Durham, North Carolina

Duke University:


Duke University was created in 1924 through an indenture of trust by James Buchanan Duke. Today, Duke is regarded as one of America’s leading research universities. Located in Durham, North Carolina, Duke is positioned in the heart of the Research Triangle, which is ranked annually as one of the best places in the country to work and live. Duke has more than 15,000 students who study and conduct research in its 10 undergraduate, graduate and professional schools. With about 40,000 employees, Duke is the third largest private employer in North Carolina, and it now has international programs in more than 150 countries.


Staff Assistant

Working Title:  Program Chair Assistant


Occupational Summary


The Nicholas School of the Environment (NSOE)'s Student Services Office consists of residential Master of Environmental Management (MEM) and Master of Forestry (MF) degree programs, a distance learning MEM program (DEL-MEM) for mid-career professionals, executive education short courses, and the Career & Professional Development Center (CPDC). This department supports all day-to-day operations for approximately 350 master’s students and provides program coordination for doctoral and undergraduate students.


This position supports the MEM/MF faculty program chairs and the Professional Programs Coordinator in a variety of administrative support, program delivery and organizational functions. This role, which reports to the NSOE Registrar and works closely with the MEM/MF program chairs, plays an instrumental role in engaging with faculty program chairs, providing administrative support, scheduling, first-level student advising, developing, implementing, and managing student and program data, and supporting special projects. Position must work closely with the Professional Programs Coordinator, as well as many members of the Student Services team.




MEM and MF Faculty Program Chair Engagement

· Program chair meetings: Engage with and support faculty program chairs in various administrative and support needs arising from the biweekly program chair meetings including scheduling biweekly meetings, taking meeting notes and circulating notes post-meetings. Support the Professional Programs Coordinator, as appropriate.

· Program area seminars: Manage arrangements and scheduling of CPDC sessions, guest speakers and student practice presentations, and other seminar tasks, as directed by program chairs. Develop and communicate program seminar agenda each semester.

· Student assistants: Support student assistantship recruitment and interview process for each program chair, as directed by faculty chair. Manage program chair student assistants and oversee work assignments, as needed.

· Advisory committees: Support program area advisory committees including working with the program chairs to identify new members, schedule meetings, develop agendas, and other tasks.

· Support updates needed for each program area’s program description and curriculum updates, as needed.

· Student Advising, Registration and Support


o Develop recommended faculty academic advisor assignments for incoming and continuing students within each program area based on a student supporting data (interest essay, resume); final advising assignments approved by program chairs.

o Support faculty with advising/course tracking software and reports using Stellic.

o Provide advising for tier 1 registration for incoming students.

o Support advising-related communications between programs chairs and registrar, as needed.

o Support summer on-boarding related duties related to prerequisite requirements, diagnostic exams, and preparing for course registration, as needed.

o Manage course advising session scheduling and related logistics.

o Maintain proficiency of academic requirements for each program area.

o Facilitate scheduling of advising sessions (in seminar) and meetings with individual students.

o Support program chairs by answering incoming and continuing student basic program requirement questions; elevate more complex questions and curriculum planning questions to program chairs.


· Prospective and admitted student support. Under the direction of the Director of Enrollment Services:

o Coordinate admitted student communications between program chair(s) and Enrollment Services staff.

o Support faculty-led fall recruitment sessions, including coordinating schedules, recruiting alumni and current students to participate, communicating progress to enrollment services regularly and providing day-of event and technical support.

o Support second-read application review process and faculty coordination.

o Facilitate prospective student visits interested in meeting with individual faculty and/or observing a class (in-person and virtual). Coordinate agenda and faculty/course schedules.

o Coordinate faculty schedules for participation in admitted student events, as needed.


· Serve as a liaison between program chairs and departmental needs (Student Services, Marketing and Communications, Office of Development and Alumni Relations), supporting various requests, and scheduling and coordination support.


MEM and MF Program Support

· Data management: collect, update, and analyze student data to inform programming efforts. Collaborate with registrar for tracking and reporting course enrollment, faculty teaching, and MP advising metrics to support efforts to standardize the curriculum structure, the language, and the way in which students interact with the curriculum across all program areas. Support various data needs for faculty program chairs.

· Master’s Project (MP): Under the direction of the Professional Programs Coordinator, support MP-related tasks, which may include prospective and current client interactions, records maintenance, milestone tracking, and MP Symposium scheduling and logistics.

· Student communications: collaborate with the program coordinator, ADPP, student services, and the faculty program chairs on efforts to streamline cross-program area communications. Support student communications as directed by program chairs.

· Program-specific project support: Assist program chairs and program area faculty in executing program-specific tasks.

· Support internal and external program reviews, accreditation reviews. Support data collection and reporting. Schedule meetings and support event logistics

· Cross-program collaboration: support program coordinator and faculty chairs in centralizing curriculum planning efforts (recommended by external review).

· Lead annual professional student exit survey development, implementation, and report-out. Review survey annually, in consultation with the ADPP. Manage distribution of survey to all graduating professional students. Analyze results and provide summary report for ADPP, Associate Dean Student Services and education committee.

· Lead annual SACS process in coordination with Student Services managers. Submit report to Provost's office by July 1. Facilitate corrective action plans, as needed. Share SACS report with ADPP and SAD-AI.

· Fulfill additional duties as needed to support program chairs and the program coordinator.


Administrative Support

· Student services engagement: Participate in monthly student services staff meetings and team retreats. Meet routinely with student services staff as related to the professional degree programs and student degree requirements. Support Student Services and schoolwide events including orientation, graduation, recruitment, etc.

· Community culture: Participate in schoolwide and Nicholas School community events, as appropriate.

· Support the School’s and University’s diversity, inclusion, and equity initiatives.

· Perform other related duties incidental to the work described herein.


Preferred Qualifications

· Experience working with faculty is preferred; higher education experience is a plus.

· Academic advising experience is a plus.

· Project management experience is a plus; event management experience is preferred.

· Work requires proficiency in MS Word, Excel, Qualtrics, PowerPoint and Outlook. Must be proficient with technology and online web-conferencing tools. Must have intermediate proficiency in the use of spreadsheets and spreadsheet functions, such as Pivot Tables, to summarize and analyze data.

· Experience in updating website content, including WordPress sites, is a plus.

· Must demonstrate clear and effective verbal and written communications skills.

· Bring creativity and initiative to this position.

· Strong organizational skills with attention to detail and follow-through, ability to produce quality work in a timely fashion, and manage multiple projects simultaneously are critical.

· Must exercise independent judgment and maintain confidentiality.

· Occasional early morning or late evening hours may be necessary for special events. Occasional weekend support is required to support schoolwide events such as admitted students’ weekend, graduation. Occasional heavy lifting required.


Required Qualifications at this Level



Work requires analytical, communications and organizational skills generally acquired through completion of a bachelor's degree program.



Work requires one year of experience in program administration or involving academic, instructional or counseling activities to acquire skills necessary to plan, coordinate and implement a variety of program activities and events.



Minimum Qualifications



Work requires a broad knowledge of clerical and accounting principles and practices normally acquired through two years of post-secondary education in secretarial science or a related business field.




Work generally requires four years of related secretarial/clerical OR AN EQUIVALENT COMBINATION OF RELEVANT EDUCATION AND/OR EXPERIENCE experience to acquire skills necessary to administer complex office functions related to office management, communications, and budgetary/accounting activities.


Duke is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.


Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.


Essential Physical Job Functions: Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System may include essentialjob functions that require specific physical and/or mental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests for reasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department.


Durham, North Carolina

As a world-class academic and health care system, Duke Health strives to transform medicine and health locally and globally through innovative scientific research, rapid translation of breakthrough discoveries, educating future clinical and scientific leaders, advocating and practicing evidence-based medicine to improve community health, and leading efforts to eliminate health inequalities.

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