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Director for Northern Illinois Center for Community Sustainability (NICCS) - 34691

Northern Illinois University
Dekalb, Illinois, United States
Salary Not Specified
Date posted
Jan 30, 2024

Job Details

Position Summary

The Director provides visionary leadership for NICCS mission to address the
challenges of environmental change, shifting demographics, and sociopolitical inequity impacting the region and the world. They will work with faculty to facilitate and support their academic and instructional programs and liaise with other Divisions to strategically develop partnerships and programs consistent with the mission of NICCS . The Director will report to the Vice President of RIPS and work with RIPS staff to advance the research and innovation strategic goals of the University. The number and functions of direct reports will be determined by the Director and the VP of RIPS as the organization develops and matures.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Facilitation of Research, Innovation, and Scholarship
  • Facilitate faculty research and development of policies that supports sustainable communities.
  • Facilitate international research and scholarship that brings visibility to NIU and Illinois through critical research areas with global implications including water resources, environmental adaptation, and food systems innovation.
  • Support development of instructional and experiential opportunities for students.
Strategy Development and Implementation
  • Develop short-range and long-range strategic plans for external partnerships in support of research and innovation, all while working with the Vice President of the Division of Research and Innovation Partnerships (RIPs) and leadership from other university divisions.
  • Identify and create opportunities to engage regional communities by identifying mutually beneficial areas of research and engagement, as well as translating scientific and policy developments generated by NICCS .
  • Identify opportunities to align NICCS activities with regional plans and aspirations to attract sustainable businesses and support existing businesses in improving their environmental sustainability, all while working with university and community leaders.
Community Engagement and External Partnerships
  • Work with a range of stakeholders to fulfill the mission and vision of NICCS by cultivating mutually beneficial research and innovation partnerships with the public and private sectors.
  • Advance the mission and vision of NICCS by cultivating mutually beneficial research and innovation partnerships with the public and private sector.
  • Ensure visibility, alignment and integration of NICCS with the Illinois Innovation Network .
Development and Operation of NICCS
  • Lead the NICCS facilities design, strategic planning, and organizational development.
  • Possess operational oversight for hiring and supervising of staff along with developing and overseeing yearly budgets.
  • Ensure that NICCS operations and facilities model best practices in sustainability.
  • Serve as the primary advocate for NICCS and will identify sponsors and external funding opportunities to ensure NICCS becomes financially independent.
Professional Development
  • The individual hired may choose to be aligned with a Department and/or a Center. As such, tenure may be granted if appropriate.
  • Stay current with developing information in the field.

Perform Other Related Duties as Assigned

Minimum Required Qualifications (Civil Service)


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) (Civil Service)


Specialty Factors (Civil Service)


Preferred Qualifications (Civil Service)


Minimum Required Qualifications (SPS)
  • Master’s degree or equivalent in business, public administration, science, or engineering or a related field
  • Minimum of five years of experience and proven track record driving of research and innovation in a well-regarded corporate, community, or academic environment
  • Experience with fundraising
Additional Requirements (SPS)
  • Deep understanding of sustainability, sustainability research, sustainability management, and sustainable development
  • Excellent verbal and written communication; strong analytical, organizational, and interpersonal skills; excellent presentation skills; independent judgment.
  • Business acumen, negotiation skills and demonstrated success in large-scale collaborations
  • Knowledge of academic research and innovation methods
  • Ability to work effectively and manage large-scale collaborations with a broad range of constituents including faculty, staff, attorneys, sponsors, community members, and industry representatives.
  • Strong project management, organizational, and leadership skills with the ability to handle multiple, complex tasks and projects concurrently
  • Success developing intra- and inter-institutional partnerships.
Preferred Qualifications (SPS)
  • Ph.D. in business, science, or engineering or a related field.
  • Technology commercialization experience such as an entrepreneurial leadership role in a startup or small business and experience establishing successful relationships with venture capitalists, angel investors, and entrepreneurs.
  • Supervision of professional staff.
  • Experience in public higher education administration.
  • Demonstrated collaboration with faculty, graduate students, and administrators to advance a culture of research and innovation.
  • Success in facilitating interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research.
Physical demands/requirements
  • Regular office related duties
  • Sitting for extended periods of time
  • Using computer/electronic equipment for extended periods of time
  • Occasional lifting and moving items weighing up to 25 lbs.
Appointment and Compensation Details

Appointment and Compensation Details

Anticipated Appointment Start Date

As soon as possible after priority date

Anticipated Appointment End Date

Percent of Staff Year


Standard Hours Per Week


Working Hours

8:00-4:30, occasional evening and weekend hours


Commensurate with experience and qualifications; NIU offers a robust benefits package .

Hourly or Semi-monthly Pay Rate/Range

See above

Earn Type


Application Procedure

Application Procedure

Application Procedure

For full consideration, prospective applicants will need to visit to create an application profile or log in to an existing one to apply, and submit the following application materials by March 17, 2024 :
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae
  • Cover Letter stating interesting and experience in sustainability and innovation
  • List of three professional references
Applications received after March 17 are welcomed, but will be considered as needed.

Special Instructions


Quick Link to Applicant

Is Background Check Required?


EEO Statement Summary

In accordance with applicable statutes and regulations, NIU is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, religion, age, physical and mental disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, political affiliation, or any other factor unrelated to professional qualifications, and will comply with all applicable federal and state statutes, regulations and orders pertaining to nondiscrimination, equal opportunity and affirmative action.

The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies:

Ethics and Compliance Officer, Title IX Coordinator
Health Services 230

Visa Policy

In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification document form upon hire.

ADA Accommodation

NIU remains committed to ensuring that its recruitment and application procedures include full opportunities for applicants with disabilities. Employment opportunities will not be denied to anyone because of the need to make accommodations for a person’s disability during either the application or interview process. An applicant who believes they require an accommodation to participate in the employment process due to a disability may request that accommodation through the Accommodation Request Form . For further assistance, please contact the office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity ( AAEO ) at .

Safety Information

NIU provides annual reports on campus security and fire safety.

Read the Annual Safety and Security Report. Contact the Ethics and Compliance Office at 815-753-1649 for a hard copy.

Read the Fire Safety Report . Contact the Department of Environmental Health and Safety at 815-753-0404 for a hard copy.
Applicant Documents
Required Documents
  1. Resume/Curriculum Vitae
  2. Cover Letter
  3. List of at least 3 Professional References
Optional Documents
Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).


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