Associate Vice Provost for Education and Research Safety
About Northeastern: Founded in 1898, Northeastern is a global research university and a world leader in experiential learning. The same commitment to connecting with the world drives our use-inspired research enterprise. The university offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs leading to degrees through the doctorate in nine colleges and schools. Our campuses in Charlotte, N.C., San Francisco, Seattle, and Toronto are regional platforms for undergraduate and graduate learning and collaborative research. Northeastern pursues advanced research in security and materials at the Innovation Campus in Burlington, Massachusetts, and in coastal sustainability at the Marine Science Center in Nahant, Massachusetts.
About the Opportunity: Northeastern University is seeking an innovative and strategic leader for the position of Associate Vice Provost for Education and Research Safety (AVPERS). This position will be an integral member of the Office of the Provost, and reports to the Senior Vice Provost for Curriculum and Programs (SVPCP), with dotted line reporting to the Senior Vice Provost for Research. As a member of the leadership team of the SVPCP, the AVPERS will design and implement a robust education and research safety program for the University. Through strategic and collaborative leadership, and using strong organizational communications skills, they will foster a 'Culture of Education and Research Safety' throughout the University and its Global Network. This enhanced and inclusive emphasis on safety will encompass teaching and research laboratories, associated support spaces, student activity and other hands-on learning spaces, and field activities related to education and research. It is anticipated that the current Division of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) will transition to a direct reporting relationship to the AVPERS.
Responsibilities: The AVPERS will partner and engage with a wide/diverse variety of stakeholders. Within the University, they will interact with academic and research leadership, faculty, staff, and undergraduate and graduate students to understand the range of activities, both in the current state and as new needs arise. Externally, they will engage with industry representatives, peer university colleagues, regulatory experts, and others to maintain a network of expertise, and to stay abreast of best practices, which in turn are assessed for inclusion at the University for continuous improvement of its safety ecosystem.
The AVPERS will collaborate with academic and research units, support offices (Facilities, Marketing, Information Technology Services, Office of General Counsel, Risk Services, etc.) and the EHS team to develop and disseminate programmatic and outreach initiatives to proactively foster the safety culture across the range of relevant activities. These initiatives will include effective internal marketing and communications materials, comprehensive digital and in-person education and training activities, and strategic selection and deployment of third-party training and compliance platforms. The AVPERS will work with the Office of General Counsel, the Senior Vice Provost for Research, and others to ensure that fair and effective compliance processes and procedures are in place to support adherence to safety practices.
In addition to a well-conceived and organized implementation plan, the AVPERS will develop long-term University-wide goals consistent with Northeastern 2025 as they relate to the mission of their office, and recommend enabling long-term investments. The AVPERS will be an innovator in deploying a highly effective and responsive level of safety to a large, multi-faceted research and education organization with multiple locations.
Strategic Vision for Safety at Northeastern: The AVPERS will develop a strategic vision and executable plan for leading a Culture of Education and Research Safety across Northeastern University, including global campuses and all locations where the university community is engaged in laboratory and/or field research, education, and co-curricular activities. They will provide leadership to promote and cultivate a safety climate through which every member of the University community prioritizes their own safety as well as the safety of those around them as a shared value. Management and Oversight of Safety Outreach and Communication: The AVPERS will use internal and external resources to develop multi-channel communication to the University, provide appropriate orientation and training to stakeholders, and institute best practices across a broad range of activities that occur in laboratories and in the field. They will work to ensure that training programs are reviewed and updated on a regular basis. University Safety Oversight and Compliance Committees: The AVPERS will lead, participate, and/or collaborate with a number of existing and newly formed committees that include faculty, research and education support staff, EHS staff, graduate and undergraduate students, and affiliated offices. The existing committees include, but are not limited to: Institutional Biosafety Committee, Radiation Safety Committee, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, and Institutional Review Board. A safety steering committee will serve as an active advisory team to the assist the AVPERS in developing policies, determining implementation measures, and receiving feedback on all aspects of the environmental health and safety ecosystem. The AVPERS will be responsible for aligning all other University safety/regulatory committees, and updating the set of committees to be appropriate for a research university of Northeastern's scale and breadth. Review and Compliance: The AVPERS will enhance existing policies and procedures, and develop new processes aligned with best practices, to conduct periodic safety reviews of facilities and activities related to research and education. Compliance with institutional health and safety requirements will be monitored, and processes established for suspension, remediation and restoration of activities based on health and safety compliance. Assessment and Prioritization of Long-term Safety Challenges: The AVPERS will lead a continuous review of the research and education safety environment throughout the University. They will triage particular points of risk, prioritize time and resources against these risks, and systematically improve the research safety posture of the University. EHS Department Oversight Transition: The AVPERS will prepare to incorporate University EHS into their organization through a well-conceived integration plan. The core functions include direction, oversight, and responsibility of the following programs: Laboratory Safety Awareness training, Occupational Health Monitoring, as well as the campus-wide management of hazardous materials and equipment used in teaching and research programs.
Master's degree required, Ph.D. preferred, with advanced training and experience in laboratory research environment.
Preferred 8 to 10 years of progressive responsibility experience in management of safety programs and budgets, including a significant portion in higher education research and education settings, or industry/government settings with a multifaceted range of activities.
Demonstrated success in developing/sustaining the respect of institutional researchers and generating enthusiasm and momentum in changing safety culture.
Exceptional leadership, interpersonal, and written communication skills to establish and maintain effective positive and cooperative relationships with faculty, staff, students, coworkers, public and regulatory agencies, outside contractors, architects, and engineers.
An excellent customer service and solutions-focused orientation.
Thorough understanding of the need for compliance with federal, state, and local EH&S regulations, and how to instill best practices to achieve compliance.
Ability to establish/maintain effective/collegial working relationships with laboratory managers, researchers, and other clients.
An ability to work in a fast-paced organizational operations environment handling multiple assignments, working independently on multiple projects and priorities, and ability to make sound decisions in a timely fashion are critical.
Salary Grade: 17
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Northeastern University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer that welcomes all qualified candidates to apply for this position regardless of race, national origin, age, genetic or family medical history, gender, faith, gender identity and expression or sexual orientation. Northeastern University also encourages applications from veterans and individuals with disabilities.
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Founded in 1898, Northeastern University is a private research university located in the heart of Boston. Northeastern is a leader in worldwide experiential learning, urban engagement, and interdisciplinary research that meets global and societal needs. Our broad mix of experience-based education programs?our signature cooperative education program, as well as student research, service learning, and global learning?build the connections that enable students to transform their lives. The University offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs leading to degrees through the doctorate in nine colleges and schools.