University of California, Los Angeles — Executive Director of the Career Center

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is known worldwide for the breadth and quality of its academic, research, health care, cultural, continuing education, and athletic programs. The University offers undergraduate degrees in more than 125 majors and advanced degrees in 128 program areas throughout its 12 highly regarded professional schools. Forty (40) UCLA doctoral programs rank among the top ten in their respective fields. U.S. News & World Report ranks UCLA first among public universities (2018–19), 19th overall among national universities, and 13th among its global rankings. Students are motivated and very talented. Approximately two-thirds of freshmen admitted have fully-weighted GPAs of 4.30 and above. Ninety-seven (97) percent of all first-year students live in University Housing.

The Executive Director is responsible for campus-wide leadership and direction for all centralized career services dedicated to serving the leadership development and career readiness needs of undergraduate and graduate students. Reporting to the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Development & Health/Academic Partnerships, the Executive Director oversees an organization of 35 full-time employees and approximately 50 student staff members working across the following teams: Career Education and Engagement (advising and programming); Industry Relations and Experiential Learning (employer engagement, partner program, information sessions, career fairs, industry advisor board); Finance and Operations (human resources, facilities, payroll, budget, financial transactions); Marketing and Branding (communications strategy, social media, website, marketing assets); and Graduate Services (comprehensive career and professional development services for graduate students). The Executive Director also manages an annual budget of approximately $4 million.

Developing and implementing a strategic, entrepreneurial vision for the Center that advances an integrated, collaborative student service operation leveraging resources that deliver innovative, user-friendly services and programs to highly diverse constituencies is a top priority of the Executive Director. Key to success will be the ability to forge strong partnerships with academic deans and program chairs, as well as other campus administrators in student affairs, alumni relations, development, and athletics. Extending the reach of the Center to meet students where they are is also keenly important. In conjunction with staff and campus partners, the Executive Director will lead efforts to enhance alumni and employer engagement to support the Center’s mission critical priorities, including the expansion of internships and other experiential opportunities, sponsorship initiatives, as well as cultivation of employment opportunities designed to align with career aspirations and to improve upon already enviable employment success rates for UCLA graduates. Additional responsibilities of the Executive Director include: continual assessment of programs and services against student- and market-driven priorities; development of active outreach strategies with particular emphasis on increasing engagement of historically underrepresented and/or marginalized student populations; and strategic deployment of available technology to strengthen communication, enhance access to services and resources, assess and report outcomes, and establish a data-driven culture. The Executive Director will serve on the Vice Chancellor for Student Affair’s senior leadership team, which works to support division-wide student engagement and success initiatives. 

A master’s degree and progressive record of professional experience in career services, student affairs, corporate recruitment, business, or development, or an equivalent combination of education and experience are required. A doctorate degree is preferred. The successful candidate will also demonstrate: an understanding of best practices fused with the management ability needed to lead a multi-function, comprehensive career services department, including the supervision of a large professional and administrative staff; communication and interpersonal skills to advise and collaborate with ethnically diverse groups of undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, Post Docs, senior executives within UCLA, and external constituents; strategic planning ability coupled with the facility to effectively prioritize multiple competing objectives while advancing projects and meeting deadlines; financial/budget acumen and capability to integrate revenue generating activity into budgetary operations; critical thinking and problem solving skills; and an ability to collect, analyze, and report data to senior administrators, faculty, and advisory groups, ensuring data-informed decisions regarding continuous improvement and evolution of programs and services responsive to documented needs. Additional capabilities that will be important in the selection of the next Executive Director include: extensive knowledge of technological applications for career planning and employment operations and the Web-based delivery of services to students, alumni, and employers; detailed knowledge of career readiness principles and practice as it applies to a highly diverse university population; working knowledge of evolving employment needs and practices of the private, government, education, and public service sectors; understanding of federal, state, and University regulations governing employment programs and practices, as well as the principles and standards of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE); familiarity with student service philosophy and ability to work collaboratively with campus colleagues in the planning and delivery of student services; and demonstrated engagement in associations serving career services and/or employment professionals at the local, regional, and/or national level. 

Recruitment is planned through October 15, 2019. A resume with an accompanying cover letter may be submitted via the UCLA website at The recruitment for this position is being managed by Spelman Johnson, an external higher education recruitment firm. Inquiries should be directed to Valerie B. Szymkowicz, Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-539-2895 or UCLA Campus Human Resources at 310-794-0890.

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The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer advancing inclusive excellence. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, or other protected categories covered by the UC nondiscrimination policy.