Great Plains IDEA (Interactive Distance Education Alliance) Executive Director

Manhattan KS
Jul 24, 2017
Executive Administration Jobs
C-Level & Executive Directors
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

General Description of Position: The Executive Director will oversee the work of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (Great Plains IDEA). The Great Plains IDEA is a multi‐institutional alliance that offers graduate and undergraduate distance education programs in the human sciences and agriculture. Under a contract with the Great Plains IDEA Cabinet, Kansas State University provides management services to Great Plains IDEA.  Additional information about Great Plains IDEA can be found at  The Executive Director will work directly with the Great Plains IDEA governing boards and the administrators and faculty of the 19 member universities along with the management team staff. 

This is a 12-month appointment.

Diversity and Inclusion: Kansas State University embraces diversity, and promotes inclusion in every sector of the institution. The university actively seeks candidates whose commitments and contributions will advance the University's commitment to the Principles of Community.  Job Description: The Executive Director will be responsible for overseeing the operations and administration of all aspects of the consortium in a manner consistent with the alliance principles of collaboration, shared leadership, and providing high quality distance education teaching and learning opportunities.  The Great Plains IDEA community includes university administration, colleges and academic departments, faculty, professional staff, and students.  The Executive Director will maintain working relationships with all these constituents, responding to information requests, providing consultation on alliance policy and procedures, facilitating communication and the open exchange of ideas, and decision making that supports delivery of alliance academic programs.

The Executive Director will be knowledgeable and able to perform at all levels of the alliance and must have the ability to anticipate needs, determine work priorities, and monitor progress toward goals.  Essential abilities include working in a highly collaborative environment, appreciating diverse points of view, and a proactive approach to management .  Areas of responsibility include financial management, day-to-day alliance operations, governance, program assessment and data analysis, and academic program support.  The position of Executive Director is located in the Kansas State University College of Human Ecology and reports to the Dean of the College. 


  1. Direct Great Plains IDEA operations
  • Hire, supervise and evaluate professional staff, graduate assistants, student employees.
  • Organize and facilitate communication among and between Cabinet, boards, inter institutional administrative teams, and faculty via listservs, conference calls, video conferencing and face-to-face meetings.
  • Coordinate consortium marketing activities through design and production of marketing materials, maintenance of consortium website and support for member institution marketing activities.
  • Direct operation and updating of secure student information system allowing exchange of data between member institutions.
  • Coordinate academic program assessment activities
  • Serve as first point of contact and respond to requests for information/assistance from prospective member institutions, current and prospective students, faculty, media.
  • Maintain archive of Great Plains IDEA records, historic documents, faculty credentials, course syllabi and other documents/data required for regional accreditation and/or institutional review of courses and curricula.
  • Facilitate and support Great Plains IDEA governance
    • Communicate effectively with the Boards and provide, in a timely and accurate manner, all information necessary for the Board to function properly and to make informed decisions.
    • Organize, develop agenda/supporting materials and attend all Cabinet, human sciences and agriculture board conference calls and meetings
    • Develop/revise and implement policy as directed by Cabinet and Boards
    • Coordinate annual and semi-annual meetings of Cabinet, boards and program faculty
    • Track and report on national policy issues that impact Great Plains IDEA.
    • Facilitate special subcommittees of the Cabinet and Boards of Directors to consider policy and special project or initiatives.
    • Implement special projects and initiatives of the Cabinet and Boards of Directors.
  • Direct Great Plains IDEA finances
    • Analyze enrollments of all member institutions and invoice member institutions for consortium share of revenue each semester.
    • Receive and deposit consortium funds and work with accounting staff to manage holding accounts, prepare semi annual and annual income and expenditure reports
    • Develop annual alliance operating budgets for approval by three consortium governing boards.
    • Direct activities involving expenditures and prepare Lead Institution budget and expenditure reports 2 times/yr.
    • Prepare revenue analysis by institution and by program showing distribution all consortium tuition received.
    • Organize annual conference call and prepare consortium data/financial reports for the Great Plains IDEA chief financial officers to recommend the consortium Common Price
  • Oversee academic program operations and provide support for consortium functional teams and other institutional participants
    • Coordinate and participate in all academic program conference calls.
    • Organize and participate in functional team (graduate deans, registrars, continuing education, disability support services) and department chair calls.
    • Develop student and faculty handbooks containing general consortium information and sections to be tailored to each program and institution.
    • Advise faculty and department chairs on alliance policy.
    • Conduct site visits to member campuses to provide orientation to new administrators and faculty.
    • Coordinate program assessment activities.
  • Determine and Direct data analysis and reporting
    • Direct the collection and analysis of data and prepare reports on demographics, enrollment trends, credit hour generation, and revenue distribution.
    • Prepare and present annual and semi-annual reports for Cabinet and boards.
    • Oversee collection and analysis of student survey data to support program improvement and inform alliance marketing activities.
    Required Minimum Qualifications:
    • Bachelor's Degree.
    • A minimum of 7 years of related work experience
    Preferred Qualifications:
    • Master's degree or Ph.D.
    • Minimum 3-5 years leadership and/or organizational management experience in higher education
    • Experience with online education as a student, teacher or other support role
    • Speak, listen and write in a clear, thorough and timely manner using appropriate and effective communication tools and techniques
    • Exceptional interpersonal skills in person, by phone and online
    • Demonstrated ability to organize complex projects, solve problems, and initiate and direct activities in a collaborative environment
    • Demonstrated ability at team/consensus building and facilitating dialog
    • Experience or coursework in higher education administration
    • Experience with higher education financial management, budget preparation
    • Creativity and innovation in building new higher education initiatives
    • Experience in website maintenance
    • Experience working with governing board
    • Knowledge/experience in educational technology
    • Understanding of best practices in online education
    Special Instructions to Applicants: Submit letter of interest, resume, and names, addresses and phone numbers of three references

    Please specify “Great Plains IDEA Executive Director” in the letter of interest.

    Screening of Applications Begins: Review of applications will begin August 24, 2017 and continue until position is filled.  

    For questions regarding the application process, contact Carol Hockersmith, or 785.532.1999.

    Salary Range / Pay Rate: $ 53,515 - $ 85,623 Annual Salary Equal Employment Opportunity: Kansas State University is an Equal Opportunity Employer of individuals with disabilities and protected veterans and actively seeks diversity among its employees. Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law.  Background Screening Statement: In connection with your application for employment, Kansas State University may procure a Background Screen on you as part of the process of considering your candidacy as an employee.