Chief of Staff


Reporting to President & CEO David Yager, University of the Arts seeks a collaborative strategist to serve as Chief of Staff, a critical member of the leadership team working to further the university’s mission, to advance human creativity.  The Chief of Staff works across the institution as well as with external partners to translate, connect and amplify the strategic vision of the president into actionable steps. A collaborative team player with a deep conviction and belief in the value of an arts-based education, the Chief of Staff maintains the best interest of the institution as well as the efficient deployment of the time and resources of the president, creating cohesion and strategic alignment among cross-divisional efforts. The Chief of Staff is an imaginative thinker with the ability to anticipate needs and see potential convergences, creating synergies between existing processes, while also originating and standing up new systems. An empathetic and compassionate listener, the Chief of Staff is motivated by an ethic of care, and demonstrates emotional intelligence of others while maintaining the confidence, goals and earned trust of the president.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Prioritize and efficiently deploy the time, attention and resources of the president and his office, ensuring alignment to the mission and strategic plan of the university
  • Serve as a trusted advisor to the president, anticipating and setting agendas, identifying both challenges and opportunities in advance of scheduled meetings, and articulating intended outcomes; prepare the president for all sessions
  • Draft and recommend presidential communiques and presentations on a broad range of topics and concerns, working collaboratively with the president and soliciting the input and/or data from others as appropriate
  • Plan for and execute new programs, units, systems, efficiencies and structures in alignment with the strategic initiatives of the president’s office, assembling and leading as requested collaborative teams both temporary and/or permanent
  • Serve as a delegated authority for the president in his absence, while retaining an understanding of the autonomy of other senior leaders
  • Serve as primary liaison to the Board of Trustees from the Office of the President, corresponding with the Chair of the Board on schedule of meetings, agendas and actionable follow-up items
  • Oversee, inspire and direct the staff of the Office of the President, and maintain the confidentiality of the Office of the President
  • Oversee and manage the effective budget allocation of the Office of the President and other assigned areas
  • Work across all departments – academic and administrative – to build partnerships, eliminate barriers, and improve efficiencies around issues of student success, professional practice, community engagement, and corporate relations.
  • Maintain effective communication and collaboration with a broad range area leaders, including other members of senior staff, administrative unit leaders, academic deans, and program directors to implement strategies, programs, and services of strategic initiatives of the President’s Office.
  • Lead through a personal commitment to antiracism, and continually work to advance equity and broad perspectives in all efforts across campus
  • Maintain knowledge of current and changing trends in higher education, especially around issues of the value proposition of an arts-based education, enrollment strategies, curriculum delivery, job preparation & placement, and return on investment indicators.
  • Maintain knowledge and curiosity of the field of visual and performing arts, remaining current on relevant movements and emerging urgencies.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by the incumbent; they do not purport to describe all functions.  Incumbent may be assigned other duties, and the essential functions may change from time to time as necessary.


  • Bachelor’s degree in a creative discipline or related field required; Master’s degree preferred


  • Entrepreneurial, energetic and innovative leader with a commitment to and understanding of the value of the arts in today’s world
  • Significant experience in a leadership capacity within a higher education institution or cultural institution, with preference given to demonstrated understanding of higher education and academic settings
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively lead and inspire a team
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, including written, oral, and presentation skills
  • Ability to work independently and adapt to changes while maintaining an entrepreneurial spirit
  • Ability to conduct research, develop proposals, and assess viability and success of projects
  • A keen understanding of the role of the visual & performing arts in contemporary culture and higher education
  • An appreciation of the core values of the University and interest in working to support of its mission

Competencies, Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:

  • Mission driven, and possessing the ability to operationalize big picture concepts and thinking into tactical steps that can be executed
  • Collaborative and works effectively as a team player
  • Practices close listening, and understands the interests and concerns of others, anticipating reactions
  • Provides assistance to others when they need it.
  •  Recognizes the efforts and contributions of others, and endeavors to integrate within a cohesive plan relative to a given effort / project.
  • Is an effective communicator, and prioritizes transparent, frequent and timely communication
  • Demonstrates an ability to present information succinctly and with impact relative to a target audience

About The University:

University of the Arts’ mission is simple: to advance human creativity. Established in 1876, UArts believes creativity is the most essential skill for success in today’s society and has educated generations of groundbreaking artists, performers, designers and creative leaders for more than 141 years.  After being granted university status in 1987, University of the Arts became the largest institution of its kind in the nation, offering programs in design, fine arts, media arts, crafts, music, dance, theater and writing. It now features 30 undergraduate arts majors, 15 graduate programs and the nation’s first PhD program in Creativity. UArts is also home to innovative centers across disciplines, including the Center for Immersive Media, Lightbox Film Center, Philadelphia Art Alliance and Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery. Learn more about UArts.

TO APPLY: Interested, qualified applicants should submit letters of application and resumes to the Human Resources Department via email to Please ensure job title is in the Subject line.

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Title IX Statement: The University of the Arts prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in its programs and activities, including admission and employment, in accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The Director for Title IX, Equity, & Compliance is responsible for overseeing compliance with Title IX and other civil rights laws and regulations. To contact the Director for Title IX, Equity, & Compliance, e-mail,, or visit The University of the Arts, 320 S. Broad St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19102, Room 260, or call 215-717-6366. To learn more about the University's Title IX policy and response to sex discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual violence, please visit Inquiries may also be directed to the Federal agency responsible for enforcing Title IX, the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights.