Assistant Vice President, Priorities & Strategic Initiatives



Job description

Stillwater, Oklahoma

The Provost and Senior Vice President of Oklahoma State University invites nominations and applications for the position of Assistant Vice President of Provost Priorities and Strategic Initiatives. The successful candidate will provide coordination and oversight of priorities and initiatives to advance the work of the Provost and the University. Additionally, this individual will have commensurate authority for performing the duties of the office as determined by the Provost and Senior Vice President.

Oklahoma State University has a rich history of institutional success and growth. A land-grant institution with more than 35,000 students across a five-campus system, OSU has graduated more than 264,000 students to serve the state of Oklahoma, the nation and the world. Over the past year, President Kayse Shrum and Provost and Senior Vice President Jeanette Mendez – OSU’s new, transformational leadership team — have taken steps to advance the institution further with the development of a strategy for the next era of OSU. The newly launched university system strategy has a focus on OSU becoming the nation’s preeminent land-grant institution.

Reporting to the Provost/Senior Vice President (Provost), the Assistant Vice President of Provost Priorities and Strategic Initiatives (AVP) is a senior position responsible for coordinating and advancing the work of the Provost and the University. The Provost’s office consists of five divisions: the Division of Academic Affairs, the Division of Enrollment Management, the Division of Institutional Diversity, the Division of Research and the Division of Student Affairs. This position serves as a principal aide and advisor to the Provost, representing the Provost to internal and external constituents and leading/managing projects as directed. This position collaborates with cabinet members, deans, department/school heads, directors and faculty leaders to pursue and support the University’s priorities, objectives and strategy. This position requires strong alignment with OSU’s mission, values, and strategic vision, as well as demonstrated success, sound judgment and flexibility working in a complex, fast-paced environment.


  •  Manages the strategic agenda for the Provost by undertaking a broad set of responsibilities related to the duties of the area. Prioritizes, tracks projects, monitors status and ensures implementation of the University’s directives and initiatives that fall under the purview of the Provost. Independently makes decisions concerning a wide range of topics in all aspects of operations, keeping the Provost and constituents informed as needed.
  • Assists with implementation and monitoring progress regarding assigned aspects of the University’s strategy. Provides oversight and management of initiatives, including planning, determining processes, communications, organization, and implementation. Helps monitor progress and assists with plan directives and compliance on behalf of the Provost and the Provost’s leadership team.
  • Serves on Provost’s leadership team and facilitates collaboration among the members. Approaches work with a cross-functional, cross-divisional and cross-University mindset and assumes primary responsibility for select projects/initiatives as directed by the Provost. Plays a critical leadership role in coordinating high-priority, University-wide strategy processes and activities.
  • Researches and advises the Provost on policy and strategy decisions that impact students, faculty, staff, and external stakeholders to better position OSU and better serve all stakeholders.

Academic and External Partnerships:

  •       Serves as a key liaison for the Provost and assists in relationship building with members of the President’s Cabinet, senior administrators, key stakeholders, and constituent groups, both internally and externally. Establishes and maintains partnerships in coordination with a wide range of offices.
  •       Coordinates logistics with vice presidents, deans, department/school heads, directors and faculty leaders on behalf of the Provost, specifically focusing on key initiatives and programs related to OSU strategy implementation.
  •       Assesses and evaluates outcomes and effectiveness, metrics, and strategies, and identifies successes and areas for improvement to advance progress towards established goals.

Project Oversight and Organizational Review:

  • Marshals projects and initiatives on behalf of the Provost across the five divisions.
  • Convenes, directs, and monitors cross-functional committees to address specific, broad reaching, highly impactful, and/or sensitive issues.
  • Leverages access to, and expertise working with, complex data sets to advise the Provost on a variety of key metrics.
  • Sets goals and makes recommendations to the Provost and leads implementation.
  • Leads and/or monitors progress and contributes to institutional initiatives and reports on behalf of the Provost within the five divisions.
  • Develops, distributes, and monitors action plans for the Provost.
  • Represents the Provost by participating in/leading key standing and ad hoc committees, task forces, and strategic implementation teams as assigned.
  • Ensures projects and committees have sufficient and appropriate representation, clear goals, and objectives, and keeps the Provost and other stakeholders up to date on their progress. Provides recommendations to the Provost regarding processes and planning.

Communications and Outreach:

  • Partners with the Office of Brand Management and serves as the main communications contact of behalf of the Provost to develop and implement a communication and outreach plan targeted for internal and external audiences.
  • Partners with the Office of the President and Brand Management on regular and crisis communications with parents and families.
  • Counsels University Spokesperson on external communications impacting strategic initiatives and priorities across the five divisions.
  • Works with Cabinet partners on communication/special projects and makes recommendations to the Provost and University Spokesperson regarding communications and communications strategy.

Operational Oversight:

  • Works with the Provost to assist with the management of the strategic priorities and initiatives across the five divisions, such as high-level internal and external projects, budget, and functional direction.
  • Maintains high-level operational calendar to ensure major milestones are met and operations align with University-wide policies and practices. Advises the Provost on presenting concerns and resolves or elevates issues as warranted.
  • Oversees crisis responses for the Provost, helping coordinate across divisions.
  • Works on special projects and initiatives and completes other duties as assigned by the Provost.



  • Master’s degree is required, and degree must be conferred at the time of application
  • Minimum of seven years of experience in education administration or project management
  • One year of supervisory experience
  • Exemplary writing, interpersonal and organizational skills
  • Skills developing presentations, reports, and memoranda
  • Skills with data analysis, including leveraging systems to extract information and create summary reports
  • Project management skills

Additional Knowledge and Abilities Preferred:

  • Broad and detailed knowledge of higher education and project management principles
  • Ability to foster and maintain positive relationships with University and external constituents
  • Ability to maintain absolute confidentiality of personnel, personal, and proprietary information, and discussions
  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously within shifting priorities
  • Ability to meet timely and critical deadlines
  • Ability to view problems and solutions from multiple perspectives, e.g., student, faculty, administrators and external stakeholders
  • Ability to synthesize large bodies of data and information, draw conclusions, and write concise reports for basic and expert audiences

How to apply

The Division of Academic Affairs has a strong commitment to diverse people’s well-being and development. As such, applications are encouraged from candidates who understand and model the importance of inclusive excellence in higher education. While applications will be accepted until a successful candidate has been identified, interested parties are encouraged to submit their materials on or before Wednesday, March 15, 2023, to receive optimal consideration. Applications (letter of interest, resume/curriculum vitae, and the names, e-mail addresses, and telephone numbers of five references) must be submitted online at req#13250 . Nominations for and/or questions about this position should be directed to [email protected].

Oklahoma State University, as an equal opportunity employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding non- discrimination and affirmative action. Oklahoma State University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all individuals and does not discriminate based on race, religion, age, sex, color, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, or veteran status with regard to employment, educational programs and activities, and/or admissions. For more information, visit

Oklahoma State University is a land-grant institution committed to excellence in diversity and inclusion. We strive to maintain a welcoming and inclusive environment that appreciates and values all members of the University community. We define diversity as engagement in meaningful actions, behaviors, and conversations that reflect a commitment to recognizing, understanding, and respecting the differences among students, faculty, staff, and visitors throughout the OSU system. We do not condone acts, behavior, language, or symbols that represent or reflect intolerance or discrimination. OSU is dedicated to cultivating and enriching the competitive advantages that diversity and inclusion provides all members of the University community. We identify diversity as a quality of life issue, as well as an important economic driver for the prosperity and well-being of the state, nation, and world.

Oklahoma State University–Stillwater (also referred to informally as Oklahoma State, O-K-State, O-State and OSU) is a land-grant, sun-grant, coeducational public research university located in Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA. OSU was founded in 1890 under the Morrill Act.