Director of Operations, Graduate School of Social Work

Apply now Job no: 496763
Work type: Staff Full-Time
Location: Denver, CO
Categories: Business Operations / Services, Admin / Executive / Office Support, Research

Throughout its 75-year history, the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW) has administered numerous externally funded projects serving children and families. The Butler Institute for Families (Butler), established in 1994, is affiliated with GSSW and is nationally recognized for our leadership and collaborative work at the national, state, and local level in evaluation, research, and technical assistance aimed at improving the quality of child-, youth-, and family-serving systems.

We bring together researchers, practitioners, public and private service system experts, and community members to: engage in program evaluation and research; examine outcomes; and provide technical assistance and training to program administrators, direct service providers, and community leaders. Currently, Butler conducts business in four primary content areas: child welfare, early childhood systems, tribal initiatives, and behavioral health. These content areas operate within an implementation science framework that promotes the use, adoption, adaptation, replication, and scaling of research and/or evaluation knowledge, and the integration of this knowledge in practice. In addition to the benefits offered by the University of Denver (see here for more details:, Butler offers the opportunity to work with a dedicated group of people committed to using research and evaluation to inform practice and practice to inform research and evaluation. We also offer professional development and job growth opportunities, flexible schedules, and the opportunity to work remotely. Butler stands in solidarity against the systemic oppression of persons of color and American Indian/Alaska Native tribes, communities, and individuals. Butler intentionally partners with family and child serving agencies to create healing, positive systemic change and daily inclusive actions that reflect racial equity. This is a grant-funded position, and while Butler often has new projects that can replace a project that ends, Butler cannot guarantee positions after the end of grant-funding.

Position Summary

This position will serve full-time as Director of Operations supporting and guiding the success of all operational aspects of the Butler Institute for Families. This position may also serve as the Principal Investigator (PI), or Co-PI, for grant-funded projects. The Director of Operations functions under the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion, workforce wellbeing, and positive organizational culture and climate, promoting teamwork and collaboration across all teams and content areas within Butler. The Director of Operations is responsible for operational leadership and coordination of Butler, assuring the organization is run in accordance with federal, state and university requirements, guiding core operations, engaging in, and implementing strategic planning, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity (EDI) efforts, workforce development, fiscal management, and larger market positioning. The Director of Operations provides leadership of Butler’s shared services including Human Resources processes, support of the Creative Team, materials, supplies, technology, workspace, facilities/plant, and organizational communication needs.

This position is responsible for leading and implementing an EDI plan for and with Butler staff, advancing Butler’s EDI commitment with actionable steps, including facilitating the EDI Collaborative, serving as the Equity Lead, coordinating use of the Intercultural Development Inventory, and coaching others to create an ever more inclusive and antiracist culture and climate. The Director of Operations coordinates performance management, professional development and learning opportunities for staff. This position implements Butler’s administrative processes that support successful proposal submissions, grants administration, and grants closure processes in collaboration with PIs, Butler’s Director of Finance & Grants Administration, and the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects. The position communicates with GSSW colleagues regarding operations and administrative functions, procedures and practices, and alignment under One GSSW.

In addition to these leadership responsibilities, this position may serve as Principal Investigator on externally funded projects. In this capacity, the Director of Operations leads sponsored projects or activities within evaluation or applied research or capacity-building projects, including planning, implementation, and delivery of successful project deliverables. This person will be culturally aware and responsive, have exacting customer service standards, high-quality work expectations, effective communication skills, a strength-based solution-building orientation, and skills in helping diverse individuals and groups reach common ground. This position reports to the Executive Director. This position is a member of the Butler Executive Team comprised of the Executive Director, Director of Operations, and Director of Finance & Grants Administration.

Essential Functions

Operational Leadership of Butler 

  • Manage fiscal, human resource, marketing, and IT/plant functions and supervise associated staff.
  • Cultivate a strong, transparent, and collaborative work culture, rooted in equity, integrity, and accountability.
  • Develop policies and procedures that promote Butler’s culture to fulfill the vision and mission of Butler.
  • Lead the EDI Collaborative, manage external consultant work, and develop and guide implementation of Butler’s EDI roadmap and related action steps to embed equity and inclusion as a multicultural organization.
  • Coordinate operational communications across Butler.
  • Communicate, plan, and support co-facilitation of All-Staff meetings and annual staff retreats.
  • Plan, monitor and provide oversight of ad hoc day-to-day operations functions and challenges.
  • Review, evaluate and determine physical space and related logistics in coordination with GSSW/DU
  • Serve as administrative liaison with GSSW and DU administration, HR, ORSP and manage relationships and agreements with external partner vendors.
  • Develop, coordinate, and direct Butler’s marketing plan.
  • Oversee the Creative Team by providing supervision and consultation to the Creative Team Director

Human Resources Leadership of Butler 

  • Ensure effective recruiting, onboarding, professional development, performance management, and retention.
  • Develop, coordinate, and implement professional development opportunities for staff.
  • Promote an inclusive work environment that values a variety of skills and personal and professional backgrounds.
  • Support consistent and positive supervision structure and practices to develop and retain all staff.
  • Conduct ongoing staff planning and coordination of resources that support staffing.
  • Conduct onboarding coordination, including leading the newer staff peer group and newer supervisor peer group.
  • Work close with University of Denver Human Resources team for consultation and resolution of unexpected staffing and HR concerns
  • Make decisions about Operations Team structure and strategic hiring priorities.
  • Review and sign activity reports/timesheets, position/job requests, financial requests, and other administrative functions
  • Direct staff performance goal setting and tracking
  • Serve as the Equity Lead for microaggression resolution and repair work across Butler, maintain the Butler Microaggression
  • Guidelines as a living document, and provide learning opportunities and consultation to staff.

Fiscal Leadership of Butler 

  • Coordinate with the Director of Finance & Grants Administration and the Executive Director to ensure fiscal health of Butler.
  • Regularly review the budget and coordinate with the Director of Finance & Grants Administration and Executive Director to ensure the ongoing fiscal health of the organization, including developing long- and short-range financial plans,
  • Support Setting financial priorities accurately to ensure the organization is operating in a manner that supports the achievement of the Institute’s strategic goals.

Business Development 

  • Support Butler PI’s in seeking funding opportunities, bring in new or expanded work in content areas, and coordinate screening of funding opportunities
  • Lead screening, planning and preparation of grant proposals.
  • Coordinate budgets for proposals in line with Request for Proposal requirements.

Other Duties

  • Plan and organize capacity-building projects as Principal Investigator or Co-investigator within one or more of Butler’s content areas, executing and controlling project components, activities and high-level decisions about project direction and scope.
  • Attend and participate in DU and Butler-related meetings, trainings, and activities, including organizational workgroups and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion activities.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Significant depth of expertise producing high quality solution-building and learning projects
  • In-depth knowledge of child-, youth-, and family-serving systems
  • Excellent writing skills and interpersonal communication and teamwork skills
  • Experience collaborating with members of diverse cultures and backgrounds different than own.
  • Excellent written and verbal language skills
  • Ability to collaborate effectively, communicate diplomatically, and facilitate constructive interpersonal interactions.
  • Ability to successfully lead the operational needs of an organization using coaching and mentoring approaches with staff.
  • Knowledge of intercultural intelligence and learning approaches to individual and group intercultural growth
  • Knowledge of tribal sovereignty, tribal self-governance, and child and family serving programs and organizations
  • Demonstrated ability to seek and obtain funding, and to manage all organizational level stages of sponsored projects including screening RFPs, coordinating staffing plans, and closing out projects for continuous quality improvement
  • Ability to develop and manage budgets and work with leadership colleagues to direct the operational activities of an organization
  • Ability to exercise discretion and independent judgement in conducting operations, fiscal and human resources.
  • Ability to manage and develop relationships with multiple stakeholders and lead high-functioning teams.
  • Ability to draft complex narrative reports and correspondence with minimal guidance.
  • Mindfulness and accuracy
  • Advanced skills in Microsoft Office Word and PowerPoint
  • Adaptable to changing priorities while demonstrating the highest level of customer service.
  • Independently motivated to identify, research, and propose approaches and solutions as needed for projects.
  • Strong initiative to learn and share information relevant to this position and Butler’s organizational needs.
  • Knowledge of implementation science and ability to apply knowledge to capacity building work.
  • Project management skills with multiple stakeholders and tasks involved.
  • Strong critical thinking and solution-building skills

Required Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in social sciences or related field.
  • Minimum 10 years’ experience in management creating and leading high-functioning teams and supervising units of staff.
  • Minimum of 3 years’ managing operations for an organization
  • Minimum of 3 years’ experience developing and managing budgets and scopes of work
  • History of successfully written grant proposals

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree with emphasis on child, youth, and/or family services
  • 4 or more years managing operations for an organization, agency, or tribal program.
  • Leadership experience in an academic center or institute, non-profit, or government agency.
  • Experience leading grant projects involving application of implementation science.
  • Experience working with in a grant-funded environment in government, non-profit, or university settings.
  • Bilingual in English and Spanish

Working Environment

  1. Primarily remote work with option to work outside of the Denver area.
  2. Occasional travel required.

Physical Activities

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

Work Schedule
Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Application Deadline
For best consideration, please submit your application materials by 4:00 p.m. (MST) October 13, 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 15.

Salary Range:
The salary range for this position is $120,000-$135,000.

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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