Director of Research and Data Policy

Washington D.C.
Up to $95,000 per year + benefits
Jul 28, 2017
Research and Policy Analysis
Jobs Outside Higher Education
Non-Profit Organizations & Associations
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The Director of Research and Data Policy provides leadership in the development and application of research, policy, and analyses to support APLU initiatives, priorities, and advocacy with a focus on national data policy, metrics and analytics, information literacy, and the use of evidence to guide decision-making.  The Director serves as the primary point of contact for the APLU Commission on Information, Measurement, and Analysis.

The Director works within Office of Research & Policy Analysis and reports to the Vice President of Research & Policy Analysis.  As part of the Research & Policy Analysis team, the director routinely collaborates with other APLU offices and maintains in close contact with the President’s office and the Office of Academic Affairs.


The Director provides research, policy analysis, and information services to guide APLU initiatives, advocacy, and internal operations as a member of the Research & Policy Analysis team.  The Director’s areas of expertise are focused on the effective development and application of research, analytic tools, and evidence to inform higher education decision making as reflected in academic research, campus practice, and public policy. The position’s primary duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The Director will contribute to APLU activities and advocacy through a broad understanding of research, practices, and policies and their impact on data capacity, knowledge, measurement, tools, and decision-making at public universities - for example, the shortcomings of the national data infrastructure; closing opportunity and achievement gaps for underrepresented students; the value of postsecondary education; and post-collegiate outcomes.
  • The Director will help support the Commission on Information, Measurement and Analysis (CIMA) to support and guide activities, including a summer meeting and programming at the APLU annual meeting. (The Commission is one of the organizational commissions of APLU and brings together senior campus leaders around issues such as data governance, the ethical use of predictive analytics, and linking student outcomes and cost data to judge program effectiveness.)
  • The Director will remain current on significant research, trends, and practices related to national data policy, institutional research and effectiveness; assessment and program evaluation, information technology and analytics; and data literacy at public universities and be able to evaluate the potential impact on APLU member institutions.  This will be accomplished through activities such as scanning the higher education and national press, participation in national organizations, and attending events and seminars offered by the DC research/policy community.The Director will build and maintain relationship with national experts and professional organizations in appropriate areas, such as institutional research/effectiveness, higher education research, academic affairs, assessment, enrollment management, and financial aid as well as represent APLU within the broader higher education community.
  • The Director will guide and direct the implementation and development of new data products, services, and tools related to the Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA) in collaboration with the Data Analytics Manager, the advisory committees, and advisory committees. 
  • The Director will contribute to APLU efforts to improve the data capacity and utilization of minority-serving and urban-serving universities to increase student success and close achievement gaps in collaboration with other APLU offices, including the Office of Access and Success and the Office of Urban Serving Universities.
  • The Director will support the Offices of Congressional and Governmental Affairs and Public Affairs in monitoring legislative and regulatory developments related to data policy and measurement, and provide research and analysis to create informational campaigns as well as inform public discussions and policy outcomes. The Director will contribute as requested to ongoing office projects such as Project Degree Completion and the NSF INCLUDES project to increase the diversity of STEM faculty.
  • The Director will work in consultation with Vice Presidents/Directors to establish and strengthen external partnerships as well as seek external funding in support of new projects and initiatives. 


The ideal candidate possesses a solid understanding and familiarity with research, policies, and activities at public universities related to the strategic use of data, information, technology, and analytics as part of effective decision-making.  The individual can analyze, interpret, evaluate, and summarize information, excellent communication skills, and strong research-based computing skills. He/she must be creative, analytical, highly organized, a self-starter, and work both independently and collaboratively.


  • Strong interest in working in an action-oriented, collaborative environment that emphasizes initiative, problem-solving, rigor, and critical thinking
  • A graduate degree in higher education or related field
  • Three to five years of professional experience on a college campus or within a university system working in institutional research/effectiveness or data analytic
  • High degree of familiarity and demonstrated ability to utilize education-related data sources at the local, state, and/or national level to answer key questions and analyze higher education trends
  • Demonstrated familiarity with current campus and national data policy issues and innovative practices in higher education
  • Demonstrated understanding and application of policy and data analysis principles and practices
  • Excellent qualitative and quantitative research skills with experience in using a range of research techniques
  • Ability to translate complex issues into easily understandable formats (written and verbal) for a range of stakeholder audiences
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including public speaking skills, listening and information processing and synthesizing skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Willingness and ability to travel several times per year


  • Leadership experience on a public university campus or system
  • Experience with large-scale datasets and competency in the use of one or more statistical programs
  • Familiarity with the federal legislative process and political environment
  • Record of securing grant funding and meeting grant timelines and deliverables within budget


APLU is a research, policy, and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.  With a membership of 235 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and affiliated organizations, APLU's agenda is built on the three pillars of increasing degree completion and academic success, advancing scientific research, and expanding engagement.   Annually, member campuses enroll 4.9 million undergraduates and 1.3 million graduate students, award 1.2 million degrees, employ 1.3 million faculty and staff, and conduct $43.8 billion in university-based research.


Please send a cover letter and resume along with two writing samples to APLU’s Human Resources Department: with the subject line: “Director, Research and Data Policy.”

Salary range is $90,000 to $95,000 and is commensurate with experience.   APLU provides a generous benefits package.  For more information on APLU, please visit

APLU is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.

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