Student Center&Communication Specialist

Date: Apr 16, 2019

Location: Saudi Arabia

Company: King Abdullah University of Science & Technology

Position Summary:


The Student Center and Communications Specialist advances Graduate Services’ mission of providing a one-stop venue for a variety of services and facilities that foster and encourage student development, academic success, and an inclusive community. 

Duties include: providing overall leadership to Student Center operations including the Graduate Services Helpdesk and the Student Life Forum, and overseeing department-wide assessment, reporting, and communication.

This position supervises two PTSA positions, reports to the Graduate Services Manager, and works collaboratively within the Graduate Development & Services team in support of the entire scope of student life at KAUST.


Major Responsibilities:


  • Provide overall leadership to the Student Center ensuring a student-centered atmosphere that fosters social interaction among students, directly oversee continuous and daily operations, manage facility reservations and logistical support, manage resources that ensure the proper function and support of the building
  • Oversee all operations of the Graduate Services Helpdesk and Student Life Forum; take a direct role in processes needing facilitation beyond the PTSA level including: visas, IDs, domestic helper approvals, materials gate passes, and iqama renewals and transfers
  • Recruit, train, develop, supervise, and evaluate two PTSA positions including the Graduate Services Helpdesk Receptionist and the Information Technology & Data Associate; hold one-on-one staff meetings with individual staff members biweekly; motivate employees to achieve peak performance and foster student centered culture
  • Ensure a high level of customer service is provided to students on matters that may require problem solving and answering questions
  • Instill and promote sustainable practices wherever feasible, educating staff and utilizers of the Student Center of behavioral expectations
  • Develop and implement communication strategies to ensure department-wide marketing and communication  promote a positive image and advance efforts to raise brand consistency, coordination of messages, and the highest standards for communication
  • Oversee department-wide design, message, and content generation for electronic and print communication; manage updating of web content; pioneer appropriate social media participation; develop weekly e-newsletter for students; edit Student Handbook annually
  • Support the communication needs of the management team including creation and editing of presentations, reports, and formal communication
  • Collect information from exiting students, preparing a comprehensive comparative student exit data report annually
  • Collect data, evaluate, assess, analyze, and provide timely reports and/or prepare professional presentations on functional areas; actively promote initiatives and achievements of Graduate Services
  • Coordinate department-wide assessment efforts to ensure necessary data is collected, provide directives to prohibit student survey fatigue, work with management team to condense and simplify assessments while ensuring continuity and integrity
  • Lead the Annual Reports process including setting deadlines, ensuring quality content, providing stylistic support and editing
  • Collaborate to provide opportunities and services within and beyond Graduate Services in support of providing a community conducive to academic pursuits and professional preparation at a graduate research university; represent the Student Center on various committees or taskforces across the campus as requested
  • Connect students to appropriate campus services
  • Proactivity support students amongst constituent units across campus; observe, analyze, and propose solutions for reoccurring or pervasive issues impacting the quality of student life at KAUST; research and encourage implementation of best practices and industry standards; foster optimization of systems; seek efficiencies
  • Develop and implement Student Center policies, procedures, and guidelines; ensure these practices support the use of environmentally based practices whenever feasible
  • Clearly and consistently communicate, interpret, and enforce policies
  • Support and participate in on-call system as requested by supervisor; respond to and manage crises and community response as required
  • Play a key role in the orientation program and onboarding experience of students
  • Undertake relevant risk assessments and promote risk mitigation strategies; meet the requirements of University Health and Safety
  • Provide student support that is sensitive to the social and cultural issues involved with an international university located in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Participate in the overall administration of the Graduate Affairs Division, and Graduate Development & Services by attending staff meetings, serving on committees, representing the Division and University as requested, and cooperatively assisting colleagues
  • Other duties within the range of skills normally associated with this type of position, as required




  • Ability to work collaboratively across all University divisions and throughout the community
  • Expertise in the use of information systems, Adobe, and MS office products, in particular Excel, InDesign and PowerPoint; familiarity with or aptitude for learning and working in a Macintosh environment
  • Ability to set priorities and work on multiple projects simultaneously
  • Flexibility with regard to work schedule, including outstanding time management skills
  • Strong English communication skills in speaking, writing, listening, and presenting; ability to communicate sensitive information
  • Strong customer service orientation
  • High degree of mobility and initiative
  • Excellent listening skills
  • Sense of humor




Master’s degree in an appropriate field or combination of education and experience


Experience Required:


  • 5 or more years’ experience working in a higher education setting with a demonstrated record of serving in progressively responsible positions
  • Experience within Student Affairs; student center management experience preferred
  • Demonstrated understanding of conference, reservation, and event services
  • Experience supervising and evaluating employees
  • Familiarity with the campus culture of a graduate research university
  • Excellent and persuasive communicator with the confidence to gain credibility and respect
  • Self-initiator within a team structure
  • Project management experience preferred
  • Fine attention to detail
  • Understanding of quantitative and qualitative statistics