Regional Dean & CEO

Apr 10, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Northeastern University

Regional Dean & CEO

Requisition Number: STFR003596

Division/College: Professional Advancement Network

Location: Seattle Campus

Full-time/Part-time: Full Time


Five years ago, Northeastern University launched its Pacific Northwest presence, which quickly grew into a cornerstone of the University's ecosystem. In this period the campus progressed from concept into a well- respected regional brand. Northeastern is seeking an entrepreneurial, innovative, and dynamic leader to serve as the new Regional Dean & CEO and usher the Seattle campus into its next phase of development and impact.

Moving beyond the traditional boundaries of place to reimagine both education and the workforce in the 21st century, Northeastern's regional campuses and learning hubs will provide targeted advanced degree programs and research solutions that are uniquely in tune with the growth, economic development and talent needs of the region.

The Seattle campus is one of four regional sites in a highly selective series of growing global network campus presences for Northeastern. These sites are grounded in the industry and the economic development needs of the local regions they serve, while offering students unprecedented network access and flexibility through a multi-dimensional platform for learning that includes experiential, on-line and hybrid delivery formats. Seattle partners and professionals will become part of the interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial ecosystem that currently consists of the University's constellation of campuses, over 3,000 corporate, government, and nonprofit co-op partners spanning 160 cities and 90 nations, and 225,000 alumni across 150 countries.

Northeastern University, a private university with its main campus in Boston, MA, is an established leader in experiential education, urban engagement and interdisciplinary research. The Northeastern approach to learning is grounded in the University's signature cooperative education program that integrates the academic experience with real world professional experience. Northeastern is at the cutting edge of how education is changing at both undergraduate and graduate levels, and currently offers students opportunities for professional work, research, service, and global learning on seven continents and through multiple platforms. The quality of Northeastern's research and learning enterprise together with its growing global learning network is yielding groundbreaking commercial solutions to global challenges in areas such as affective science, nanotechnology, cybersecurity, threat detection, drug discovery and delivery, healthcare management and policy, health informatics, and urban coastal sustainability.

Despite the Seattle region's industry diversity, stature as a national leader in venture capital investment, and history of private/public partnership with leading educational institutions, the demand for qualified workers remains unmet. This is particularly acute at the graduate degree level and across emerging fields. Further, the Puget Sound region exists within limited traffic corridors, and continues to experience an influx of technology and global companies, requiring a differentiated solution: a campus that offers students access to a convenient and flexible learning platform while directly fulfilling industry needs. The Seattle campus will foster a lifelong community and source of opportunity for Northeastern students while also serving as a driver for economic development in the geographic regions they serve.

The Opportunity

The Regional Dean & CEO will provide the strategic vision and leadership to chart the course in the Seattle community for the University's successful development of a center for experiential learning that is uniquely in tune with evolving industry needs in the region. The Regional Dean will build upon established relationships at its campus and will connect Northeastern University's unique online and hybrid education programs to the needs of the region's workforce.

The Regional Dean will report to the CEO of the Professional Advancement Network and collaborate closely with University academic leadership while working hand in hand with industry leadership in partner companies. S/he will serve as chief campus executive and will lead a lean but strong administrative team to meet the needs of the enterprise in a way that is both business savvy and attuned to market forces and education needs in the region as they develop. The Regional Dean will be the face of Northeastern University in regional business development and marketing and community outreach.

The ideal candidate will be an entrepreneurial and strategic thinker with an aptitude for business development and excellent financial, facility, and operational management experience. S/he will be comfortable with and excited by ambiguity as an element of opportunity in a newly established campus, and s/he will have the gravitas to represent and build a strong, innovative platform for the University in Seattle. The ideal candidate will have at least seven to ten years of relevant leadership experience, the ability to interact and maintain strong relationships with multiple stakeholders, and inspired by work in a complex and continuously evolving environment. A substantial record of building successful ventures, within any industry, is strongly preferred. A prior history in higher education is optional, although understanding and appreciation for the value of and importance of rigor in the academic process is a must.


About Northeastern University

Founded in 1898 with a main campus in Boston, Massachusetts, Northeastern University has grown into one of the country's most prominent global experiential, research universities. Through nearly 100 undergraduate and
167 graduate programs in 9 schools and colleges, Northeastern brings over a century of experience and
leadership to deliver transformative opportunities for our students and inspire them to delve deeper, sharpen their focus, and pursue greater academic challenges. Northeastern's worldwide network extends to 160 cities and 85 nations and more than 3,000 employers are actively seeking Northeastern students for co-op and full- time positions each year.

Northeastern's curriculum integrates classroom learning with real-world professional experience and is both grounded in the University's signature cooperative education program (co-op) and inspired by a rapidly growing interdisciplinary research enterprise and expanding global profile. This approach creates a unique environment - a living laboratory, in which Northeastern faculty, administrators, students, alumni, and co-op partners are afforded unprecedented opportunities to experiment with 21st century learning approaches, interdisciplinary collaboration, an immersive curriculum, and opportunities to network across discipline, affinity and geography.

A market leader and pioneer, Northeastern piloted distance learning delivery modes in the 1970s and launched its first online degrees in 2003, long before other prominent educational institutions began their online programs. Now the University enjoys an enrollment of more than 15,400 online and hybrid students and a portfolio of 100+

online degrees and certificates making Northeastern's offering the most comprehensive online degree portfolio and the largest scale student enrollment of any private research university in the country. Northeastern remains one of only three institutions of this type among the 40 largest providers of online education.

The University is well-positioned to set the precedent for what a modern university looks like and to influence the national conversation regarding higher education that centers on value proposition, affordability, relevance, and evaluation. Expanding upon its market attuned posture and applied learning approach, Northeastern continues to diversify and grow its graduate and continuing education offerings as seen through significant investments in its research initiatives, online learning, professional certifications, and the opening of new graduate- focused campuses in Charlotte, NC; Seattle, WA; Toronto, Canada as well as a learning hub in Silicon Valley. This accelerating momentum can be felt in every corner of its campus, nationally, and around the world.

Northeastern's vision is to translate its current national market leadership in the U.S. to become the global leader in professional experiential graduate education by creating a research university that leverages the competitive advantage of presence and exists across a network of global sites. This goal and strategic focus is guided by Northeastern University's mission, vision, and academic plan, which call for expanding the meaning and impact of the university's engagement with the world and being a positive force for change in local communities and global society.

Professional Advancement Network

Northeastern's strategy in building the Professional Advancement Network has been focused on driving value and distinction in its educational programming, through strategic investments in programs, pedagogy, and place. The Professional Advancement Network makes possible the infrastructure needed to extend the university's impact and relationships into new regions, from educational programming to cooperative education and employer and research relationships - both in service of these new regions and in strengthening the power of the network and the University's home campus in Boston.

Conceived as an infrastructure for innovation, the Professional Advancement Network is a coalescence of the University's collective efforts in market expansion, regional campus development, and online experiential learning. Partnering with Northeastern's colleges as the programs' academic home, the Network is a business engine to innovate, accelerate, and scale experiential professional programming.

The Professional Advancement Network team researches programs in demand through partnership with industry then develops and markets those programs with a unique focus on experiential learning, a learner- centric approach, and delivery that is networked and hybrid. Northeastern's cooperative education model (which rotates periods of study with paid, full-time work experiences) is established as its signature approach to experiential learning. However, through its' Network strategy and infrastructure, Northeastern is pioneering new approaches to experiential learning for working professionals and adult students. Program development/curriculum design is informed by industry experts and carefully matched to the market, and new integrations with experience exist across the program, course, and service levels.

The university's investment in “place” - or physical presence - deepens impact and grows enrollment, as well as enables hybrid delivery. Regional campuses in Charlotte, Seattle, and Toronto and an educational hub in Silicon Valley, have grown to support working professionals in the region and become destination campuses for targeted graduate programs. Together, these sites serve over 1,000 students, driven by a portfolio of more than 30 unique professional graduate programs across eight colleges. For these graduate students, the Professional Advancement Network also represents a unique benefit to a Northeastern education. Offering lifetime value, the Professional Advancement Network provides access to thousands of corporate partners, alums, and faculty.

As the Network strategy gains momentum, the University is diversifying its business model and market
entry strategies, considering various forms of geo-targeted marketing and lean presence; “learning hubs”; and partnerships housed in corporate anchor partners, in addition to the creation of full-fledged branch campuses.


Challenges & Opportunities Facing the Regional Dean

As the leader of Northeastern University's Seattle campus, the Regional Dean will be responsible for all aspects of strategic planning, human resources, and financial and operational management and will serve as Northeastern's face in the region representing the Northeastern brand in regional business development, marketing, community outreach, communications, and public relations. Specific challenges and opportunities for the Regional Dean include:

Executive and hands-on leadership for the Seattle campus

The Regional Dean will lead a high-functioning local administrative and strategy team that will continue to grow and evolve the campus. In addition to strategic leadership in the region and thought partnership with the Professional Advancement Network team in Boston, the Regional Dean will oversee day-to-day operations and shape the university's strategy and evolving impact and programming in the community. S/he must ensure detailed fiscal management and effective budgetary oversight for enrollment activities and campus operational metrics. S/he will also be a key voice of leadership together with the University President, Provost, CEO of the Professional Advancement Network, Vice Presidents, Deans, and other senior leaders in the development of the Professional Advancement Network concept and the campus' role in its development.

Business development and marketing

The Regional Dean will be a prominent figure in Seattle's industry and educational communities and will forge and nurture strategic partnerships throughout the region that support the growing and continued success of Northeastern's program development, and drive student enrollment. This includes continuing to raise awareness of Northeastern's unique brand in the region and working directly with industry executives to ensure Northeastern programs are evolving to meet the needs of their workforce. The Regional Dean will be a key figure in ensuring that the dialogue with industry is inspiring innovation on both sides and contributes to the greater vision of, and opportunities for the Network as it expands the set of interconnected sites.

Program oversight

While the Regional Dean's academic responsibilities are indirect, s/he must maintain an environment and culture of the highest academic rigor and will consult regularly with the University's academic and program leadership on faculty matters, program quality, and curricular issues. S/he will supervise the on-site program delivery and ensure programs are meeting student and industry needs. The Regional Dean will have opportunities together with the College Deans to monitor academics, to communicate opportunities for innovation and areas of concern, and to maintain the consistent level of quality educational delivery expected throughout the University.


Qualifications of the Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate for the Regional Dean & CEO position will have the following personal characteristics and professional experiences:

• At least 7-10 years demonstrated entrepreneurial passion, acumen and experience; ability to explore business opportunities in a structured yet iterative way;
• A relevant graduate degree;
• The ability to champion an innovation culture;
• A strong sense of urgency and ability to test fast, learn fast, and fail fast while maintaining a strategic mindset;
• The ability to pair strategic thought and planning with exceptional execution, and the ability to connect disparate information and trends to identify new areas for opportunity;
• Significant experience communicating effectively to senior leaders;
• A high level of intellectual curiosity and comfort with ambiguity;
• Strong managerial experience with excellent organization and people skills and the ability to set priorities, problem-solve, and multi-task;
• Ability to act as a change agent and align teams on new ideas and new ways of working;
• The proven leadership to build a strong team and the ability to identify, attract and retain talent.
• A talent for motivating diverse groups of individuals and managing through ambiguity and uncertainty to drive results;
• Exemplary interpersonal and organizational skills, the ability to work in a complex, rapidly, and continuously evolving environment and a deep understanding of how to motivate and engage multiple constituents and stake holders;
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills and the ability to interact with all types of individuals;
• The ability to both command the spotlight and the savvy and modesty to know when best to direct it elsewhere;
• The ability to travel extensively throughout the region and occasionally to other Northeastern sites;
• A sense of adventure, fun, and humor that can enhance the culture and raise the elevation of the team both on the ground in the Seattle region and throughout the Professional Advancement Network.

Northeastern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Educational Institution and Employer, Title IX University. Northeastern University particularly welcomes applications from minorities, women and persons with disabilities. Northeastern University is an E-Verify Employer.

Additional Information:

To be considered for this position please visit our web site and apply on line at the following link: Careers@Northeastern

Northeastern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Educational Institution and Employer, Title IX University. Northeastern University particularly welcomes applications from minorities, women and persons with disabilities. Northeastern University is an E-Verify Employer.


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