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NOTE: The CSU requires faculty, staff, and students who are accessing campus facilities to be fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus (including all booster doses of an approved vaccine for which an individual is eligible per current CDC recommendations) or declare a medical or religious exemption from doing so. As a condition of employment, any candidates advanced in a currently open search process should be prepared to comply with this requirement as well as with other safety measures established on the campus. The systemwide policy can be found at and questions may be sent to

Director of Special Events

Apply now Job no: 515655
Work type: Management (MPP)
Location: San José
Categories: MPP, Administrative, At-Will, Full Time


Job Summary

The Director of Special Events is responsible for leading, motivating, and professionally developing a team of event professionals and oversees the production and execution of high-profile events including, but not limited to, Commencement, Homecoming, galas, groundbreakings, and president events. The Director ensures consistent university branding standards and messaging to promote the University. This position ensures university protocols are satisfied prior to the start of events. Additionally, this position helps to build the university’s capacity to create and execute quality events through consultations and trainings. The Director of Special Events serves as a member of the Special Advisor’s leadership team and is responsible for providing strategic event planning guidance, coordinating the work of the Special Events team, conducting performance reviews, and ensuring department goals are met.


Key Responsibilities

  • In collaboration with the Special Advisor to the President, advises and strategizes on all events that are highly visible, advance campus wide initiatives, or those that help raise the visibility of the campus among donors and stakeholders, recognize major campus milestones and achievements
  • Collaborates with campus partners (e.g., Office of the President, University Advancement, Athletics) to plan and execute events and activities
  • Manages involvement of executive leadership, appropriate staff, and vendors in planning and implementing all university major events
  • Lead and direct planning cross-divisional planning committees to project manage and execute events (e.g., commencement and convocation)
  • Serve on various system wide and campus planning committees to provide professional expertise and guidance for campus partners and events
  • Develop, implement, and communicate project management plans for each event to all relevant campus partners
  • Develop policies and procedures to ensure events comply to regulatory compliance and university policies, while serving to meet the needs of staff, donors, volunteers, vendors, and other stakeholders
  • Examine event plans through a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens to ensure that all guests and stakeholders are able to fully participate and enjoy the event
  • Engages the University Marketing and Communications team to assure events signature events are appropriately marketed and serve as an extension of the university brand platform
  • Maintains key events on a 18-24 month horizon and brings stakeholders together to establish vision and outcomes
  • Ensures effective and timely follow-up for each event, including briefings, minutes, thank you letters, invoicing, and all other follow-up as appropriate
  • Assures preparation of and assists in the development of event briefings for VIP Guests and senior leaders
  • Works with other campus leaders to assure sufficient volunteer resources to support major events
  • Lead, motivate, and manage a team of professional and support staff, including recruitment, professional development, evaluation and retention
  • Supervises the daily activities of the Special Events team, assigns work and balances the load of work among the skills, abilities, and strengths of the team


Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

  • Knowledge of event planning fundamentals
  • Strong leadership skills
  • Ability to motivate and support a team through high stress and demanding periods
  • Organizational skills and knowledge in budget management
  • Demonstrated successful working with volunteers and/or boards comprised of prominent individuals of stature
  • Ability to determine relevant and digest and synthesize relevant information for stakeholders
  • Knowledge of and commitment to the use of information technology to support advancement programs
  • Ability to assess skill deficiencies for staff and create development plans to ensure staff can be successful
  • Ability to quickly respond and resolve problems
  • Ability to manage and motivate volunteers and to work closely with senior-level administrators
  • Ability to interpret technical procedures or regulations
  • Excellent customer service and public relation skills
  • Ability to lead meetings in an organized fashion
  • Ability to empower and motivate employees to reach to performance
  • Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions and to interpret and extensive variety of technical instructions


Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited institution
  • Seven years of progressively responsible experience in an event or project management role
  • Experience managing complex projects and prioritizing the work of others
  • Experience in managing a team
  • Excellent written communication skills
  • Experience problem-solving both relational and logistical situations


Preferred Qualifications

  • Certified Special Events Professional (CESP), Certified Meeting Planner (CMP), or other event management certification
  • Experience with in an academic or other ceremonial environment
  • Experience leading cross-functional teams
  • Experience building rapport and trust with clients and campus partners



Classification: Administrator III
Hiring Range: Commensurate with experience

San José State University offers employees a comprehensive benefits package typically worth 30-35% of your base salary. For more information on programs available, please see the Employee Benefits Summary.


Application Procedure

Click Apply Now to complete the SJSU Online Employment Application and attach the following documents:

  • Resume
  • Letter of Interest

All applicants must apply within the specified application period: June 20, 2022 through June 27, 2022. This position is open until filled; however, applications received after screening has begun will be considered at the discretion of the university.


Contact Information

University Personnel


CSU Vaccination Policy

The CSU requires faculty, staff, and students who are accessing campus facilities to be fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus (including all booster doses of an approved vaccine for which an individual is eligible per current CDC recommendations) or declare a medical or religious exemption from doing so. As a condition of employment, any candidates advanced in a currently open search process should be prepared to comply with this requirement as well as with other safety measures established on the campus. The system wide policy can be found at and questions may be sent to


Additional Information

Satisfactory completion of a background check (including a criminal records check) is required for employment. SJSU will issue a contingent offer of employment to the selected candidate, which may be rescinded if the background check reveals disqualifying information, and/or it is discovered that the candidate knowingly withheld or falsified information. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may affect the continued employment of a current CSU employee who was offered the position on a contingent basis.

The standard background check includes: criminal check, employment and education verification. Depending on the position, a motor vehicle and/or credit check may be required. All background checks are conducted through the university's third party vendor, Accurate Background. Some positions may also require fingerprinting. SJSU will pay all costs associated with this procedure. Evidence of required degree(s) or certification(s) will be required at time of hire.


All San José State University employees are considered mandated reporters under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and are required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment.


Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act and Campus Housing Fire Safety Notification: 

Pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, the Annual Security Report (ASR) is also now available for viewing at The ASR contains the current security and safety-related policy statements, emergency preparedness and evacuation information, crime prevention and Sexual Assault prevention information, and information about drug and alcohol prevention programming. The ASR also contains statistics of Clery crimes for San José State University locations for the three most recent calendar years. A paper copy of the ASR is available upon request by contacting the Office of the Clery Director by phone at 408-924-1501 or by email at

Pursuant to the Higher Education Opportunity Act, the Annual Fire Safety Report (AFSR) is also available for viewing at The purpose of this report is to disclose statistics for fires that occurred within SJSU on-campus housing facilities for the three most recent calendar years, and to distribute fire safety policies and procedures intended to promote safety on Campus. A paper copy of the AFSR is available upon request by contacting the Housing Office by phone at 408-795-5600 or by email at


Equal Employment Statement

San José State University (SJSU) is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of age, ancestry, citizenship status, color, creed, disability, ethnicity, gender, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, national origin, race, religion or lack thereof, sex, sexual orientation, transgender, or protected veteran status consistent with applicable federal and state laws. This policy applies to all SJSU students, faculty and staff programs and activities. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and certain other federal and state laws, prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in all education programs and activities operated by the university (both on and off campus).


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Last Updated May 23, 2022