Founding Director, Center for Community Engagement

California, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Oct 02, 2020
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
Job Summary:


Chief leader and administrator for the Center for Community Engagement (CCE).  Responsible for strategic planning, administrative oversight, personnel and budget management for CCE.  Responsible for facilitating the identification, coordination, and tracking/evaluation of existing and new community engagement activities across all SMU divisions, departments, and campuses.  Will establish and collaborate with CCE advisory councils.  Collaborate with the Office of the President, University Advancement, Academic Affairs, and Student Affairs to increase the profile and recognition of Samuel Merritt University in the communities the university serves.  An at-will employee, the director serves at the pleasure of the president.

**The review of applications will begin on November 16, 2020 and continue until the position is filled.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Other duties maybe assigned.  An asterisk (*) denotes an “essential job function” for ADA purposes, time allocated follows each duty/responsibility.


-          Provide leadership and administrative oversight for CCE including strategic planning as well as managing the CCE staff, budget, and programs.

-          Build internal and external community engagement activities including:

o   Community Engagement, Partnerships and Fundraising.

    Develop and maintain a clearinghouse of external community-based organizations. Connect external organizations with internal entities with similar goals/activities. Expand and institutionalize existing partnerships. Cultivate new partnerships based on SMU priorities. Cultivate and grow CCE Board(s) and community supporters to include influential and high capacity community leaders/individuals. Engage health care organizations, corporations and individuals in the fundraising, friend raising, and program development/implementation process. Work with University Advancement leadership to identify, submit, and secure potential private donors and corporate and foundation grant proposals annually.
o   Academic Collaboration.

    Support faculty training/development in collaboration with SMU’s Center for Innovation and Excellence in Learning (CIEL) in the context of community engagement and community service. Assist faculty to incorporate community engagement into the curriculum and develop the related course/program/institution learning outcomes. Facilitate formal arrangements between SMU and external community agencies that support attainment of the aforementioned course-level outcomes. Develop and support academically-based community-oriented service learning. Provide support for faculty scholarship and service in the context of community engagement.
o   Student Engagement/Pipeline Development.

    Support student training for how to work in, and with, diverse and vulnerable communities/populations. Serve as a bridge to community partners in support of student interests and needs in community engagement activities. Centralize outreach activities to organizations in the communities the University serves to strengthen current and grow potential new youth pipelines for the University.
-          Establish and collaborate with Advisory Councils. An internal council consisting of key SMU stakeholders representing all campuses and all campus divisions, and an external council made up of non-SMU stakeholders.

-          Collaborate with the Office and the President and University Advancement to connect campus leaders with community leaders, key individuals, corporations, and agencies.

-          Collaborate with faculty, staff, and administrators in identifying grant opportunities, writing grants, and managing grants.

-          Support and participate in fundraising activities.


Education and/or Experience:

  • A Bachelor’s Degree in a health-related field is required, with a Masters or Doctorate Degree preferred
  • Leadership experience as a program director, department head, or other leadership title/position.
  • Experience with developing community partnerships, academic collaborations, and/or student engagement and pipeline development.
  • Experience with advisory councils as a member, director, or other role.
  • Experience working with leaders in the community and higher education.
  • Experience with grant writing/management and fundraising.


Skills and Abilities:

  • Ability to lead the Center for Community Engagement successfully and effectively.
  • Commitment to the highest moral and ethical standards.
  • Knowledge of the mission of Samuel Merritt University.
  • Ability to carry out prudent budget planning, staff supervision, and program oversight.
  • Ability to lead in a collaborative manner, yet making prudent, timely, and sometimes difficult decisions.
  • Able and committed to operating in an open, honest, and transparent procedural manner as a skilled listener and articulate communicator, who is sensitive to diverse viewpoints.
  • Strong commitment to forming internal and external community partnerships, to assist with the engagement of University leaders in the community, and to look for grant and fundraising opportunities.


Physical Effort Required:

  • Must have ability to move about to accomplish tasks across campus
  • Physical ability to lift 25 pounds, carry, push, pull, climb, kneel, and stop
  • Dexterity of the hands and fingers for computer use
  • Ability to read and write complex documents
  • Ability to sit or stand doing deskwork for prolonged periods of time
  • Must be able to talk, express ideas by means of spoken word
  • Ability to receive detailed information through verbal communication


The University has an institution-wide commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.  We strive to build a welcoming and supportive campus environment, and acknowledge that diversity is an educational imperative to achieve excellence.

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