Job Description

As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.

UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty. 

The School of Marine and Environmental Affairs within the College of the Environment has an outstanding opportunity for an Assistant to the Director. The mission of the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs (SMEA) is to provide leadership and training to address contemporary and emerging issues in marine and environmental systems, especially those associated with the human dimensions of global change. We equip students with the professional and analytical skills necessary to solve complex, interdisciplinary problems. Through student training, applied research, and service to the broader community, SMEA faculty and students make significant contributions to government, nongovernmental organizations, and

The Assistant to the Director position uses specialized knowledge in the areas of academic administration to facilitate the accurate, efficient, effective, comprehensive operations of SMEA and its Director that meet the UW and College of the Environment’s policies and regulations. All human resource actions, including but not limited to hiring, appointment, onboarding, management of the required and recommended training as well as separation processes for both academic and staff, are the responsibility of this position. Therefore, this position advises the Director on and carries out all of SMEA's HR actions, and establishes internal practices that adhere to University and College of the Environment policies and procedures. This position works collaboratively and strategically with the Director on faculty and student management and communications to facilitate effective academic operations. This position assists with donor-related activities and works closely with the Advancement staff and the Director on advancement activities, including donor relations, special events, and Director’s Council. This position manages the SMEA web site and social media and is responsible for development of the content and their strategic planning. This position is responsible for the planning and execution of a number of SMEA's special events and all regular departmental meetings. This position serves as a principal assistant to and reports directly to the Director of SMEA. This position will work on site with the potential for partial teleworking after a training and onboarding period.

This is a part-time, 80% FTE position.


• Manages all Human Resources actions within the School, including academic and staff HR actions, including, but not limited to development and implementation of tools and procedures for faculty and staff searches, annual reviews, promotion and tenure, affiliate and adjunct appointments and re-appointments, peer-evaluations, International Scholars and Visa/Green Card applications, awards nominations, letters of recommendation;

• advises Director on staff position management, hiring, onboarding, required and recommended training, and disciplinary actions, and acts as liaison to UW AHR and HR;

• this position maintains faculty roster, database, and Workday system information and manages leave faculty and staff leave requests;

• this position serves as a resource and in an advisory role to faculty and staff for HR issues related to requests for approval of outside work for compensation, teaching buyout or salary recovery, postdoctoral scholars and academic student employees personnel policy and procedure compliance;

• this position manages Graduate School Faculty appointments and coordinates with the Graduate School as needed and liaises with other units’ Assistants to Director/Chair or Administrators to support cross-departmental consistency.

• Provides executive support, including, but not limited to direct and confidential senior-level executive support;,

• manages Director’s complex calendar; supports the Director in meetings as necessary by coordinating the setting of agendas, preparation of materials, managing minutes, and ensuring follow-up on action items;

• handle sensitive and urgent matters in thoroughly professional and timely manner with careful attention to confidentiality;

• composes, prepares and submits confidential and sensitive written and verbal communication on behalf of the Director;

• maintains the Director’s subject files, which serve as the office files of formal record; develops and implements a system for sharing key files and records in an online environment; consults with Director, other faculty, and staff as needed.

• Project management; this position gathers and documents faculty, staff, student, and postdoctoral scholars accomplishments on an ongoing basis and communicates news and information in a timely way;

• carries out various communications efforts, both internal and external, such as web site and social media content supervision, creation of newsletters and press releases; plans and manages special events and regular meetings;

• acknowledges donations and works collaboratively with Advancement staff on all donor events and the Director’s council;

• plans and administers programmatic evaluation; plans and oversees building and classroom improvements and operations;

• along with the Administrative Specialist, oversees hiring and work of student work-study office assistant.


• Bachelors degree or equivalent education/experience in Business Administration, Public Administration, Communication, Organization management or similar field.
• A minimum of two to three years of experience in department Chair/Director/executive support.

Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.


• Demonstrated excellent verbal and written communication skills, especially with diverse people/audiences at all levels of organization.
• Strong interpersonal skills with demonstrated ability to work successfully as a member of a team.
• Highly organized and efficient, able to work with minimal supervision, be self-motivated, utilize independent judgement, tact, discretion, confidentiality, and multitask to meet deadlines.
• Competency with MS Office applications and working knowledge of shared database/file environments.


• Experience directly supporting UW department Directors/Chairs or other UW executives.
• Experience and familiarity with UW Academic and staff Human Resources, International Scholars, payroll, ProCard and other UW specific administrative computing systems.
• Experience maintaining web sites and contributing to social media and strategic thinking related to marketing and communications of higher education degree programs.
• Experience with programmatic reviews (e.g., 10-year review of educational programs).
• Experience with event planning and execution.

Application Process:
The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process.  These assessments may include Work Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others.  Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.

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