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Association of Public & Land-grant Universities
Office of Academic Affairs
Academic Affairs
District Of Columbia
Posted: 03/5/2021
Director, Academic and Student Affairs

Title: Director, Academic and Student Affairs
Supervisor: Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer
Status: Full-Time; Exempt
Level: Director
Location: Washington, DC
Application Deadline: Applications will be reviewed as received with preference given to those applications received by March 21, 2021.


The Director works primarily within the Office of Academic Affairs and the Office of STEM Education and Research Policy, reporting to the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer.  Within Academic Affairs, the Director provides leadership for issues with a student affairs’ focus and serves as the primary point of contact for the Council on Student Affairs. Within STEM Education and Research Policy, the Director serves as the Project Manager for the NSF INCLUDES Aspire Alliance Institutional Change (IChange) Network, supporting campus leaders engaging in a DEI change process to advance a more inclusive and diverse STEM faculty. 

The Director may also be called on to work with other components of Academic Affairs (the Center for Public University Transformation, the Office of Data and Policy Analysis, and the Office of Digital Transformation for Student Success), the Office of Governmental Affairs, and other offices across APLU to contribute to the association’s work on advancing our institutional transformation, student success, policy development, and advocacy agendas. This full-time position is based in Washington, DC.  


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 244 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 5.0 million undergraduates and 1.3 million graduate students, award 1.3 million degrees, employ 1.3 million faculty and staff, and conduct $49.2 billion in university-based research.

The Office of Academic Affairs plays a central role in APLU’s initiatives to improve student success and graduation, enhance digital learning, spur institutional transformation, increase the use of data-informed decision making, and advance scientific research at member institutions. It also assists APLU’s governmental affairs staff to advocate for federal policies that help strengthen the work of public universities and support their faculty and students. The office coordinates the activities of the Council of Academic Affairs consisting of the provosts of our member institutions, and the Council on Student Affairs consisting of the Vice Presidents for Student Affairs. Academic Affairs houses the Office of Data and Policy Analysis, the Office of Digital Transformation for Student Success (including the Personalized Learning Consortium), the Center for Public University Transformation, and works closely with the Office of STEM Education and Research Policy. In addition to significant project management role in STEM Education and Research Policy, the incumbent for this position will therefore have a broad portfolio intersecting many APLU offices.

APLU and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-M) are co-leads on one of the first NSF INCLUDES Alliance grants, Aspire: The National Alliance for Inclusive and Diverse STEM Faculty. APLU and UW-M are partnering with dozens of other universities, two-year colleges and organizations across the country to scale practices aimed at diversifying the nation’s STEM college educators and grounding them in inclusive teaching practices across three interacting change strategies at institutional, regional, and national levels. APLU houses Aspire’s Institutional Change (IChange) initiative, including the IChange Network community of transformation. Comprised of 54 research universities, the IChange Network has a twofold mission:  to support institutions in developing equity-minded STEM faculty; and to develop inclusive institutional practices and policies to support the recruitment, hiring, and retention of underrepresented STEM faculty.


The position’s primary duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

Academic Affairs – 60%  

  • In coordination with Council leadership, design, lead and coordinate initiatives for the Council on Student Affairs, including a summer meeting and programming at the APLU annual meeting. The Council on Student Affairs is one of the organizational councils of APLU and is composed of the senior student affairs officers on APLU member campuses.
  • Develop and manage the Degree Completion Award process in coordination with the Center for Public University Transformation. 
  • Contribute to APLU’s efforts to increase access and improve the success of underrepresented and underserved students as a subject matter expert in collaboration with other APLU offices.
  • Remain current on significant research, trends, and practices related to student development, access, engagement, admissions, student life, financial aid, and overall student success at public universities and be able to evaluate the potential impact on APLU member institutions.  This will be accomplished through activities such as scanning the higher education and national press, participation in national organizations, attending events and seminars offered by the DC research/policy community, and preparing reports and papers individually and collaboratively. 
  • Engage in research, policy analysis, program and proposal development in support of APLU initiatives, with special emphasis on student success.
  • Support the Office of Governmental Affairs by providing research and analysis to inform their advocacy efforts. 

STEM Education & Research Policy (NSF INCLUDES Aspire Alliance IChange Network Project Manager) – 40%

  • Implement strategies for the successful operation of the IChange Network, including processes, procedures, and documentation for Network activities and support.
  • Manage IChange consultant activities to achieve strategic goals and ensure timely completion of scoped activities, products and deliverables, and monitor consultant billing and invoices.
  • Design and facilitate virtual meetings and services for 54 institutions in an established community of transformation in the IChange Network. 
  • Identify opportunities and strategies, and deploy communication strategies to promote the work of, and participation in, the IChange Network and other IChange Initiative activities. 
  • Work with staff to develop and prepare white papers, op-eds, and other products to document and share learning from IChange network use by APLU members and other higher education leaders.


  • The Director may be required to participate in other issues in the Offices of Academic Affairs and STEM Education and Research Policy that may arise from time to time.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Earned doctorate from an accredited university. 
  • A minimum of 3 years working in higher education with a focus on student affairs, DEI, and student success issues.  Experience should include working directly with senior leaders at institutions of higher education.
  • A record of scholarly publications in higher education or related fields.
  • Strong data analysis and evaluation skills, and analytic abilities. 
  • Strong project management skills to meet goals and objectives on time, on scope, and on budget.
  • Excellent strategic planning, organizational, and interpersonal skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, establish priorities and exercise sound judgment in response to complex and sensitive situations.
  • Ability to work in a dynamic environment with a diverse, cross-functional team and to establish effective working relationships with employees at all levels of the organization.
  • Excellent presentation and written communication skills.
  • Strong MS Word and Excel skills. 

To Apply

Please send a letter of interest and resume to APLU’s Human Resources Department at with the subject line: Director A&SA. Applications will be reviewed as received. Priority will be given to applications received by March 21, 2021. Salary is commensurate with experience. APLU provides a generous benefits package.  

APLU is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer and is committed to recruiting, employing, training, compensating and promoting staff regardless of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status. Read more about APLU’s Commitment to Diversity here.