Program Manager, Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (USU)

Washington D.C.
Aug 25, 2020
Jobs Outside Higher Education
Non-Profit Organizations & Associations
Institution Type
Outside Academe


Title: Program Manager, Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (USU)

Supervisor: Director, Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (USU)

Department: Office of Urban Initiatives

Status: Full-Time; Exempt

Location: Washington, DC

Annual Salary range: $60,000-75,000

Application Deadline: September 2, 2020



The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) seeks a Program Manager, Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (USU), to provide high-level strategic, programmatic and administrative support for the Frontier Set, a Gates-funded project, and other projects that aim to advance student success, workforce and university transformation in an urban setting. The Program Manager will routinely collaborate with other APLU offices and staff and will contribute to overall association goals. The ideal candidate will be proficient in a broad array of tasks including planning and facilitating events; communicating with on-campus stakeholders; writing and editing reports; and managing contracts with vendors and consultants. The incumbent will also have substantial university and project management experience, as well as be energetic, a dependable self-starter, a team-player, and a quick learner. This full-time position is funded through December 2021, with the possibility of extension, and will be based in Washington, DC. For more information, consult


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 246 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 1.2 million faculty and staff, and conduct $43.9 billion in university-based research.

The Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (USU) is a president-led organization committed to enhancing urban university engagement to increase prosperity and opportunity in the nation's cities, and to tackling key urban challenges. Membership includes more than 37 public urban research universities representing all U.S. geographic regions and reaches a wide diversity of students. USU works in permanent partnership with APLU, serving as its urban commission. USU permanently partners with APLU and leads a joint urban agenda for the nation’s public universities. For more information on USU, please visit

Responsibilities Program Management

  • Lead the development and implementation of a project workplan, timeline and metrics, maintaining stakeholder lists and managing the budgets to ensure satisfactory progress toward project milestones and goals.
  • Lead calls with research partners, major university stakeholders and institutional leaders to inform and support ongoing grant deliverables
  • Design and lead the external consultant RFP process to support the advancement of the case studies
  • Collaborate and coordinate with external consultants and contracts to oversee the design of grant deliverables
  • Identify and promote best policies and practices related to closing equity gaps in higher education, improving, and advancing key student success projects that support the Frontier Set initiative outcomes and goals
  • Administer and run the Institutional Transformation Assessment tool (ITA) to institutions and feed findings and learnings to ongoing Frontier Set grant deliverables
  • Manage groups of university leaders to increase performance on near-term student success measures and contribute to the body of knowledge on institutional transformation.
  • Oversee the programmatic, logistical and administrative aspects of meetings and programming for campus teams; facilitate meetings among APLU/USU staff and non-staff collaborators as needed. Promote project events and recruit participants.
  • Collaborate with the Director and Data Analyst to create and facilitate collaborative activities for campus stakeholders to increase performance on near-term student success measures and contribute to the body of knowledge on institutional transformation.
  • Draft, review and edit project updates and formal written reports to funders in collaboration with the Director and Data Analyst.
  • Assist APLU Public Affairs with communications content development to promote USU programs and projects.
  • Perform other duties as assigned to support USU and APLU.

Stakeholder Engagement

  • Promote stakeholder engagement through regular communication with campus teams in collaboration with the Data Analyst.
  • Ensure university leaders understand expectations and are on track to meet project goals and objectives.
  • Regularly collect and synthesize feedback from campuses about their experiences.
  • Collaborating with other higher education organizations to advance transformational policies and practices.

Knowledge Management and Dissemination

  • Capture university-level strategies to support ongoing and future APLU/USU efforts
  • Conduct literature reviews and basic qualitative research (e.g., focus groups, interviews, and surveys) as needed to answer critical questions related to research objectives.
  • Develop and implement methods for communicating best practices and lessons learned with the higher education community, including webinars, newsletters, blogs, and other communications channels.
  • Regularly collect and synthesize new knowledge and feedback from campuses to support ongoing Frontier Set efforts
  • Work with campuses and other research institutions to inform the body of knowledge on institutional transformation.
  • Prepare reports, briefs, and other documents on topics related to student success.

Required Qualifications

  • Graduate degree in higher education or a related field plus 5 years, post-graduate degree, of progressively senior experience in higher education or a closely related field.
  • Experience conducting interviews with high- and mid-level institutional leaders to support ongoing and future research efforts.
  • Extensive project management background to meet goals and objectives on time, on scope, and on budget.
  • Experience managing and overseeing a gran
  • Experience building relationships with a wide range of stakeholders, including high-profile institutional and philanthropic leaders.
  • Excellent presentation and written communication skills.
  • Excellent MS Office skills as well as experience with knowledge management platforms.
  • Ability to travel domestically as needed.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with urban serving universities
  • Experience with the Frontier Set Initiative would be a plus
  • A self-starter and an innovative and creative thinker
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, establish priorities and exercise sound judgment in response to complex and sensitive situations

To Apply

Please send a cover letter and resume to APLU’s Human Resources Department at [email protected] with the subject line “Program Manager, USU” no later than September 2, 2020.  APLU provides a generous benefits package.

APLU is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.

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