Program Associate -Event Support (3 Positions Available)

Position Type:
SOG Services
Salary Range:
$40,000-$45,000 (+ Benefits)

Position Summary

School of Government Services, Inc. assists faculty and staff at the UNC School of Government in carrying out its important mission: to improve the lives of North Carolinians by engaging in practical scholarship that helps public officials and citizens understand and improve state and local government. It is a nonprofit corporation and an official associated entity of the School of Government at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

As the largest university-based local government training, advisory, and research organization in the United States, the UNC School of Government offers up to 200 courses, webinars, and specialized conferences for more than 12,000 public officials each year. The activities of School of Government Services include assisting the School with or carrying out research, consulting, advising, trainings and educational workshops and seminars, and other services and projects.

The primary role of the Program Associate position is to provide coordination and management of some of the School’s annual programs, courses, and conferences. These programs occur online, onsite or off-site. The specific programs assigned vary and can change from year to year.


Program associates oversee more than 10 programs each year that range in size and complexity. The program associate works closely with a lead faculty member for each program to determine format, location, agenda, presenters, activities, and additional services or functions and then takes the lead coordinating and implementing the program based on those decisions. Decisions must frequently be adjusted as the program develops, and the program associate is expected to apply the decisions to new contexts and identify and escalate issues that need further discussion. 


The program associate typically serves as the primary point of contact with program participants and is responsible for working with the Strategic Communications Division to build interest in the program and ensure that all marketing is aligned with the program and implemented correctly. 


Essential Duties and Responsibilities

The essential functions include, but are not limited to the following:


Event Management

  • Coordinate and manage event management services for continuing education programs, courses, and conferences.
  • Facilitate program decisions applying expertise in event management, virtual class management and facilities coordination.
  • Develop estimated budget for programs (analyze post-course financial report from previous year, consult with faculty coordinator on potential program needs, estimate costs for program, and complete budget workbook), monitor and manage expenses during implementation, and provide final financial and registration information to close the program.
  • Work with Strategic Communications Division to develop marketing plan for each program and ensure that the plan is implemented.
  • Monitor registrations and adjust communications and marketing approaches as appropriate to ensure program is effectively marketed to target audience and remains financially viable based on registration numbers.
  • Coordinate all logistics for virtual, on and off-site programs, including facilities and lodging, course presenters and activities, course materials, catering, and other logistics as needed.
  • Manage communications with prospective and registered participants before, during, and after the program.
  • Respond to participant questions and issues in a timely fashion.
  • Facilitate program post-mortems to identify lessons learned and changes to be implemented when the program is implemented again.
  • Contract negotiation with hotels, conference centers, meeting sites and other vendors.


Project Management

  • Coordinate projects for faculty and project leads that require working across multiple groups or a high-level understanding of the school’s mission, audiences, and/or processes.   The time and scope for projects varies significantly, and some projects are considered ongoing assignments. Example projects could include coordinating certification programs and other continuing education requirements for a set of programs or client groups, developing processes for a new type of program, or coordinating a client engagement or service that falls outside the school’s typical program, course, and conference model, which encompasses face-to-face, off-site and online continuing education trainings, workshops, lectures, and seminars. Work with faculty, project leads, and Program Directors to define the scope of effort required.
  • Complete all tasks as identified in the project scope.
  • Provide regular updates on project progress.
  • Resolve issues that may arise, escalating issues to the Program Management Team Lead and/or faculty only when unable to reach a satisfactory resolution within the limits of the position.


Team Support

  • Provide administrative and operational support across the team as needed.
  • Support the Program Director with administrative tasks.
  • At the discretion of and as assigned by the Program Directors, assist Program Managers as needed with event and program management responsibilities.
  • Best Practices and Process Improvement
  • The majority of event support efforts involve individual and independent coordination efforts by the program associate working with faculty and other support units across the School. In order to ensure that programs are run effectively and consistently, all program associates are expected to be active participants in identifying best practices, helping evaluate event management processes, and collaborating to improve processes.
  • Communicate post-mortem results to Program Director and Assistant Dean for Programs.
  • Proactively identify processes or approaches that appear problematic or successful.
  • Collaborate with team members and managers to determine ways to adapt processes.
  • Contribute to the growth and ongoing evaluation of guidelines, processes, and best practices developed by and for the team.


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities)

  • 1-3 years of in-person and/or virtual event planning experience. 
  • Ability to communicate effectively with various groups of constituents.
  • Highly organized, task oriented with the ability to adapt quickly if necessary.
  • Working knowledge of the Microsoft Office suite.
  • Familiarity with Zoom, website management, Canvas, and Learning Stream are a plus.

Please submit: Resume, Cover Letter, and References

SOG Services is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, race, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or status as a protected veteran.