Director for Student Success: Office of Diversity, Equity and Student Success (DESS)

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), the leading national higher education organization committed to improving the quality of undergraduate education, seeks a talented, self-motivated, productive, and creative individual for the position of Director for Student Success. The Director will report to the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Student Success in charge of the educational affairs office concerned with accelerating broad-scale systemic innovation to advance educational practices that engage diversity and challenge inequities in order to make excellence inclusive.  The Director will be part of the leadership team for AAC&U’s work on diversity, equity, and student success as outlined in AAC&U’s Strategic Plan Big Questions, Urgent Challenges: Liberal Education and Americans’ Global Future

The Director will manage funded projects and is responsible for conducting research and resource-development activities related to student success, with emphasis on underserved student success.  S/he will work with the Vice President and other senior staff to create and plan new projects, identify new funding sources, and produce grant proposals.  S/he also will represent the Association at outside meetings and through communication with colleges, universities, research centers, and other education organizations.


  • Provide strategic and practical leadership for AAC&U’s work on diversity, equity, and student success
  • Conceptualize, generate and direct sponsored projects related to state system-level and campus-based change efforts to advance diversity, equity and student success
  • Provide high level logistical and implementation support for new and continuing initiatives
  • Direct both qualitative and quantitative research efforts related to DESS projects and continuing programs, including data gathering and analysis; conduct surveys, interviews and focus groups (as appropriate); generate charts and graphs for presentation; organize data and materials based upon higher education studies and national databases; generate manuscripts for publication
  • Conceptualize the content for and coordinate project meetings and other project activities
  • Provide resources and access to research on issues related to student success and inclusive excellence
  • Participate as a member of the larger AAC&U LEAP team in guiding and implementing the LEAP initiative
  • Act as a liaison and maintain communication and correspondence with multiple stakeholder communities, including policy, campus, business, and community leaders
  • Communicate and partner with key AAC&U staff regarding publications, project web applications and development, databases, conferences, and other project activities
  • Collaborate in productions of reports and policy recommendations; supervise development of commissioned research studies
  • Write and edit materials for dissemination of project, grant, and other reports and/or websites
  • Co-Direct AAC&U’s Summer Institute on High-Impact Practices and Student Success
  • Participate in the management of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Student Success


  • An earned doctorate
  • 5+ years system-level and/or campus-based experience in a role that brings together academic and student affairs support for advancing student learning and success
  • A clear understanding of and commitment to the values of AAC&U
  • Experience with institution-wide and/or multi-institution educational reform efforts and system- or policy-based experience with undergraduate and/or P-16 educational reform
  • Experience with access and success initiatives, college readiness programs and policies, student transfer (2-year to 4-year), liberal education outcomes, and improvement of achievement, persistence, and retention of underserved students
  • Deep understanding of school-through-college educational issues and active involvement in research related to student success, learning, student development, and educational leadership
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills; strong analytical skills
  • Superior communication skills and an ability to articulate a compelling message to multidisciplinary audiences
  • Strong skills in contemporary research tools, including, but not limited to QSR, NVivo, SPSS, Excel or other statistical software
  • Proven record of designing, leading, and managing budgets and programs related diversity, equity and/or student success
  • Strong management skills, including the ability to lead teams and encourage initiative, teamwork, collaboration, and creative/innovative thinking
  • Demonstrated experience in designing and evaluating professional development opportunities for faculty
  • Experience and success in grant-writing is a strong plus
  • Experience as a faculty member is also a strong plus

Salary commensurate with experience; exceptional benefits.  Please submit a letter of interest with salary requirements and CV to:  AAC&U, Box SDSS, 1818 R Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009 or to Review of applications will begin on December 22, 2016.

AAC&U believes that a broadly diverse staff is critical to achieving excellence as a national higher education association. We seek to recruit, develop, and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool. We are fully committed to equal employment opportunity and compliance with the full range of fair employment practices and non-discrimination laws.