Senior Director of Research

West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission
Charleston, West Virginia
$108,450 - $136,750

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Responsible for providing comprehensive state-level leadership and oversight for higher education data collection, data security and information analysis to support research, planning, and policy development for the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) and the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education (Council).  The Senior Director of Research oversees a staff of researchers and information technology professionals.  

 Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Serves as chief research officer for the state central higher education office. 
  • Responsible for agency data integrity, security and best practices.  Oversees division staff responsible for collection of data from system institutions, maintenance of systems for data storage and reporting, production of statutory and ad hoc reports, fulfilling data requests, developing, and implementing a proactive research agenda, and providing research support to internal and external committees.  
  • Presents information and research to the Commission, Council, and committees of the Legislature. Submits and presents West Virginia higher education research at state, regional, and national professional and scholarly conferences. 
  • Establishes data administration, including designing data models, data definitions, and policies governing administrative data systems. 
  • Builds upon and establishes new data standards policies to improve data accuracy, integration, access, and integrity. 
  • Coordinates research studies including data gathering methods, maintenance, and project evaluation. 
  • May serve as project liaison to other departments, outside organizations, and government agencies, especially public education (K-12) and Workforce West Virginia (Commerce). 
  • Responsible for the development and maintenance of the West Virginia P-20 statewide longitudinal data system, 
  • Oversees the information and data management needs of agency divisions, with a specific responsibility for statewide student financial aid information systems. 
  • Responsible for development and maintenance of the programs that enable award and distribution of state financial aid to students at all West Virginia higher education institutions.  
  • Responsible for ensuring accuracy and thoroughness of security and privacy reviews conducted by staff, of proposed software applications for the agency and for some institutions. 
  • Plans and manages the budget and resources for the Division of Research and Analysis.  Supervises staff.  Responsible for staff hiring, evaluation, discipline, and dismissal 
  • Collaborates with other education researchers and organizations to produce research that improves policy and practice.
  • Other duties as assigned.

 Minimum Requirements:

  • Master’s degree in higher education, public policy, or a related field is required. A doctorate is preferred.  
  • At least four years of relevant experience is required.  Prefer experience as a researcher at a higher education institution or coordinating/governing body.  Management experience preferred.  
  • A record of scholarly or applied research in higher education policy and/or practice is strongly preferred.  

Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of higher education processes, policy, and data systems. 
  • Ability to access and analyze student, institution, state and federal higher education data.  
  • Competence in research design, both qualitative and quantitative. 
  • Advanced proficiency in statistical analysis, and facility with statistical software.  
  • Ability to effectively communicate data and research findings in written and oral form to a range of education stakeholders.  
  • Excellent administrative and supervisory skills to prioritize and coordinate division and agency projects of varying scope, complexity, and duration. 
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with administrative personnel, institutional research personnel, other researchers, top-level college and university administrators, representatives of other education sectors, and the public.
  • Supervisory and budget management skills.

Closing Date: Applications will be accepted until position is filled. Review of applications begins October 18, 2021.

Application Process:  In addition to filling out the job application, qualified candidates must submit a letter of interest and current contact information for three professional references. 


Final candidates are subject to employment and credential verification, as well as reference and background checks. 


Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer/Veterans/Disabled

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and the Community and Technical College System of West Virginia are equal opportunity employers. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, or protected veteran status and will not be discriminated against on the basis of disability. The Commission and Council provide a collegial, respectful and inclusive environment that values the diversity, creativity and contributions of its staff.   

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