Executive Assistant 3/Chief of Staff (Lyle School of Engineering)
Southern Methodist University Inc

Dallas, Texas


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 80 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. 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. The University's entrepreneurial spirit lives in people from every academic discipline who see opportunities to create something new in the world - and work hard to bring their innovations to life. SMU's relationship with Dallas - the dynamic center of one of the nation's fastest-growing regions - offers unique learning, research, social and career opportunities that provide a launch pad for our students, faculty and alumni to make a global impact. 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:

SMU's Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering, founded in 1925, is one of the oldest engineering schools in the Southwest. The school offers eight undergraduate and 29 graduate programs, including masters and doctoral degrees, through the departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Computer Science; Electrical and Computer Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; and Operations Research and Engineering Management. Lyle students participate in programs in the unique Deason Innovation Gym, providing the tools and space to work on immersion design projects and competitions to accelerate leadership development and the framework for innovation; the Hart Center for Engineering Leadership, helping students develop nontechnical skills to prepare them for leadership in diverse technical fields; the Caruth Institute for Engineering Education, developing new methodologies for incorporating engineering education into K-12 schools; and the Hunter and Stephanie Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity, combining technological innovation with business expertise to address global poverty.

About the Position:

The Executive Assistant 3 and Chief of Staff is a confidential staff management position reporting directly to the Dean within the Lyle School of Engineering. The position works collaboratively with others in the Dean's Office (e.g., Associate Deans, Assistant Deans, Department Chairs, and Center and Institute Directors) to provide counsel and management support to the Dean, primarily at the intersection of the Dean's initiatives and administrative operations. The EA3 provides oversight and supervision of administrative support services for the Office of the Dean and Academic Departmental Coordinators working with other administrative offices and communicates on a variety of matters between the Dean's office and the Provost's office, as well as other central administrative offices on campus.

We seek an Executive Assistant 3/Chief of Staff who shares our values of a diverse, and equitable workplace based on collaborative teamwork, personal initiative, and a commitment to consistency and excellence.

Essential Functions:

  • This position facilitates the resolution of matters requiring the Dean's attention, providing advice, counsel, and operational expertise. Assists the Dean in implementing initiatives to advance the Dean's initiatives and major projects; monitors and ensures progress in responding to the Provost's and University directives and requests.
  • Serves as an administrative liaison between the Dean's Office and the Office of the Provost as well as with other campus wide units/entities/counterparts such as College/Schools, budget/finance, human resources, facilities, development and external affairs, and information technology.
  • Participate, as necessary, in key constituent meetings and ensures appropriate and responsive follow-up regarding projects and initiatives. Facilitates the conduct of special projects and tasks; serves as school lead on HR activities and personnel issues; may serve on campus or school level committees, and work groups.
  • Provides research and curates background materials for the Dean's communications: drafts sensitive or high-level correspondence, reports, oral speaking engagements and documents distributed to the campus and to school partners, alumni and donors. Includes support for external speaking engagements and academic conferences.
  • Supports Lyle staff members servicing the school by providing broad policy oversight of all administrative support services within the school including human resources needs, schedule of classes, promotion and tenure, faculty search processes ensuring university policies and procedures are adhered to throughout each process.
  • Responsible for the Office of the Dean's project management, status reporting, event execution, and emergency operations. Provides operational support directly to the Dean including general logistics and meeting organization. Is a key member of the Dean's Leadership team and engages in critical decisions related to the school.
  • Special projects as needed, and other duties as assigned by Dean.
  • Occasional event/weekend hours are required. This position is a member of the Dean's cabinet and must be available as needed for projects, events, or emergencies which may occur outside of normal business hours.


Education and Experience:

A Bachelor's degree is required.

Five years of professional work experience is required, two years of administrative experience in a university setting is preferred.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

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. The ability to create error free communication using proper grammar and spelling is essential.

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.

Strong understanding of Microsoft suite products is required. Knowledge of PeopleSoft, Digital Measures, and Interfolio are a plus.

Physical and Environmental Demands:
  • Carry/lift 25 lbs.
  • Sit for long periods of time
  • Stand
  • Walk for long distances.
Deadline to Apply:

Priority consideration may be given to submissions received by September 21, 2022.

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, accessequity@smu.edu.


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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