The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) is a 250-acre National Historic Landmark, iconic living museum, educational institution, and cultural attraction. NYBG is the largest public garden located in a United States city and has been an advocate for the plant world since its founding in 1891. Anchored in the Bronx, visitors come to NYBG to connect with nature and for renowned plant-based exhibitions, science, cultural programs, and lectures. Innovative children’s education programs promote environmental sustainability and nutrition awareness. These programs educate the next generation of botanists while engaging classes inspire adults to follow a new career path or remain lifelong learners.
NYBG offers a wide array of educational programs for adults and children. Children’s Education includes programs for 100,000 New York City public and charter school students, science and gardening education programs for 200,000 families, seasonal camps, nature explorer programs, teen internships, and professional teacher enrichment. The Edible Academy, a state-of-the-art educational facility, features hands-on activities and programs that help children, families, teachers, and the public learn about growing and preparing vegetables, fruit, and herbs while encouraging a lifelong interest in gardening, nutrition awareness, and environmental stewardship. The Everett Children’s Adventure Garden emboldens children to actively investigate science and nature in a 12-acre landscape that features a series of lush environments, including a pond, woodland, and meadow.
Adult Education includes in-person and online classes, lectures and symposia, and certificate programs in a variety of disciplines, including botany, botanical art and illustration, landscape design, floral design, and gardening.
The School of Professional Horticulture (SoPH) is a two-year licensed and accredited diploma program that combines top-notch academics with hands-on training and internships conducted on and off NYBG grounds. The program began as a vocational training program in 1919 and has continued to train horticulturalists for green industry positions in both the public and private sectors.
NYBG is committed to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment and further recognizes that diversity in its workforce, education, and science programs fosters excellence in its mission of advocating for the plants of the world. NYBG is led by a 61-member board of trustees. For the fiscal year ending June 2020, NYBG had a total reported revenue of $87.6 million, with total expenses of $83.2 million.
Reporting to the CEO & The William C. Steere Sr. President and serving as a member of the collaborative executive leadership team, the Vice President for Education (VPE) provides cross-functional strategic leadership for all aspects of NYBG’s adult and children’s education programs. Supervising and mentoring new and experienced teams, the VPE will collaborate regularly with other departments to support the overall goals and objectives of NYBG and its education programs. The VPE will continually assess, refine, and update programming and staffing practices to ensure that the Division (Adult Education, Children’s Education, and the SoPH) is well-positioned to grow and sustain innovative programs that engage the next generation of learners.
Roles and Responsibilities
Strategic Vision and Leadership
- Define goals and strategies for three departments: Adult Education, Children’s Education, and the SoPH.
- Assess, develop, and oversee education program goals and outcomes in alignment with broader NYBG strategic objectives.
- Guide the development of educational content for a diverse student body.
- Lead the development and implementation of online learning opportunities in Adult Education.
- Perform ongoing curriculum assessment, development, and implementation and program evaluation with managerial staff to ensure mission alignment and relevance of programming in response to needs, educational policies, and industry best practices.
- Develop, plan, and implement necessary program delivery model changes during the pandemic, including those that could create broader opportunities for access thereafter.
- Provide clear vision and direction for the programming, marketing, and registration aspects of all departments.
- Administer, analyze, and monitor operational policies and procedures for adult education, the SoPH, and K-12 programs and interact with other NYBG departments and off-site locations (i.e. instructor manual, registration procedures).
- Identify creative solutions for growing innovative onsite and online educational content, community engagement, program audiences, and revenue
- Provide a national reach for online Adult Education, the SoPH, and Children’s Education programming initiatives.
Organizational Collaboration and Department Management
- Provide financial oversight for the department, set clear financial targets, and ensure all programs operate within goals.
- Manage all aspects of the Adult Education programs, including non-certificate courses, certificate courses, advanced workshops, symposia, lecture series, and other special programs.
- Collaborate with the Vice President for Children’s Education to expand interactive and engaging programming to enhance children’s understanding of ecology and plant science.
- Collaborate with the Director for the SoPH, ensuring that all school records, programs, and procedures comply with the New York State regulations.
- Develop and expand strategies with the Senior Director of Adult Education and Director for the SoPH to recruit a wide range of diverse, high-caliber instructors who can attract and support a diverse student body, both online and in-person.
- Sustain quality of education through academic training and practical work experience for the SoPH.
- Identify and implement strategies to increase registrations and revenue by developing and monitoring initiatives in all education marketing areas, including market analysis, segment identification, advertising, direct mail, and printed material.
- Evaluate opportunities for complementary programming with other NYBG departments.
- Serve as a collaborative lead in cross-divisional strategic initiatives aimed at expanding private and governmental funding, programming resources, and revenue.
Community Engagement and Partnerships
- Establish and maintain strong external partnerships that reflect the values of NYBG, including joint degree programming with Lehman College and Bronx Community College, as well as program and college credit courses with the New York State Education Department (National Program on Noncollegiate Sponsored Instruction) and many others in the region.
- Advocate passionately and regularly for NYBG’s Children’s and Adult Education programs in all interactions with internal and external stakeholders.
- Adapt program recruitment, registration, admissions, and retention strategies to capitalize on changing demand and underserved audiences.
- Represent NYBG at professional functions, networking with adult and children’s education professionals.
- Advance inclusion, diversity, equity, and access initiatives, including issues around gender, gender identity, race, and disability, that serve the community and promote the values and mission of NYBG.
- Cultivate, maintain, and deepen relationships with New York Department of Education (NYDOE) school principals and educators, as well as other strategic program and educational partners.
- Create and foster an environment where all students and members of the community feel welcomed, valued, and supported.
Traits and Characteristics
The VPE will have a passion for education and will be an inspirational and collaborative leader who values working with others. This individual will be able to gain the trust, respect, and engagement of the staff, instructors, students, board members, and donors by developing authentic relationships. The ideal candidate will foster an environment of collaboration, value continuous learning, and take initiative to learn new technologies and methods. The VPE will work with cross-departmental teams to effectively multi-task and quickly adapt to constantly changing circumstances.
Other key competencies include:
- Time and Priority Management – The ability to prioritize and complete tasks in order to deliver desired outcomes within allotted time frames.
- Personal Accountability – The willingness to evaluate personal action, learn from mistakes, and accept personal responsibility for outcomes.
- Diplomacy – The dexterity to effectively and tactfully handle difficult or sensitive issues in a manner that demonstrates sensitivity and respects differences.
- Leadership and Teamwork – The aptitude to organize and inspire people to believe in a vision while creating a sense of purpose and direction and cooperating with others to meet objectives.
A bachelor’s degree is required. Experience in academic or museum management with an emphasis on educational program development, implementation, and evaluation is necessary. Demonstrated progressive levels of leadership and responsibility are expected. Strong managerial and communication skills that contribute to a climate of inclusivity with a diverse range of stakeholders are needed. The ideal candidate will have experience working with government entities and proven business skills related to enhancing profitability, service-oriented management, marketing, branding, and creative product development. Experience with online learning is preferred. The selected candidate will have strong time and project management skills and a communication style that provides clear direction and accountability.
Compensation and Benefits
This position offers a competitive salary in the range of $230,000 to $275,000 and a generous benefits package that includes medical and dental insurance, 401(k) plan, paid vacation time, sick leave, and annual holidays. Relocation assistance is negotiable.
Applications and Inquiries
To submit a cover letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments (electronic submissions preferred), please click here or visit artsconsulting.com/employment. For questions or general inquiries about this job opportunity, please contact:
Jane V. Hsu
1040 First Avenue, Suite 352
New York, NY 10022
Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 223
NYBG is committed to an inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible work environment and further recognizes that diversity in the workforce fosters excellence in its mission of advocating for the plants of the world. Leveraging the strong foundation of existing policies and practices, NYBG will advance inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility through a number of institutional initiatives. Its aspiration is to continue to cultivate a workforce and institution that is as diverse as the communities it serves and the audiences it engages.
NYBG is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. NYBG does not discriminate in its employment practices due to an applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, and veteran or disability status. Underrepresented communities, Black, Indigenous, persons of color, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.
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