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Special Projects and Operations Manager, Student Life Division

Colorado School of Mines
Colorado, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted Date
Feb 1, 2023

Position Title
Special Projects and Operations Manager, Student Life Division
The Opportunity

The Special Projects and Operations Manager is responsible for advancing division-wide initiatives and special projects within Student Life and supporting the overall operations of the Division. Reporting to the Vice President of Student Life and serving as a member of the Student Life Senior Leadership Team, the Special Projects and Operations Manager will partner closely with Student Life colleagues as well as faculty and staff across the institution.

The Special Projects and Operations Manager will both assist in and/or lead research and development of special projects, as well as the potential implementation and assessment of projects. The Manager will ensure that key operational functions within Student Life are functioning effectively and will recommend and execute advancements to improve and/or enhance overall division operations.

Projects and work will drive towards institutional and divisional priorities related to cultivating a signature student experience at Mines. Other drivers include working towards equitable outcomes for Mines students, support for the divisional Diversity, Inclusion, & Access (DI&A) plan, emphasizing and promoting student wellbeing, and engaging a network of colleagues in supporting student success.

While some work will be anticipated and cyclical, the Manager will also lead initiatives that are new, in a pilot phase, or otherwise are unanticipated. As such, the Special Projects and Operations Manager is adaptable, comfortable with ambiguity, and highly collaborative by way of thoughtful and effective communication and relationships. The ideal candidate would be:

  • A highly creative and innovative thinker whose organizational skills are top-notch;
  • An individual who is comfortable with change, and can work thoughtfully with others who may be at varying levels of readiness to change;
  • Comfortable with varied work and a-okay trying and experimenting with concepts that may not come to fruition;
  • Someone who is comfortable incubating a concept and then passing it off to others to bring it to life


Special Projects and Initiatives

Manage on-going strategic Student Life business initiatives from development through successful execution. Working closely with the Student Life Senior leadership team and on an as needed basis, provide project management and implementation leadership on a variety of special projects that advance the mission of Student Life and/or support individual departmental/program efforts. Create and improve current processes and coordinate organizational procedures across teams for optimized efficiency and productivity. This work is dynamic, inherently variable, and will often require close collaboration with diverse constituencies. Examples of the work performed include:
  • Assess opportunities for Student Life that may require initial analysis and/or deep exploration before decision is made about project investment;
  • Coordinate committees or working groups for select division-wide matters and/or represent Student Life on select university-wide committees;
  • Pilot and assess new initiatives that are designed to advance the student experience;
  • Lead and/or coordinate grant-writing efforts for division-wide opportunities;
  • Support and project management for strategic planning/mapping.
Assessment and Data Management Support

In cooperation with key university departments, the Special Projects and Operations Manager will:
  • Assist fellow Student Life leaders in establishing and tracking key performance metrics across Student Life program areas;
  • Strategizes with campus partners on the uses of data and how data interacts with the business initiatives and university needs;
  • Develop and/or manage processes to assist with departmental data collection and management/stewardship, including setting and maintaining standard operating procedures for Student Life department and related collateral.
  • Develop and/or maintain structures, systems, or support to assist with data analysis and reporting. In particular, support department leads in disaggregating data to provide a more nuanced understanding of the student experience, including the experiences of underrepresented groups at Mines;
  • Identify specific training and/or development needs for staff within Student Life so that departments are effectively using data to inform strategy and to measure student learning and play a role in facilitating and/or coordinating corresponding training;

In partnership with Marketing and Communications and other key university departments, the Special Projects and Operations Manager will:
  • Develop key internal and external communications that support the mission of Student Life and its various programs;
  • Draft and/or produce key communication pieces that tell the story of the Student Life program impact and/or otherwise educate key constituencies on various Student Life matters;
  • Identify opportunities to advance the mission of Student Life through strategic communication;
  • Support the Student Life programs and departments with various communication projects.
Student Life Office Operations

Working closely with the Executive Assistant to the VP of Student Life, as well as other members of the Student Life Senior Leadership Team, the Special Projects and Operations Manager is responsible for the overall management of the Student Life Office and creating an inclusive environment in the office. This position supervises at least two professional staff and student employees. The Manager is also responsible for budgetary oversight.

Minimum Qualifications
  • Bachelor’s Degree AND project management credential/certification OR relevant Masters Degree (higher education administration, public administration, organizational leadership, or related field)
  • 5 years of professional work experience
  • Professional work experience in higher education
  • Experience leading and/or executing large-scale and/or complex projects involving multiple constituencies
  • Experience supervising professional staff
  • Experience with program evaluation or assessment
  • Excellent data management experience
  • Strong attention to detail and ability to manage many competing priorities
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

Preferred Qualifications
  • Experience Structuring high-level goals into executable plans, while managing project definition and scope
  • Experience leading projects that support organizational goals related to diversity, inclusion, and/or access
  • Experience authoring and/or editing written communications for large audiences
  • Experience working closely with senior leaders within an organization
About Mines & Golden, CO

When the world looks for answers, the world looks to Mines.

Colorado School of Mines is a top-ranked public university solving the grand challenges facing our society, particularly those related to the Earth, energy and the environment. Founded in 1874 with specialties in mining and metallurgy, Mines’ scope and mission have continually expanded to meet the needs of industry and society. Today, we are the No. 38 public university in the nation, recognized for our innovation and undergraduate teaching in science, technology engineering and math (U.S. News and World Report, 2023).

Mines graduates are change makers, boundary breakers and problem solvers. Since our earliest days, a Mines education has been and continues to be a transformational opportunity, with one of the strongest returns on investment out there for talented STEM students of all backgrounds.

At the same time, Mines faculty members are pushing their fields in new directions, whether that’s manufacturing, space resources, quantum engineering, carbon capture or more. Mines was recently classified as a R1 “Very High Activity” research institution by Carnegie, a notable feat for any university but particularly one of our size.

That size – roughly 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students – also translates to a close-knit campus community, where employees have opportunities to get involved in multiple ways, continued professional learning is valued and everyone can make an impact.

Community Alliance groups bring together employees for professional development, networking, cultural awareness and community involvement, and all Mines employees also have access to the wealth of activities happening every day on campus – nationally-renowned speakers, special events and Mines traditions like Engineering Days, just to name a few.

And don’t get us started on our hometown. We are located in the heart of Golden, Colorado --with its charming historic downtown and nearby hiking trails – and in close proximity to all that Denver and the Rocky Mountains have to offer. That includes the sunny, high-altitude climate and outstanding outdoor recreation opportunities that make the Denver area an ideal place to live, work and play.

Are you looking for an inspiring, mission-driven workplace where you can contribute to solving the world’s problems and educating the next generation of change makers? Are you an individual who values a diverse and inclusive community, where our different perspectives, experiences and cultures enrich the educational and work experience?

Look to Mines.

Equal Opportunity

Colorado School of Mines is committed to equal opportunity for all persons. Mines does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, gender (including gender identity and gender expression), ancestry, creed, marital status, race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status or current military service. Further, Mines does not retaliate against community members for filing complaints regarding or implicating any of these protected statuses.

Mines’ commitment to nondiscrimination, affirmative action, equal opportunity and equal access is reflected in the administration of its policies, procedures, programs and activities and in its efforts to achieve a diverse student body and workforce.

Through its policies, procedures and resources, Mines complies with federal law, Colorado state law, administrative regulations, executive orders and other legal requirements to prevent discrimination (including harassment or retaliation) within the Mines campus community and to address potential allegations of inequity or concerns for safety.

We strongly encourage people of color, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and non-binary people, veterans, parents, and individuals with disabilities to apply. Mines welcomes everyone to our team; in your application, please feel free to note which pronouns you use (For example - she/her/hers, he/him/his, they/them/theirs, etc). If you need reasonable accommodation at any point in the application or interview process, please let us know.

Pay Range

$80,000 - $95,000

Mines takes into consideration a combination of candidate’s education, training and experience as well as the position’s scope and complexity, the discretion and latitude required in the role, work location, and external market and internal value when determining a salary level for potential new employees.

Total Rewards

Colorado School of Mines offers a robust portfolio of benefits for all employees. For this role, that includes:
  • Fully paid health and dental premiums
  • Generous sick/vacation time
  • 13 paid holidays per year – including a week-long winter break for entire campus
  • Fully vested retirement plan on first day of employment (certain plans only), with generous employer contribution
  • Tuition benefits (6 credits per year for employees, 50 percent discount for dependents)
All Mines employees also have access to discount programs through the State of Colorado and free tickets for Mines Athletics home games, as well as access to the on-campus Recreation Center (fitness classes and training, swimming pool and more), equipment rentals through the Outdoor Rec Center, the Colorado State Employee Assistance Program (CSEAP), programming at Arthur Lakes Library, and backup child and elder care. Coming soon is an on-campus daycare center. For more information about benefits at Mines, go to .

How to Apply

Applicants will be asked to complete an online application (personal information, demographic information, references, veteran status) and upload a resume, cover letter and statement on Diversity, Inclusion, & Access (required). References will not be contacted until later in the selection process and you will be informed before that contact is made.

Please contact Kathy White at with any questions about this position.

Background Investigation Required

Advertised: Feb 1, 2023 Mountain Standard Time
Applications close: Feb 26, 2023 11:55 PM Mountain Standard Time

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