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Manager of Programs and Operations

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

University Staff



Posting Close Date:


Date Posted:


Job Summary

The Center of the American West at CU Boulder encourages applications for a Manager of Programs and Operations! This position will provide high-level budgetary, financial, policy, and operational support to the Center. This position is primarily responsible for oversight and policy related to finance and human resource operations, as well as long-term programs and projects that fulfill the Center’s mission. Working closely with the Faculty Director, this position crafts and implements plans to deliver quality programs to the public as well as university-based engagement and collaboration in support of student success. In line with the Center’s slogan of “turning hindsight into foresight,” the Manager of Programs and Operations works to anticipate challenges on the horizon, collaborating with the Director to implement proactive strategic-planning, creative problem solving, and analysis of policies and procedures.

More often than not, this position permits its occupant to conclude the day with the statement, “Never a dull moment,” having had abundant opportunities to bring out the better angels of human nature, even when those angels are initially keeping a low profile. The mission of the Center rests on a combination of vision with steady practicality, and the Manager of Programs and Operations is the orchestrator of that combination. This position will apply knowledge, and interpret principles, rules, regulations, policies, precedents, and other guidelines specific to the College of Arts and Sciences, the University of Colorado Boulder, and the state of CO.

The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Who We Are

The Center of the American West is one of the region's most creative and innovative organizations in addressing crucial issues such as immigration, Native American sovereignty, fire policy, land, water, and energy use.

Part external relations and part academic unit, the Center occupies an outstanding space on the CU Boulder campus. The Center of the American West takes as its mission the creation of forums for the respectful exchange of ideas and perspectives in the pursuit of solutions to the region's difficulties. The leadership, staff, and supporters of the Center believe that an understanding of the historical origins of the West's problems, an emphasis on the common interests of all parties, and a dose of good humor are essential to constructive public discussion. The Center has accomplished these goals through a range of research and projects, through the Center’s academic programming including an interdisciplinary certificate program, and, in the era before the pandemic, through numerous events featuring high profile guests such as accomplished public servants, authors, filmmakers, and public intellectuals. While continuing to bring the vision and inspiration of those figures to the public, the Center is exploring “delivery systems” that extend beyond in-person speeches and panel discussions.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

Program Management
  • Manages and implements all of the Center’s programs, including:
    • Collaborating with the Faculty Director to create and maintain programs for the Center, including conferences, public events, receptions, celebrations, and workshops—both virtually and in person.
    • Maintaining ties with the Center’s Board of Directors, Faculty Council, and important Center affiliates beyond the University to carry out the Center’s mission.
    • Making arrangements for special-events programming, including budgeting, venue selection, event production, travel, etc.
    • Communicating regularly with the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Center’s Board of Directors as well as with the Executive Committee on progress and priorities.
    • Coordinating the undergraduate Certificate Program and all student-related programming at the Center, including, but not limited to: 
      • Annual Thompson Awards Student Writing Contest;
      • Internship Programs;
      • Undergraduate Western American Studies certificate program;
      • A variety of student gatherings;
      • Contributing to the development of the elements and features of each component of the Mellon Grant program.

Manager of Budget and Finance
  • Leads all aspects of the financial operations of the Center. Reviews and forecasts budgets for all accounts. This includes maintaining and monitoring the following accounts: 
    • General fund accounts;
    • Auxiliary accounts;
    • Grants and Sponsored Projects;
    • Gift Accounts;
    • Foundation Endowments and Earnings Funds.
  • Evaluates and forecasts Center accounts on an ongoing basis to monitor the resources available for operations, special projects, and programs.
  • Analyze Center resources to align with Center goals and vision.
  • Authorizes expenditures with the Financial Service Center and HR Service Center to conduct financial transfers, purchase orders, and payroll updates and corrections.
  • Analyzes and prepares annual budget reports and projections for the review and information of the Faculty Directs and the Board of Directors.
  • Coordinates fundraising activities, including cultivating and maintaining donor relations, and tracking donor cultivation and giving.
  • Supports the Faculty Director in the preparation and submission of grant reports and tracks all grant spending to ensure it stays within budget.
  • Determines actions to protect budgets, resolves deficits, track Center commitments, and provide for unexpected and unique expenses. Ensures compliance with approved budgets and policies, procedures, rules, and regulations.
  • Andrew W. Mellon Grant Oversight:
    • Partners with the Faculty Director and the Mellon coordinator to coordinate outreach and marketing efforts to recruit participants for the Mellon program.
    • Reviews applications, supports the selection process, and provides oversight for various program components, such as the Skills Re-purposing Weekends and Summer Workshop.

Staff Personnel Management and Supervision
  • The Manager of Programs and Operations serves in a leadership role, with primary responsibility for supervising professional staff, students, and temporary employees.
    • Responsible for hiring decisions, training, leave approval, performance management, evaluations, and disciplinary actions involving these employees.
    • Coordinates the daily activities of the work unit by prioritizing and supervising workflow.
    • Maintains a spirit of teamwork and morale, and establishes productive working relationships.
    • Serves as liaison to campus partners, communicating and disseminating updates and information for Center-initiated meetings and staff meetings.

Outreach and Communications
  • Coordinates the marketing and public relations aspects of the Center.
  • Collaborates with the staff to explore new avenues for distributing the Center's intellectual content, and in the process, seeks to successfully engage students.
  • In collaboration with the Faculty Director, manages relationships with various constituents:
    • Faculty and Western Studies scholars at both CU (especially those involved with other centers on campus) and other universities and colleges;
    • Donors and grant makers;
    • Board members (emeriti, current, and future recruits);
    • Reporters and journalists;
    • Elected and appointed public officials;
    • Tribal representatives;
    • Leaders and staff of nonprofits;
    • Writers and public intellectuals, in a wide range of Western locales;
    • K-12 educators;
    • Publishers and editors;
    • Large sectors of the public and the many citizens who feel a sense of ownership of and participation in the Center.

Written Projects
  • The Manager of Programs and Operations is responsible for supervising the preparation of the Center’s written reports and books to ensure that publications meet timelines and project completion dates. This position will take an active role in editorial oversight of the Center's publications and intellectual content, including proofreading.

What You Should Know

Generally, the hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 - 5:00, with occasional evening and weekend work. This position may have some flexibility to work remotely on occasion, but more often than not will be expected to be physically present on campus.

What We Can Offer

The salary range is $60,000.00 - $65,000.00 per year.


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.

Be Statements

Be engaged. Be diverse. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • A Bachelor’s Degree.
  • 2 years of progressively responsible nonprofit or higher education leadership experience.
  • 1 year of experience managing or supervising complex financial budgets.

What You Will Need

  • Excellent customer service.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Strong analytical, problem-solving and interpersonal problem-solving skills.
  • High degree of professionalism, leadership, and ability to maintain confidentiality.
  • Ability to work effectively in a working environment with multiple interruptions.
  • Ability to establish and maintain positive and cooperative working relationships.
  • Ability to work independently and as a member of a team.
  • Organizational skills, attention to detail, and ability to manage multiple complex priorities.
  • Proficiency using Microsoft Suite, Word and Excel.
  • Demonstrated ability to proactively analyze issues in such a way as to foresee possible problems or concerns that may arise and to develop possible solutions and initiate related action with little close supervision.

What We Would Like You To Have

  • A Master’s degree in public administration, business, related humanities field, environmental studies, or other related field.
  • Special knowledge in western or environmental studies.
  • Experience with fundraising and event management in a nonprofit or educational setting.
  • 3+ years of progressively responsible nonprofit or higher education leadership experience.

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials: 
  1. A current resume. 
  2. A cover letter that specifically tells us how your background and experience align with the requirements, qualifications, and responsibilities of the position.
We may request references at a later time.

Please apply by November 7, 2021 for consideration.

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, please apply through CU Boulder Jobs.

Posting Contact Information

Posting Contact Name: Boulder Campus Human Resources

Posting Contact Email: