Director, Undergraduate STEM Education Research and Policy Office of Undergraduate STEM Education

The American Association of Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) is the leading national association that advances the democratic purposes of higher education by promoting equity, innovation, and excellence in liberal education. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises more than 900 member institutions—including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, research universities, and comprehensive universities of every type and size.

The Office of Undergraduate STEM Education (OUSE) is a dynamic unit within AAC&U that works to ensure that our nation has a diverse and competitive STEM workforce by equipping STEM faculty with resources to teach, lead, and make the kind of institutional changes necessary for all students, regardless of their social identities or backgrounds, to persist in the STEM fields. Grounded in the organization’s legacy of inclusion and excellence, OUSE provides professional and leadership development that centers adult learning, self-awareness, cultural responsiveness, wellbeing, and leadership preparedness.

AAC&U seeks a talented, self-motivated, productive, and creative individual for the position of Director, Undergraduate STEM Education Research and Policy to support and implement a rigorous STEM education research enterprise, including investigation, analysis, and implementation of AAC&U’s signature programs, initiatives, and interventions aimed at empowering STEM faculty and the institutions where they work for lasting change. The position of Director reports directly to and working in collaboration with the Vice President for Undergraduate STEM Education.

The Director is expected to possess a keen and substantive interest in developing and applying rigorous higher education research design and analysis skills to professional development and institutional change programs and initiatives, as well as advance an agenda to broaden the participation of historically marginalized groups in STEM. In this role, the Director will utilize their working knowledge of higher education theory, leadership development, and/or institutional change to ensure quality and integrity with extant literature and best practice. The Director will conduct and/or oversee research and speak and write in ways that will disseminate new perspectives on STEM reform in creative ways, whether at national conferences, on websites and/or social media, at individual institutional settings, or through peer- and non-peer reviewed journals. The Director will also be expected to make significant contributions toward securing external funding from various sources to maintain ongoing programs and initiatives and initiate new ones.

The Director will be an integral leader and will collaborate extensively with colleagues in other units within AAC&U, providing strategic and practical leadership and appropriate supervision of AAC&U’s undergraduate STEM reform enterprise. They will lead, develop, and work with an array of sponsored and continuing projects and initiatives at AAC&U; and assist in developing and enhancing the use of online resources related to virtual meetings and events, and workflows. The Director will provide important support in data, budgetary, and programmatic administration to the OUSE team. The ideal candidate must have exceptional communication and organizational skills and be able to identify and implement creative solutions that will enable OUSE to realize its vision for growth and expansion. The Director will assist in maintaining a highly congenial work atmosphere. As such, the Director is a key factor in sustaining a spirit of collaboration in OUSE that foregrounds diversity and inclusion, discipline, a strong work ethic, and the care of self and others.

Major Duties and Responsibilities

  • Provide research support to the Office including: consultation on research designs (qualitative and quantitative), data collection and analysis, survey instrument development, interviews and focus groups (as appropriate), generation of charts and graphs for presentation and dissemination, organization of data and materials, and the development of reports (as appropriate).
  • Act as a liaison and maintain communication and correspondence with multiple stakeholder communities including AAC&U staff, nationally-recognized experts, consultants, and advisors
  • Provide high level logistical and implementation support for new and continuing initiatives
  • Conceptualize, generate and direct sponsored projects related to undergraduate STEM reform
  • Track budgetary expenditures, as appropriate, ensuring allowability and allocability
  • Communicate and partner with AAC&U staff regarding publications, databases, conferences, and other project-based activities
  • Write and edit materials for broad dissemination to multidisciplinary audiences
  • Other related duties as assigned

Required Qualifications

  • An earned doctorate in the Social/Behavioral Sciences, Higher Education, Evaluation, or related field
  • Experience with scholarship on the challenges of university culture and change in STEM higher education including, but not limited to: STEM teaching and learning, STEM faculty diversity, institutional change
  • Strong skills in contemporary research tools including, but not limited to QSR, NVivo, SPSS, Excel, or other statistical and data visualization software
  • Demonstrated evidence of commitment to inclusive excellence in STEM
  • Ability to work effectively with scholars across disciplines
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills; strong analytical skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills and high emotional intelligence
  • Superior communication skills and an ability to articulate a compelling message to multidisciplinary audiences
  • A clear understanding of and commitment to the values of AAC&U
  • Strong management skills, including the ability to lead teams and encourage initiative, teamwork, collaboration, and creative/innovative thinking
  • Sharp attention to detail with exceptional organizational, analytical, research, and critical thinking skills, including the ability to perform and complete a high volume of work assignments with speed and accuracy
  • Exceptional time management skills to meet deadlines and work under pressure

Application Instructions

Application materials should be forwarded to [email protected]. The deadline for applications is July 1, 2023. Review of applications will begin on June 9, 2023. Required materials to be submitted include: 1) a cover letter outlining qualifications, skills, and commitment to inclusive excellence; 2) most recent CV; and 3) contact information for three references.

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.