The Associate Vice President for Government & Community Relations works in partnership with the Vice President in the development and implementation of strategies to cultivate and enhance RIT’s relationships with government officials at all levels and community leaders. In collaboration with academic and administrative leadership at RIT, the Associate Vice President for Government & Community Relations helps to identify opportunities for support of university priorities and engages federal & state government officials to secure funding for those priorities. The Associate VP serves as the university’s primary liaison with local government, with a particular focus on town-gown relationships. The Associate Vice President for Government & Community Relations is a seasoned external affairs professional with excellent communication skills and extensive knowledge of all levels of government, regulatory agencies and community organizations.
Detailed Job Description
New York State legislative advocacy:
Provides leadership for RIT’s collaborative advocacy efforts with the New York State Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (cIcu) to ensure continued state funding for student financial aid programs (Tuition Assistance Program, Higher Education Opportunity Program, etc) and other sector-wide programs for independent higher education.
Participates in cIcu Government Advisory Team meetings in Albany to develop priorities and strategies for support of independent sector programs in New York State.
Works with other area independent colleges in coordinating regional advocacy strategies.
Works with RIT student government and other on-campus student organizations as appropriate to generate student advocacy, including participation in cIcu’s student advocacy day in Albany.
Works with other RIT offices (e.g. student financial aid, HEOP) as needed in support of advocacy efforts, including development of position papers and impact on RIT of state funded programs.
Coordinates campus-wide advocacy in support of statewide efforts to support these programs.
Monitors legislative issues that impact higher education in general and/or RIT specifically, develop position statements as needed in consultation with relevant resources on campus and develop and execute appropriate strategies in support or opposition to proposed legislation.
Drafts correspondence, position papers and other written materials as needed in support of cultivation efforts and advocacy strategies. Prepares annual report to New York State on RIT’s use of direct institutional (Bundy) aid.
As assigned by the Vice President, has primary responsibility for legislative strategy, advocacy and funding support for selected RIT-specific initiatives, e.g. annual funding support for the NYS Pollution Prevention Institute, NYS Gaming Hub and other projects as determined by the VP.
Works with VP and contract lobbying firm in Albany to articulate and develop strategies for securing NYS funding for other university strategic priorities.
Represents VP and/or President of RIT as needed at meetings and statewide events involving government officials and communicate RIT’s goals.
Collaborates with VP on Federal legislative advocacy efforts:
Monitors federal issues and legislation impacting higher education in general and RIT in particular (e.g. student financial aid, tax policies, other regulatory issues), and develops as necessary RIT position statements and communications on these issues. Works with other university partners to mobilize constituent advocacy on key issues such as funding for student financial aid programs.
Works with VP, and the university’s DC-based contract lobbying firm, to develop funding proposals for RIT specific initiatives and in development of execution strategy to secure funding.
Strengthens and maintains relationships with local government:
Serves as primary liaison with local government, with particular focus on managing relationships with the Town of Henrietta.
In partnership with other university offices, particularly Student Affairs & Public Safety, develops and implements programs and strategies to support and strengthen RIT’s relationships within the Henrietta community.
Develops communications plan and strategies for ongoing communication with residential neighbors of RIT.
Works collaboratively with other RIT departments to address and respond to issues that arise with community residents and neighbors (e.g. student off campus housing).
Initiates other creative strategies that will help to engage neighboring community with RIT.
For 2017-18, serves on planning committee for 50th anniversary of the RIT campus in Henrietta, with specific focus on events connecting the university and the town, which is also celebrating its Bicentennial in 2018.
Assists in communications and relationships with other governmental entities to provide and receive pertinent information about RIT and other local government issues.
Represents RIT as appropriate at local government functions and events.
Monitors local government activities including Town Board agendas, resolutions and agendas and assess impact on RIT community of any local government proposals.
Develops community relations strategy to strengthen and maintain positive town/gown relations in the region:
Represents the university in key community organizations and serve as RIT representative on boards as appropriate (e.g. Rochester Rotary, Rochester Fringe Festival).
Plans and implements community relations strategies to enhance RIT’s visibility in the community.
Works collaboratively with RIT Division of Marketing & Communications to ensure accurate communications between RIT and area news outlets on issues related to the work of Government & Community Relations.
Assists Vice President for Government and Community Relations on special projects as needed.
Required Minimum Qualifications
Bachelor’s degree required. Master’s or other Advanced degree in related field (e.g. Law) preferred.
At least five years of related experience in government or related field, with experience in college or university setting a plus.
Strong written and verbal communication skills are essential, as is the ability to be nonpartisan, collaborative and able to distill complex issues and make sound judgments and recommendations on sensitive and sometimes confidential matters.
Position also requires institutional perspective and excellent understanding and appreciation of RIT’s mission, goals and objectives.
How To Apply
In order to be considered for this position, you must apply for it at: http://careers.rit.edu/staff. Click the link for search openings and in the keyword search field, enter the title of the position or the BR number.
The hiring process for this position may require a criminal background check and/or motor vehicle records check. Any verbal or written offer made is contingent on satisfactory results, as determined by Human Resources.RIT does not discriminate. RIT promotes and values diversity, pluralism and inclusion in the work place. RIT provides equal opportunity to all qualified individuals and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, age, marital status, sex, gender, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, veteran status or disability in its hiring, admissions, educational programs and activities.RIT provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities under the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the New York Human Rights Law, or similar applicable law. If you need reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to your application for employment at RIT, please contact the Human Resources office at 585-475-2424 or email your request to Careers@rit.edu.
THE UNIVERSITY AND ROCHESTER COMMUNITY:
RIT is a national leader in professional and career-oriented education. Talented, ambitious, and creative students of all cultures and backgrounds from all 50 states and more than 100 countries have chosen to attend RIT. Founded in 1829, Rochester Institute of Technology is a privately endowed, coeducational university with nine colleges emphasizing career ...education and experiential learning. With approximately 15,000 undergraduates and 2,900 graduate students, RIT is one of the largest private universities in the nation. RIT offers a rich array of degree programs in engineering, science, business, and the arts, and is home to the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. RIT has been honored by The Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the “Great Colleges to Work For” for four years. RIT is responsive to the needs of dual-career couples by our membership in the Upstate NY HERC.
Rochester, situated between Lake Ontario and the Finger Lakes region, is the 79th largest city in the United States and the third largest metropolitan area in New York State. The Greater Rochester region, which is home to over one million people, is rich in cultural and ethnic diversity, with a population comprised of approximately 16% African and Latin Americans and another 7% of international origin. It is also home to the largest deaf community per capita in the U.S. Rochester ranks 3rd among the best metropolitan regions for “raising a family" by Forbes Magazine; 6th among 379 metropolitan areas as “Best Places to Live in America” by Places Rated Almanac; 1st in Expansion Management Magazine’s ranking of metropolitan areas having the best “quality of life in the nation”; and is among Essence Magazine’s “Top 10 Cities for Black Families.”