Staff Assistant, Duke University Office of Climate and Sustainability

Work Arrangement: 
Requisition Number:  238666
Regular or Temporary:  Regular

Durham, NC, US, 27710

Date:  Dec 7, 2023

Staff Assistant Duke University Office of Climate and Sustainability



Occupational Summary


This role provides comprehensive administrative support for various positions within the Office of Climate and Sustainability (OCS), including the Associate Director, Executive Assistant to the Vice President/Vice Provost for Climate and Sustainability, Climate Program Manager and other staff.  Responsibilities include coordinating meetings, managing travel, event assistance, drafting high-level communications, taking meeting minutes, preparing transactional reports in Concur, and providing technical/logistical support to OCS staff.  Collaboration with other Duke University administrative roles is essential.  This role reports to the Associate Director of Administration and Program Development, Office of Climate and Sustainability.


Essential Job Functions


Administrative (40%)

  • Screen, manage, respond to, and prioritize phone calls, mail, documents, and email. 
  • Respond promptly and professionally to various administrative requests and on behalf of team members.
  • Set up and maintain diverse office files of records, reports, and correspondence essential for reference and smooth office operations.
  • Attend meetings as requested to take minutes.
  • Effectively manage calendar for various team members, ensuring accurate scheduling and timely updates.
  • Prioritize and schedule appointments, meetings, and events to optimize time utilization.
  • Monitor and update calendars to reflect any changes, ensuring all stakeholders are informed.
  • Coordinate internal and external meetings for team members, considering time zones and availability.    
  • Arrange video conferences or conference calls, ensuring seamless technology setup and troubleshooting.
  • Assist with maintaining lists of Duke faculty and staff engaged with climate and sustainability work at Duke, Duke courses related to climate and sustainability, and projects and programs across the institution related to climate and sustainability.
  • Maintain office supply inventory for OCS and order supplies as needed.


Financial Administration (30%)

  • Serve as a transactional initiator for designated users.
  • Participate in required training and become proficient in SAP, Duke G/L accounts, SAP journal entries, online check requests, Buy@ Duke, AP check requests, Purchase Orders, SAP account reconciliation, and Concur. 
  • Undertake the processing of invoices and expenses on behalf of the department, specifically for budgeted projects, programs, events, and activities.


Travel and Events (20%)

  • Coordinate travel arrangements for the Associate Director or other OCS staff encompassing trip preparation, itinerary creation, flight/train and hotel bookings, and compilation of travel binder if required. 
  • Engage in the planning and execution of designated events focused on donor stewardship, symposia, monthly faculty and staff breakfasts, town halls, retreats, and other educational gatherings.
  • Assist in compiling and maintaining lists for events or meetings, ensuring thorough tracking. Maintain calendar of Duke climate-related events and work with Duke Communications to ensure events are publicized.


Training (10%)

  • Make valuable contributions to the training of new employees, including students, by offering assistance and guidance to ensure their smooth onboarding and integration.
  • Assist with drafting and posting OCS student employment opportunities through JobX. Participate in screening and interviewing of prospective OCS student employees. 


Other duties as assigned.


Required Behavioral Competencies


  • Attention to Detail:   Displays exceptional attention to detail, ensuring accuracy and precision in all tasks and communications.  Demonstrates a consistent commitment to following up with others to ensure that information is comprehensive and complete.
  • Collaborating with Others:  Ability to work collaboratively, both in formal and informal capacities, within one’s team and across the organization.
  • Curiosity and Information SeekingDemonstrates a natural inclination for curiosity and actively engages in personally investigating problems or situations. Willingness to learn about issues related to climate change and sustainability.
  • Dealing with Ambiguity:  Proficiently navigates change and adapts seamlessly.  Capably makes decisions and acts even when the picture is not complete.
  • Decisiveness & Judgment:  Demonstrates sound judgment by making well-considered decisions in moderately complex situations, even when information may be lacking.  Recognizes the appropriate times to elevate decisions to a higher level.
  • Flexibility:  Displays the capability to adapt and function efficiently in a diverse range of situations, collaborating effectively with various individuals and groups.
  • Initiative:  Demonstrates proactive behavior and works independently, taking prompt action to achieve objectives.  Exhibits timely responsiveness when faced with challenges and requires minimal prompting.
  • Organizational Awareness:   Exhibits the capacity to comprehend and grasp organizational relationships and dynamics, effectively utilizing this knowledge to attain objectives and goals.
  • Planning, Prioritizing, and Multitasking: Skillfully identifies and categorizes assigned tasks according to their level of importance and urgency, requiring minimal supervision.


  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Programs: Exhibit proficiency in Calendar, Excel, Word, and PowerPoint, enabling effective utilization of these tools for various tasks.
  • Demonstrated ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously and manage deadlines effectively, maintaining productivity and organization.
  • Autonomous and Teamwork skills:  Showcase the capability to work autonomously and collaboratively as a valuable team member, contributing to collective goals.
  • Demonstrated high level of initiative and motivation.
  • Outstanding communication: Possess outstanding communication skills, demonstrating tact and diplomacy in interactions with diverse stakeholders.
  • Exhibit the ability to manage sensitive and confidential information and issues on a daily basis with the required discretion.


Required Qualifications at this Level


Work requires a general educational background normally equivalent to a full high school education plus two years post-secondary in a business-related field.


Work requires 4 years related business or administrative experience to become familiar with general personnel practices, accounting and budgeting principles and coordination of major office activities.

This job description intends to provide a representative and level of the types of duties and responsibilities that will be required of positions given this title and shall not be construed as a declaration of the total of the specific duties and responsibilities of any particular position. Employees may be directed to perform job-related tasks other than those specifically presented in this description.


Minimum Qualifications




Work requires a broad knowledge of clerical and accounting principles and practices normally acquired through two years of post-secondary education in secretarial science or a related business field.




Work generally requires four years of related secretarial/clerical OR AN EQUIVALENT COMBINATION OF RELEVANT EDUCATION AND/OR EXPERIENCE experience to acquire skills necessary to administer complex office functions related to office management, communications, and budgetary/accounting activities.


Duke is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.


Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.


Essential Physical Job Functions: Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System may include essentialjob functions that require specific physical and/or mental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests for reasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department.


Nearest Major Market: Durham
Nearest Secondary Market: Raleigh