Main Office Administrator

Main Office Administrator

Reports to: Registrar
Department: Operations
Employment Status: Full-time
FLSA Status: Non-exempt

Start date: May 1, 2021
Last Updated:  March 11, 2021

Who We Are

Penland School of Craft is an international center for craft education offering residential workshops, residencies, community education programs, and exhibitions. Located on 420 acres in the NC Mountains, Penland has 16 teaching studios and 57 historic and contemporary buildings. We are an equal opportunity employer with a staff of 70. Penland operates with a $44 million endowment and an annual operating budget of $6 million. We are located about an hour northeast of Asheville, NC. Our mission supports individual and artistic growth through creative practice and discovery.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

We believe that equity, diversity, and inclusion are essential to fulfilling our mission. We want to inspire and nurture the human spirit, and we value the perspectives and contributions of all people. We want the Penland experience to include varied ideas, world views, and personal characteristics. Penland is committed to being a community that welcomes and respects everyone regardless of age, ability, ethnicity, race, religion, philosophical or political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, nationality, geographic origin, and socioeconomic status. We are committed to providing an environment free of discrimination.

Position Summary

The main office administrator serves as a central hub of communication and problem solving for everyone on Penland’s campus. The primary responsibility of the person in this position is to be a highly organized, positive, and supportive resource for all staff, students, and visitors. High standards of customer service and a friendly, welcoming, and helpful demeanor are essential.

The main office administrator answers phone and email inquiries and is also the primary face-to-face contact for newly arriving students and any staff, students, instructors, and visitors in need of assistance. The person in this position must develop fluency with organizational practices and information and be capable of answering most questions related to housing, session schedules, program information, area resources, and Penland policies. Other duties include providing administrative support to the office of the registrar as well as managing many campus-wide organizational systems.

This is a full-time (40-hours) hourly position that works year-round and is benefits eligible. The main office administrator reports to the registrar & student affairs manager.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Acts as “first responder” for phone, email, and walk-in inquiries and brings a welcoming and helpful manner to all such communications.
  • Develops a thorough understanding of Penland’s operations, schedules, and policies, to be able to handle routine inquiries or redirect them to the appropriate staff member as needed.
  • Manages campus-wide organizational systems such as keys, printed and online calendars, email lists, staff directory and bios, auto insurance, van use, etc.
  • Provides administrative support for registration, executive office, and IT department as needed.
  • Manages the office space and front lobby area of Lily Loom, including the Penland mail system, equipment use, supplies, catalogs, and other literature, and posted communications.
  • Manages document retention and basic organization of archival materials.
  • Works with the director of operations and services manager to facilitate a smooth transition between sessions, including acting as a greeter on changeover Sundays, as assigned, and solving problems related to housing assignments, payment, and schedules.
  • Works with the registration office and other staff to develop and communicate a coordinated registration process for all programming.
  • Performs additional duties as assigned.


  • An associates degree or equivalent from a two-year college or technical school or six months to one-year related experience and/or training is preferred.
  • Strong knowledge and technical fluency in Microsoft Office Suite, social media platforms, and database management, and especially knowledge and fluency of the G Suite platform preferred.
  • The ability to track and organize information is crucial as this position will manage many different sets of data critical to the organization’s smooth daily operations.
  • The ability to clearly communicate and maintain a calm, helpful, and friendly presence in an active, public-facing office environment.
  • Proven experience in being self-motivated and set priorities, meet deadlines, and organize multiple projects at once.
  • Strong verbal and written skills and show a high level of interpersonal skills required to handle sensitive and confidential situations.
  • A team player who can work collaboratively and independently as needed.
  • Ability to work on weekends.

Physical Demands

The employee is frequently required to use hands to maneuver, handle, or touch objects, tools, or controls and speak fluently and hear. The employee is often required to stand and to walk in areas of the campus with uneven terrain. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move objects weighing up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision.


This is a full-time, year-round, benefits-eligible position. This position’s starting wage range is $14.00 per hour for 40 hours per week (2080 annually) and may be higher depending on experience. Employees at Penland enjoy competitive pay, attractive benefits, and a lively, creative work environment.

To Apply

The position will remain open until filled; however, the initial review of applications will consist of applications received by April 15, 2021. The anticipated start date is May 1, 2021. Send cover letter addressing relevant experience and interest in the position, résumé, and contact information for three references to Alyse Ostreicher, Human Resources Manager, Please include Main Office Manager as the subject of your email.

We look forward to hearing from you!