Department: Office of the Provost Salary/Grade: EXS/11
The Office of the Provost seeks qualified applicants for a new position that will support professional and alternative credential programming, i.e., master’s degree, certificate programs, and non-degree credential programs. The Director of Professional Programs will report to the Associate Provost for Graduate Education and will work closely with colleagues in the Office of the Provost, Student Affairs, the Office of Budget and Planning, and select schools, including The Graduate School.
Many of Northwestern’s schools offer professional master’s degrees, certificate courses, and/or executive education programs, among other related offerings. The person in this new role will have the opportunity to support Northwestern’s vision for professional programs that are quality-driven, student-centered, and revenue-generating. The Director will establish the Office of the Provost as a key resource for strengthening such programming by developing an institutional framework for professional programming; creating relevant policies, approval and evaluation criteria/procedures, and performance benchmarks; ensuring equitable student support and services across programs and schools; producing—primarily in collaboration with external partners—market research studies; disseminating relevant information and best practices to school officials; facilitating connections and collaborations across schools; and advising school officials on opportunities for growth and resource allocation decisions. The role’s scope of responsibility would encompass professional and alternative credential programs with a primary focus on those in the appropriated schools.
**Please Note: Not all aspects of the job are covered by this job description.
Lead the development of an institutional culture of using evidence to develop, review, and maintain professional programs.
In consultation with the Associate Provost and school leadership, establish metrics for measuring program value and success.
Establish processes for tracking and communicating key metrics that align with and support University and school planning processes and decision-making.
In coordination with the Associate Provost and school officials, draft policy and set standards for professional program approval and periodic review.
Refine procedures for approving, and develop processes for reviewing, professional programs. Ensure any new processes leverage and align with existing processes, e.g., academic program approval processes in the schools, The Graduate School, and the Office of the Provost.
Routinely monitor professional program performance against key measures of success; identify programs of concern and develop mitigation and support plans that engage school and central leaders.
Leverage institutional enrollment, financial, and communications data to inform program improvements.
Coordinate with school officials, Office of the Provost colleagues, and others to standardize reporting data and cadence. Explore central data repositories to automate and centralize as much of these data as possible.
Understand the different roles that professional and alternative credential programs play among Northwestern’s schools.
Analyze policies and communications to identify opportunities for greater consideration of students, faculty, and staff associated with professional and alternative credential programming.
Comprehend student needs across programs and ensure that there is equitable support for all students in these programs by surfacing best practices, advocating for standardization when appropriate, and connecting school officials with relevant resources.
Cultivate relationships between school administrators, central administration, and faculty.
Partner with school officials to identify program opportunities that align with University priorities and school values, leverage existing resources, and meet student/labor demand.
Partner with school officials in navigating opportunities for collaboration on professional programming.
Effectively communicate with school officials regarding market research findings and relevant institutional policies and standards, etc.
Consult with schools considering new professional programming and making changes to existing programs.
Build mechanisms that promote information sharing and collaboration across programs, schools and the central administration. This could include reconstituting the University’s Professional Master’s Council.
Identify, evaluate, and negotiate with external market research partners.
Serve as point of contact for external partners, in both the research and business relationships.
In coordination with the Associate Provost, determine the professional programs’ research agenda for external partners.
Independently—and/or in coordination with external partners—identify new program opportunities, assess the viability of potential programs, and evaluate the impact of market conditions on existing professional programs.
Draft independent—and edit external—reports.
Stay abreast of national trends, e.g., program costs, and regularly consider opportunities for their application at Northwestern.
Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)
Bachelor’s degree; master’s degree preferred
Five to seven years of relevant professional experience, with a least one year directing a professional program in a higher education institution, leading market research for a firm with higher education clients, or equivalent expertise and experience with professional programs
Experience with qualitative and quantitative research methods, with the ability to design, administer, and analyze qualitative and quantitative research studies preferred
Proficiency with Excel, Qualtrics, and other relevant software; mastery over Excel and proficiency with advanced statistical software (Stata, R, or SPSS) preferred
Familiarity with and ability to manipulate relevant datasets (IPEDS, BLS, etc.)
Capable of producing reports with descriptive statistics, creating templates, and customizing deliverables
Awareness of relevant market research providers; ability to evaluate providers preferred
Ability to collaborate with program directors from across a range of disciplines to accomplish desired outcomes and also to leverage knowledge and experience that resides with key partners such as The Graduate School and other areas of the Office of the Provost
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