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Director of State Affairs

Apply now Job no: 525736
Work type: Officer of Administration
Location: Eugene, OR
Categories: Executive/Management/Director, Political Science

Department: University Advancement
Appointment Type and Duration: Regular, Ongoing
Salary: Salary range starts at $75,000 per year
Compensation Band: OS-OA08-Fiscal Year 2020-2021
FTE: 1.0

Application Review Begins
November 4, 2020; position open until filled

Special Instructions to Applicants
Note: position may be based in Eugene or Portland.

Please submit the following with your online application:

• A cover letter in which you clearly describe how your knowledge, skills, and abilities prepare you for the job responsibilities and requirements outlined in the job announcement. Please discuss each element completely and succinctly.
• A resume of your educational and professional work experience.

Department Summary
University Advancement (UA) supports the University of Oregon’s (UO) mission of providing exceptional teaching, discovery, and service by positioning the university to create awareness, build long-term relationships, and secure resources that increase understanding of the university’s value and further its strategic goals. The division consists of approximately 200 employees primarily working out of Eugene, with offices in Portland and Bend. Departments within University Advancement include: The UO Alumni Association, Development, Advancement Operations, Federal Affairs, and State and Community Affairs. We are committed to fostering equity and inclusion in a welcoming, safe, and respectful environment that recognizes the value of all members of our community.

State and Community Affairs at the University of Oregon is responsible for all university matters related to the Oregon Legislative Assembly, statewide elected offices and officials, state agencies including the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, state boards and commissions, and local government and community relations including event sponsorship and engagement.

The offices of Federal Affairs and State and Community Affairs together form the Government and Community Relations (GCR) work group. Government and Community Relations coordinates the University of Oregon’s legislative advocacy efforts at the federal, state, and local levels. GCR’s mission is to build and strengthen relationships with the university’s constituencies and encourage investment in and support for the university, its programs, and its initiatives.

Position Summary
The University of Oregon (UO) is an integral part of the fabric of the State of Oregon. Public higher education offers students, especially those from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds, opportunity for a more prosperous and equitable future. As a Carnegie tier 1 research university, the UO is at the forefront in cutting edge research that can improve lives, transform education, and advance society. What’s more, the UO is a powerful economic engine in Lane County, as one of the region’s largest employers and a driver of tourism and economic activity.

Public policy and budgetary choices from state lawmakers have a direct impact on how well the UO can meet its public mission, succeed in recruiting, retaining, and graduating students from all backgrounds, educate the next generation of workers, secure federal research funding, and spin out new and innovative companies.

The Director of State Affairs (Director) serves a critical role in promoting the success of UO students, faculty, and staff. This position works with university leadership to promote the UO’s value and spur sustained and increased investments in public higher education. The Director works closely with the Associate Vice President for State Affairs in advancing the UO’s legislative agenda and increasing the level of knowledge and understanding that lawmakers and public officials have about the UO’s strengths. This includes stewarding relationships and communicating with other statewide elected offices, state agencies and commissions including the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, and political and public policy partner groups. The Director is also primarily responsible for working with existing staff to monitor and assess legislative concepts, bills and proposals and articulate their impact on the University.

The Director is also expected to work closely with the Associate Vice President for Federal Affairs and other members of federal affairs and community affairs teams.

Because the bulk of the work with state officials occurs in Salem, Portland or within the legislative districts of each member, there is frequent, sometimes daily, travel required, especially when the legislature is in session. Early morning or evening events or meetings may sometimes require overnight accommodations.

The position will be expected to travel to Salem daily when the legislature is in session. When not in Salem the Director of State Affairs will maintain an office presence in Eugene or Portland. Candidates outside of these communities who are able to commute to an office location and the Oregon State Capitol will be considered.

Minimum Requirements
• Bachelor's degree or equivalent combination of skills and experience
• Five years of experience in state legislative affairs, state government and/or legislative or political campaign advocacy

Professional Competencies
• Ability to work across partisan and ideological lines to build consensus for and deliver positive results on university issues
• Deep knowledge of political dynamics and legislative process
• Ability to quickly adapt to new information and anticipate needs of decision-makers
• Ability to manage-up to multiple types of university leaders; capacity to present and compile critical information and context for leadership decision and action
• Excellent interpersonal and presentation skills
• Ability to demonstrate tact and diplomacy, and the ability to manage confidential or sensitive information and issues responsibly
• Demonstrated ability to motivate and work well with students, faculty, staff, business and community leaders, and volunteers to build public and political support for the university
• Ability to establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with faculty, staff, and others as appropriate
• Demonstrated ability to work effectively with wide variety of people across multiple units and agencies to develop strategies to achieve operating goals
• Ability to interact, communicate, and work effectively with individuals, recognizing and respecting the many and varied identities of each person
• Commitment to promoting and enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion

Preferred Qualifications
• Advanced degree
• Professional experience in communications and public affairs
• Knowledge of policies and initiatives involving higher education
• Experience in the field of higher education
• Experience in state relations in Oregon

FLSA Exempt: Yes

All offers of employment are contingent upon successful completion of a background inquiry.

The University of Oregon is proud to offer a robust benefits package to eligible employees, including health insurance, retirement plans and paid time off. For more information about benefits, visit

The University of Oregon is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution committed to cultural diversity and compliance with the ADA. The University encourages all qualified individuals to apply, and does not discriminate on the basis of any protected status, including veteran and disability status. The University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees with disabilities. To request an accommodation in connection with the application process, please contact us at or 541-346-5112.

UO prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national or ethnic origin, age, religion, marital status, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression in all programs, activities and employment practices as required by Title IX, other applicable laws, and policies. Retaliation is prohibited by UO policy. Questions may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator, Office of Civil Rights Compliance, or to the Office for Civil Rights. Contact information, related policies, and complaint procedures are listed on the statement of non-discrimination.

In compliance with federal law, the University of Oregon prepares an annual report on campus security and fire safety programs and services. The Annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Report is available online at

Advertised: Pacific Daylight Time
Applications close:

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