The Director, Graduate Education Policy Office oversees the Graduate School’s Graduate Education Policy Office. The position serves as the Graduate School’s liaison with policy professionals across the U of M system to ensure that the University’s graduate education-specific policies, and broader University policies that impact the graduate education community, are in alignment with University and Graduate School missions and strategic priorities.
The Director is the policy contact for the University’s system-wide graduate education policies, advising the University community on the application of policy to practice ranging from day-to-day policy interpretation to guidance regarding student academic grievances and the University’s student conflict resolution process. As co-contact for a number of broader University policies, the Director collaborates with policy colleagues system wide to provide policy interpretation and assistance as needed to the University community.
The Director supports the advancement of graduate education by providing administrative oversight (research and analysis, development, management, and review) of and advocacy for system-wide graduate education policies, and through collaboration with other policy professionals to ensure broader University policies recognize the different needs and expectations of the graduate education community.
The Director serves as a primary resource to high-level college administrators, faculty, and collegiate and program staff regarding proposals to create, change, and/or discontinue graduate-level programs, minors, and certificates, providing in collaboration with the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost counsel from initial proposal development through review and recommendation to the Board of Regents for final action. The Director provides policy interpretation and consultation regarding the application of policy to student-specific situations.
As a key member of the Graduate School’s leadership team, the Director may represent the Vice Provost and Dean in policy discussions, governance, and at national conferences. The Director may manage staff and graduate/undergraduate assistants.
This is a 100%, 12-month annually renewalbe position in academic professional series (classification 9764S3).
JOB DUTIES: Lead the development, implementation, and revision of core University graduate education policies, utilizing original policy research and analysis, review of federal, state, and University regulations, and comparisons with approaches to resolution of policy issues at other universities. Develop recordkeeping procedures, and manage appropriate records and policy documentation in accordance with applicable regulations, policies, and standards. Measure the effectiveness of graduate education policy work/initiatives.
1. Provide comprehensive consultation, including recommended outcomes to the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost (EVPP), regarding proposals for new, changed, and discontinued system-wide graduate-level programs, certificates, and minors. Review and update university webpages to ensure program, unit and academic information is accurate, and appropriately evaluated for quality assurance (25%):
Advise the EVPP on related critical aspects of review and process in consideration and recommendation of approval and denial actions.
Consult with and advise the University community, including faculty, academic leaders and professional staff on best practices related to proposal development and Graduate School and University policies related to new, changed, and discontinuing programs and certificates.
2. Oversee and conduct the Graduate School’s Conflict Resolution and Grievance Processes (30%):
Assist colleges in cultivating an academic culture of ethical behavior, positivity, professionalism, satisfaction, and productivity: provide faculty, Directors of Graduate Studies and Graduate Program Coordinators consultation on Graduate School policies and procedures related to graduate student progress including decisions on academic petitions from graduate students, In Absentia and general petitions, Leaves of Absence, withdrawals and all other issues related to academic and/or personal difficulties affecting academic progress.
Provide consultation on academic integrity matters; graduate curriculum and registration processes including working with the Office of the General Counsel and a broad range of other offices on matters related to graduate student academic progress
Mediate graduate student academic complaints
Act on behalf of the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Education (Vice Provost) concerning the resolution of student academic complaints.
Work with the relevant units/individuals to implement sanctions on behalf of the Graduate School.
Advise and work with faculty DGSs, individual faculty, and GPCs to provide guidance on complicated student cases. Assist the DGSs with conflict resolution, case management, and securing the appropriate resources from across campus to address particular situations.
Serve as liaison to grievance and conflict resolution bodies on campus such as Office of Community Standards, and the Academic Integrity Hearing Board (AIHB), providing information to faculty and graduate students about academic integrity violations related to student academic programs
3. Graduate School Policies and Governance. Serve as policy contact for University’s graduate education policies and those that span undergraduate and graduate education (10%):
Interpret policies and provide counsel regarding appropriate courses of action
Consult with collegiate leadership to inform their development of collegiate level graduate education policies
Lead and actively participate in the University’s required comprehensive policy review of graduate education policies.
Review and propose revisions based on feedback from constituents, including but not limited to other policy contacts, the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, the Office of Undergraduate Education, Academic Support Resources, Equity Lens Committee, college and graduate program staff, and graduate students.
Present proposed revisions to the Senate Committee for Educational Policy, the Faculty Consultative Committee, Policy Advisory Committee, and President’s Policy Committee, and revise policies as needed per feedback.
Lead and play an active role in the development of new graduate education policies, following the process outlined above.
Collaborate with the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost and Office of Undergraduate Education regarding shared undergraduate/graduate policies under comprehensive review and the development of new policies that impact undergraduate and graduate education communities.
Create graduate education policy guides for use by students, professional staff, and academic leaders.
Provide oversight and input regarding policy implementation including development of related business processes and forms.
4. Provide leadership and management of and collaboration on critical Graduate School and University programming, resources, initiatives and programs that foster an excellent graduate student experience (25%):
Review and approve curriculum proposals at the Graduate/Provostal level to ensure compliance with University policy and provide consultation on curriculum clarity. Utilize University’s approval system to review graduate education programs, minors, and certificates.
Support the University’s implementation of the University’s online degree audit system, the Graduate Planning and Audit System (GPAS). Review curriculum programs to ensure requirements are documented and clarified for accurate representation in GPAS.
Lead the University’s Graduate Education Biennial Catalog Update including setting deadlines for colleges and schools and programs; review of catalog proposals; and approving the final Catalog.
Provide leadership and or partnership on key initiatives and committees such as Graduate School Advising Initiative (GSAI); Academic Advising project; Directors of Graduate Studies (DGSs) Orientation; Graduate School New Student Orientation; Special-topic Workshops (Lead); Residency Appeals Committee; International Travel Risk Assessment and Advisory Committee (ITRAAC); University Dignity Project; Behavior Consultation Team; University Degree Catalog Project
5. Advise the Vice Provost and Dean and represent the Graduate School on the wide range of issues impacting graduate student progress and success (10%):
Actively promote and support diversity, equity and inclusion in all areas of graduate education
Be informed in and responsive to strategy and communication regarding policy developments that impact graduate education, and present opportunities for the Graduate School to take a leadership role.
Assist with strategic planning, preparation of written communications and public presentations for the Dean’s office, recommend story ideas and collaborate with the strategic communications coordinator to ensure relevant stories about interdisciplinary graduate education/graduate students are publicized. Develop content related to graduate student support for the Graduate School’s website
Provide support to governance committees including coordinating/executing the actions or decisions of Committees.
Present the unit’s initiatives related to graduate student affairs with key stakeholder committee meetings (e.g., Senate Committee on Educational Policy, Graduate Education Advisory Board , and liaise with graduate programs in order to encourage consistency in the quality of graduate student support.
Regularly collaborate with the offices of the Vice Chancellor for Graduate Education at Duluth.
Represent the Graduate School and graduate student interests through memberships on various boards and committees and regularly attend governance and administrative meetings to keep abreast of issues impacting graduate students’ education, academic and professional, and social support.
Attend national and regional meetings of the Council of Graduate Schools and the Big Ten Academic Alliance, and present on work related to advancing graduate education, and a positive graduate student experience .
Perform additional duties assigned by the Vice Provost and Dean, which may include a wide range of administrative roles and key academic support to advance the Graduate School’s strategic goals for graduate education, as outlined in the Graduate School’s Strategic Plan.
Bachelor's degree and 10 years of related work experience in post-baccalaureate education, or public organization setting or a Master'd degree and 8 years of related work experience in post-baccalaureate education, or public organization setting
Demonstrated track record of actively promoting and supporting diversity, equity and inclusion
Strong understanding of academic policies, procedures and culture and demonstrated experience consulting with students and graduate faculty on highly complex, confidential matters
Excellent oral, written and interpersonal communication skills and ability to communicate effectively with multiple and diverse constituents
Ability to evaluate and edit the content, structure, and format of a range of written material.
Experience working independently and demonstrated success working collegially and collaboratively across organizational boundaries, and building effective working relationships
Strong planning, analytical and problem-solving experience. Strong records-maintenance skills
Versatile and adaptable, able to work effectively in ambiguous situations and navigate complex environments
Verifiable record of accomplishment that includes evidence of leading complex projects and initiatives; building consensus among diverse constituencies; promoting high standards of academic excellence, ethics and integrity
Master's degree and 8+ years of related work experience in post-baccalaureate education, or public organization setting
Understanding of post-baccalaureate education at the University of Minnesota and in a national context
Solid understanding of national and global issues and trends affecting graduate education, particularly with respect to preparing graduate students for 21st-century careers, graduate student-centered wellness and safety issues, and graduate student behavioral expectations and professionalism.
Appreciation for the challenges of interdisciplinary scholarship
The University of Minnesota, founded in the belief that all people are enriched by understanding, is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth; to the sharing of this knowledge through education for a diverse community; and to the application of this knowledge to benefit the people of the state, the nation, and the world.