Executive Director for Retention

Job description

Executive Director for Retention

Tracking Code754-674 Job Description

The Executive Director for Retention provides leadership and directs in the creation, establishment, and coordination of retention and student success initiatives at Valparaiso University. The Executive Director, in collaboration with multiple campus constituents, will be responsible for the creation and implementation of a strategic plan to improve student retention. It is expected that the successful applicant will demonstrate a commitment to cultural diversity and the ability to work with individuals or groups from diverse backgrounds on and off-campus including but not limited to 1st generation, historically underrepresented, commuter, and international students and enhance use of best practices for improving retention of these populations. This person should also be interested in working at a university engaged in issues of Christian higher education and the Lutheran tradition. The Executive Director will report to the Vice President for Enrollment, Marketing and Communications and a part of the Enrollment Management staff.

Major Responsibilities:

  • Oversight over Institutional Retention Model, Initiatives, Program Implementation and Support Responsible for:
    • The implementation and oversight of the University's retention model in support of the undergraduate experiences, which also includes the at-risk populations i.e., first generation, low income, historically underrepresented, international, commuter, and Veterans.
    • Coordination of retention initiatives and programs across the areas of both Student and Academic Affairs.
  • Assessment and Evaluation
    • Coordinate the efforts of internal analytical teams (e.g., institutional research, enrollment management, admissions, registrar, financial aid, and student accounts) to generate and interpret predictive data relevant to University retention efforts.
    • Interface with analytics teams to organize and analyze data to generate appropriate follow up opportunities that will identify action items using data driven strategies and initiatives.
    • Tum quantitative data into qualitative inquiry, holding focus groups with at-risk groups to generate comprehensive narratives specific to the Valpo student populations.
    • Investigate and share evidence-based practices and data (quantitative and qualitative) to assist stakeholders in planning and providing appropriate retention services.
  • Institutional Collaboration
    • Collaborates with Academic Affairs, the Academic Colleges, the Division of Student Affairs and other University stakeholders, which includes but is not limited to: the Academic Success Center, the Writing Center, the Hesse Center, Access and Accommodations Resource Center, Veterans Programs and Services, College Faculty and Academic Advisors, the First Year Experience Program, the Career Center, the Office of Multicultural Programs and Office of International Programs, Enrollment Management, Admissions, Registrar, Financial Aid, and Student Account Services to enhance services to all Valpo students.
    • Responsible for the full implementation, integration and use of the University's current early alert/warning system, Starfish, and any other software related to retention and success.
    • Engaging University stakeholders and collaborating with Integrated Marketing and Communications (IMC) to create a student centered and student friendly website for all students and their families.
    • Serve on other University committees or hiring searches as deemed appropriate by the VP for Enrollment Marketing and Communication, Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs, or Provost.
  • Student and Family Outreach
    • Serves as first point of contact and liaison for faculty, staff, students and their families who are experiencing retention related issues or concerns, developing plans to support the continued retention and matriculation of students.
    • Promote and clarify student services available to students and their families, including active participation in the summer orientation program e.g., Open House, Admissions Visit Days, Focus etc.
    • Works with University stakeholders and IMC to strategically advertise and promote retention services to students and their families.

Knowledge and Skills:

  • Familiarity with the culture of university and academic settings.
  • Ability to work with and collaborate well with high-level administrators, faculty, staff, students and their families.
  • Working knowledge of the collegiate areas of admissions, financial aid, student accounts, and student support services.
  • Have current knowledge of evidence-based best practices related to retention and student success at the collegiate level.
  • Self-starter with demonstrated track record of success with project management and program
  • implementation in the area of retention or student service.
  • The ability to analyze and synthesize quantitative and qualitative data for the purposes of implementing innovative practices and strategies around retention and student success.
  • Ability to maintain confidential information that is handled through the Office's of the President, Provost, Registrar, Financial Aid, and Admission.

Successful applicants will demonstrate a commitment to cultural diversity and the ability to work with individuals or groups from diverse backgrounds.

Employment at Valparaiso University will require a criminal background check.

To be considered for this position you must upload:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • List of 3 professional references
  • Answer all the application questions

Please address cover letter to:

Brian O’Rourke, Vice President for Enrollment, Marketing and Communication

Valparaiso University

Valparaiso, IN 46383

Job Location Valparaiso, Indiana, United StatesPosition TypeFull-Time/Regular




Diversity Profile: University



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Job No:
Posted: 6/5/2021
Application Due: 9/3/2021
Work Type: Full Time