Director of Operations, SMU-in-Taos (HR Title: Associate Director 2)
Southern Methodist University Inc

Taos, New Mexico


Salary Range:

Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications

About SMU

SMU's more than 12,000 diverse, high-achieving students come from all 50 states and 90 countries to take advantage of the University's small classes, hands-on research opportunities, leadership development, community service, international study and innovative programs. The University offers a strong foundation in the humanities and sciences and undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs through eight schools.

Now in its second century of achievement, SMU is increasingly recognized for the ways it supports students, faculty and alumni as they become ethical leaders in their professions and communities. On the most beautiful college campus in the country, SMU Mustangs are energized by unbridled opportunities - from teaching, learning and research to creativity, performance and athletic endeavor.

About the Department:

Since 1973, SMU-in-Taos, has been an educational center of Southern Methodist University. It's beautiful setting in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains--surrounded by the Carson National Forest --provides a unique backdrop for the enrichment of body, mind and spirit. The SMU-in-Taos department is charged with four SMU terms that take place on the Taos campus: Jan Term, May Term, June Field Term, and August Term. The department also provides conference and event coordination for outside groups to meet and experience engaging learning activities. SMU-in-Taos' unique environment, courses, and research opportunities contribute to its popularity and enduring success.

About the Position:

The Director of Operations provides administrative leadership for SMU-in-Taos. Primarily based in New Mexico, the director supervises campus operations including intersessional academic terms and non-SMU conference business. Sustaining a high level of quality and excellence, the director assigns, prioritizes and reviews the work activities of Operations staff, provides program administration, and coordinates with Facilities, Student Affairs, and other university services. Having knowledge and experience of campus and/or hotel management, the director develops client/conference business to generate sustaining net revenue, managing budgets, costing, pricing, and quotations.

Reporting to and collaborating with the AVP for Curricular Operations and Strategy the director develops and executes successful and sustainable financial and operational planning for SMU-in-Taos that fulfills the University's strategic goals and objectives.

Position will be based in Taos, NM.

Essential Functions:

  • Manages all day-to-day activities for academic terms, SMU group events, and conference business. Responsible for all on-site aspects of the SMU-in-Taos operations (campus, course offerings, faculty and staff, conference facilities, local culture, and etc.). Responds to SMU student and faculty inquiries. Provides leadership on the campus during periods of student and guest activity.
  • Markets the use of SMU-in-Taos. Develops and manages business for campus use by non-SMU clientele (student groups, conferences, and etc.). Manages campus reservations and updates and maintains operational calendar. Develops costing and establishes pricing to sustain ROI. Supports marketing, and enrollment efforts by the Dallas Office for all academic terms including Jan Term and Summer sessions.
  • Hires and supervises full and part-time, and temporary Academic Affairs employees. Schedules and coordinates internal and external use of SMU-in-Taos. Supports program faculty and provides administrative oversight for academic programming and outside clients by maintaining and managing high-quality housing, dining, and instructional campus venues.

  • Works closely with the Dallas Office for planning and scheduling Taos activities for January and Summer terms including: housing management, food service and logistics, excursion planning, invoicing and payment, including but not limited to vehicle rentals, airport transportation, and hospitality management. Processes contracts, reconciles invoices, and maintains accurate account information.
  • Coordinates work with various SMU divisions involved in campus activity including Facilities, Development and External Affairs, Office of Risk Management, SMU PD, Health Center, Student Affairs, and various academic programs. Serves as a liaison between SMU and the Taos community on matters concerning SMU-in-Taos.
  • Works closely with the AVP for Curricular Operations and Strategy to achieve SMU's strategic goals through successful and sustainable financial and operational planning.
  • Other duties as assigned by the AVP for Curricular Operations and Strategy.
  • Position may require living on campus at certain times of the year depending on proximity of NM residence to SMU-in-Taos (housing will be provided when residence is required). Some evening and weekend on-call duties required.
  • Frequent trips to/from Taos campus; periodic travel to main campus in Dallas.
  • A valid driver's license is required.


Education and Experience:

A Bachelor's degree is required. A Bachelor's degree in Business, Hotel management, Operations management or related field is preferred. A Master's degree or PhD is preferred.

Five years work experience is required. Experience as a team leader or manager is required. Experience managing budgets and contracts is a plus.

Certifications in hotel management/hospitality industry is preferred.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Ability to coordinate and schedule team is required.

Knowledge of marketing and promotion is a plus.

Familiarity with curriculum requirements and academic processes is preferred.

Knowledge and experience with NM state regulations for operating dining/kitchen/lodging/rental establishments is strongly preferred.

Candidate must demonstrate strong interpersonal and verbal communication skills, with the ability to communicate broadly across the University and develop and maintain effective relationships with a wide range of constituencies. Must also demonstrate strong written communication skills.

Candidate must possess strong problem-solving skills with the ability to identify and analyze problems, as well as devise solutions. Must also have strong organizational, planning and time management skills.

Candidate must have a working knowledge of Microsoft Office suite.

Knowledge of website platforms, Sharepoint, Zoom, Canvas and Microsoft Teams is preferred.

Physical and Environmental Demands:
  • Sit for long periods of time
  • Bend, Squat, Stand
  • Crawl, Climb, Kneel
  • Handle objects (dexterity)
  • Carry/lift over 25-50 lbs.
  • Walk for long distances
  • Push/pull
Deadline to Apply:

This position is open until filled.

EEO Statement:

SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601,


SMU offers staff a broad, competitive array of health and related benefits. In addition to traditional benefits such as health, dental, and vision plans, SMU offers a wide range of wellness programs to help attract, support, and retain our employees whose work continues to make SMU an outstanding education and research institution.

SMU is committed to providing an array of retirement programs that benefit and protect you and your family throughout your working years at SMU and, if you meet SMU's retirement eligibility criteria, during your retirement years after you leave SMU.

The value of learning at SMU isn't just about preparing our students for the future. Employees have access to a wide variety of professional and personal development opportunities, including tuition benefits.

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