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University of Kansas
Lawrence, Kansas, United States (on-site)
27 days ago
University of Kansas
Lawrence, Kansas, United States
27 days ago
Job Function


Position Overview

The Director of University Ceremonies and Special Events is the university's lead event planner for signature university events that garner widespread attention and elevate the university's brand. Additionally, the Director helps guide and shape processes and policies related to smaller events on campus and serves as an advisor to unit-level event planners across the university. Specifically, the Director:
  • designs and produces high-profile public events and ceremonies such as Commencement, building dedications, groundbreakings, recognition events, teaching and research awards, and visits from distinguished guests that are of interest to large numbers of KU constituents.
  • develops and implements event-related policies and procedures that benefit the entire university community.
  • advises campus partners - including unit/department event planners - to ensure high-quality ceremonies and events are produced in a coordinated and consistent way utilizing best practices.
  • partners with various university offices - including Athletics, KU Memorial Union, and Jayhawk Hospitality - on events hosted by KU units or external partners who use KU facilities.

  • The Director of University Ceremonies and Special Events must be adept at handling sensitive information that requires problem solving, confidentiality and discretion. Additionally, this position requires the ability to work independently in a deadline-driven environment, often on high-profile projects that directly impact public perceptions of the university. The Director will mostly work normal business hours but will occasionally need to be available for evening and weekend events. The Director will work mostly on site, but there is the opportunity to work remotely a portion of the time.

    The Director of University Ceremonies and Special Events oversees the Office of University Ceremonies and Special Events, which is housed within the Office of Public Affairs. The Director reports to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs. The Director will have the assistance of the Executive Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Strategic Communications and Public Affairs, whose time is split approximately 50/50 between the Director and Vice Chancellor.
    \u0026nbsp;Job Description

    Ceremony and Special Event Planning (40%)
    • Design and produce high-profile public events and ceremonies such as Commencement, building dedications, groundbreakings, recognition events, press conferences, legislative events, and distinguished guest visits. In particular, Commencement is a large and complicated undertaking that will take up nearly all of the Director's time in the spring of each year. Management of this event will include developing the Commencement ceremony itself; soliciting volunteers; working with external vendors on regalia, photography and gifts; communicating with graduates and families in the days leading up to the event; and coordinating the dozens of unit/school-level graduation events that happen the day before Commencement.
    • Provide expertise in ceremony and event production qualities related to staging, lighting, audio-video, special effects, traffic flow, event choreography and ticketing.
    • Collaborate with various campus partners - including but not limited to Parking, Transportation Services, Facilities, Kansas Athletics, Jayhawk Hospitality and KU Memorial Union - as needed to produce complex events and ceremonies.
    • Partner with marketing practitioners - especially those in the Office of Marketing, the Office of Public Affairs and the Office of the Chancellor - to produce communications items related to signature university events and ceremonies.
    • Develop partnerships with external vendors for event services that KU cannot fulfill internally.

    Coordination, Consultation and Policy Development (40%)
    • Develop and implement event-related policies and procedures and advise campus partners to ensure events are produced in a coordinated and consistent way utilizing best practices.
    • Regularly update KU event planners and the university's KU Communicators group with event-related information and advice they need to succeed.
    • Manage and help colleagues populate the university's online KU Events Calendar as a publicly accessible central repository of all KU events.

    Event Registration (10%)
    • Serve as the central registrar for major events that cross unit/department lines and impact the entire university.
    • Coordinate youth programs, activities and camps in alignment with KU's Minors on Campus policy.

    Office Management (10%)
    • Manage the office's budget, including contracts with KU partners and external vendors, and the hiring of vendors as needed. Routinely assess whether the office is adequately funded to meet its goals and share those insights with university leaders as needed.
    • Update and maintain the office website.
    Required Qualifications

    • Bachelor's degree in communications, public relations, education or relevant field.
    • Ten years of professional experience in event management and/or planning, or related experience in marketing, journalism, public relations or a similar field.
    • Proficiency with Windows computers using Microsoft products ( Outlook, Word, Excel, etc.) and Zoom.
    • Experience managing budgets and working with external vendors.
    • Strong organizational and prioritization skills as evidenced by work history.
    • Strong communication and interpersonal skills as evidenced by application materials.
    Additional Candidate Instruction

    A complete application consists of the online application, cover letter, resume, \u0026amp; 3 professional references.\u0026nbsp; Only complete applications will be considered.
    • Application review begins Monday, May 13, 2024. and will continue until a qualified pool of applicants is received.



    Job ID: 73320489
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