Open Position

Program Associate, Diversity, Equity, and Student Success (DESS)

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 DESS Program Associate is responsible for providing administrative and program support for AAC&U Institutes sponsored by DESS, the DESS conference, and grant-funded initiatives. These include the Institutes on High-Impact Practices and Student Success, the Institute on Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) Campus Centers, the Diversity, Equity and Student Success Conference, and the TRHT Campus Centers.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Assist with the logistics and provide administrative support for the summer institutes on HIPs and Student Success and TRHT Campus Centers, the DESS conference, and DESS sponsored projects;
  • Manage the data entry responsibilities for DESS programs, projects, and activities;
  • Assist with communications with institute faculty, mentors, and participants, speakers, conference attendees, and sponsored projects participants;
  • Edit programs, brochures, correspondence, and other written materials;
  • Maintain DESS web pages;
  • Process expense reimbursements and invoices;
  • Assist with budget reconciliation;
  • Maintain and organize DESS electronic files;
  • Collaborate with other DESS staff and internal offices on the logistics and programs for DESS;
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Excellent organizational, oral and written communication, and editing skills
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Strong computer skills and database management skills, including MS Office suite
  • Outstanding attention to detail, with understanding of larger contexts
  • Experience working with diverse populations
  • Dependable, flexible, and can maintain confidentiality
  • Experience maintaining and monitoring budgets
  • An understanding of and commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Ability to work both collaboratively, as a member of a team, and independently to accomplish goals
  • Effective time management skills with the ability to balance and set priorities among many tasks and meet deadlines
  • Self-directed ability to thrive in a fast-paced advocacy organization at the center of higher education reform

At least 2-3 years of work experience in higher education and/or event and project management. A bachelor’s degree is also required, and a master’s degree is plus.

Salary commensurate with experience; plus exceptional benefits. Please submit a résumé, a cover letter describing relevant work experience, and salary requirements to AAC&U, Attn: DESS, 1818 R Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009, or to [email protected]. The application review process will remain ongoing through August 4, 2023.

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.