Program Director, Obama Foundation Scholars Program

Job description

Hyde Park Campus

35390 Harris Sch Pub Policy

About the Unit
Why policy? For a better world. Why Harris Public Policy? Because when it comes to better policymaking, evidence matters. We work at the frontiers of data collection and analysis, using the latest technology and social science methods to design policies that work for society. We conduct rigorous inquiry in an environment of innovation and risk taking, fearlessly questioning the status quo. We collaborate across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, adopting new methodologies to drive better solutions. We engage with our city, our world, and our leaders every day to evaluate and test our ideas. And we lead with our passion for driving social change, knowing that passion alone does not equal impact. With passion and precision, we figure out what's best for society—and get it done. This is Harris Public Policy: Social impact, down to a science.

Job Information

Job Summary:

Reporting to the Senior Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs, Program Director, Obama Foundation Scholars Program, will be responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the Obama Foundation Scholars Program at Harris (the "Program"), providing sustained leadership and direction for the Program. Play a lead role in developing and strengthening the Program as it enters the first year as an academic offering at Harris. As a member of the Academic and Student Affairs Leadership team (“ASA”), the Program Director, Obama Foundation Scholars Program, will oversee and manage the needs of all Obama Foundation Scholars, including enrollment management, academic advising and registration, student life programming, and career development. The Program Director, Obama Foundation Scholars Program, will also be closely engaged and coordinated with the Obama Foundation staff on relevant programming and services.

Key Responsibilities:

Serve as a Member of the Academic and Student Affairs Leadership Team

  • Plays a key advisory role as a senior member of the Office of Academic and Student Affairs, providing input and feedback on student experience strategies for the Program.
  • Serve as the lead expert in and representative of the Obama Foundation Scholars Program for on-campus engagement.
  • Support recruitment efforts in partnership with the Associate Director of Recruitment and Coordinator for the Obama Foundation Scholars Program.
  • Develop and implement Program operations, including protocols for information flow, financial management, staff oversight, and logistics.

Oversee Career Development/Advising Services
  • In coordination with the Harris Career Development Office, recommend and develop strategies for marketing the Program to prospective employers:
  • Develop a communications strategy to positively impact post-graduation outcomes for Obama Foundation Scholars.
  • Analyze and synthesize information about potentially successful models of employer marketing.
  • Actively research employment trends within public policy in the non-profit, corporate, and public sectors.
  • Analyze available student and employer data to inform strategic decisions.

Oversee Academic Advising
  • Create and implement enrollment management and registration protocols for students, in partnership with the Associate Director of Recruitment.
  • Set course schedule and coordinate with faculty and instructors on course descriptions, and other necessary course materials. Solicit instructor teaching preferences and submit course schedule to University Registrar's Office and Harris Associate Director of Registration.
  • Serve as lead for all academic advising needs for Obama Foundation Scholars.
  • Track student progress toward degree and complete degree audit process.

Manage Obama Scholars Program Staff, Budget, and Operations
  • Directly manage the Obama Foundation Scholars Program staff, including Program Coordinator, and Associate Director of Recruitment.
  • Establish appropriate measurements to set goals and assess team and staff performance.
  • Educate the team on industry trends, qualities prospective students and employers seek in candidates, employer culture, and the selection process.
  • Monitor financial performance relative to team budget throughout the year.
  • Oversee operations budget for the Program, including tuition revenue and expenditures.

Lead Student Life Programming
  • Design and implement strategy for student engagement, including events, workshops, seminars, and other off-campus opportunities with employers/institutions.
  • Plan and execute new student orientation and onboarding in coordination with ASA staff and the Obama Foundation.
  • Serve as the ASA lead for coordinating cross-functional resources to support Obama Foundation Scholars.

Additional Requirements
Education and Experience:
  • Bachelor's Degree is required, Master's Degree strongly preferred in public policy, business, counseling, or related fields
  • Minimum 3 years of experience with a proven track record of developing and managing academic programs required

Skills and Qualifications:
  • Familiarity with higher education environment and knowledge of the University of Chicago's unique culture preferred; strong preference given to knowledge of the Harris School
  • Demonstrated success in building collaborative relationships with diverse constituencies
  • Demonstrated success in informal and formal mentorship of students and the ability to follow through on details to ensure positive communication and relationships
  • Ability to successfully manage a workload and balance long-range planning with the unanticipated daily demands of managing a team
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills
  • Willingness and ability to travel, work some evenings and weekends required

Required Documents:
  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • References

NOTE: When applying, all required documents MUST be uploaded under the Resume/CV section of the application

Benefit Eligibility

Pay Frequency

Pay Range
Depends on Qualification

Scheduled Weekly Hours


Job is Exempt?

Drug Test Required?

Does this position require incumbent to operate a vehicle on the job?

Health Screen Required?

Posting Date

Remove from Posting On or Before

Posting Statement:

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.

Full time

About Us
The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to our global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world.

We empower individuals to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas. Students in the College develop critical, analytic, and writing skills in our rigorous, interdisciplinary core curriculum. Through graduate programs, students test their ideas with UChicago scholars, and become the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.

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Job No:
Posted: 4/17/2018
Application Due: 5/1/2018
Work Type: