PLACE Collaboratory Project Coordinator: Bringing Theory to Practice

(In partnership with the Association of American Colleges and Universities)

Position Type: Part time term employee (20 hours/week), with benefits
Deadline to apply: Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Anticipated Start Date: Early August, 2019

Project Summary

Bringing Theory to Practice (BTtoP) is a national higher education initiative, hosted by and in partnership with the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). BTtoP’s work is grounded in three commitments: that undergraduate education should be holistic and transformative; that “educating the whole student” must include students of all backgrounds and interests; and that the first two commitments require significant change in higher education. BTtoP advances this mission through innovative practice, research, advocacy, and institutional change.

BTtoP has received a two-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support a new project titled the PLACE Collaboratory. PLACE (Partnerships for Listening and Action by Communities and Educators) brings together a network of academic-community partnerships involving eleven colleges, community colleges, and universities in four communities (Newark, Baltimore, Greensboro, and Los Angeles). The partnerships will use public-humanities and public-cultural projects to help set public agendas grounded in community voice. Some partnerships will be anchored by a single university; in others, multiple institutions will join together in regional collaboration. All the partnerships will involve undergraduates as key participants, culture-makers, and often cultural brokers.

PLACE will work as a committee of the whole, communicating regularly and convening twice a year to define shared goals and values, confront common challenges, and learn together. The goal of the local projects will be to develop action plans grounded in community voice and enabled by academic-community partnership. The goal of the larger collaboratory will be to distill best practices for authentic partnerships, to model the role of the humanities in sustaining them, and to use networked collaboration to disseminate them across higher education.

Position Summary

The PLACE Project Coordinator (PC) will be responsible for managing the workings of the PLACE Collaboratory and coordinating relationships among the participating institutions and community partnerships. The PC will work closely with and report to the Principal Investigator for the collaboratory and Director of BTtoP.

The PC must have the project management skills to effectively and efficiently coordinate a network of academic-community partnerships that spans four communities and eleven institutions in different regions across the United States. The PC will take the lead in sustaining ongoing communications among participants, organizing twice-yearly network convenings, and documenting the development and distilling the learnings of the network. In addition to these organizational tasks, the Project Coordinator will play a key role in building a community of practice based on inclusive relationships and shared agenda-setting among diverse stakeholders. The PC must be knowledgeable about and effective at supporting equitable academic-community partnerships. The PC will ideally have informed interest, if not expertise, in public-cultural and public-humanities practices. Patience, problem-solving, a sense of humor, and a sense of joy are also desirable.


  1. Assisting the BTtoP Director and BTtoP staff in guiding and managing the PLACE collaboratory.
  2. General administration of the collaboratory, including budget, documentation, and grant reporting.
  3. Building the capacity of the network community and sustaining relationships among participants.
  4. Overseeing regular digital communications among participants.
  5. Planning and implementing twice-yearly, multi-day meetings of the collaboratory.
  6. Working with BTtoP Director and network participants to produce grant reports and public deliverables about project outcomes.


  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Experience in higher education, community organizations, or cultural organizations strongly encouraged.
  • Ability to work effectively with diverse communities and in diverse academic settings.
  • Ability to manage a complex, multi-partner project, including ability to meet deadlines, manage time effectively, follow through, anticipate emerging needs and problems, and combine big-picture thinking with attention to detail.
  • Excellent communication and writing skills.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite and capacity to learn and use digital communications platforms.
  • Strong interpersonal skills engaging with a wide range of stakeholders and cultures.
  • Demonstrated interest in higher education, student learning, and community engagement.
  • Preference will be given to candidates with experience in project coordination and community building, especially involving cultural and humanities work.

BTtoP’s office is located within the Association of American Colleges and Universities, located at 1818 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20009. The PLACE Collaboratory partnerships are located across the country, and occasional travel will be required for this position. All work-related travel expenses are covered by the Project.

Please send resume, cover letter and salary requirements to and write “PLACE Project Coordinator Application” in the subject line.

BTtoP and AAC&U believe 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.