USM Career Opportunities

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Executive Director, Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation


Purpose of Position

The Executive Director is charged with cultivating an innovative, learner-centered culture across all institutions within the University System of Maryland (USM). The position redefines academic innovation from being a supplementary activity to being essential for student success. The Executive Director is responsible for strengthening institutional capacity for scalability, maintaining transformative models of academic innovation and student success, and leading statewide initiatives that both harness the advantages of the collective system and engage key stakeholders in the efforts.


Strategic Program Development:

  • Develops short-term and long-term strategic plans for the USM’s academic innovation and student success efforts, including the program agenda and funding model.
  • Engages in fundraising and grant-writing activities to solicit extramural support for the Kirwan Center.
  • Establishes and implements a research and evaluation agenda that will inform all Center activities and institutional innovations and establish the USM as a national leader in higher education academic and student success reform.
  • Develops opportunities for enhancing the use of analytics to inform decision-making and strategic programs.
  • Capitalizes on recent findings from the learning sciences and the capabilities of emerging technologies and develops initiatives to increase postsecondary access, affordability, and achievement.
  • Identifies best practices for academic innovation and student success and facilitates efforts to take them to scale across USM institutions.
  • Advances diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, particularly as they pertain to the role of faculty in supporting success for all learners.

Institutional Outreach and Support:

  • Facilitates campus-level academic and student success innovations, promotes effective data analytics approaches, and provides leadership for the integration of new approaches to learning into traditional program offerings.
  • Develops and facilitates evidence-based professional development programs to build capacity at USM institutions to disseminate best practices in increasing student success and reducing costs of higher education.
  • Leads efforts to address “academic E&E” within the USM and develops ROI funding models that sustain core services, support innovation, and facilitate growth.

Office Operations:

  • Negotiates and maintains contracts, procurements, and MOUs for initiatives that involve third-party service providers.
  • Responds to inquiries from internal and external audiences (Regents, legislators, MHEC) on issues related to academic innovation and student success.
  • Actively participates in Academic and Student Affairs leadership team meetings and projects.



Required Education Level/Certifications:

Terminal degree in a relevant academic discipline required.

Required Experience:

Significant experience working in a higher education teaching and learning setting. Experience with leading higher education initiatives, preferably across multiple institutions or at the system level. Experience in the design and delivery of faculty professional development programs.

Required Knowledge/Skills/Abilities:

Knowledge of existing and emerging models for academic innovation and student success. Proven record in designing and implementing research and evaluation studies. Excellent leadership skills with a demonstrated ability to effectively communicate with a diversity of stakeholders. Strong analytical, writing, and organizational skills.



Preferred Education Level/Certifications:

Doctoral degree

Preferred Experience:

Experience leading grant-funded programs.

Preferred Knowledge/Skills/Abilities:

Ability to secure grants.


Classification: Regular

FLSA Status: Exempt

Hours: FT

Salary: $175,000 – $200,000

Benefits: Exempt Benefits Summary: includes full medical, dental and vision benefits, tuition remission at any of the 12 USM institutions, a generous leave plan, and the option to telework for part of the week.

Application Instructions: Please combine your cover letter and resume into one PDF or Microsoft Word document and send to the following email address:

The University System of Maryland is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin or ancestry, marital status, veteran status, physical or mental disability unrelated to an individual's ability to perform the job, in accordance with applicable law. As required by the 1986 Immigration Act, applicants should be prepared to present acceptable documentation showing their identities, their U.S. citizenship or alien status, and their authorization to work in the United States.

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