full time management

Job Details

Job Type: Full time

Job Number: JR-005815

Location: Home Office

If you're passionate about building a better future for individuals, communities, and our country-and you're committed to working hard to play your part in building that future-consider WGU as the next step in your career.

Driven by a mission to expand access to higher education through online, competency-based degree programs, WGU is also committed to being a great place to work for a diverse workforce of student-focused professionals. The university has pioneered a new way to learn in the 21st century, one that has received praise from academic, industry, government, and media leaders. Whatever your role, working for WGU gives you a part to play in helping students graduate, creating a better tomorrow for themselves and their families.

Current WGU employees must submit an internal application before 10/10/2020 to be considered for the position.

The Director is an executive leader that reports to the Vice President... of Student Experience and leads the organization to systemic transformation; whose primary responsibility is to lead and advance assigned strategic initiatives transforming the specialized services student experience and the corresponding employee services while ensuring alignment across WGU. This position focuses on the domain of active student populations and the Community of Care (internal and external) services that support students to successful completion of their academic goals and professional goal attainment. The Director, Student and Community of Care Experience, is responsible for the university-wide strategy for the active student journey, specialized community of care services and operations including but not limited to Accessibility, the Ombuds, Office of Student Relations, Student Conduct, as well as Environmental Barriers, and contributes to the strategic approach of student lifecycle to meet attainment, access, and retention targets of the colleges.

The Director is a passionate, inspiring leader for initiatives focused on student success outcomes, employee experience metrics, transformational experiences for designated learner profiles, and employs leadership informed by deep domain expertise. This leader creates and inspires coalitions across department stakeholders, energizes teams for change, leverages complex data analysis to make courageous decisions, executes initiatives and projects to plan, and achieves intended outcomes. The Director sets the criteria and design principles such that student journeys are designed across the lifecycle and services departments, champions department and university policy, designs/defines service needs, and analyzes operational implications (including budget impacts and approvals, skill development, technology and reporting requirements).

This role works in partnership with executive leadership across the university on initiatives and projects both planned and emergent that will advance the transformation of the student experience and is an example of WGU's innovation in the higher education industry and in student success (externally and internally). The Director employs expert-level experience and judgment as well as industry standards and WGU specific practices of student experience design, regulation and legal requirements for specialized services, continuous improvement, project management and reporting, change management, process mapping and Leadership Principles.

Essential Functions and Responsibilities:

  • Accountable and responsible for designing, initiating, and sponsoring on large-scale university level projects and initiatives impacting segments of the student journey and impacting operations across multiple departments and functional areas to support transformational strategy. Sets goals, KPIs, budgets, assess risk, and aligns timelines with university-level initiatives and projects.
  • Builds and leads coalitions of stakeholders across departments to achieve the initiative or project goals including: Colleges, Student Lifecycle, Office of the Registrar, Legal, Finance, P&T, Training, Marketing, Public Relationships, Strategic Partnerships, EdTech, IR, and external partners.
  • Scrutinizes and interprets highly complex data from multiple sources utilizing comprehensive knowledge of the university, higher education and research on learner segments in order to craft inventive solutions and make decisions.
  • Employs expert-level domain-specific expertise, experience at WGU and/or other higher education institutions and non-education organizations to lead cross-department level initiatives. Influences strategic planning, proposes new solutions.
  • Presents and Reports regularly to WGU's Executive Staff, College VPs and Directors, EdTech, IR, Legal, Marketing, etc and primary stakeholders to influence decision making, gain buy-in and support systemic change to improve student outcomes.
  • Exhibits expert-knowledge of operational metrics, impacts, and human resource deployment in collaboration with P&T, Training, and Operational Leaders.
  • Actively engages with and sets priorities with EdTech product development. Gathers, writes, vets business requirements for technology and operations infrastructure to achieve transformational goals and reviews development prior to deployment
  • Actively engages with legal and academic engagement to ensure specialized services are aligned to external and internal requirements. Champions internal processes, practices and policies to serve students through specialized services.
  • Targets operational, professional, and technological transformation opportunities to promote and support change to champion the student experience.
  • Leverages a systems-thinking approach to student experience design to propose changes to university-level policies, business processes, best practices, services, service-level agreements, technology business requirements to improve student outcomes.
  • Establish metrics, budgets, timelines, evaluate ROI and prioritize projects and initiatives against the WGU strategic and operational priorities. Evaluate implemented initiatives to determine impact.
  • Responsible for the creation and presentation of communications, reports and analysis which will be used to drive decision making related to the prioritization of actions and assignment of resources.
  • Tracks and summarize the effects and impacts of completed projects in terms of student outcomes and positive impacts to the quality of the experience for student lifecycle teams and students.
  • Assesses the student experience across learner profiles, operations and interventions for efficiency and effectiveness to identify opportunities for new initiatives aligned with strategic priorities. Propose solutions aligned to business problems identified.
  • Leverages system-thinking approach, design thinking, communication theory, strategic planning methodology and human motivation theory to designing segments of the student experience and identify how policies, business processes, best practices, services, service level agreement.
  • Plans, coordinates, and delivers multiple business transformation projects/programs across WGU.
  • Secures commitments (approval, resources and funding) from different stakeholders to deliver the initiative to achieve goals and objectives.
  • Communicates with students to gather input and address upcoming changes.
  • Demonstrates the WGU leadership principles in all aspects of service to students, employees and partners of WGU. Influence through direct and indirect management and leadership.
  • Responds with urgency to student and organization needs and exhibits excellent judgment to deliver results.

Required Education and Experience:

  • Master's degree required, Ph.D. preferred
  • Demonstrated experience leading teams and prioritizing initiatives to impact student outcomes through strategies priorities.
  • At least 8+ years of experience in domain-specific operations or leadership
  • At least 5 years of experience in higher education institutions, EdTech in a management and/or project/program management
  • At least 8 years of project or program leadership experience with cross-functional influence; First-hand experience leading and managing multi-department and multi-year initiatives across a distributed, matrixed organization (5000+ employees)
  • At least 2 years of experience engaging with legal, accreditation, and compliance departments.
  • Minimum 5 years of professional experience in a role that required extensive Project/Change
  • At least 5 years of significant people leadership, including leading people leaders through systemic change. Demonstrated experience managing teams and initiatives to impact student outcomes through specific interventions
  • Experience implementing changes to academic policy and determining short-term and long-term implications.
  • Experience with core university systems and infrastructure including: Ellucian BANNER, Salesforce CRM, campaign management tools, reporting systems
  • At least 3 years of direct collaboration with multiple product and engineering teams to prioritize and define business requirements for technology development and/or acquisition.
  • Experience extracting data from a database; manipulating data in Excel
  • ProSci Change Management Certification
  • Demonstrated professional experience in communication to a broad audience base, with a technical writing emphasis.
  • Demonstrated professional experience managing complex projects and working cross-functionally.
  • Proficient in project management software tools and collaboration software
  • Excellent presentation and communication skills to a broad audience across multiple departments and stakeholders with a technical writing emphasis.
  • At least 3 years of collaboration with technology partners (internal and external) with large scale implementation experience.
  • Previous budget oversight of 5M projects and/or organizations
  • Design and facilitate workshops and large group gatherings to align priorities, gather requirements, problem solve and gain consensus across multiple departments and executive level stakeholders
  • Direct Experience with Higher Education Regulators and Reporting Organizations (Department of Education, Accreditors, Student Clearing House, FERPA requirements)

Required Skills:

  • Excellent judgment with the ability to make complex decisions, urgently that immediately impacts students
  • Demonstrated strong technical writing and communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to use and interpret data to make decisions, and communicate results effectively to various stakeholders
  • Systems thinker who can identify systemic structures contributing to outcomes, identify high leverage activities to impact outcomes, and articulate the implications of business decisions
  • Key competencies include: systems-thinking approach, project management, change management, data analytics
  • Ability to develop a business case and models
  • Highly organized and detail orientated
  • Proven ability to take initiative and be both innovative and flexible
  • Works well in a team environment.
  • Ability to build consensus and motivate others.
  • Strong oral communications abilities.
  • Strong technical and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to plan and meet schedules for both individual and collaborative projects.
  • Ability to create concise, informative reports on projects and initiatives
  • Ability to clearly document and catalog information and progress on assigned initiatives
  • Proficiency with Office 365 applications, live event tools, CRM software, Tableau or PowerBi, SmartSheet

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Advanced degree in Higher Education administration, leadership, business, etc.
  • Experience with Internal Audit program is a plus.
  • PMP Certification
  • Salesforce Admin Certification
  • SQL Certification
  • Lean Six Sigma Certification
  • Human Resources and/or workforce development experience a plus
  • Public and/or customer relations and communication experience a plus

Special Requirements:

  • Travel required, approximately 25-30% - primarily to Salt Lake City, UT

As an equal opportunity employer, WGU recognizes that our strength lies in our people. We are committed to diversity

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