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Executive Assistant to the Provost

Dallas, Texas
Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications
Date posted
Mar 7, 2024

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Position Type
Executive, Provosts
Employment Type
Full Time

Salary Range: 

Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications


About SMU

SMU’s more than 12,000 diverse, high-achieving students come from all 50 states and over 80 countries to take advantage of the University’s small classes, meaningful research opportunities, leadership development, community service, international study and innovative programs.


SMU serves approximately 7,000 undergraduates and 5,000 graduate students through eight degree-granting schools: Dedman College of Humanities and SciencesCox School of BusinessLyle School of EngineeringMeadows School of the ArtsSimmons School of Education and Human DevelopmentDedman School of LawPerkins School of Theology and Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies.


SMU is data driven, and its powerful supercomputing ecosystem – paired with entrepreneurial drive – creates an unrivaled environment for the University to deliver research excellence.


Now in its second century of achievement, SMU is recognized for the ways it supports students, faculty and alumni as they become ethical, enterprising leaders in their professions and communities. SMU’s relationship with Dallas – the dynamic center of one of the nation’s fastest-growing regions – offers unique learning, research, social and career opportunities that provide a launch pad for global impact.


SMU is nonsectarian in its teaching and committed to academic freedom and open inquiry.


About the Department:

SMU’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs is responsible for the overall quality of teaching, scholarship and research at the University. The Office of the Provost champions the University's commitment to academic, research, creative and inclusive excellence by engaging in transparent communication, working closely with faculty and staff to provide a clear academic vision, providing leadership on academic strategic planning and implementation, and promoting innovation both in research and pedagogy.


About the Position:

This role is an on-campus, in-person position.

The Executive Assistant  provides direct, executive-level support to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and is responsible for promoting day-to-day and operational effectiveness across the full academic lifecycle, both within the Division of Academic Affairs and across a comprehensive range of internal (e.g., Board members, VPs, Deans, Department chairs, faculty, students) and external (e.g., donors, university leaders, parents, etc.) stakeholders.

Success in this position requires a strong executive presence, the ability to develop a strong working rapport with other, often high-profile offices, and a keen attention to detail, in line with the expectations that accompany the office of the second-ranking executive at the university.

Essential Functions:

  • On a day-to-day basis this individual supports the Provost by:


    • Addressing and prioritizing requests: daily requests via email, phone, and other forms of correspondence: efficiently rearranging to schedule urgent meetings/phone calls; preparing draft communications; continually prioritizing requests for meetings/phone calls and handling the Provost’s calendar (daily, evenings, and weekends); preparing detailed itineraries and material for each day/evening/weekend;


      Fielding and triaging critical issues requiring the Provost’s (or Provost’s designee’s) attention, determining the best method of response and ensuring that all issues are resolved in a timely and professional manner. Monitoring multiple email inboxes and phone lines, including the Provost’s, to support work prioritization and responsiveness; 


      Drafting communications (both print and email) and professional memoranda for distribution by the Provost and the Provost’s Office; monitoring and flagging items received by the Provost and the Provost’s Office requiring follow-up. Assisting the receptionist in responding to all incoming calls if there are immediate issues;


      Assimilating requests received by the Provost and the Provost’s Office (e.g., speaking arrangements, social engagements, etc.) and working with the Provost to determine the appropriate response and future action(s). Providing the Provost a detailed itinerary and supplementary material for the following day’s meetings/events (including evenings and weekends); 


      Assisting the receptionist in responding to all incoming calls if there are immediate issues;


      Interacting with administrators, faculty, staff, and students providing advice and support, regarding University and academic procedures.


    The individual must manage the day-to-day issues mentioned above as well as plan accordingly in response to the academic cycle of responsibilities in this office by either overseeing or directly performing the following duties:


    • Prioritizing all incoming/outgoing meeting requests and handling the scheduling of the Provost’s calendar;


      Preparing all correspondence (via email or letterhead) with detailed proofing;


      Drafting and distributing materials to support Quarterly Academic Affairs Committee meetings of the Board of Trustees (Agenda, materials, minutes, meeting setup, etc.) in line with university deadlines;


      Drafting and distributing materials to support monthly meetings of the Deans’, monthly meeting of the Provost’s Council of Academic Leadership, and weekly meetings of the Provost’s Academic Leadership Forum (agenda, materials, minutes, meeting setup, follow-up items etc.)




      Coordinating the scheduling, and supporting documentation for one-on-one monthly meetings between the Provost and the Provost’s 25 direct reports;


      Assisting in the management of the university’s annual budget process (correspondence, meeting scheduling, documentation development/retention, etc.);


      Coordinating logistics (calendar, agenda, supporting documentation) across a broad range of events (e.g., social, business meetings/events, academic ceremonies/retreats);


      Liaising with the offices of the Vice President for Development and External Affairs and the academic deans to ensure seamless integration for high-profile events (board meetings, executive board meetings);


      Processing the Provost’s travel logistics for conferences, summits, or speaking events;


      Processing SMU business expenses for the Provost, in line with SMU policy;


      Promoting social and media recognition for the Provost and for the Office of the Provost (research/teaching, etc.);


      Reviewing and revising core components of the Office of the Provost website.


    Oversight of Coordinator who is the receptionist; handling multiple social events retreats; travel for conferences, summits, conferences, speaking events; SMU business expenses for the Provost; Social and Media recognition for the Office the Office of the Provost website; ordering supplies and any necessary equipment/furniture.



Education and Experience: 

Bachelor’s degree is required. 


A minimum of seven years of professional work experience providing administrative support to a high-profile administrator, high-level executive and/or senior management is required.


Experience in higher education, or a non-profit organization, preferred. Experience providing administrative support to an academic executive in higher education, desired.


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Candidate must demonstrate strong interpersonal and verbal communication skills, with the ability to communicate broadly across the University and develop and maintain effective relationships with a wide range of constituencies. Must also demonstrate strong written communication skills.

Candidate must demonstrate strong verbal and interpersonal communications skills to effectively interact with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse community. Must also demonstrate a strong customer service orientation with the ability to exercise diplomacy. The ability to be flexible and adapt quickly to changing priorities and needs is essential.


Candidate must demonstrate strong written communication skills with ability to disseminate information into precise and effective written communications. Must also demonstrate a strong focus on attention to detail (with grammar/spelling, data, etc.).


Candidate must possess strong time management, organizational and planning skills with the ability to manage multiple tasks and meet. Must also demonstrate a high level of initiative on assignments, with the ability to work with minimal supervision and follow through with appropriate actions.


Candidate must possess strong problem-solving skills with the ability to be resourceful, proactive, and seek assistance as needed. Must also have a strong commitment to confidentiality, as this position will be required to handle confidential and sensitive information.


Candidate must demonstrate high level of proficiency with Microsoft Office (particularly Outlook, Word, and Excel). Some familiarity or knowledge with a web-based collaboration and document management system (e.g. MS SharePoint) desired. Some familiarity with or knowledge of a web content management system (e.g. Sitecore) is a plus. A strong technical aptitude with the ability to learn new software quickly is essential.


Physical and Environmental Demands:

  • Sit for long periods of time

Deadline to Apply:

The position is open until filled.

Priority consideration may be given to submissions received by March 15, 2024.

EEO Statement:

SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601,



SMU offers staff a broad, competitive array of health and related benefits. In addition to traditional benefits such as health, dental, and vision plans, SMU offers a wide range of wellness programs to help attract, support, and retain our employees whose work continues to make SMU an outstanding education and research institution.

SMU is committed to providing an array of retirement programs that benefit and protect you and your family throughout your working years at SMU and, if you meet SMU's retirement eligibility criteria, during your retirement years after you leave SMU.

The value of learning at SMU isn't just about preparing our students for the future. Employees have access to a wide variety of professional and personal development opportunities, including tuition benefits.

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