more about the University of Denver.

Please include the following documents with your application:

  1. Resume
  2. Cover Letter

The University of Denver is an equal opportunity employer. The University of Denver prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age (40 years and over in the employment context), religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital status, veterans status, and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination under federal, state, or local law, regulation, or ordinance in any of the university's educational programs and activities, and in the employment (including application for employment) and admissions (including application for admission) context, as required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended in 2008; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967; and any other federal, state, and local laws, regulations, or ordinances that prohibit discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation. For the university's complete Non-Discrimination Statement, please see non‑discrimination‑statement.

All offers of employment are contingent upon satisfactory completion of a criminal history background check.

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