Executive Director of Academic Programs, School of Professional Studies

Job description

Job location: Charlotte, NC

Employment Type: Full-time
Posted data: 2021-03-03
Req: R0003046
Please note:
  • Additional documentation must be added at the bottom of the third screen under the "My Experience."
  • Internal candidates must apply via the internal career portal. Do not proceed with your application from this website.
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** Cover letter required for all positions and optional for facilities, campus services, and hospitality positions unless otherwise specified.

Job Description Summary

The Executive Director is an education-focused innovator who will develop and oversee a compelling portfolio of flexible, affordable and relevant academic programs for the School of Professional Studies. With an entrepreneurial spirit, the Executive Director will curate a collection of high-demand degree and non-degree offerings to meet the evolving needs of working professionals in the Charlotte community and beyond. She/he will lead the design of new programs and pursue ongoing program review and refinement of existing programs to reflect the dynamism in the marketplace. To continuously optimize the offerings in his/her portfolio, the Executive Director will steward the development of appropriate Executive Advisory Boards and corporate connections, collaborate with the School’s Academic Review Board and faculty, as well as serve as liaison to other academic units across the University.

Job Description

Essential Functions:

  • Serve as the owner/general manager of the portfolio of academic programs for specific academic areas and sectors of the Charlotte economy
  • Understand the customer (adult learners), the market, the opportunities and how to create success.
  • Set the academic product and degrees vision, priorities, and execution strategy for the portfolio. Own the outcomes and effectively drive key performance indicators and growth goals.
  • Possess a strong grasp of education market and products in Charlotte and beyond. Leverage employer partnerships and industry data to identify current and future workforce needs to evolve portfolio as needed.
  • With a growth and innovation mindset, identify potential new degrees, courses, certifications, micro-degrees and professional development paths. Ensure existing programs maintain the highest quality and relevancy, addressing the needs of today's learner populations while meeting the feasibility and potential profitability expectations of SPS.
  • Manage the program portfolio budget and fiscal obligations to optimize profitability.
  • Oversee and ensure accreditation, program review, and other processes that are important for the continuous improvement of the programs in portfolio. Manage the School’s Academic Review Board to ensure high levels of excellence consistent with university’s academic values.
  • Achieve and maintain awards and recognition for quality.
  • Partner with other SPS teams to achieve best-in-class student experience and outcomes, and enrollment growth.
  • Develop and grow partnerships with industry - including partnerships with key professional organizations and manage Executive Advisory Board(s) effectively.
  • Collaborate with internal WFU academic units to source exceptional faculty talent that is needed for the program portfolio and to identify new program ideas that could be implemented collaboratively.

Other Functions:

  • Has a strong outcomes-based orientation (pushes self and helps others to achieve results) and has a continuous improvement mindset.
  • Deals comfortably with the uncertainty of change. Effectively handles risk. Can decide to act without the total picture. Is calm and productive, even when things are up in the air. Deals constructively with problems that do not have clear solutions or outcomes.
  • Forms teams with appropriate and diverse mixes of styles, perspectives, and experience. Establishes common objectives and a shared mindset. Creates a feeling of belonging and strong team morale. Shares wins and rewards team efforts. Fosters open dialogue and collaboration among the team. Creates a team that works well cross-functionally.
  • Learns quickly when facing new situations. Experiments to find new solutions. Takes on challenges of unfamiliar tasks. Extracts lessons-learned from failures and mistakes. Expands knowledge base through ongoing curiosity.

Required Education, Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:

  • Master’s Degree in Business, Education or a related field, or the equivalent combination of training, education and experience plus seven or more years of related experience.
  • Deep understanding of professional education market and customer segments.
  • Proven ability to analyze data to identify trends and drive innovation.
  • Proven success with financial management.
  • Ability to be an agent of change in a rapidly changing environment.
  • Ability to work effectively in a highly matrixed organization with ability to organize and coordinate activities and results across cross-functional teams.
  • Ability to collaborate with and manage teams, including those in a remote environment, while demonstrating excellence, integrity, and respect.
  • Ability to build relationships and influence at all levels, both internally and externally.
  • Sound judgement and decision-making skills.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills.

Preferred Education, Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:

  • Doctorate in related field
  • Hands on P&L experience.
  • Background in change and process management.
  • Experience in educational program development and management, particularly digitally delivered offerings.
  • Go-to-market experience.


  • Responsible for own work and the work of others.
  • Budgetary responsibilities

Additional Job Description

Time Type Requirement

Full timeNote to Applicant:This position profile identifies the key responsibilities and expectations for performance. It cannot encompass all specific job tasks that an employee may be required to perform. Employees are required to follow any other job-related instructions and perform job-related duties as may be reasonably assigned by his/her supervisor.

In order to provide a safe and productive learning and living community, Wake Forest University conducts background investigations and drug screens for all final staff candidates being considered for employment.

Wake Forest seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce while promoting an inclusive work environment committed to excellence in the spirit of Pro Humanitate. In adherence with applicable laws and as provided by University policies, the University prohibits discrimination in its employment practices on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, disability and veteran status and encourages qualified candidates across all group demographics to apply.




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Job No:
Posted: 1/26/2021
Application Due: 6/3/2021
Work Type: Full Time