Senior Director of Online Learning

Senior Director of Online Learning

Position Description

The Opportunity

The University of Michigan’s Center for Academic Innovation seeks an experienced, innovative, and collaborative Senior Director of Online Learning. This inaugural position, reporting to the Founding Executive Director of the Center for Academic Innovation and Associate Vice Provost, is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan and is primarily responsible for helping U-M schools and faculty innovators to adopt an integrated online education strategy – combining non-credit scaled open online learning and credit-bearing online degree programs – and to launch thriving online learning initiatives and programs that extend U-M’s current mission toward one of global scale and impact. 

The Senior Director will be a thought leader in the field of online learning and will strengthen the Center’s ability to catalyze institutional transformation and advance learning at the premier global public research university. The Senior Director will develop a sustained focus on knowledge creation and dissemination in areas related to online learning within the Center in order to support excellence at U-M and to advance learning across higher education.

As the primary liaison between the Center’s online learning organization and U-M schools and colleges, the Senior Director will work closely with university leaders, school leaders, and faculty innovators to shape and implement U-M’s online learning strategy. The Senior Director will lead an interdisciplinary approach to expanding U-M’s impact through learning innovation and design in order to integrate the full set of strengths of the institution’s schools and faculty to closely align with educational and credentialing needs of learners on campus, across the state of Michigan, and around the world.

The Senior Director will be an accomplished and supportive organizational leader and will manage four high performing, best-in-class teams: Open Learning Initiatives, Online and Hybrid Programs, Learning Experience Design, and Media Design and Media Technology. In addition to managing nearly 60 FTE across these highly talented teams, the Senior Director will evaluate new opportunities, develop go-to-market strategies, liaise with external partners in the online learning space, and create the conditions necessary for a culture of innovation in learning to thrive. The Senior Director will work closely with other leaders at the Center to integrate our online learning strategy with other areas of excellence including those who lead our educational data and research and educational technology teams. The Senior Director will also work closely with the heads of our operations team, marketing team, and our campus wide Extended Reality (XR) initiative.

University of Michigan Campus

To Apply or Nominate

Confidential inquiries and nominations should be directed to CAIsearch@umich.edu. Nominations and inquiries will be accepted through October 29, 2021. Final candidate applications must be submitted through the University of Michigan Careers Site. An announcement of the live job posting will be made here.

 

Candidate interviews will begin November 1, 2021. The search will be carried out with full confidentiality. 




Key Responsibilities

  • Setting Strategy: Partner and collaborate with campus leaders and stakeholders to build and deliver a long-term University-wide strategy for online learning.
  • Providing Leadership and Counsel: Lead sustainable partnerships with schools and colleges that build U-M’s online learning capacity and increase the reach and impact of open and online learning initiatives and programs. 
  • Ensuring Superior Delivery: Support U-M schools and faculty to launch thriving online learning initiatives and programs that leverage the Center’s deep expertise and related services. Each of the services should operate at standards  considered on the highest end of quality in the industry. 
  • Driving Growth and Sustainability: Support a culture that fosters the ability of U-M to drive excellence across online and hybrid programs and initiatives while offering online  services to populations of qualified learners, who might not otherwise be able to access  traditional, on-campus learning opportunities. 
  • Leading Organizational and Team Development: Lead the teams responsible for delivering online learning expertise and services to academic units. Assess, adjust, and carry forward a culture befitting of a high growth, goal oriented group; establish the appropriate leadership cadence, professional development efforts  and hiring standards to achieve operational and cultural goals. 
  • Advising University Leadership: Participate in and provide advisory support to the senior university academic and  administrative leadership including, but not limited to, areas specific to online learning. 
  • Evaluating Resource Allocation and Investment Strategy: Manage and invest the academic innovation fund to support new programs and innovation initiatives that transform learning at U-M and shape the future of higher education.
  • Stewarding Culture: Support a culture that fosters inclusivity, expands access to U-M educational offerings,  and promotes student and faculty success. 

Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will bring a proven track record of leadership, partnership development, and growth as related to online learning to support the expansion of U-M’s vision for the future. The  successful candidate must be a results-oriented individual with a passion and capability for creating  world-class teams and culture, and managing high-quality operations and processes, on-time, on-budget  and on-quality. This new leader will be an adept listener and influencer with  exceptionally high organizational EQ. Academic and administrative leaders at the institution, academic unit, and administrative unit levels should perceive the candidate as compassionate, credible, compelling, trustworthy, and persuasive. This leader will also understand how to constructively challenge the  conventional wisdom or accepted ways of doing things, by demonstrating the emotional maturity to  effectively navigate the University and gain stakeholder buy-in. 

  • Demonstrated experience and success in a strategic leadership or managerial role related to  online learning, running a division of similar scope and scale in a complex, multi-stakeholder  environment.
  • Ability to develop long-range goals and objectives while simultaneously managing execution and details across multiple projects and tasks.
  • Demonstrated experience and success in a strategic leadership or managerial role related to  online learning, running a division of similar scope and scale in a complex, multi-stakeholder  environment. 
  • Strong domain expertise in continuous learning, online learning, and higher education.  Extensive experience in developing or consulting related to online learning technology solutions. 
  • Experience in evaluation, assessment, and recommendation of educational technology-related  products and systems. 
  • Operational rigor, financial acumen, strong analysis, and budget planning skills. 
  • Experience building and scaling an organization. 
  • Functional expertise in go-to-market and partnership building. 
  • Demonstrated success managing program development for new postsecondary online learning programs.
  • Proven collaborator in a highly matrixed environment (faculty, staff, and administrators across the University) to drive successful outcomes
  • Awareness of, respect for, and adherence to policies and procedures (e.g., accreditation requirements, internal requirements, University contractual requirements, etc.)
  • Minimum bachelor’s degree (masters or PhD preferred) and 7+ years of experience in an online learning field including time in a strategic leadership or managerial role
  • Possesses a strong ability to influence, motivate and inspire across the organization. Collaborative mindset, low-ego with a track record of results. 
  • Innovative and entrepreneurial leader with ability to think strategically, combined with understanding of day-to-day operations and ability to execute
  • Ability to juggle multiple priorities; self-directed and motivated
  • Thoughtful, transparent, and exceptionally collaborative with a service leader mindset
  • Excellent verbal and written communication; ability to deliver a clear and compelling message

Apply for the Senior Director of Online Learning

Visit our UM Careers listing to submit your letter of interest and resume to apply.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Learning and working in environments designed for equity and inclusivity are necessary for the U-M community to make progress on solving the problems that matter most to society. In addition to collaborating with faculty and staff on projects that explicitly focus on DEI, the Center for Academic Innovation uses inclusive design processes in all of our work. All interested applicants, including those from groups historically underrepresented in higher education, are encouraged to apply.

About the Center for Academic Innovation

The Center for Academic Innovation leads key growth areas for U-M and provides a significant opportunity to extend the University’s mission toward one of global scale and impact. At the Center, we position U-M as a global leader in academic innovation to create and inspire change in higher education and to reinforce an engaged and informed society.

We convene innovators with the diverse expertise required to create solutions to big social challenges.

We develop a portfolio of state-of-the-art learning experiences and research-based tools and frameworks.

We cultivate innovations that advance equity, justice, and excellence.

Founded in 2019 building on an academic innovation initiative that was established in 2014, the Center for Academic Innovation is where creativity, excellence, and the University of Michigan’s aspirations for societal impact combine to reimagine the future of higher education. The Center acts as a hub and incubator for innovation on campus, partnering with the U-M community to explore new modalities of learning and leverage the power of novel educational technology and translational research in service of strengthening the quality of a Michigan education and enhancing our impact on society. The Center is responsible for innovations inside and outside the classroom, includes our students in hands-on learning, uses new technologies to enrich learning experiences, and gives the growing U-M community opportunities to engage in global and lifelong learning. The end result is a portfolio of high quality work products that are committed to continually helping the university better achieve its mission of “serving the people of Michigan and the world through preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving and applying knowledge, art and academic values.”