Monroe Community College (MCC), in Rochester, New York, a multi-campus institution and member of the League for Innovation in the Community College, invites applications and nominations for the position of Chief of Staff and Assistant to the President, Governmental Relations (COS).
The Institution: Since its founding in 1961, Monroe Community College has opened doors of opportunity for over half a million students. MCC lives its vision as a champion of equity, opportunity, innovation and excellence while transforming students’ lives and local communities. Dedicated, student-centered faculty deliver over 100 degree and certificate programs to more than 23,000 credit/noncredit students. Offering the lowest in-state tuition in the Finger Lakes region, MCC seeks to make education accessible by offering students flexible program pathways in-person and online. More than 700 students live in campus housing, and all students are offered an engaging student life experience with approximately 60 clubs and organizations to suit their interests. MCC employs over 1,200 full- and part-time faculty and staff, a group whose members have received 121 SUNY Chancellor’s Awards recognizing excellence in teaching, faculty service, professional service, librarianship, classified service, and scholarship and creative activities. To learn more about this unique institution, please visit www.monroecc.edu.
The Position: Reporting directly to the President, the COS serves as a senior advisor to the President on significant and sensitive issues and is a member of the President’s Executive Leadership Team. This position is responsible for working strategically and collaborating cross-functionally to provide project leadership to, and on behalf of, the President. The COS reviews and analyzes internal and external communications and responses of the Office of the President, gathers information relative to such matters, identifies issues and concerns impacting the College, and assists with the preparation and/or review of oral or written presentations or briefings, speeches, testimony, or interview responses for the President, in coordination with other members of Executive Leadership Team and departments, including Community Relations, as appropriate. This position plans and executes a comprehensive and timely governmental relations plan that advances MCC's mission and strategic goals with local, regional, state, and federal elected and appointed officials and stakeholders, informed by the College’s core values: community, inclusiveness, integrity, excellence, empowerment, and stewardship. Through the lens of student success, the COS serves as an enthusiastic and informed ambassador for initiatives central to the College's commitment to excellence, innovation, and efficiency in serving a diverse student body supported by diverse faculty and staff.
Specific governmental relations duties include the following: work with the President to develop the College’s strategies in the areas of policy and initiatives with local, state, and federal representatives through careful planning and execution of a comprehensive and timely governmental relations plan with measurable deliverables aligned to advance MCC Strategic Plan priorities; coordinate governmental relations strategies with relevant stakeholders inside and outside the College, including the MCC Board of Trustees, MCC Foundation Board members, State University of New York (SUNY), state and national associations, student organizations, labor unions, and government relations staff from other agencies and industries; create, sustain, and enhance MCC relationships with government officials and agencies as well as arrange meetings with the above entities; support the College's annual budget advocacy cycle at the local and state levels; monitor legislation and policy activities, update and proactively advise the President and staff about relevant policy proposals and actions, analyzing possible impacts on MCC; develop timely materials and responses in support of the College's government relations agenda, such as social media communications (in collaboration with the College’s current social media presence), talking points, legislative summaries, factsheets, testimony, reports, and letters, in coordination with other members of Executive Leadership Team and departments; develop and oversee the President’s strategic governmental relations communication through consultation with Community Relations.
Chief of Staff duties include the following: oversee and manage priority initiatives and special projects of the College and the Office of the President; track, coordinate, and manage the President’s initiatives and projects in collaboration with other individuals and departments; serve in an advisory capacity to peers on the Executive Leadership Team and support the President in delivering actionable results from Executive Leadership Team meetings and other meetings; liaise between the Office of the President and MCC staff and faculty, senior administrators, student body, community groups, SUNY administration, New York State, other agencies, and groups as directed by the President; support the President’s work with SUNY and other governing boards and act as an administrative liaison to governance committees; represent the College before public agencies, commissions, and ceremonial events as directed by the President; guide the work of the President’s Executive Assistant and coordinate with Community Relations and others to schedule the President for community engagements and/or development opportunities with leaders within and across sectors, such as education, business, industry, government, health and human services; prepare and/or coordinate the work of the President’s Executive Assistant, Community Relations, and others to prepare presentations, speeches, and other pertinent materials for the President; make recommendations to the President on the budget for the Office of the President and manage the Office of the President budget once adopted; maintain confidentiality in all correspondence addressed to the President or emanating from the Office of the President; direct the day-to-day work of staff in the Office of the President; assist the President with staff hiring, scheduling, supervision, and evaluation, as directed.
Qualifications: The COS will be an excellent oral and written communicator and will have a proven ability to build and maintain relationships with diverse individuals and groups and engage with internal and external stakeholders. The successful candidate will possess superior problem-solving, organizational, and interpersonal skills, with a keen attention to detail. They will demonstrate the ability to successfully manage multiple projects and deadlines in a self-directed manner. Also required is the demonstrated ability to integrate data into decision making to promote effective practice and policy. Experience working with federal, state, and county governmental agencies is required. The successful candidate will possess a master’s degree in communications, public relations, business administration, public administration, higher education, or in a related field from a regionally accredited higher education institution and a minimum of five (5) years of significant experience in higher education, preferably with a community college; or a bachelor’s degree in communications, public relations, business administration, higher education, or in a related field from a regionally accredited higher education institution and a minimum of seven (7) years of similar experience in progressively senior level administrative roles with responsibilities for supporting a President or Chief Executive Officer (i.e., in a corporate or institutional setting).
Location: Rochester, New York, nestled in the beautiful Finger Lakes region in Western New York, offers residents an excellent quality of life. The technical industry, biotechnology, green innovation, higher education, and food-and-beverage manufacturing opportunities offer Monroe Community College graduates and Monroe County families ample and attractive employment opportunities. The metropolitan region has one of the largest economies in the state and offers an excellent housing market and short commute times. While the Flower City is known for its natural beauty, Rochester offers entertainment to suit nearly every interest including historical and cultural centers, professional sports, music and art festivals, and outdoor entertainment opportunities for every season.
Application: Candidates should submit only a cover letter and resume to RPA Inc. at MonroeCOS@rpainc.org. For a confidential discussion about this opportunity or to make a nomination, please contact Isaac Karaffa, Vice President and Senior Consultant, or Kendra Mozug, Search Consultant, at the email address above. The review of candidates will begin on November 1, 2022, and first-round interviews will commence thereafter.