A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.
For fullest consideration, candidates should submit materials by Sunday, September 6, 2020. Applicants with questions can reach out to input-VPGRsearch@umich.edu.
The University of Michigan (U-M), one of the world’s preeminent research universities, is seeking its next vice president for government relations (VPGR).
Now operating in the beginning of its third century, U-M continues its mission to serve the public through preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving, and applying knowledge, art, and academic values. Currently, the main campus in Ann Arbor has an enrollment of 48,000 students, about a third of whom are in graduate and professional studies. U-M is consistently ranked among the top institutions of higher education globally with 280 degree programs and 102 graduate programs ranked in the top 10 nationally.
The VPGR is a position of broad leadership for U-M, serving as an executive officer reporting to the university’s president. As the chief government relations official of the university, this position is responsible for providing strategic vision, leadership, and effective management of U-M’s Government Relations programs at the local, state, and federal levels.
The vice president for government relations is responsible for providing strategic vision, leadership, and effective management of U-M’s Government Relations programs at the local, state, and federal levels. As an executive officer of the university, the VPGR serves as a member of the president’s executive team. The position reports to the university president, preparing and staffing them in meetings with local, state, and federal officials. The VPGR also works closely with the other executive officers of the university, various governmental agencies, and elected officials. The VPGR oversees the 17 staff members in the Office of Government Relations and an annual budget of approximately $2.4 million.
The VPGR plays a leadership role in advocating on behalf of the university to government decision-makers, and must possess a thorough understanding of the public and external dimensions of the university's work; broad knowledge of the local, state, and national contexts in which the university operates; and a working knowledge of issues from a government relations standpoint.
The VPGR must be adept at navigating complex relationships across political lines and connecting the world-class expertise at the university to policymakers at all levels of government. By facilitating relationships between U-M and external stakeholders, including leaders in government, business, and the community, the VPGR secures state and federal funding for institutional operations including education, capital outlay support, financial aid, and research. The VPGR must also have a strong understanding of additional policies including economic development, immigration, tax, and health care.
Candidates for the vice president for government relations position will possess the following qualifications:
Extensive background (range of 7-10 years minimum) and advanced first-hand experience in government relations matters at the local, state, and federal levels.
Previous involvement or familiarity with institutions of higher education, or similarly complex organizations operating on a comparable scale with broad societal impact.
Demonstrated awareness and ability to proactively seek out and understand emerging issues and policies.
Proven ability to create and maintain strong working relationships and partnerships with a politically diverse and wide range of leaders in government, business, and education.
Understanding of and appreciation for the breadth and depth of U-M and its unique role as a leader in the higher education and overall policy landscape, including issues that arise from the global nature of the university’s footprint.
Ability to work collaboratively with university partners to manage, prioritize, and triage emerging legislative, policy, and regulatory issues in an organized, efficient, and productive way.
An open and engaging work style with the patience and understanding to work towards consensus and compromise in sometimes difficult or ambiguous circumstances.
Vision for leveraging the intellectual power of the university to enhance U-M’s local, state, national, and global leadership in a wide array of subject areas
The successful candidate will also possess the following qualities and competencies:
Personal and professional ethics and integrity to the highest degree.
Demonstrated understanding of and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Appreciation for and ability to lead effectively within a non-hierarchical, de-centralized, and highly collaborative campus community.
Good political acumen with a keen sense of how and when to engage the participation of different constituencies and the ability to build productive alliances.
Skill in working with administrators, faculty, staff, and students in a climate of openness and transparency, integrity, trust, mutual respect, and collaborative problem solving.
Understanding of and commitment to the academic, research, and service missions of a leading residential public university.
Outstanding oral and written communications skills with an ability to transform ambiguity into clarity and to articulate campus needs with persuasiveness and conviction; excellent listening skills; and the capacity and willingness to engage in intellectual debate and discussion.
High degree of energy, initiative, and organization; self-confidence, creativity, and willingness to take risks and to develop and evaluate new programs with knowledge of national best practices, including the ability to use research, data, and assessment to guide decision-making.
Approachable, optimistic, and intellectually curious with personal warmth, generosity of spirit, a can-do attitude, and strong resilience in the face of criticism.
Ability to select, develop, motivate, and win the respect and loyalty of faculty and staff through strong mentoring, coaching, and team-building skills with proven success in developing professional staff and creating and leading an effective team.
Advanced experience applying management and organizational principles, including budgeting, planning, and personnel management.
Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days. The review and selection process may begin as early as the eighth day after posting. This opening may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.
The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.
Internal Number: 188136
About University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
A great university is made so by its faculty and staff, and Michigan is recognized as one of the best universities to work for in the country. The Michigan culture is known for engaging faculty and staff in all facets of the university to create a workplace that is vibrant and stimulating.For two consecutive years, the Chronicle of Higher Education has placed U-M in its "Great Colleges to Work For" survey. In particular, the university earns high marks for strong relations between faculty and administrators, a collaborative system of governance, strong pay and benefits, and a healthy work/life balance.