University at Albany — Director, New York State Writers Institute

About the University at Albany
Established in 1844 and designated a University Center of the State University of New York in 1962, the University at Albany’s broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages a diverse student body of more than 17,300 students in eight schools and colleges across three campuses. The University at Albany is a major public research university where students and faculty collaborate to conduct life-enhancing research and scholarship in a wide range of disciplines.

Located in Albany, New York, New York State’s capital, the University is convenient to Boston, New York City and the Adirondacks.

About the New York State Writers Institute
Offering a broad range of literary and cultural programs, the New York State Writers Institute is a premier site for celebrating the art of the written word. Designed to encourage the freedom and integrity of the artistic imagination, the Institute’s largely free programs include a Classic Film Series, regular community writing workshops, and one of the most comprehensive Visiting Writers Series in the United States. Over the course of four decades the Institute has sponsored readings, lectures, panel discussions, symposia, and film and theatre events, which have featured appearances by emerging and established writers in every genre and winners of every major writing, film, and theatrical award.

The Institute also sponsors the New York State Summer Writers Institute, and the New York State Summer Young Writers Institute, writing workshops for adults and for high school students, in collaboration with Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. The Writers Institute’s resources include an extensive audio/video archive of author readings and interviews, as well as an affiliation with FENCE Magazine and Fence Books. A major contributor to the educational resources and cultural life at the University at Albany, where it is located, as well as the surrounding community, the Institute frequently collaborates with other colleges, universities, and arts and cultural institutions in the greater Albany area. It is also identified by the writing and publishing communities as a place dedicated to promoting serious literature, where writers and their work are held in high esteem.

As the Institute enters its fourth decade, several initiatives have begun that await the guidance of the new director. Under the leadership of founder and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist William Kennedy and with the support of distinguished community leaders, the Institute recently established The Friends of Writing, a board of private benefactors who work with Institute and University Foundation staff to ensure a robust financial future for Institute programing. Other nascent initiatives involve program collaborations with University and community constituencies as well as plans to update and enhance the Institute’s media profile.

Additional detail about the history and programs of the Institute is available at

Job Description: Director, New York State Writers Institute
The University at Albany seeks a visionary leader for the position of Director of the New York State Writers Institute, the state-chartered center for the study, promotion, and celebration of writing in all its forms and genres in New York State. The successful applicant will provide administrative, artistic, and intellectual leadership, and will also possess significant experience with both electronic and traditional print and/or broadcast media. The Director is charged with providing the Institute with strategic and collaborative leadership, effective management, and creative programming guided by its mission. Applicants must address in their application their ability to work with a culturally diverse population.

The Director’s responsibilities include overseeing day-to-day operations; developing the Institute’s annual budget and establishing budget priorities; leading the ongoing effort to modernize the Institute’s communications to reach new audiences; overseeing a significant expansion of the Institute’s digital media presence and enhancing coverage in both broadcast and print journalism; promoting the use of social media to engage students, the University community, and the general public; leading staff in identifying and developing fresh, ever-changing content for the Institute’s website; providing a public presence by hosting and moderating visiting writer and film events; leading efforts to increase levels of public and private financial support; and developing unique and relevant programming that enhances both the Institute’s and the University at Albany’s educational missions.

The Director supervises a staff of eight full and part-time employees (4.75 FTE): Assistant Director, Programming Assistant, Administrative Assistant (position currently vacant), Videographer, Graphic Artist, Graduate Assistant, Writer-in-Residence, and FENCE Journal editor, supported by work-study students, interns, and volunteers.

This position reports to the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.

In addition, the successful candidate will:

  • Cultivate relationships and collaborative partnerships that will increase audience engagement.
  • Assure the Institute continues to provide programming of the highest quality with meaningful connections to academic programs and campus-wide initiatives.
  • Foster a culture of collaboration and maintain professional and collegial working relationships among a dedicated professional staff with a high degree of experience and expertise.
  • Develop and implement policies and procedures for the growth, care, study, and accessibility of the Institute archive.
  • Work with the University’s Office of Development and the Friends of Writing to raise funds from individuals, foundations, corporations, and government sources to support the Institute’s operations and programs. This will include grant writing and major donor cultivation.
  • Create and maintain strategies to increase the Institute’s visibility, attendance, and recognition in the literary world.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion as a core value and to bringing cultural experiences to a wide and diverse audience.
  • Serve as a persuasive advocate and spokesperson for the Institute and represent its interests to the University, community, patrons, as well as to regional and national literary communities.


Minimum Qualifications

  • M.A. degree or equivalent in literature, humanities or a related field.
  • At least five years of senior administrative experience directly related to responsibilities outlined above.
  • Deep understanding, expertise, and dedication to the field of literature and creative writing.
  • Willingness to work nights and weekends as needed to accommodate operational and programmatic needs.

Preferred Qualifications

  • M.F.A. or Ph.D. degree in literature, humanities or a related field or equivalent professional accomplishment
  • Ability to foster an environment of exemplary professionalism and commitment among staff, to build strong working relationships with other university departments, publishers, and cultural institutions in the region.
  • Record of success in grant writing and fundraising efforts.
  • Competence in managing budget, personnel, and audience development.
  • Experience with both electronic and traditional print and/or broadcast media.
  • Track record of leadership in developing distinguished, innovative programming.

Additional information:
This is a professional position with a 12-month obligation. Salary will be competitive.

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, or Clery Act, mandates that all Title IV institutions, without exception, prepare, publish and distribute an Annual Security Report. This report consists of two basic parts: disclosure of the University’s crime statistics for the past three years; and disclosures regarding the University’s current campus security policies. The University at Albany’s Annual Security Report is available in portable document format [PDF] by clicking this link


Optional Pre-screening Questions:

Do you have a M.A., M.F.A., or Ph.D. degree from a college or university accredited by a U.S. Department of Education (DOE) or internationally recognized accrediting organization?

Are you able to work with a culturally diverse population?

Are you able to work evenings?

Application Instructions: For a full description of the position and to apply, visit:

Applicants MUST submit the following documents:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter stating all the required minimum qualifications and any of the applicable preferred qualifications
  • Three professional references
  • Writing sample

Closing date for receipt of applications: November 1, 2016