Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer

December 2022 | New York, NY
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The City College of New York seeks a Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer (COO) to join the college’s executive leadership group

About City College of New York

City College of New York Campus fallSince 1847, The City College of New York (CCNY), located in New York City, has offered a world-class and affordable education in the heart of the most diverse city in the world. 

CCNY offers undergraduate programs in architecture, engineering, education, the liberal arts, and sciences, preparing its students for the future and producing outstanding leaders in every field. Various graduate programs are also available to students including 50 master’s programs and doctoral programs in engineering, the laboratory sciences, and psychology. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions.

The power to transform what students learn in the classroom, and apply it to communities both locally and globally, is what makes CCNY such a unique institution of higher education. Ranking #1 on the overall mobility index by The Chronicle of Higher Education out of 369 selective public colleges in the U.S., graduates from CCNY are more likely to move up two or more income quintiles, and the Center for World University Rankings places CCNY in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. 

CCNY’s accomplished alumni have gone on to become Supreme Court Justices, Secretaries of State, leaders of industry, world-renowned researchers, and award-winning actors and musicians. As a public institution with public purpose and a 175-year history, CCNY produces citizens who make an impact on the cultural, social, and economic vitality of New York, the nation, and the world.

Leadership of The City College of New York

Students sitting at a table in conversationDr. Vince Boudreau became the 13th President of The City College of New York on December 4, 2017. Boudreau served as Interim President of CCNY the year before. Prior to that appointment, he was the inaugural dean of the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at City College and the director of the Colin L. Powell Center for Leadership and Service. Today, each year, one third of CCNY graduates are Colin Powell School students.

During his tenure at City College, Boudreau has also served as the director of the M.A. Program in International Relations, the chair of the Department of Political Science, the director of the International Studies Program, and the deputy dean of the Division of Social Science, the precursor to the Colin Powell School. In addition to his academic work, he has undertaken projects with ActionAid Asia, Jubilee South Asia, and The Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement, and has consulted for Oxfam Asia, Action of Economic Reform (Philippines), and Freedom House. 

The new COO will report to the President and join the executive leadership group. As one of the top four management positions at the college, the COO will serve alongside the Provost & Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Vice President of the Office of Institutional Advancement and Communications, Senior Advisor to the President, and Executive Director of the Foundation for City College.

Strategic Direction

In December of 2018, the Faculty Senate approved the 2019-2024 strategic plan presented by President Boudreau. Based on its strengths and opportunities it addressed the challenges facing the college.

In the plan, the President details five strategic priorities:

  1. Build Student Success
  2. Promote Research, Scholarship, and Creativity
  3. Enhance Diversity
  4. Renew and Refresh the Physical Plant
  5. Build Financial Stability and Finance the Strategic Plan

Significant progress made toward these goals in the Strategic Plan includes:

  • Build Student Success – Because the college’s primary responsibility is towards the success of its students, the work in promoting student success is ongoing. The current focus is three-fold. The first is the Freshman experience, with a particular focus on how new students are onboarded and integrated into the college. The second area of focus is on transfer student transition from the community colleges to City College, with a focus on issues that prevent transfer students from graduating in a timely fashion, including transfer of credits from the community colleges and integration into the new environment. The third area of focus is on enhancing academic advising which is well-known to promote student success.
  • Students on college campusPromoting Scholarship – The Deans of City College’s eight schools and divisions are united with the President and Provost in seeking to promote research and creative work at the College in support of the training of its students and the needs of the City and State of New York. Under the leadership of the President and the Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Communications, the college has a renewed focus on promoting the work of its faculty and students, highlighting the contributions of the college across the broad spectrum of expertise on campus.
  • Enhancing Diversity – The student body of City College is one of the Nation’s most diverse. The college places a premium on a similar diversity among its faculty and staff. Over the past few years, the Provost’s Office has run training sessions focused on how to recruit a diverse pool of applicants.
  • Renew and Refresh the Physical Plant – The City College Campus dates from 1906 with most of the original buildings still in use, accompanied by seven buildings of more recent vintage. Upkeep of the campus requires substantial funding which comes from the State’s Capital Funds budget. Each year approximately $6.5 million is allocated by CUNY to City College for Capital projects. City College currently has $310 million in approved capital across 16 active projects and 10 projects under design or procurement. 
  • Building Financial Stability – In 2019 the 21st Century Foundation and the City College Fund were combined to form the Foundation for City College. With assets worth $365 million, the newly formed Foundation benefits from having retained key board leadership who are philanthropic leaders committed to the President’s vision for CCNY. The Foundation for City College’s newly unified leadership and structure creates a significantly enhanced philanthropic opportunity, positioning the Foundation to seize the College’s philanthropic opportunities.

In May 2022, City College of New York launched a campaign to triple its endowment to $1 billion over the next ten years. Increasing the endowment lays the foundation for continuing success by supporting creative scholarships, internships, fellowships, and entrepreneurship initiatives, and upgrading physical facilities. These ambitions will also help to expand the College’s world-class research profile. There are more than 100,000 living City College alumni worldwide. Among those alumni are scores of graduates who have made their impact on the world, including 10 Nobel Laureates.

Additionally, the college has invested effort and resources into building a more powerful and dynamic Adult Education and Workforce Development program, a stronger set of graduate offerings and a rebuilt and strengthened admission and retention operation. All of these programs will benefit from the strategic guidance of a COO.

Click to learn more about the strategic plan for CCNY.

About the Opportunity

tree lined path in fallThe COO will serve on the President’s Cabinet, the college’s senior decision-making body that has representation from each of the college’s organizational divisions. The group oversees the academic and administrative policies of the college, and all members are expected to show commitment to excellence and exemplify the values of City College.

The incoming COO will be charged with ensuring proper systems and infrastructure are in place for all units reporting to the COO. This person will plan, direct, and coordinate operational activities at the highest level of management with the help of vice presidents, other executive staff, and department managers. The COO will understand and respond to the operational needs of the campus and provide staff timely, accurate, and strategically useful reports and data in support of City College’s planning, forecasting, and budgeting. This person will think strategically and collaboratively with stakeholders across the organization, and will effectively partner with senior managers, administrators, deans, the Foundation for City College, CUNY, and volunteer leadership.

In the first three to six months, the COO will be responsible for conducting a comprehensive assessment of their departments and presenting recommendations for new goal setting and achievement to the executive leadership group.

Key Responsibilities

The Chief Operating Officer position is responsible for the achievement of City College’s mission and goals working in close partnership with college leadership. 

Operations

  • Interact with college, industry, government, and community officials and stakeholders in the representation and development of strategic program initiatives.
  • Prepare and/or contribute to the creation of reports, briefings, presentations, and responses on institutional and strategic issues, as appropriate.
  • Oversee all facets of the daily operations of the organizational unit, ensuring compliance with all relevant laws, regulations, policies, and operating agreements.
  • Revise policies and procedures to optimize customer service by college support units.
  • Provide oversight for the operations of The Foundation for City College, The City College Center for the Arts, Student Services Corporation, and Auxiliary Enterprise Corporation.
  • Provide strategic analysis of external developments that may provide opportunities or challenges to the college.
  • Be responsible for financial matters including the construction of forward-looking strategic budgets and budget processes to meet college priorities.
  • Assist the President in assigned duties and projects.

Leadership

  • Play a key leadership role as a member of the President’s Cabinet and Executive Leadership Group.
  • Partner effectively and strategically when collaborating with stakeholders across the organization.
  • As a part of the college’s leadership team, be available to respond to media requests as directed by the VP of Institutional Advancement and Communications.
  • Provide integrated policy analysis and strategic consultation to the President and senior administration on major issues affecting the college.
  • Advise the President and senior leadership on best ways to position the institution with civic and business leadership, alumni, and regional elected representatives on issues that have a direct, strategic impact on the core initiatives.
  • Participate, as a member of college leadership, in work with state, local, and federal government, including senators and house members, advocacy groups, and citizens to convey the college’s policy goals.
  • Coordinate special projects on behalf of the President.
  • Participate with the President and other senior officers in institutional planning, policy development, and problem resolution.

Staff Management and Development

  • Design, establish, and maintain an organizational structure and staffing to effectively accomplish the organization’s goals and objectives.
  • Oversee recruitment, training, supervision, and evaluation of nonacademic staff.
  • Supervise the areas of the Vice President of Operations & Chief Information Officer and Vice President of Finance and Administration, who oversees HR.
  • Ensure that all non-academic staff participate in the college’s performance management and career development processes.
  • Cultivate a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives in the college.

Key Qualifications

  • 10+ years of progressively responsible experience; 7 of which are in a senior management role, with a preference given to expertise in higher education or nonprofit management.
  • Knowledge of the goals, objectives, structure, and operations of a major public college or university.
  • Experience helping senior management to develop and implement a strategically driven budget process with a special focus on diversifying revenue streams and return on investment based on future opportunities.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of financial and operational planning, budgeting, and reporting.
  • Demonstrated achievements as a manager of a functional area in a complex organization (i.e., finance, facilities, human resources, or operations).
  • Skills in examining, developing, reengineering, and recommending policies and procedures related to the finance, information technology, facilities, and human resources departments.
  • Knowledge and understanding of institutional policies and procedures and the regulatory environment within which they operate.
  • Capacity to learn and understand the strategic needs of the community in the areas of public education and economic development.
  • Strong analytical and critical thinking skills and the ability to analyze, summarize, and effectively present data.
  • Creativity and effectiveness in managing relationships and influencing outcomes in a complex organization.
  • Skilled in employee development and performance management with the ability to supervise and train employees, including organizing, prioritizing, and scheduling work assignments
  • Well-developed managerial, decision-making, planning, organizational, problem-resolution and leadership skills.
  • Proven ability to manage people on a day-to-day basis and inspire a high level of commitment and performance.
  • Solid understanding of internal control concepts and the implementation of internal control systems in a complex business environment.
  • Outstanding oral and written communication skills reflecting ability to adapt communication style to address the needs of individuals at all levels throughout The City College of New York.

The City College of New York is committed to a policy of equal employment and equal access in its educational programs and activities. Diversity, inclusion, and an environment free from discrimination are central to our mission.

It is the policy of City College to recruit, employ, retain, promote, and provide benefits to employees (including paid and unpaid interns) and to admit and provide services for students without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, age, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth and related conditions), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, marital status, partnership status, disability, genetic information, alienage, citizenship, military or veteran status, status as a victim of domestic violence/stalking/sex offenses, unemployment status, or any other legally prohibited basis in accordance with federal, state and city laws.

It is also City College policy to provide reasonable accommodations when appropriate to individuals with disabilities, individuals observing religious practices, employees who have pregnancy or childbirth-related medical conditions, or employees who are victims of domestic violence/stalking/sex offenses.

This Policy also prohibits retaliation for reporting or opposing discrimination or cooperating with an investigation of a discrimination complaint.

For the COVID-10 Campus Safety Policy, please visit this CUNY website page.

Please email your cover letter and resume in confidence to: citycollege@developmentguild.com

Suzanne Weber

Chief Executive Officer

Development Guild DDI

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