Dr. John Zavodny

Chief of Staff (CS)

Executive Biography

As Chief of Staff, Dr. John Zavodny, is responsible for functions like partnership development, management of institutional strategic planning, and Chief Officer team coordination on behalf of the President.

A progressive educator and administrator, Zavodny has served at Unity College since 2000. Roles have included Dean of Academic Services, Academic Chair, Director of the Center for Environmental Arts and Humanities, MELMAC Retention Coordinator, and Professor of Philosophy and Humanities.

At Unity John has provided oversight for college programs including McKay Farm and Research Station; The Unity College Center for the Performing Arts; Allen Island Research and Education Partnership; Unity College Student Conference; and Hawk & Handsaw, The Journal of Creative Sustainability.

 

Dr. Zavodny’s twenty years of teaching includes courses in philosophy, environmental studies, first year student success, environmental communication, and documentary film production.

An active member of the community, John has worked with WERU Community Radio, the Camden Conference, Camden International Film Festival, the Juice Conference, Unity Barn Raisers, Waterfall Arts, and Maine Media Workshops.

John earned a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Tennessee, a Master’s in Philosophy from Cleveland State University, and a BA in Classical Languages from Lipscomb University.

John lives in Belfast with his wife Anna, cats Pancho and Lefty, and puppy Bea.

 

Position Summary

An executive position, the Chief of Staff (CoS) provides leadership,management, and coordination of strategic initiatives and emerging priorities as an extension of the Office of the President.  The CoS provides the college with nimble executive leadership, liaises with other senior campus officials, and manages external relationships and partnerships. The CoS represents, advises, and provides day-to-day support to the President as needed and oversees the interdepartmental coordination of the President’s leadership team.  Within the framework of functional leadership, the CoS supports and is supported by other senior level leaders and works with all constituencies to realize the Unity College Mission and Strategic Plan.  The CoS reports to the President and receives all assignments and authority as an extension of that office.

 

Essential Functions

  1. Serves as the President’s primary liaison, advisor, and aide; and in collaboration with the President and the President Leadership team, executes Unity College’s priorities.
  2. Represents the President in a wide variety of circumstances, including meetings and events with internal and external constituencies and in a variety of locations both in-state and out.
  3. Advances the office of the President as a college and higher education industry leader.  Coordinates with the Marketing Department to establish marketing, communication, and media relations plans for the President’s office.  Manages social media, PR, speaking engagements, and public events for President.
  4. Works with senior leadership to ensure implementation of the Strategic Plan.
  5. Manages projects as assigned.  Ensures that all assigned initiatives are progressing effectively and according to planned objectives, established milestones and measurement criteria. Supervises personnel and manages offices—often temporarily—as required by project and as assigned by the President.
  6. Works as an extension of President to develop and institutionalize new college initiatives, programs, partnerships, and enterprises.
  7. Works with President and senior leadership to promote an institutional culture of progress, trust, and commitment to Unity College and its mission. Supports the cultivation of relationships, activities, and programs designed to support positive culture change.  Supports the President in fostering an environment in which all members of the college community may learn, live and work in an atmosphere of mutual respect and nondiscrimination.
  8. Facilitates meetings and committees in relation to personnel and hiring, programs, and/or projects as assigned by the President.  Participates as necessary in key constituent meetings to guide strategy, inform policy, ensure appropriate and responsive follow-up and accountability, and facilitates resolution of matters requiring the President’s attention.
  9. As assigned by President, may provide long term oversight of select college personnel and departments—especially those routinely serving a campus-wide function or in transition.
  10. Relieves the President of administrative detail and provides principal management support to the President and assures the seamless functioning and management of the President’s Office.  Assures that President receives all necessary preparatory and background information for daily meetings.
  11. Keeps the President informed on all information that is relevant to his role and responsibilities.
  12. Reviews, researches and summarizes administrative information and data, prepares related reports and briefings for the President.
  13. Manages communications for the Office of the President with other departments to ensure major College events are planned and executed effectively.
  14. Maintains effective relationships and interacts on a regular basis with both internal and external constituencies in direct support of President’s strategic priorities and agenda.
  15. Works closely with the offices of development and marketing in areas needing the attention/presence of the President.
  16. Performs other related duties as required and deemed appropriate in support of the President and the responsibilities and functions of the office.
  17. Remains competent and current through self-directed professional reading, networking and attending professional development training.
  18. Serves as a member of Senior Staff.
  19. May serve as staff liaison to a standing Board of Trustees at the discretion of President.
  20. Manages Strategic Plan initiatives and goals as assigned.
  21. Supports institutional sustainability initiatives and values as a senior member of the college.
  22. Contributes to the college’s commitment to safety by using safe work habits, using ergonomics and  proper lifting and biohazard protocol as appropriate. Assists other leaders in managing workplace safety.
  23. Assumes responsibility to maintain and upgrade professional knowledge and skills with regulations, industry trends, current practices, new developments, and applicable laws.
  24. Serves as a role model for the college’s standards of conduct.
  25. Performs other duties as assigned.

Functional Responsibility

First among equals for coordination of senior leadership, strategic plan management, Presidential support, strategic projects, partnership development, and new business development.

 

Humans vs. Zombies (HvZ)

This fall favorite shows Unity at its hard-working hard-playing best. HvZ is a week long game and research project that simulates a Zombie outbreak on campus. Advanced math students use HvZ transmission rate data to prepare models for predicting the behavior of real life diseases like rabies.