Senior Project Manager, University Development

Salt Lake City, UT
Mar 22, 2018
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
Senior Project Manager, University Development

The University Development team, under the leadership of the Senior Vice President, University Development leads new strategic operational and organizational initiatives.

The individual in this role manages team projects from inception through completion to optimize the performance of the team in executing major initiatives. These often complex, strategic projects frequently include stakeholders and contributors from external organizations and across multiple internal departments and levels. The senior project manager stays informed on projects within the team and ensures project management best practices are selected, adapted, or created; used consistently; and improved continuously. The senior project manager monitors and reports project status—including risks, issues affecting project schedules, and milestone achievements—to stakeholders and departmental leadership. The individual develops project plans and schedules and ensures projects meet departmental requirements, standards, policies, and deadlines. The senior project manager is expected to keep fully informed of departmental strategies and priorities and effectively influence the work of project team members in line with those priorities.

This individual—a thought leader in the organization—is a go-to person at the team, function, and organizational level and is well networked in the organization. She or he may contribute to the development of company practices, methods, designs, and/or future internal products or technologies in project management.

The senior project manager exemplifies our leadership principles of being student obsessed, fostering innovation, constantly learning, inspiring and developing others, taking ownership, delivering results, and acting with urgency, managerial courage, and integrity.

About WGU

WGU is re-invigorating the promise of higher education by improving quality, expanding access, and tailoring delivery to learner needs through online, competency-based degree programs. WGU has flourished into a national university, serving 90,000+ students from all 50 states while receiving numerous accolades and recognition from Fast Company's 50 Most Innovative Companies to #1 NCTQ Teacher Prep Ranking to Center of Excellence for Nursing Education recognition by NLN.

The university continues to open doors for learners from all backgrounds who need flexibility and affordability to achieve their education and career goals. WGU’s innovative competency-based academic approach makes it possible by allowing individuals to fit their education into their lives, not the other way around.

WGU was founded by the governors of 19 U.S. states and is supported by over 20 major corporations and foundations that believe in WGU’s commitment to producing highly competent graduates.

Job Responsibilities

  • Manages all phases of assigned projects (i.e., initiating, planning, executing, monitoring/controlling, and closing)
  • Keeps stakeholders and departmental leadership informed of project statuses, including, but not limited to, milestone achievements, toll gate progress, risks, and any issues that may adversely affect project schedules
  • Keeps project management records and systems accurate and up to date
  • Produces timely and accurate reports as directed
  • Develops realistic project plans and schedules by analyzing organizational process assets, enterprise environmental factors, task dependencies, resource requirements, work breakdown, and departmental strategy and priorities
  • Ensures projects meet organizational standards and are managed in accordance with applicable policies, processes, and procedures
  • Documents project deliverables, outputs, and notes that capture why key project decisions were made
  • Understands departmental strategic priorities and influences the actions and work efforts of team members in line those priorities
  • Develops and refines project management procedures and processes for the purpose of improving efficiency
  • Provides thought leadership, mentorship, and training support in project management to team leaders and members and others across the organization.

Required Skills:

  • Project management
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office
  • Ability to evaluate, use, customize, and support/train others on project management systems and tools
  • Project Management Professional (PMP) certification preferred


Problem Solving Skills: Investigates appropriate resources and involves partners when appropriate; future-oriented; assesses what will help/hinder achieving goals; focuses on what is important.

Collaborates: Works cooperatively with others across the organization to achieve shared objectives. Represents own interests while being fair to others and their areas. Partners with others to get work done.

Accuracy: Draws on factual information garnered from careful cultivation of a broad knowledge of WGU’s goals and processes; investigates beyond assumptions.

Manages Ambiguity: Deals comfortably with uncertainty or change. Effectively handles risk. Can decide to act without knowing all the details. Is calm and productive, even when things are uncertain. Deals constructively with problems that do not have clear solutions or outcomes.

Reliability: Accountable to others; does what it takes to get the job done; actions are consistent with words; follows through on commitments; exhibits exceptional integrity.

Attitude: Displays commitment to the organization and to personal growth; self-motivated and able to motivate and inspire others; asserts self appropriately to champion ideas; tells the truth in a direct and constructive manner.

Initiative: Self-directs with a strong bias for action; leads the way in improvement of performance or processes; displays keen interest in students and organization.

  • Bachelor’s degree (master’s degree preferred)
  • Experience as the assigned project manager of executive-sponsored projects, with sole responsibility for project initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and closure
  • Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification
  • Project management experience in higher education, business development, media, or research and development is preferred but not required.

Salt Lake City, Utah, United States



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