Senior Director of Market Strategy

Position Description

The Opportunity

The Center for Academic Innovation (CAI) seeks a mission-driven, visionary and market oriented leader to serve as its inaugural Senior Director of Market Strategy. The Senior Director will shape  and facilitate CAI’s market growth strategy and oversee all aspects of marketing, communications, edtech  commercialization, and fundraising for the Center. This leadership position, reporting to the Founding Executive Director of the Center for Academic Innovation and Associate Vice Provost, will be based in Ann Arbor,  Michigan and will be primarily responsible for creating, advancing, CAI’s marketing, commercialization, and growth  strategies and integrated plans that embrace CAI’s mission and strategic priorities. The Senior Director will develop and advance successful and competitive strategic positioning of CAI,  its portfolio, and the  University’s academic innovation activities and initiatives.

University of Michigan Campus

Key Responsibilities

  • Lead Marketing and Brand Strategy: Responsible for telling the story of CAI, directing the Center’s marketing and communications efforts, and creating experiences that inspire and empower CAI’s wide ranging stakeholders to help shape the future of higher education and participate in the University of Michigan’s lifelong learning community. Create strategic marketing, brand, and growth plans in consideration of CAI and University strategic priorities.

  • Lead Audience Growth Strategy for Michigan Online: Position the global identity of Michigan Online as a leading source for lifelong learning and professional development that supports the future of work in collaboration with Open Learning Initiatives and Educational Technology Leadership. Grow Michigan Online audiences, subscriber list, and enrollments, including amongst U-M students, faculty, staff, and alumni from the Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flint campuses as well as the global lifelong learning community. Collaborate with the Partnership Development team on outreach and cultivation of external partners to support and engage with the online learning portfolio. Establish cohesive brand-level marketing and communication goals, strategy, and messaging. Develop objectives and key results to evaluate theeffectiveness of marketing and communication activities and promote a culture of analytics to pursue continuous improvement.

  • Lead Commercialization Strategy: Develop and implement commercialization and marketing strategy for the Center’s technology portfolio aligned with product goals and in partnership with Educational Technology Leadership. Develop and implement marketing and growth strategy for the online learning experience portfolio, particularly including MOOCs, MOOC series, and hybrid and online programs, in collaboration with the Online Learning Experience Leadership team.

  • Lead Development Strategy: Responsible for establishing long-range strategies, goals and policies for fundraising efforts for the Center for Academic Innovation. Works with CAI leadership and the Office of University Development to design and lead successful campaigns and achieve long-term fundraising objectives. Integrates campaign planning / CAI fundraising priorities to position CAI for sustainable mission-aligned growth. Leads the planning, implementation, and management of all components of development for CAI in partnership with colleagues at the Office of University Development.

  • Coordinate Grant Strategy: Partner with CAI leadership to establish and facilitate foundation partnerships and grant application efforts across the team, including identifying strategic opportunities, collaboratively drafting applications, and ensuring successful relationships.

  • Develop and Coordinate Sustainable Partnerships: Establish and sustain partnerships with other units across U-M and lead aspects of CAI’s productive engagement with organizations like the Office of University Development, the Vice President of Communications, and Innovation Partnerships. Build strong and sustainable relationships with corporate and foundation partners, and other external partners that advance CAI’s market growth and commercialization priorities.

Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will have demonstrated senior-level experience leading market growth and commercialization strategies, marketing and communications teams, fundraising campaigns, and effectively managing a range of high stakes external partnerships and relationships. The candidate will be a strong leader with the ability to guide and support a talented team and collaborate with colleagues across CAI, capitalizing upon their strengths and developing strategies to best utilize their time to advance CAI’s mission. The candidate will have a sophisticated understanding of U-M’s mission and CAI’s mission and opportunities for growth.

Professional Experience

  • Bachelor’s Degree required, Master’s Degree preferred.
  • 10+ years progressively responsible experience leading/managing teams, including responsibility for strategy, personnel, and fiscal management.
  • Demonstrated experience and success in a strategic leadership role related to marketing, fundraising, business development, and/or edtech commercialization, running a division of similar scope or scale in a complex, multi-stakeholder environment.
  • Proven track record driving outstanding results in marketing, fundraising, and/or commercialization in an educational institution or adjacent industry.
  • Strong partnership-oriented and collaborative working style; strong interpersonal skills and diplomacy; superb listening and influencing skills; the ability to cultivate and sustain trust and credibility with colleagues.
  • Ability to develop long-range goals and objectives while simultaneously managing execution and details across multiple projects and tasks.
  • Proven ability to think critically and creatively to provide strategic guidance on communications and marketing, fundraising, and commercialization.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and implement research-based strategic marketing plans and campaigns with both quantitative and qualitative insights;
  • Considerable creative and analytical strength, including awareness of best practices, tools and relevant experiences building compelling marketing efforts that drive results;
  • Must be a strong and innovative problem solver, creative strategist and a great tactical leader who has a humble, self-motivated working style.
  • Excellent project management skills and demonstrated ability to solve complex problems, define goals and assess effectiveness of initiatives and projects.
  • Demonstrated ability to identify and act upon opportunities to enrich and expand an organization’s relevancy to donors, the alumni base, external stakeholders, and corporate and foundation partners.
  • Engagement with innovation, entrepreneurship, commercialization and/or venture creation.

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.”