University of North Carolina at Pembroke

University of North Carolina at Pembroke

Chief Of Staff

Pembroke, NC
May 20, 2022
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The Chief of Staff reports to the Chancellor and serves as a member of the Chancellor’s Cabinet and Senior Leadership Team, and as a visionary strategic partner with the Chancellor. Other positions reporting to the Chancellor include Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Vice Chancellor for Finance & Administration, Vice Chancellor for Advancement, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Chief Communications & Marketing Officer, General Counsel, and Director of Athletics.


This position requires an understanding of and a commitment to the Chancellor’s administrative operating principles and core values (communication, collaboration, integrity, accountability, innovation, and service). An understanding and appreciation for UNCP’s institutional history, university policies, and organizational culture are also important in support of the Chancellor’s initiatives and goals.

The Chief of Staff works continually for the long-term interests of the university through the development of policies and solutions to complex problems. This requires an ability to understand existing policies in significant detail and appreciate the likely consequences of proposed initiatives during implementation.

An ability to analyze complex institutional and interpersonal situations and to assess and develop possible alternative solutions is also required. In that regard, strong interpersonal skills and a willingness to listen to and appreciate alternative points of view is essential. Excellence in written and oral communication is expected, as well an ability to convey complex ideas in a concise and comprehensible fashion under time- constrained conditions.

This position also requires a capacity for sound judgment, tact, diplomacy, discretion, confidentiality, and a strong sense of integrity, as well as emotional intelligence, flexibility, creativity, strong attention to detail, tolerance for ambiguity, and a sense of humor.

The Chief of Staff will be expected to work independently with little supervision from the Chancellor. This position will be responsible for effective management of the Office of the Chancellor and will have the discretion to make decisions and represent the Chancellor whenever needed.

The Chief of Staff has supervisory responsibilities for specific functional offices reporting under the Chancellor’s Division as well as staff in the Chancellor’s Office organization. These supervisory responsibilities include direct oversight for leadership and management including recruitment, performance management, and professional development.

The Chief of Staff performs the following:

  • Oversees effective execution of staff functions of the Chancellor’s Office, including daily operations, and office budget maintenance.
  • Responsible for the overall management of Chancellor’s Office staff, including the division of responsibilities within the office, training and professional development, and completion of annual performance evaluations.
  • Establishes priorities in directing the Chancellor’s personal time and attention and to ensure appropriate and timely information is provided to facilitate efficient and effective decision-making, following up as required during implementation.
  • Serves as the Assistant Secretary to the Board of Trustees, plans and coordinates the university’s Board of Trustees meetings by working closely with board leadership and university administration in the development of board materials while ensuring compliance with board’s by-laws and the UNC system codes/regulations.
  • Leads and completes special projects and assignments as required, particularly those having inter-divisional implications.
  • Plans and organizes weekly Cabinet meetings and planning retreats. Ensures actions identified in Cabinet meetings are tracked and completed.
  • Performs a central role in the institutional strategic planning process to develop and implement five-year institutional plans, aligning institutional resources to support the achievement of the goals and objectives included therein.
  • Oversees and manages the annual goal setting and job target process for the Chancellor and Cabinet.
  • Works with the Office of the General Counsel to ensure that proposed changes in university policy or procedures are fully vetted before being scheduled for Cabinet discussion and the Chancellor’s final consideration.
  • Undertakes various internal and external communication efforts on behalf of the Chancellor.
  • Works closely with the University Communications and Marketing Office on the development and implementation of key communication strategies and messages to be conveyed by the Chancellor in documents such as speeches, newsletters, university addresses, and other reports as necessary.
  • Works closely with the VC for Advancement and the Chief Communications and Marketing Officer to represent the Chancellor’s interests and to assure all events are conducted at the level of excellence that is expected by the Chancellor.
  • Works with dedicated staff in planning campus visits by individuals or groups of individuals from the Board of Governors and state and federal legislatures.
  • Serves as institutional representative on selected internal committees and external civic groups, boards, and councils as determined by the Chancellor.
  • Acts as the Chancellor’s liaison to faculty, staff, and administration of the university on internal projects and initiatives.


  • A minimum of five years of progressive leadership experience in administrative roles within a medium to large organization, preferably an institution of higher education is required.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the organization, administration, and management of modern institutions of higher education or an institution or business of comparable size and complexity.
  • Experience in building trust- based relationships with other senior administrators, faculty, staff, governing board members, elected officials, and community representatives (or their equivalents in other employment settings) is essential.
  • Possess a background in one or more of the following is preferred: strategic planning, organizational development, organizational planning, project management, or policy development/ implementation.
  • Experience in working directly or indirectly with a governing board of an institution is an asset.
  • Exceptional communication and people skills; accessible; energetic and enthusiastic; ability to build and maintain close relationships and engender trust.
  • Espouse and model leadership principles based on integrity, honesty, sincerity, inclusiveness, collaboration, humility, servant leadership, and compassion.
  • A master’s degree or higher from an accredited university is highly preferred.

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP), a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina System, is a master's-level university with a spirited community of more than 8,300 students of whom 6,318 are undergraduate students and 2,001 graduate students. UNCP is an historically minority-serving institution (HMSI), a Native American-Serving Nontribal Institution (NASNTI), and the only state-designated historically American Indian university in North Carolina. With 878 full-time faculty and staff, the university offers more than 150 pathways to graduate and undergraduate degrees. The average class size is 20 with a student-to-faculty ratio of approximately 18-to-1. The university is comprised of four degree-granting colleges and schools: the College of Arts and Sciences; the College of Health Sciences, which includes the McKenzie-Elliott School of Nursing; the Thomas School of Business; and the School of Education. In addition, UNCP features The Graduate School, the University College, which assists in first-year student transition, and the Esther G. Maynor Honors College. Athletically, UNCP competes as a member of the NCAA Division II and offers 17 varsity sports including the Spirit Squad. The university also offers more than 120 clubs and organizations for students to be active and engaged citizens on campus and in the community.

Affordability and value have earned UNC Pembroke inclusion in national rankings such as U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges and Universities. Over the previous two years, UNCP has jumped more than 22 spots in the Best Regional Universities category, landing at number 65 in the 2022 list. Further evidence of UNCP’s commitment to excellence, the university placed in the top 30 Top Public Universities list and is in the top 20 for Best in Social Mobility. In 2022’s rankings, UNCP’s undergraduate nursing program was listed among the top nursing programs in the nation. UNCP is consistently one of the safest campuses in the University of North Carolina System.

UNC Pembroke is an educational institution whose core mission clearly identifies excellence in teaching and learning as a value and ideal. With substantial growth and change over the last decade, the university has an opportunity to define anew what academic excellence means and how to leverage its unique characteristics, strengths, programs and heritage to shape and deliver a distinctive and enriching educational experience that mirrors systematically increasing higher levels of performance from students and faculty.

UNCP is located in the Town of Pembroke in Robeson County, North Carolina, a town of 3,000, which is also the home of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. UNC Pembroke was founded in 1887 as The Croatan Normal School to train American Indian teachers and today is the nation’s only four-year public institution founded by American Indians for American Indians. With a quick trip from UNCP, you can easily reach the picturesque mountains of western North Carolina as well as world-famous beaches and resorts along the coastline.

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