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Senior Graduate Advisor for Economics

Southern Methodist University
Dallas, TX

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Administrative Jobs
Academic Affairs, International Programs
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
Salary Range: 

Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications

About SMU

SMU’s more than 12,000 diverse, high-achieving students come from all 50 states and 80 countries to take advantage of the University’s small classes, hands-on research opportunities, leadership development, community service, international study and innovative programs. The University offers a strong foundation in the humanities and sciences and undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs through eight schools.

Now in its second century of achievement, SMU is increasingly recognized for the ways it supports students, faculty and alumni as they become ethical leaders in their professions and communities. The University’s entrepreneurial spirit lives in people from every academic discipline who see opportunities to create something new in the world – and work hard to bring their innovations to life. SMU’s relationship with Dallas – the dynamic center of one of the nation’s fastest-growing regions – offers unique learning, research, social and career opportunities that provide a launch pad for our students, faculty and alumni to make a global impact. On the most beautiful college campus in the country, SMU Mustangs are energized by unbridled opportunities – from teaching, learning and research to creativity, performance and athletic endeavor.

About the Position:

This role is an on-campus, in-person position.

The Graduate Advisor performs a central role in the Masters and PhD programs in the Department of Economics. The advisor works closely with graduate students to develop clear academic plans and ensure their course selections fulfill degree requirements. The advisor works closely with the Directors of Doctoral and Masters Studies on graduate student processes including recruiting, orientation and transition to graduate school, contracts and stipends, internships, and marketing students for the job market. The advisor liaises between faculty and graduate students, ensuring their mutual awareness of and adherence to relevant policies and procedures. The advisor is the departments' central liaison with the Moody Graduate School, Registrar's Office, Payroll, and International Students Office.

Essential Functions:

    Advises 75-100 Masters/PhD students. Helps graduate students develop academic plans, ensuring course selections fulfill degree requirements. Assists the Undergraduate Advisor and Department Administrator to ensure classes on teaching schedule allow graduate students to graduate on time. Works with Moody School and International Students Office on graduate student administrative/visa issues.

    Works closely with Directors of Doctoral and Master Studies to recruit and maintain high quality graduate students, thereby enhancing the academic quality of the department and the university. Fields applicant questions regarding the admissions process and degree information. Updates and develops graduate recruitment advertising materials, including for the web and social media.

    Works closely with Director of Doctoral Studies to facilitate PhD job market process. Manages letters of recommendation for PhD job market candidates (including PhD alumni). Updates job market candidate information on the department website. Organizes mock interviews for job market candidates. Designs system to maintain historical record of PhD job placements.

    Creates and maintains relationships with potential employers to help promote and assist Masters student employment searches. Develops and grows Master's internship program. Organizes and hosts information sessions with employers. Creates a web and social media presence targeting potential employers of graduate students.

    Departmental website content management. Works closely with Directors of Doctoral and Masters Studies to maintain graduate website content and other content relevant for potential graduate student applicants. Develops new content, with an emphasis on marketing students to potential employers. HTML coding skills useful but not required.

    Works closely with the Department Administrator and Director of Doctoral Studies to project PhD stipend budget.  Prepares student contracts. Processes scholarship award entries and stipend paperwork. Ensures work authorizations and payroll request forms are submitted and approved in a timely manner. 

    Submits necessary paperwork and assists graduate students meeting all deadlines and requirements related to dissertations and graduation. Assists Undergraduate Advisor in planning and organizing departmental graduation ceremony and awards ceremony. Prepares and submits appropriate paperwork for students eligible for the Omicron Delta Epsilon honors society.

    Works closely with the Directors of Doctoral and Masters Studies on graduate student orientation and transition. Meets with graduate students to assist their transition to graduate school. Holds meetings with PhD students to help assess strengths and weaknesses of the graduate programs. Monitors mental health of students and keeps abreast of current research on mental health of graduate students.

    Works closely with Directors of Doctoral and Masters Studies on assessment and accreditation. Collects and records assessment data throughout the year. Uploads data into assessment software. Ensures assessment reports filed in timely manner. Responds to external organizations requesting statistics on graduate programs.

    Creates and maintains a system to record and monitor data on PhD student publications, conference presentations, and job placement. Creates and maintains a system to record Masters job placements. Maintains relationships with Master/PhD alumni.

Education and Experience:

Bachelor's degree is required.

A minimum of five years work experience is required, preferably working in higher education advising or providing administrative support.
Experience with financial/budgeting tasks preferred. Strong project management and website content management experience is desirable.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Candidate must demonstrate strong interpersonal and verbal communication skills, with the ability to communicate broadly across the University and develop and maintain effective relationships with a wide range of constituencies. Must also demonstrate strong written communication skills.

Candidate must possess strong problem-solving skills with the ability to identify and analyze problems, as well as devise solutions. Must also have strong organizational, planning and time management skills.  

Candidate must have the ability to identify and effectively address the needs of students with diverse backgrounds and experiences. 

Candidate must possess a strong working knowledge of Microsoft Office programs (e.g. Outlook. Word, PowerPoint and Excel). Experience with PeopleSoft and/or website content management software (e.g. Sitecore) is preferred.

Physical and Environmental Demands:

    Sit for long periods of time
Deadline to Apply:

This position is open until filled. 

EEO Statement:

SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601, [email protected].


SMU offers staff a broad, competitive array of health and related benefits. In addition to traditional benefits such as health, dental, and vision plans, SMU offers a wide range of wellness programs to help attract, support, and retain our employees whose work continues to make SMU an outstanding education and research institution.

SMU is committed to providing an array of retirement programs that benefit and protect you and your family throughout your working years at SMU and, if you meet SMU's retirement eligibility criteria, during your retirement years after you leave SMU.

The value of learning at SMU isn't just about preparing our students for the future. Employees have access to a wide variety of professional and personal development opportunities, including tuition benefits.

Primary Location: USA-TX-Dallas
Job: Student Services
Organization: Dedman College
Schedule: Full-time
Shift: Day Job
Employee Status: Regular
Job Type: Staff
Job Level: Individual Contributor
Travel: No
Job Posting: Jan 31, 2023, 9:56:54 AM

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