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Association of Public & Land-grant Universities
Office of President & Administration
District Of Columbia
Posted: 12/1/2017
Executive Director of APLU Center for Public University Transformation
Salary: $150,000 - $160,000
Title: Executive Director Location: Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) Departments: Center for Public University Transformation Supervisor: President Application Deadline: December 31, 2017; applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis Start Date: February 2018
Salary Range: $150,000-$160,000 annually
The Executive Director will launch and lead the APLU Center for Public University Transformation. The Center will work with up to 100 public research universities to scale and sustain innovative student success initiatives. One of the key early activities of the Center, which the Executive Director will oversee, is the creation of clusters of universities focused on greatly increasing undergraduate degree completion and closing the achievement gap while expanding access to low-income and underserved students. The individual hired for this role will have experience working at a university, expertise in institutional change and student success efforts, and a history of relationship management and fundraising success. The Executive Director will report directly to the APLU President.

  • Launch and lead the APLU Center for Public University Transformation.
  • Work with the APLU President and Vice Presidents to develop a strategic plan and structure for the Center.
  • Oversee the creation of clusters of universities to greatly increase undergraduate degree completion and close the achievement gap.
  • Work with other organizations to help coalesce degree completion efforts and support the clusters.
  • Supervise an initial staff of 2-5 other individuals, with expectation for growth. Work closely with other APLU staff who are managing existing degree completion projects.
  • Provide thought and policy leadership for the Center, which may include: presentations and panels, media interviews, authoring op-eds and journal commentaries, and serving as an expert in other capacities.
  • Develop innovative responses to challenges that arise while working with the clusters.
  • Project Development
  • Organize and support the clusters and build relationships of mutual trust.
  • Work with other APLU leaders involved in degree completion to align those efforts and support the clusters.
  • Recruit members for an advisory council and facilitate advisory council meetings.
  • Coordinate across APLU to develop strong partnerships with associations, nonprofits, government agencies, and other relevant actors in the higher education sector.
  • Engage regularly with APLU staff to develop collaborative projects and stay abreast of initiatives across program areas.
  • Articulate the Center’s role within APLU, and work to align Center goals with overall APLU goals.
  • Although this position does not involve advocacy work, ensure Public Affairs and Congressional and Governmental Affairs staff are regularly informed about the Center’s work and accomplishments.
  • Fundraising
  • Identify opportunities to support current or new programming through grants from private foundations, government agencies, corporations, and other potential funders.
  • Oversee the Center’s solicitation of grants and review grant proposals.
  • Pitch ideas and share highlights from prior Center accomplishments with potential funders, both formally and informally.
  • Regularly update current funders with information about accomplishments, outcomes, and impact.
  • Build relationships of mutual trust with potential national and regional funders. Coordinate with other APLU staff when approaching funders; document all meetings/outreach activities using APLU’s CRM.
The candidate should understand university operations and degree completion challenges facing higher education institutions based on first-hand knowledge and experience. She or he will have substantial fundraising experience with a proven track record of securing major grants or gifts and building sustainable relationships with funders. The individual will be a compelling and collaborative leader, with a passion for equity in higher education and the motivation to help drive systemic change. Desired qualifications include:
Professional experience on a college campus or within a university system.
  • Successful management experience.
  • Substantial fundraising experience with a record of securing large grants.
  • Expertise in institutional or organizational change.
  • Existing relationships with some key stakeholders in higher education.
  • Ability to innovate, both in ideas and implementation.
  • Collaborative leadership style and ability to serve as a unifying force for change.
  • Strong understanding of the determinants of student success and current challenges in the higher education landscape.
  • Excellent persuasive written and oral communication skills.
  • Willingness and ability to travel 15-25% of the time.
  • Advanced degree, preferably a doctorate.

APLU is a research, policy, and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. With a membership of 237 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and affiliated organizations, APLU's agenda is built on the three pillars of increasing degree completion and academic success, advancing scientific research, and expanding engagement. Annually, member campuses enroll 4.9 million undergraduates and 1.3 million graduate students, award 1.2 million degrees, employ 1.3 million faculty and staff, and conduct $43.9 billion in university-based research. TO APPLY Please send a cover letter and resume along with two writing samples to APLU’s Human Resources Department: with the subject line: “Executive Director” Salary range is $150,000-$160,000 annually and is commensurate with experience. APLU provides a generous benefits package. For more information on APLU, please visit

APLU is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.