Vice President for Operations

Updated: 4 days ago
Location: Chicago, ILLINOIS
Job Type: FullTime


President University Leadership

About the Department

Founded in 1890 by John D. Rockefeller, the University of Chicago is one of the world’s leading universities and widely known for its research eminence, its excellent faculty, graduate programs that rank at or near the top of their respective fields, a consistently strong and increasingly diverse student body, and impressive, constantly improved fundraising and endowment growth. The University is located primarily in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. It comprises an undergraduate college, graduate programs and interdisciplinary committees organized into four divisions (Physical, Biological and Social Sciences, and Humanities), six professional schools (Business, Divinity, Law, Medicine, Public Policy, and Social Work Policy and Practice, Molecular Engineering), the nursery-12 Laboratory Schools, three campuses of the University of Chicago charter school, a school of continuing education, a medical center, and a marine laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. A faculty numbering 2,000 teaches nearly 7,000 undergraduates and 10,900 graduate and professional school students. Another 3,700 students are enrolled in the N-12 and charter school programs. University of Chicago Medicine is a comprehensive academic medical center with 1,300 beds, 145,000 annual emergency room visits, 45,000 admissions, and more than 1,200 physicians who cover a full array of medical and surgical specialties. The University is also home to an award-winning professional theater and a campus art museum. With facilities in downtown Chicago, Bangladesh, Beijing, Hong Kong, London, Luxor, New Delhi, Paris, and Singapore, and academic partnerships in all corners of the globe, the University of Chicago is an institution of considerable reach. The University is governed by a 55-member Board of Trustees and led by President Paul Alivisatos, who became the 14th President of the University in September 2021. The senior leadership team including Provost Katherine Baicker is 13 officers and 12 deans. From its distinctive beginning as one of few research universities in America, to its history of defining disciplines (economics and sociology among them), to its record of Nobel Prize winning work and its current and longstanding culture of intense rigorous analysis and debate, the University of Chicago is among the most distinguished, distinctive, and reputable institutions in the nation and the world. For more information:

Job Information

Job Summary:

Reporting directly to the President and serving as a strategic partner to and member of the President’s executive team, the Vice President for Operations (VPO) assists in supporting the highest ambitions of the University’s teaching and learning, research, and engagement goals with the mandate to oversee enabling infrastructure of the University including the built environment, technology, and human resources organizations.

Working closely with the Chief Financial Officer, Provost, Deans, and other senior administrators, the VPO develops and supports a variety of strategic and operational initiatives in the built environment, aligning Facilities Services, ITS and Human Resources with the mission of the University in support of faculty, students, and staff. Prioritizing an exceptional level of service and delivery, the VPO delivers robust business practices that steward the University’s infrastructure resources efficiently and contributes to the long-range planning and culture of the University. Some units on campus have distinct space, IT, and HR functions (for example UChicago Medicine) with teams that do not report to the VPO. A successful leader will effectively navigate both direct reporting relationships as well as through collaboration and influencing within the University’s decentralized structure, all with the goal of the overall community having the most effective and efficient service possible. The VPO works closely with members of the Board of Trustees who have oversight of relevant committees within the VPO’s purview. The VPO directly supervises the Associate Vice President (AVP) for Facilities Services, the AVP and Chief Human Resources Officer, and the AVP and Chief Information Officer.

Built Environment: The University of Chicago’s 217-acre campus comprises 170 buildings with 18 million gross square feet of space across a range of styles and uses including historic neo-Gothic buildings, academic spaces, highly-technical research facilities, and residence halls in addition to other domestic and international sites.

The VPO’s built environment responsibilities include oversight of the facilities departments that manage capital planning (new and maintenance), campus architecture, campus master planning, design and delivery of new buildings, and the overall quality of the campus built environment. Additional responsibilities include direct management of the central administration building Levi Hall, oversight of auxiliary entities including the David Rubenstein Forum and the Quad Club, and integration with academic space planning.

Approximately 300 employees in Facilities Services are responsible for supporting the academic mission of the campus through securing and maintaining the viability and integrity of the physical campus via: capital project delivery; facilities operations; finance and business services; and campus planning and sustainability.

Information Technology Services (ITS): The VPO’s technology infrastructure portfolio includes the University’s central Information Technology Services (ITS) organization. ITS ensures sustained innovation, security, and reliability in the delivery of information technology systems and services that support the academic, research and administrative excellence of the University.

The organization employs some 300 staff to support IT architecture, integration and security; enterprise applications and services; academic and scholarly technology services; emerging technologies and communications; web services; administrative services; cybersecurity, and shared services and infrastructure.

Human Resources: The VPO also provides executive oversight for the University’s central human resources organization, involving all aspects of the centralized element of a broader decentralized human resources delivery system for the University including staff recruitment, benefits, compensation, performance management, staff development, leadership development, employee and labor relations, HR information systems, and union negotiations. Approximately 40 human resource professionals are in the central unit.

Helpful links:

Facilities Services

Human Resources

Information Technology Services


  • Provide oversight of functions, compliance, financial performance, and workforce in Human Resources, Information Technology Services, individuals, and teams that support the built environment, and the Facilities Services teams.

  • Provide leadership for a variety of institutional strategic and operating projects, working in close concert with other University leaders to facilitate the successful execution of University initiatives.

  • Work in coordination to support the University’s real-estate development and capital investment activities and ensures the quality and financial performance of the built environment.

  • Ensure robust planning in finance, risk assessment, and administrative opportunities for HR, ITS, and the built environment are well understood by fellow key decision makers.

  • Coordinate closely with the Office of the Provost and the Office of the CFO in developing operating and capital projects processes and budgets; and with UChicago Medicine on enterprise-wide initiatives.

  • Lead through influence on a variety of decentralized efforts across the University of Chicago enterprise to ensure mission alignment, collaboration, efficient use of resources, and optimal service delivery for the broader community.

  • Collaborate with and contribute to the City of Chicago, the South Side, and the University of Chicago’s broader global communities, in partnership with other leaders on campus, including in areas such as workforce development, business diversity, economic development partnerships, and other collaborative projects.

  • Working closely with the Office of the Secretary, directly supporting pertinent Board of Trustee committees and related governance matters.

  • Convene and lead other committees and working groups.


  • Ability to inspire trust and confidence and serving as a key resource to the University’s trustees, leadership team, faculty, staff, students, and external partners.

  • Proven project management skills with experience managing to deadlines. 

  • Excellent quantitative and financial acumen and the ability to translate quantitative concepts to a variety of audiences.

  • Ability to understand and address complex interdependencies and competing preferences. 

  • Strong writing and communication skills, with experience producing executive level materials. 

  • Ability to develop, exercise, and foster multicultural awareness and contribute to cultivating an inclusive, diverse, and welcoming University community that respects and supports people of all backgrounds and identities. 

  • Ability to be resilient and strategic in the context of constantly changing external circumstances and evolving opportunities. 

  • Creative and collaborative team member who is motivated by shared success.

  • Appreciation for UChicago’s distinct culture, core values, and commitment to fostering an environment that champions free and open discourse, diversity and inclusion, and supporting our community in Chicago and beyond.

Additional Requirements ​​

Education, Experience, or Certifications:


  • Bachelor’s degree in related field required.

  • Master’s degree in related field preferred.


  • A minimum of 10 years of experience leading administrative functions within a large, complex, enterprise or research institution, required.

  • Proven track-record of success in serving as a strategic advisor and thought partner to executive and senior leadership, ideally including to the President/CEO and a governing board, required.

  • Proven track-record of managing complex budgets, projects and achieving, financial goals, required.

  • Experience attracting, developing, motivating, and retaining top talent at all levels and in working with unions, required.

  • Deep expertise in at least one of the areas – the built environment, human resources, or information technology, ideally with some experience in all, required.

  • Experience overseeing projects and operations in a complex environment, required

Required Documents:

  • Resume/CV

  • Cover Letter

  • Three Professional References

When applying, the document(s) MUST  be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Benefit Eligibility


Requires Compliance with University Covid-19 Vaccination Requirement


Pay Frequency


Pay Range

Depends on Qualifications

Scheduled Weekly Hours




Job is Exempt


Drug Test Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Health Screen Required


Posting Date


Remove from Posting On or Before


Posting Statement: ​​

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, military or veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.


Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.


We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.


All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history.  A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment.  Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.


The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: . Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.

Similar Positions