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Director of Benefits

Posting Details

Posting Details

Job # 033730
Department Code 31048
Department Office of Human Resources
Job Title Director of Benefits
Location Syracuse, NY
Pay Range Commensurate w/experience
Salary Grade S6
FLSA Status Exempt

Standard University business hours:

8:30am – 5:00pm (academic year)
8:00am – 4:30pm (summer)

Hours may vary based on operational needs.

Job Type Full-time
Campus Syracuse, NY
Unionized Position Code Not Applicable
Job Description

The Director of Benefits Strategy is a member of the HR Leadership team and is responsible for the overall design, implementation, communication, and administration of the university’s benefit plans and programs for 3,500 staff, 1,200 faculty members, and various part-time employees. The Director ensures that the programs support the university’s strategic objectives and adhere to current regulations for all Schools, Colleges and Administrative Units throughout the University.

Syracuse University is a progressive, family-friendly private employer, providing employees with a benefit program responsive both to the diversity of its community and to the many life changes individuals experience during their employment. Benefits include medical, dental, vision, 403(b) defined contribution plans, life insurance, disability, and tuition remission for employees, spouses or domestic partners and dependents. The Director of Benefits Strategy reports to the Associate Vice President of Human Resources. In this role, the Director of Benefits Strategy will often interact with the SVP and CHRO who reports directly to the Chancellor/President of the University.


• Bachelor’s degree. Major in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources, Finance, or related field preferred.

• Masters, MBA, JD or other related advanced degree preferred.

SHRM-SCP, SPHR, CEBS or similar certification is desired.

• Experience working in Higher Education preferred.

Job Specific Qualifications

• Five years of experience developing and administering employee benefit plans such as, but not exclusive to, medical, dental, vision, life insurance, disability, and 403(b) retirement plans.

• Experience managing a human resources team.

• Expertise in compliance, funding arrangements, and general benefit principles. Experience with health insurance claims is also preferred.

• Strong ability to work collaboratively with others while maintaining a strong customer-centric focus.

• Possess the willingness and ability to think differently, unconventionally, or from a new perspective to become an innovative leader in benefits strategy. A wide degree of creativity and latitude is expected.

• Experience managing large projects with attention to detail.

• Strong analytical ability to complement creative problem solving skills.

• Strong communication skills with the ability to translate complex information and present to a diverse audience in clear and understandable language. Able to communicate clearly, transparently and with compassion. Expert proficiency with Microsoft Office, including Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.


• Manage the benefits team and partner closely with other human resource leaders particularly shared services, wellness and information technology to implement and administer benefits.

• Research trends and legal developments, network with colleagues in other higher education institutions, and compile benchmarking data to discover and evaluate possible changes to benefit plan designs.

• Use critical strategic thinking, creative problem solving skills and sound underwriting principles to propose solutions to identified needs that reflect the University’s culture and priorities. Develop high level financial modeling and analysis to evaluate costs of proposed changes.

• Lead external vendor evaluations, conduct requests for proposals, review contracts and renewals and evaluate claim audit results for university benefit plans. Manage external consultants and service providers.

• Act as a change agent by collaborating with key university leaders and stakeholders. Lead campus focus groups and committees to gain better understanding of benefits needs while being transparent with university goals and objectives. Produce comprehensive reports clearly detailing proposed benefit design and recommendations using relevant data and analysis.

• Develop a creative employee communication strategy with clear and concise messaging to aid in recruitment, annual open enrollment, new hire orientation and other events. Create and deliver dynamic presentations for various employee groups.

• Direct the administration of plan documents, policies, procedures and best practices to ensure compliance with all benefit laws and regulations.

• Manage ongoing benefit provider relationships including handling escalated issues, understanding new programs, validating data and collaborating to develop useful reports.

• Apply understanding of benefit plan administration to assist in the design and improvement of a well-functioning human capital management system.

• Exemplify Syracuse University’s commitment to create a community that values diversity and inclusion.

Physical Requirements




Application Instructions

In addition to completing an online application, please submit a cover letter and resume.

About Syracuse University

Syracuse University is a private research university of extraordinary academics, distinctive offerings and an undeniable spirit. With a gorgeous campus in the heart of New York State, a global footprint and a history that dates to 1870, we embrace diverse backgrounds and viewpoints.

Our student population includes nearly 15,000 undergraduates and 5,000 graduate students, representing all 50 U.S. states and 123 countries. Our proud commitment to veterans and their families is unrivaled in higher education. Home to 11 schools and colleges, Syracuse University blends the foundational power of the liberal arts with the intense focus of professional programs. We offer undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees in Architecture, Arts and Sciences, Education, Engineering and Computer Science, Sport and Human Dynamics, Information Studies, Law, Management, Citizenship and Public Affairs, Public Communications, and Visual and Performing Arts.

A medium-sized city situated in the geographic center of the state, Syracuse, N.Y., is approximately a four-hour drive from New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Toronto and Montreal. With a metropolitan population of 700,000, Syracuse is a center for cultural, recreational and artistic events, including the Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse Stage, Symphoria, Destiny Mall, multiple sporting events, and festivals including Jazz Fest and Winterfest. The outdoor enthusiast will enjoy having the Adirondack Mountains, the Finger Lakes, Lake Ontario, and the Thousands Islands Region within easy driving distance of the Syracuse campus.


Syracuse University is an equal-opportunity, affirmative-action institution. The University prohibits discrimination and harassment based on race, color, creed, religion, sex, gender, national origin, citizenship, ethnicity, marital status, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable law to the extent prohibited by law. This nondiscrimination policy covers admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in University programs, services, and activities.

Commitment to Supporting and Hiring Veterans

Syracuse University has a long history of engaging veterans and the military-connected community through its educational programs, community outreach, and employment programs. After World War II, Syracuse University welcomed more than 10,000 returning veterans to our campus, and those veterans literally transformed Syracuse University into the national research institution it is today. The University’s contemporary commitment to veterans builds on this historical legacy, and extends to both class-leading initiatives focused on making an SU degree accessible and affordable to the post-9/11 generation of veterans, and also programs designed to position Syracuse University as the employer of choice for military veterans, members of the Guard and Reserve, and military family members.

Commitment to a Diverse and Inclusive Campus Community

Syracuse University maintains an inclusive learning environment in which students, faculty, administrators, staff, curriculum, social activities, governance, and all other aspects of campus life reflect a diverse, multi-cultural, and international worldview. The University community recognizes and values the many similarities and differences among individuals and groups. At Syracuse, we are committed to preparing students to understand, live among, appreciate, and work in an inherently diverse country and world made up of people with different ethnic and racial backgrounds, military backgrounds, religious beliefs, socio-economic status, cultural traditions, abilities, sexual orientations and gender identities. To do so, we commit ourselves to promoting a community that celebrates and models the principles of diversity and inclusivity.

Job Posting Date 07/11/2017
Application Deadline
Full Consideration By
Job Category Staff
Message to Applicants

Applicant Documents

Required Documents
  1. Resume/CV
  2. Cover Letter
Optional Documents

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * Please let us know how you heard of this position.
    • Chronicle of Higher Education - newspaper
    • Diverse Issues in Higher Education
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    • Syracuse Post Standard - newspaper
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    • Twitter/@sujobs
    • Colleague recommendation
    • SUJobOpps
    • Other
  2. * If "other",please let us know how you heard about this position. (or enter N/A)

    (Open Ended Question)