Director of Special Programs – Conferences, Events & Scheduling, Pepperdine University

Director of Special Programs – Conferences, Events & Scheduling

Pepperdine University’s Director of Special Programs provides collaborative leadership and strategic management for the assessment, scheduling, planning, and implementation of campus-based events and conferences by non-University entities as well as University-generated programs. The Special Programs Department is responsible for self-funding its own operations and staffing through auxiliary revenue generated by camps, conferences, events, leasing of campus facilities, weddings, and filmings. The Director has responsibility for three full-time staff and assorted student employees, which staffing significantly increases seasonally to support a heavy summer workload.


  • Assess feasibility and initiate development of programming for outside groups within the context of the University’s mission, existing on-campus programming, complicated schedules, as well as sensitivity to potential external and internal community impacts. These assessments require understanding of University policies and needs as well as the unique needs of different demographics including elementary through high school students, international students, film production, newlyweds, University coaches, and working professionals.
  • Create and maintain exceptional relationships with clients both internal and external to the University. Superior client service ensures the difference between a one-time or recurring program.
  • Consult and work with multiple University departments and divisions to aid in providing housing and board needs for summer programs. This role requires careful attention to detail to ensure that the multitude of different programs are scheduled at times when facilities are available for use, taking into consideration turnover time between programming as well as non-departmental use of the facilities, and without overlap between uses. When appropriate, the Director may use the University’s scheduling software, 25Live or similar software, to ensure consistency with overall University scheduling.
  • Manage scheduling, potentially utilizing 25Live or similar software where appropriate, for repair and renewal work done on spaces utilized by Special Programs, which include residence halls, student apartments, athletic/recreational facilities, and classrooms. This requires special sensitivity to the needs of other departments, careful weekly, if not daily, coordination with multiple departments over a period of months, and consideration for impacts to both the internal and external community. Such projects include plumbing, roofing, refurbishments, and furniture replacements.
  • Oversee programmed use of the campus by internal and external groups requiring sophisticated understanding of University policies as well as sound discretion in responding in real time to client needs, University needs, and community concerns, sometimes all of which have competing interests. Ensure appropriate, mission-aligned handling of any conflicts that may arise to ensure that all needs are met while maintaining the reputation of the University and the department.
  • Utilize traditional and social media marketing to expand client base for conferences, workshops, and retreats while ensuring all new programming is educationally linked and compatible with the University’s mission.
  • Negotiate contracts with existing and prospective clients consistent with University policies. Produce and ensure timely payment of invoices.
  • Hire, mentor, and supervise employees in alignment with the University’s mission and consistent with the principles of the Living Pepperdine initiative with a specific focus on employee satisfaction, loyalty, and integration into the larger Pepperdine community. Ensure effective delegation of responsibilities among all departmental employees. Oversee hiring, mentoring, and supervising of student employees, which employees significantly increase in the summer to respond to client needs and prepare for as well as transition between summer programming. It is critical to strike a balance between efficient work production from these students while also ensuring they enjoy their summer role and it reflects well on their overall Pepperdine experience.
  • The Special Programs department is entirely self-funded and self-sustaining. The Director must understand how to utilize budgeting and forecasting to develop strategies to meet or exceed revenue goals while maintaining exceptional levels of service.
  • Serve on University committees, as requested, including the Chapel Committee and the Drescher Space Committee. Represent the University in professional service organizations such as the Association of Collegiate Conference and Events Directors and the Western Association of College and University Housing Officers.
  • Perform all other duties as assigned.
  • Uphold University mission through all work performed.

The above information has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by employees within this classification. It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required of employees assigned to this job.

Skills and Qualifications
Required: Bachelor’s degree; three to five years of relevant experience; exceptional written and oral communication skills; superior interpersonal capabilities; customer service mindset; public relations and marketing experience; comfort with public speaking; exceptional organizational skills; knowledge of systems for project management and timely completion of tasks in high pressure environments; sound judgment and discretion; expertise in mentoring and supervising employees; familiarity with drafting and negotiating contracts and leases; technical acumen and comfort using electronic scheduling programs; comfort with long hours to address customer service needs in the summers; understanding of the unique needs of short-term facility use and associated maintenance.

Preferred: Graduate degree with five to eight years of comparable experience in a college or university setting; experience with 25Live or similar scheduling software.

Qualified individuals should be able to articulate a strong commitment to diversity, and have the ability to work effectively with individuals from different backgrounds.

Offers of employment are contingent upon successful completion of a criminal, education, and employment screening.

This is a regular, exempt, 40 hour per week position.

Salary: Commensurate with experience

Pepperdine University is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not unlawfully discriminate in employment practices on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, age, sex, disability, or prior military service. Federal guidelines recognize the right of church-related institutions to seek personnel who will support the goals of the institution, including the right to select members of the church to which the institution is related.

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