Director, Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum

Claremont McKenna College



The Director of the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum, the “Ath” will oversee all aspects of the Ath and serves as Claremont McKenna College’s extra-curricular center for intellectual, cultural, and civil discourse.

Originally established with a gift from Marian Miner Cook, the Athenaeum is a truly unique program in American higher education. At the core of the Athenaeum is the flagship Ath Speaker Series which brings distinguished scholars, public figures, thought leaders, artists, and innovators to engage with the CMC community.

The Director is responsible for developing and implementing this series four nights a week and occasional weekday lunches during the academic semester. Responsibilities extend to planning and supervising additional special events, workshops, and conferences, as well as daily community Ath Teas. The Director of the Ath is also responsible for coordinating and managing smaller lunch engagements and various dinner for class programming, student organizations, and other groups.

The Director of the Ath supervises onsite professional culinary staff and administrative support staff, manages the website and partners with the CMC Public Affairs Office on marketing, communications, and social media posts, handles the negotiations and contracts with invited speakers, selects and supervises up to three Ath student fellows, coordinates the Athenaeum Advisory commitment, and attends nearly all weekday evening events during the academic year. The Athenaeum is supported by endowed programming and College operational budgets, managed by the Director of the Ath.

The Director of the Athenaeum’s overall goal is to promote intellectual growth, artistic and cultural appreciation, and College-wide Open Academy commitments to free expression, viewpoint diversity, and constructive dialogue. The Director of the Ath is responsible for creating a conducive environment for the social exchange and engagement of students, faculty, staff, trustees, alumni, parents, and prospective students of Claremont McKenna College. With a broad awareness of intellectual trends and current events, the Director exercises independent judgment in discharging these responsibilities.

The Director of the Athenaeum will report directly to the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) and the Dean of the Faculty (DOF) or the VPAA/DOF Designee.



  • Invite and schedule distinguished guests to speak/perform at the Athenaeum, in each instance cognizant of maintaining the intellectual integrity of the institution. The Director is responsible for maintaining the calendar for all events open to the public. This shall normally include four evening programs per week, plus occasional lunch programs. The Director is responsible for gathering information for all events to be published online. This includes biographical information with photo, and description, and title of each presentation
  • Work closely with CMC’s research institutes on partnerships for speaker programming
  • Coordinate named lectures with CMC’s Advancement Office
  • Attend most evening programs at the Athenaeum, until approximately 8pm, Monday through Thursday, when the academic calendar is in session.
  • Supervise the Athenaeum Coordinator in processing payments for honoraria, arranging air travel, ground transportation, accommodations, as necessary for guest speakers/performers.
  • Supervise the Manager of the Athenaeum, who is responsible for operations of the Athenaeum including: setting up the dining rooms as needed for each program, reservations and attendance, hiring and training student employees, coordinating with the Chef and food service staff to service events appropriately, and managing housekeeping, and facility maintenance issues.
  • Meet with the Athenaeum Advisory Committee, at least twice per semester, to discuss possible themes for speaker series, ideas for specific speakers, and to evaluate overall operations of the Athenaeum.
  • Coordinate the selection and training of the up to three Student Fellows with the Athenaeum Advisory Committee.
  • Maintain open communication with faculty, students, and staff about campus life, and remain receptive to suggestions from all members of the community.
  • Maintain good working relationships with representatives of speaker agencies and bureaus.
  • Assist the President and commencement committee with the selection, invitation, and confirmation of a Graduation Ceremony speaker.
  • Represent CMC on the Claremont Colleges’ planning committees for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Cesar Chavez Day programs.
  • Monitor the Athenaeum’s budget.
  • Write an annual report on activities.
  • Supervise, evaluate, and mentor the following employees: the Manager, the Coordinator, the Chef, and the Student Fellows.
  • Meet with the Vice President of Academic Affairs and the Dean of the Faculty (or VPAA/DOF Designee) to review programs, campus life, and administrative issues.
  • Attend CMC programs and events unrelated to the Athenaeum to fully understand the experience of students, faculty, and staff.
  • Keep up-to-date with political, social, technological, and global issues (among others) that are important to the intellectual development of CMC community members in a dynamic world.
  • Serve on campus-wide leadership committees, such as the Senior Leadership Council.
  • Other duties as assigned.

The successful candidate will also be able to perform the following essential functions:

  • Regular attendance.
  • Take and follow directions.
  • Work cooperatively with others.
  • Receive and respond appropriately to constructive criticism.
  • Display a positive attitude.
  • Balance multiple tasks and priorities
  • Performs other essential duties and tasks specific to the position.


EDUCATION:  A Master’s degree from an accredited institution, or the equivalent in combination of education and experience, is required. An earned terminal degree is a plus.

EXPERIENCE: A minimum of three years’ experience in leading academic programming within a higher education setting and supervising staff. The ideal candidate will have a experience working within a liberal arts educational setting.

LICENSES:  A valid driver’s license or equivalent means of reliable transportation to off-site meetings and events is required.

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, and ABILITIES:  Individual must possess knowledge, skills, and ability to be able to successfully perform the essential functions of the position, or be able to explain or demonstrate how the essential functions will be performed, with or without reasonable accommodation, using some other combination of knowledge skills and abilities.

A high level of proficiency in Word, Excel, Outlook and other Microsoft Office software and ability to maintain a website page or willingness to learn webpage management skills.

Requires excellent organizational skills, with an ability to work independently with minimal direction.  Must be detail-oriented.

Requires excellent goal-oriented management skills.  Must have ability to work collaboratively and professionally with student employees and volunteers.

Flexibility and ability to juggle competing priorities and support numerous initiatives.

Requires strong interpersonal skills and an ability to interface professionally with students, alumni, parents, administration, faculty, and community members.  Must have ability to work effectively with volunteers, with the donor community, with the academic community, and with colleagues.

Ability to effectively communicate clearly in writing and verbal communication. Ability to listen for content and emotion.

Ability to manage budget operations, with the ability to monitor and track budgetary expenditures.

Skilled in presenting various information as needed while filtering good ideas and ability to filter ineffective strategies or ideas with tact.

Requires exceptional professional writing, editing, and analytical skills.  Must possess strong verbal skills.

Skilled in managing various scheduling deadlines and academic programming.

Collaborative spirit and service-oriented attitude.

Ability to foster an intellectual environment with enthusiasm and an overall commitment to the CMC community and committed to Open Academy commitments.

Skilled in fostering shared values; CMC community-wide values of open inquiry, inclusion, social warmth, and community building.

HOURS: The regular hours for this position are 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday – Friday. Holiday, weekend, and evening work hours will be required.  Travel may be required.  Regular hours will vary due to needs of the College or division.

CLASSIFICATION AND STATUS:  This is a full-time, 12-month year-round, exempt / salary benefits-eligible position.



GROOMING AND APPEARANCE:  The Claremont Colleges seek to maintain a neat and professional image at all times.  Professional attire is expected.

BACKGROUND CHECK:  The successful candidate will be required to undergo a full consumer background check.  Certain positions will require the successful completion of a post-offer physical agility test.  Employment is contingent on the satisfactory results of the aforementioned, in addition to compliance with requirements cited in this job description.

ADA/OSHA:  This job description defines the essential or fundamental job duties of this position.  It is assumed that employees hired for this position can perform the essential functions of this job without imposing risk of substantial harm to the health or safety of themselves or others.  It may also include marginal functions, generally defined within Title 1 of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

DISCLAIMER: This job description has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by employees within this classification.  It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities and qualifications required of employees assigned to this position.  When duties and responsibilities change and develop, the College will review this job description and make changes of business necessity.

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT:  Employment with the College is “at-will” meaning that the terms of employment may be changed with or without notice, with or without cause, including, but not limited to termination, demotion, promotion, transfer, compensation, benefits, duties, and location of work.  There is no agreement express or implied between the College and you for continuing or long-term employment. While the College has every hope that employment relationships will be mutually beneficial and rewarding, employees and the College retain the right to terminate the employment relationship at will, at any time, with or without cause.  The President is the only person who can modify or alter the at-will employment relationship

Claremont McKenna College hires and promotes individuals on the basis of their qualifications, consistent with applicable state and federal laws, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, breastfeeding or related medical condition, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, age, marital status, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic characteristic or information, military and veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law.  Inquiries may be directed to the Director for Human Resources, 528 N. Mills Avenue, Claremont, California 91711-4015, (909) 621-8490.  All applicants must complete and submit an online application to be considered for an open position.

Employment is contingent upon new employee providing documents verifying U.S. citizenship or, for aliens, documents verifying legal permission to work in the United States, applicant’s acceptability for positions requiring use of a college vehicle is contingent upon a driving record acceptable to the College’s automobile liability insurance. Promotion from within is encouraged whenever qualified employees of Claremont McKenna College are available. Interested employees of the College are urged to contact the Office of Human Resources if qualified for any open position. Please do not contact departments directly.

Disability Accommodations                                                                                    

In compliance with applicable laws ensuring equal opportunities to qualified individuals with a disability, CMC will make reasonable accommodations for the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified individual (applicant or employee) with a disability if the disability affects the performance of essential job functions, unless the accommodation results in an undue hardship for the College. Employment decisions are based on the merit and not an individual’s disability.               

An applicant or employee who requires an accommodation should contact the immediate supervisor and the Human Resources Office. If multiple accommodations are identified that do not pose an undue hardship for the College, the selection of an accommodation will be at CMC’s discretion. To request disability accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process, please contact Human Resources at (909) 621-8490 or for assistance.

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