Assistant Secretary of the College

Assistant Secretary of the College - POSITION FILLED
Department:  Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary of the College
Date:  06/03/2019


Founded in 1813, Colby is one of America’s most selective colleges. Serving only undergraduates, Colby’s rigorous academic program is rooted in deep exploration of ideas and close interaction with world-class faculty scholars. Students pursue intellectual passions, choosing among 58 majors or developing their own. Independent and collaborative research, study abroad, and internships offer robust opportunities to prepare students for postgraduate success. Colby is home to a community of 2,000 dedicated and diverse students from around the globe. Its Maine location provides easy access to world-class research institutions and civic engagement experiences.

In a period of fast-paced progress, Colby is building on its strong foundation while remaining committed to excellence, to supporting students and faculty at the highest levels, and to the College's deep liberal arts traditions. This new chapter includes the creation of innovative academic initiatives and partnerships, strengthening the connections between the liberal arts and the professional world, revitalizing downtown Waterville, and pursuing significant capital projects for performing arts and athletics. Colby invites applicants to apply for the position of:


Office of the Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary of the College

Full-Time, Exempt, Salaried, Administrative Staff Appointment

Reporting to and collaborating closely with the vice president, general counsel, and secretary of the College (VP/GC), the assistant secretary of the College serves as a partner and advisor for all functions performed by the secretary of the College. Most importantly, the assistant secretary of the College partners with the VP/GC in the College’s work with the Board of Trustees. The position requires impeccable judgment, excellent communication skills, teamwork, coordinating and planning skills, and a thorough understanding of the issues which affect higher education.

The assistant secretary of the College works closely with the VP/GC in fulfilling four important roles and responsibilities. Specifically, in concert with the VP/GC, the assistant secretary of the College serves as a:

  • Communicator: Assisting in connecting communications between the board and the leadership of the College and among trustees, as well as communications to and from the board involving other campus constituencies;
  • Educator/records historian: Working collaboratively with the VP/GC on the orientation and education of trustees and board representatives, understanding best governance practices and knowledge of key College governance documents, imparting knowledge of the latest developments and important issues facing higher education; and assisting in researching College records and providing historical information regarding actions of the College to provide context for matters under consideration by the board;
  • Advisor: Assisting in the furtherance of the College’s institutional agenda and strategic priorities, and possessing the capacity to see around corners and anticipate needs and issues before they arise, together with the insight and foresight to develop and elevate issues requiring consideration by College senior leadership and the board;
  • Planner: Assisting the VP/GC in the scheduling and planning of meetings and the formation of agendas and plans to highlight the required work of the board as well as various strategic issues, all to ensure the board and College leadership address topics of importance based on board interest and priorities.  

This position requires the assistant secretary of the College to work chiefly with the VP/GC, as well as the president, vice presidents and deans of the College, trustees, and other key volunteer leadership groups on a variety of matters involving the work of the board. Because this work includes the planning of important events involving the board, the candidate must be able to assume a leadership role through collaborative work with the College’s events staff to ensure programs involving the board are well-run and meet the College’s standard for exceptional quality. This position also partners with the Office of the Provost and the Dean of Faculty on the planning and scheduling of visitors for visits to the College by members of the Board of Visitors and is responsible for the planning and implementation of the annual Board of Visitors/Trustees Emeriti Summit. The assistant secretary of the College is also responsible for communications with and implementation of programming for trustees emeriti. We encourage inquiries from candidates who will contribute to the diversity of our College, including its cultural and ethnic diversity.

  • Deep knowledge of key issues affecting the landscape of higher education and the ability to frame those issues as they may come to affect the College
  • Proven leadership skills, especially in the development of good governance policies and practices
  • Assist the VP/GC in research, preparation, and development of materials, information, and presentations involving key strategic issues for consideration by the board and College leadership
  • Staff meetings and events involving the board including overseeing logistics, timely production and distribution of materials, meals, room set-ups, meeting locations, travel, hotel accommodations, and the “choreography” of trustees, administrators, guests, speakers, and stakeholders including interactions between the board and the campus community – all to deliver a best-in-class level of service and responsiveness for a dynamic board, both at meetings and in work with the board and its committees throughout the year
  • Proven ability to quickly and effectively inspire trust, teamwork, and confidence with multiple campus leaders and staff who work on trustee meetings and meetings of other key volunteer leaders of the College requiring collaboration and close partnership with a wide-array of Colby stakeholders including advancement, facilities, events, and dining services personnel
  • Work with the VP/GC to assist the president, vice president/secretary of the college, and other college leaders to develop and frame strategic programming, as well as well-planned/well-organized events, meetings, and activities for the board including the development and synthesis of materials supporting this work, together with the drafting and review of board and committee documents and minutes
  • Aid in the development of excellent meeting models and help to seek feedback and assess board practices as changes to the board and the College’s priorities occur
  • Work with the VP/GC to assist the president, vice president/secretary of the college, and other college leaders to develop and draft important plans and policies emanating from the work of the board to address key strategic areas of the College
  • Participate in the recommendation of candidates for the College’s key volunteer leadership groups
  • Work with the VP/GC to create and implement orientation and educational programming for new trustees, members of the Board of Visitors, and others
  • Engage with trustees, visitors, trustees emeriti, and other volunteer leaders to build relationships that encourage and support a high-level of commitment to and knowledge of the College’s vision, priorities, initiatives, and values
  • Assist the VP/GC as a liaison to faculty, staff, and students on matters related to the board
  • Plan and staff the annual Board of Visitors summit, the trustees emeriti programming, and other key leadership events which provide engagement opportunities for key volunteer leaders
  • Assist in the selection, scheduling, and management of the visitors when members of the Board of Visitors are on campus
  • Refine and develop systems and processes for producing and storing records related to the critical work and decisions of the board
  • Oversee budgets involving the VP/GC office
  • Perform additional duties as assigned; duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice
  • Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent in education and experience; Master’s degree preferred
  • Five to eight years of progressively responsible experience in higher education administration preferred; equivalent service in a for-profit or not-for-profit setting will be considered
  • Knowledge of the issues impacting higher education and ability to anticipate emerging issues for consideration by the board and College leadership
  • Impeccable written and verbal communication skills, sound and mature judgment, and the ability to work with multiple groups and areas in the College to build excellent relationships and an atmosphere of teamwork across College administrative areas
  • Understanding of and proficiency with governance documents and precedents involving governance of the College
  • Ability to work on sensitive matters with discretion, strictly adhering to requirements of confidentiality and avoidance of conflicts of interest
  • Committed self-starter with proven skills to work both independently as well as collaboratively with the VP/GC office, and through this office, the president and vice presidents of the College, members of the board of trustees, and other volunteer leaders and boards
  • Demonstrated analytical and strategic thinking capabilities
  • Strong organizational skills involving tracking and following up with others to ensure that work and commitments established by the board and College leadership are fulfilled, including the work required of this position
  • Skills required to work simultaneously on multiple tasks, evaluate solutions, exercise sound judgment, creatively solve problems, and make decisions as part of the VP/GC team, often under pressure, in a changing, fast-moving, highly visible and impactful environment
  • Computer proficiency including advanced knowledge and experience with the Microsoft Office Suite and Google Docs
  • Outstanding organizational and coordinating skills, as well as exceptional time management skills
  • Inquisitive and entrepreneurial thinker with ongoing attention to the need for innovation and change in the work and performance of the VP/GC office
  • Valid driver’s license required and must meet the College’s Fleet Safety Policy requirements 

The position is a full-time, fiscal year, exempt appointment. It typically requires evening and weekend work and communications with the VP/GC office, as and when necessary, with the expectation of extensive availability for important matters and campus events throughout the year – as determined by the office. Travel for off-site meetings and events, sometimes extending for several days, is also required.

This position has significant interaction with the president and senior leadership of the College, members of the VP/GC team, the members of the board of trustees and the board of visitors, trustees emeriti, and other leadership positions at the College as well as the Office of Campus Events, faculty, staff, and students.

General open office and campus environment. Position involves sitting, although frequent movement is necessary. Computer usage involving repetitive hand/wrist motion is also necessary.

Interested candidates should apply electronically by clicking the "Apply Now" button on the Colby College website. Please submit a letter of interest including salary requirements, resume, and the contact information of three professional references. Finalists will be asked to produce a writing sample based on instructions provided at that time. Applications received by June 21, 2019 will be given stronger consideration. Materials should be addressed to:

Assistant Secretary of the College - Search Committee
Office of Human Resources
Colby College
5500 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, ME 04901-8855

If you experience difficulty uploading your documents, you may submit any .doc or .pdf materials to Please do not submit duplicate materials.

A review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.
Colby is a private, coeducational liberal arts college that admits students and makes employment decisions on the basis of the individual's qualifications to contribute to Colby's educational objectives and institutional needs. Colby College does not discriminate in its educational programs or employment on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, religion, national origin, age, marital status, genetic information, or military or veteran’s status. Colby is an equal opportunity employer and operates in accordance with federal and state laws regarding non-discrimination. Colby complies with Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in an institution’s education programs and activities. Questions regarding Title IX may be referred to Colby’s Title IX coordinator or to the federal Office of Civil Rights. We encourage inquiries from candidates who will contribute to the cultural and ethnic diversity of our college.

For more information about the College, please visit our web site: