Director of Benefits and Leaves

Position Summary:

The Director of Benefits and Leaves (DBL) is a critical thinker that serves as the subject matter expert and manages all aspects of Willamette University’s comprehensive benefit system. Reporting directly to the AVP for Human Resources, the DBL is responsible for the planning, design, implementation, maintenance, regulatory compliance, communication, and administration of all university-wide benefits and leave activities. The DBL provides technical expertise and counsel to HR leadership, supervisors and current, former and prospective employees regarding policies and procedures. The DBL is responsible for providing supervision and guidance to the Benefits and Leave Specialist.

REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION STATEMENT: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


     Benefits Management:

  • Provides strategic and operational leadership in the design, development, implementation, administration and communication of the University’s benefits programs including, but not limited to, health and wellness, retirement, and non-core benefit programs, such as tuition remission, voluntary benefits, and convenience programs.
  • Administrative services include university-wide and individual communications, claims processing, problem solving and resolution across programs, reimbursement processing, regulatory compliance including COBRA, HIPAA and DOL, vendor relationship maintenance, enrollment/eligibility analysis and maintenance, and invoice reconciliation and payment.
  • Supervises and manages the planning and production of benefit related events, including open enrollment, employee flu-shot and other health-supporting clinics, the annual benefits and wellness fair, and benefit-education meetings/presentations.  May also coordinate events related to employee Wellness programs that help improve employee health.
  • Manages annual insurance renewal and requests for proposal (RFP), as needed, and participates in vendor evaluation, negotiations, and implementation activities.  Serves as vendor contact for day-to-day benefit plan operations.
  • Manages all aspects of the 403b retirement program, keeping up to date with regulatory requirements, monitoring the plan for compliance, including managing the annual audit.
  • Works with vendors to ensure timely completion of annual 5500 reporting forms and ensures timely filing to EBSA.  Ensures timely distribution of mandated communications, including, but not limited to Summary Annual Reports (SAR), Summary Plan Descriptions (SPD), and Notifications of Material Modification, as well as Medicare Part D notices, HIPAA Certificates, and COBRA notices.
  • In conjunction with HRIS Manager, completes annual benefit surveys.
  • Support Willamette University’s diversity, equity, and inclusion goals by devising measurable methods and outcomes to ensure equal access and participation in employee benefit plans for all employees, with particular focus on underrepresented groups.

Leave Management:

  • Leads management of FMLA, OFLA, Paid Leave Oregon, ADA, and other leave laws as required, while maintaining advanced knowledge of these programs and serving as a subject matter expert to aid the Benefits and Leaves Specialist administer these programs.
  • Oversees all leaves and accommodation requests associated with disability and protected leaves in accordance with state and federal requirements to ensure policies are applied accurately and consistently across the University.
  • Supervises workers compensation program, advising employees and managers regarding work-related injuries/illnesses and facilitating claims process and return-to-work activities. Serves as HR representative to the University safety committee.  Maintains appropriate filing and tracking systems and prepares and posts annual reports required by OSHA.



  • Bachelor’s degree
  • A minimum of five years of experience managing the benefits, development, exhibiting knowledge of program principles and practices.
  • Depth of knowledge of laws and best practices related to essential functions.
  • Knowledge and understanding of various workplace and employment regulations including but not limited to Fair Labor Standards Act, Oregon Pay Equity Act, Equal Employment Opportunity and other federal and state laws that apply to compensation, classification and hiring.
  • Strong project management skills.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Strong critical thinking, creative problem solving, and decision-making skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to apply sound judgment and skillfully navigate ambiguous situations to reach resolution.
  • Strong competency in Microsoft and/or Google Office applications.
  • Ability to reside in Oregon by the first day of employment or otherwise perform work primarily in Oregon.



  • Competency with Workday HRIS
  • Supervisory experience
  • Experience in a higher education or similar non-profit environment a plus


TYPICAL WORK SCHEDULE: Typical office work week.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS & WORKING CONDITIONS: Typical work is performed indoors in a typical office environment. Requires the ability to operate standard office equipment and keyboards, sit for periods of time, walk short distances, and occasionally lift small parcels.        

OTHER DUTIES: Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.


Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as received; applications must be submitted no later than June 4, 2023.


All University positions require that candidates submit to a criminal conviction record check prior to hire. Conviction does not automatically preclude candidates from being hired. Nature of conviction will be considered relative to the duties of the position.


You will need to upload the following two documents as part of your application materials in the “My Experience” section labeled Resume:

  • Cover letter addressing the required/desired qualifications and presenting any other applicant characteristics which deserve emphasis
  • Current Resume


Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

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