Director of the Robert J Dole Institute of Politics

University of Kansas
Kansas, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Feb 17, 2021
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

The University of Kansas invites nominations and applications for the position of Director of the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics.

The University
The University of Kansas is a major public research and teaching institution of nearly 28,000 students, 2,600 faculty and 3,400 staff across five campuses, including the KU Medical Center. KU comprises 13 schools, including the state’s only schools of pharmacy and medicine, and offers more than 370 degree programs. The university’s diverse community of students and faculty are united by KU’s mission to educate leaders, build healthy communities, and make discoveries that change the world.

KU is a longstanding member of the Association of American Universities.  Both the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Carnegie Foundation classify KU as a top research university. KU consistently earns high rankings for its academic offerings, including its 46 nationally ranked graduate programs. KU researchers conducted more than $249 million in federally sponsored research last year, with strengths ranging from pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences to special education.

In the past decade, the university has invested more than $800 million in new and renovated facilities to enhance teaching and research. Notable new construction includes the Earth, Energy & Environment Center and Capitol Federal Hall, as well as the Integrated Science Building, which comprises 280,000 square feet of space for teaching, learning and interdisciplinary research in chemistry, medicinal chemistry, physics, molecular biosciences, and related fields.

There are 38 active startup companies created from KU discoveries, and the university has 130 license agreements for commercial use of KU technologies. The university has an on-campus incubator that houses more than 40 corporate tenants ranging from KU spinouts to established companies like Garmin and Archer Daniels Midland.

The University is located in Lawrence, a city with a population exceeding 95,000.  The community is known for its support of the University, education, arts, and research and regularly appears in various “best town” listings.  Lawrence is centrally located between the State of Kansas Capitol in Topeka and the major metropolitan community of Kansas City.

The Position
The mission of the Dole Institute of Politics is to promote political and civic participation as well as civil discourse in a bipartisan, philosophically balanced manner. By providing a forum for discussion of political and economic issues, fostering public service leadership, and encouraging participation in the political process, the Dole Institute emphasizes that politics is an honorable profession and provides opportunities for all to interact with political leaders, practitioners, and authors. The Dole Institute also emphasizes that only through political and civic participation can citizens redirect the course of our nation.

Senator Bob Dole’s legacy at the University of Kansas was established in 1997 upon the gift of his papers to KU. The Dole Institute was dedicated in 2003 in KU’s West District and became home to the Senator Elizabeth Dole legacy upon the gift of her papers in 2017.

The Dole Institute is home to a museum dedicated to the legacies of Senators Bob and Elizabeth Dole, featuring the largest stained-glass American flag in the world, a memory wall dedicated to Kansas veterans of WWII, and the newly renovated Elizabeth Dole Gallery and Reading Room.

The Robert and Elizabeth Dole Archive and Special Collections department is responsible for collections, research, and exhibits at the Dole Institute. Both Senators’ personal papers and congressional materials are publicly available for research, attracting scholars from all over the world.

On April 3, 2017, Senator Bob Dole issued a written statement describing “four fundamental principles for the operations of the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics in order to guide future Dole Institute Board of Advisors, future Chancellors of the University of Kansas and future Directors of the Institute.  It addresses the Institute’s mission, funding provided by KU for the Dole Institute, the selection of future Directors of the Institute, and preferred reporting lines.”  A copy of Senator Dole’s written statement may be accessed at   University of Kansas Chancellor Douglas A. Girod has endorsed the “four fundamental principles for the operations of the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics” as stated in Senator Dole’s April 3, 2017 statement, as did former University of Kansas Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little.

The Director of the Dole Institute will be a leader—a creative, dynamic, and forward-looking individual who will implement the mission of the Institute with imagination and resourcefulness.  The successful incumbent will be a leader who is able to set aside partisan political leanings to develop a strategic vision in effectively leading the Institute.  This includes but is not limited to operational activities, planning, donor expansion, and programming to further research, discovery, community growth and discussions in the area of politics.  This position reports directly to and serves at the pleasure of the Chancellor.  The initial term for the Director position is five-years and is subject to extension/renewal after a comprehensive review.  Salary range begins at $150,000, but is negotiable based upon candidate experience and qualifications.

In a continuing effort to enrich its academic environment and provide equal educational and employment opportunities, the university actively encourages applications from members of underrepresented groups in higher education.  The successful candidate must be eligible to work in the U.S. by the effective date of the appointment.

Job Description:

55% Leadership, Direction and Administration Oversight

  • Develops a strategic plan and leads key initiatives for the growth of the Institute.  Works to create key performance indicators to measure progress and track results.  Develops reports to key stakeholders, donors, and board members to reflect areas of activity.
  • Works to expand and maintain networks and partnerships for the Institute with a variety of key constituencies.
  • Serve as the chief contact of the Institute with Senator Dole and his office.
  • Develop and direct the Institute’s programmatic activities and engagement opportunities.
  • Oversees the management of the Board of Advisors.
  • Provide direction and management to professional staff for Dole Institute operations and programs; administer employment decisions and actions such as hiring, retention, annual performance reviews, and employee relations activities.
  • Oversee creation and management of an operations and programming annual budget.  Responsible for overall facility management and use including but not limited to building updates, modifications, repairs and/or future expansion.  Ensure work processes are executed correctly and maximized for efficiency, including asset management and facilities usage.
  • Oversee creation and implementation of unit policy and/or procedures.
  • Steward the Student Advisory Board; manage and develop SAB programming to attract new members and provide opportunities for current members.
  • Conduct work while setting aside partisan political leanings in Dole Institute public and private situations.
  • Discuss and manage agreements with other campus departments, vendors, community organizations, peer institutions, and conferences.

30% Programs

  • Lead the development of programs, including new forms of public programming; oversee the organization of conferences, seminars, and special meetings, bringing the Institute into the national conversation on political and policy issues.
  • Develop programs that address diversity and inclusion and promote dialogue regarding related topics that promote learning, discussion, and respectful engagement.
  • Oversee the branding and public face of the Institute through all media venues.
  • Recruit guest speakers or prominent researchers to the facility.
  • Oversee implementation of civic engagement programs and museum/archival programs.
  • Manage the oversight and coordination of hosting political figures and related events.  Work to ensure safety and security measures are followed according to the law.

15% Fundraising

  • Work with the Chancellor, KU Endowment Association, the Dole Institute Development Director, private individuals, foundations, business, and government agencies to raise private, corporate, and grant funds for the Dole Institute.
  • Work closely with the Development Coordinator to implement a fundraising strategy for the Dole Institute.
  • Steward the Friends Program for the Dole Institute.

Required Qualifications:

  • Working knowledge of Senator Bob Dole and Elizabeth Dole and their careers, as demonstrated through application materials, previous experience, interview, and/or references.
  • Capacity to develop and implement creative public programming or marketing campaigns capable of generating national visibility or outreach as demonstrated through application materials and interview.
  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • Proven fundraising ability.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively; strong written and verbal communication skills as demonstrated by application materials, interview, and reference materials.
  • Demonstrated commitment to public service.
  • Supervisory experience in a team-oriented environment.
  • Experience in presenting public exhibits or appreciation of the role such exhibits can play in creating innovative learning experiences.

Additional Candidate Instructions:

  • For information concerning this position or to make a nomination, please contact Angie Loving, Associate Director of Human Resource Manage,
  • The University of Kansas is accepting online application materials at  Review of applications will begin May 3, 2021 and will continue as needed until a pool of qualified applicants is identified.  Evaluation of requirements will be based upon a letter of application describing your work and experiences as it relates to the position and qualification requirements, a current CV or resume and contact information (email and phone) for three professional references.  Only complete applications will be accepted.