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Assistant Director, Special Events

Apply now Posting #: 4220
Position Status: Full-time regular
Location: San Diego
Position Type: Administrator, University Advancement

Position Title & Department:

 Assistant Director, Special Events; University Advancement
Posting #


Department Description:

A department within the division of University Advancement, the Office of University Events and Partnerships primary function is to provide strategic guidance, event management and services for high level, university-wide events as well as develop mutually beneficial corporate partnerships in support of special events and other university initiatives at the University of San Diego.

University Description:

The University of San Diego, a contemporary and engaged Roman Catholic institution, was founded by the Diocese of San Diego and the Society of the Sacred Heart in 1949. Governed by an independent board of trustees since 1972, USD remains committed to a liberal arts education grounded in the Catholic intellectual tradition and the pursuit of truth, goodness and beauty. Inspired by this centuries old tradition of Catholic higher education, the University welcomes people of all faith traditions and any, or no, religious background. The future success of USD relies on the contributions of those who seek to foster the development of engaged global citizens and an earnest confrontation of humanity’s urgent challenges.

Detailed Description:

The assistant director will oversee, organize, and produce events and activities, both on and off campus, for the Office of Special Events, departmental offices in University Advancement, the Office of the President. Events include, but are not limited to; donor recognition events, Homecoming and Family Week, Casino Night, Alumni Honors, Wine Classic, Founders Gala, building dedications, and other significant USD special events, campaign projects, and celebrations as directed. In addition to event planning, this position will have a role in managing all related activity tied to fundraising auctions at various events, which includes the identification, solicitation, and fulfillment of auction items. The assistant director will streamline operational efforts within the events office as well as between other campus departments. This position plays a major role in the growth and development of the Office of Special Events by being actively involved and directly contributing to the improvement of event standards, office processes, and procedures. The assistant director helps to determine and prioritize departmental goals. In the absence of the director, this position will represent the director and/or the Office of Special Events at meetings and events, both on and off campus.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Event Planning and Coordination   

  • Independently plan and coordinate special projects, events, and assignments, as assigned by the director. May be asked to delegate events and projects when appropriate to departmental support staff, student workers, or interns.
  • Work with vendors to ensure a successful event by providing full service logistical planning for events of all size and scope. Responsible for event operations, logistics, production, and execution of events that include theme concepts, script writing, program timing, and stage/talent direction.
  • Work with the director of Special Events and associate vice president for University Events and Partnerships to identify, solicit, manage, and fulfill auction items associated with various fundraising events, including but not limited to:Create donation forms and thank you notes for auction items collected; track and group items using auction software such as OneCause;Create compelling auction items descriptions, when appropriate, and set starting bids that accurately reflect items and entice bidders to participate;Take the lead on event auction display set-up and breakdown;Ensure guests are set-up for mobile bidding on platform;Manage auction reports, payment collection and item distribution post-event;
  • Produce detailed event timelines and approve the final event timelines; determine appropriate action, event standards, budget priorities, and attendance and net revenue goals.
  • Create event floor plans and production schedules; select menus, conduct site inspections, negotiate hotel/vendor contracts, book entertainment, coordinate audiovisual, and production set up. 
  • Serve as liaison between other campus departments when planning events (i.e. Catering, Public Safety, Facilities, etc.). Troubleshoot operational issues on behalf of the department as it relates to events.
  • Produce budget proposals and event tracking reports, determine budgetary limitations, make cost-saving recommendations, and monitor on-going expenses to ensure an event stays within the allocated budget. Reconcile the event budget, ensure payment of all accounts, and generate a final event tracking report.
  • Serve on university committees and advisory boards, as assigned, and may be asked to participate in a local or national “event” association and/or attend an occasional event conference to stay current on industry trends and network with other special event professionals and broaden education in the field.
  • Develop, maintain, and continually strive to strengthen relationships with administrators, faculty, donors, sponsors, and vendors as it pertains to special events.
  • Other duties as assigned

Special Conditions of Employment:

  • The Office of Special Events works closely with all the departments within University Advancement, the Office of the President, senior administrators (vice presidents, deans) as well as university trustees and donors. It is essential that individuals who work within the scope of the offices’ responsibilities have the creativity and flexibility to deal with a multitude of new or emerging projects throughout the year.
  • Must possess a valid California driver’s license. Must be willing to drive university or personal vehicle to on and off-campus locations to deliver equipment and/or supplies and attend events.
  • Must be willing to frequently work after standard work hours and on weekends, depending on the nature of the event or activity being supervised.

The University of San Diego is requiring all employees to follow our Covid-19 vaccine requirement process. https://www.sandiego.edu/onward/ 

Background check:  Successful completion of a pre-employment background check.

Degree Verification Requirement: Persons offered employment in this position will be required to provide official education transcripts for degree verification purposes. 


Job Rebilitquirements:

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree required. Minimum of two years’ professional event planning experience within higher education, hospitality, destination management, and/or conference planning.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, including public speaking; ability to communicate positively and effectively with a diverse audience; possess exceptional critical listening and thinking skills.
  • Must exhibit attention to detail with excellent organizational and time management skills; remain professional under pressure.
  • Strong knowledge of all aspects of event management and production and public relations.
  • Experience with budget management.
  • Must be friendly and personable; possess a commitment to quality, client-oriented service.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Degree in communication, marketing, public relations, or specific to special events is preferred.
  • Certified Meeting Planner (CMP) credentials or Event Management Certification is desired.

Performance Expectations: Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Commitment to working as a member of a team and collaborate with colleagues.
  • Strong sense of integrity and ethical conduct. Cultural competency and sensitivity a must; ability to understand different cultural contexts and viewpoints, demonstrate respect for others, adapt to different cultural settings; and accept cultural differences.
  • Experience using Microsoft Office and Google applications; ability to become proficient with new technologies and CRM platforms; adapt technology quickly and efficiently. 
  • Strong managerial and leadership skills. Must be able to work independently, take initiative and ascertain priorities in a dynamic environment of regular interruptions, multiple projects, and deadlines.
  • Skillful in dealing with the public, vendors, and friends of the university; handle confidential and sensitive information with tact and discretion.
  • Knowledge of USD’s policies and procedures. 
Posting Salary:

$5,200 - $5,264.25/month; Excellent Benefits

The University of San Diego offers a very competitive benefits package including; medical, dental, vision, a retirement contribution given to you by the University, and access to on-campus Fitness Centers.  Please visit the benefits section of our website to view all of the perks and benefits that USD has to offer.  USD: Human Resources: Benefits

Special Application Instructions:
Resume and Cover Letter Required

Click Apply Now to complete our online application. In addition, please upload a cover letter and resume to your application profile for the hiring managers’ review.  If you have any questions or difficulties please contact the Employment Services Team at 619-260-6806, or email us at jobs@sandiego.edu

Additional Details:

Hours: 40 hours per week

Closing date: Open until filled

Note: External job postings will be up for at least five days. After that time, applications will be reviewed by the hiring manager/committee throughout the posting period. A candidate may be selected at any time which could then close this posting on a date earlier than listed.

The University of San Diego is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusion and is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the campus community.

The University of San Diego is a smoking and tobacco-free campus. For more information, visit www.sandiego.edu/smokefree.

Advertised: Pacific Daylight Time
Applications close:

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In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, the Clery Act, the University of San Diego publishes a combined Annual Security and Fire Safety Report for review. This report includes institutional policies concerning: campus security; procedures for reporting crime, fire, and other emergencies; emergency response and evacuation procedures; sexual misconduct and relationship violence reporting and response standards and protocols; alcohol and drug policies; and statistics for the previous three years concerning reported crimes that occurred within the institutions Clery reportable geography. Individuals may request a print copy of the report at the University of San Diego Department of Public Safety, located in the Hughes Administration Center, Room 150.