Responsible for the leadership and direction of government relations and advocacy for the University of Tennessee. This role provides strategic expertise and guidance on legislation and public policy as it relates to the University. This role accomplishes goals through overseeing their areas of responsibility, planning, managing resources and people, and/or influencing federal legislation and agency actions favorable to the University of Tennessee.


Typical Functions

Typical functions are listed within the level descriptors below and are examples of work performed by positions in the level and are not intended to be all-inclusive. Some duties may overlap levels; however, the preponderance of the work will be assessed when assigning positions to the specific levels.


Knowledge, Skills, Abilities (KSAs)

Listed below are the minimum requirements for this role. KSAs will become more advanced as the level increases and will vary depending on the requirements of the position.

  • Knowledge of state and federal executive and legislative processes.
  • Knowledge of issues facing higher education.
  • Skilled in grassroots advocacy and political management.
  • Interpersonal skills.
  • Public speaking skills.
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities.
  • Ability to plan and execute special events.
  • Ability to understand, analyze, and articulate political environments, issues, and strategies.


Level Descriptions

Government Relations Management 1

  • Represents the University of Tennessee while developing relationships with members of the state and federal congressional offices and executive agencies.
  • Serves as an advisor on political issues impacting the University of Tennessee.
  • Manages the operations, budget, and personnel of a unit.
  • Exercises a wide latitude of authority in managing a host of legislative issues of interest to the University.
  • Prioritizes critical issues and information to support executive decision making.
  • Provides oversite and guidance to projects of high importance.
  • Engages elected officials and builds strategies to produce outcomes.
  • Coordinates the University’s overall advocacy activities.
  • Works with administrators, staff, faculty, and alumni.
  • Serves as a member of the Federal Relations Council.
  • Monitors and reports on congressional hearings and appropriation bills.



Typically requires a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field and five years of relevant, progressively responsible experience, or an equivalent combination of education, training, and experience.


Market Range: MR19

Government Relations Management 2

  • Serves on executive leadership team of the president.
  • Develops and manages strategies to inform and influence public policy at the county, state and federal levels.
  • Builds relationships with other organizations and entities whose functions affect the University.
  • Reports issues of importance, as appropriate, to the President.
  • Works with University President and Board of Trustees to develop legislative agendas.
  • Maintains relations with media executives.



Typically requires bachelor’s degree in a relevant field and ten years of relevant, progressively responsible experience, or an equivalent combination of education, training, and experience. Higher education experience preferred.


Market Range: MR21


Effective Date: January 4, 2021