Faculty Recruiting Support CICS

Director of Academic Programs

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. Also, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


Job Summary

The Director of Academic Programs provides leadership and management for all graduate and undergraduate programs (residential and online) within the College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS). This position is responsible for all operational aspects of current programs, as well as planning for future growth in enrollment, new programs/courses, and revenue generation. 


Essential Functions

  • Plans, directs, and manages the day-to-day operation of all academic programs. Creates and interprets policies. Uses judgement to determine if exceptions to policy should be made. Develops solutions to specific problems within individual programs. Evaluates existing processes. Determines ways to streamline processes and improve student satisfaction scores. Serves as the liaison between College upper administration, academic advising, and the rest of the academic programs team. Provides frequent, open communication between these groups in an effort to keep everyone informed and the programs running smoothly.
  • Monitors all communications from students related to our academic programs. Delegates lower level issues to Program Managers and provides diplomatic problem solving and resolution for unique or escalated issues. Works to ensure timely and comprehensive academic program messaging to students and other audiences consistent with the strategic communication goals of the College. Monitors all web pages relating to the academic programs and ensures they are kept up-to-date. Ensures pages positively represent the College to outside constituents. 
  • Provides leadership and oversight of the admissions processes.  Works with faculty, enrollment management, the graduate school, academic advising, and communications/marketing to recruit, admit, and onboard students into our programs.  Works with finance, human resources, and faculty to establish yearly growth projections in terms of enrollment and faculty needs. Manages the scholarship and fellowship processes in conjunction with finance and development.
  • Supervises all graduate and undergraduate program staff. Evaluates performance and provides regular feedback. Evaluates the workload of individual Program Managers and Assistants and assists them in determining priorities. Reallocates responsibilities between staff members as our programs grow and change. Works with College HR staff to determine if/when additional staff are needed to support our programs. Cross-trains staff so they are able to help each other out during peak seasons or fill in for one another as people are out on vacation or leave.
  • Works with faculty and upper administration to create new courses or programs (residential and online). Determines the best way to integrate the new programs into existing systems/processes. Works closely with the curriculum committee to regularly evaluate academic programs and compare them to other top 20 computer science schools to ensure that the College is offering the best possible education and most enticing programs to students. 
  • Collects and analyzes data, trends, and statistics (i.e. student satisfaction data). Develops short and long range plans for programs so the College can meet its strategic goals and objectives. 


Other Functions

  • Performs related duties as assigned or required to meet Department, College, or University goals and objectives.
  • Understands responsibilities with respect to conflicts of interest and behaves in ways consistent both with law and with University policy.
  • Contributes toward creating a positive and respectful workplace defined by personal and professional competence, integrity, and collaboration.
  • Understands and contributes to implementation of departmental and institutional goals for achieving non-discrimination and creating a respectful, inclusive environment that is supportive of diversity.
  • Uses access to sensitive and/or not yet public university related information only in the performance of the responsibilities of position and exercises care to prevent unnecessary disclosure to others.


Minimum Qualifications(Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Bachelor's degree in any field (Higher Education, Academic Advising, or a related field preferred) with five (5) years of experience in academic program administration and/or academic advising.  A Master's degree may be substituted for two (2) years of the required experience.
  • At least one year of experience supervising non-student staff.
  • Demonstrated leadership and team-building skills. 
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to interact effectively, and create and maintain harmonious relationships within the academic programs team, the College, and across the University with a diverse population of staff, faculty, students, and off-campus constituents. Ability and willingness to work empathetically with a diverse student population and contribute to their success.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills. Ability to write concisely, express thoughts clearly, and develop ideas in a logical sequence.
  • Independent initiative. Must have the ability to stay on task and work productively with a minimum amount of supervision or guidance. Willingness to take on a variety of tasks related to the successful operation of the academic programs. The ability to adapt and work effectively as the College and academic programs team grows.
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail with the ability to complete assignments in a timely manner, balancing the demands of concurrent and potentially competing projects.
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment and maintain confidentiality. The ability to think through problems, organize and seek out data/information, identify key factors and underlying causes, and generate solutions.
  • Strong computer skills including at least intermediate expertise with:
    • Email
    • Calendar systems such as iCal, Outlook, or Google
    • Word processing software such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs
    • Spreadsheets such as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets
    • Databases such as Microsoft Access or FileMaker


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

Typical office environment.


Work Schedule

  • Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm.
  • Required to work occasional nights and weekends as needed.


Salary Information

Level 27

PSU Salary Ranges


Special Instructions to Applicants

Applicants must submit a resume, cover letter, and the contact information for 3 professional references.

Applicants must apply by November 1, 2019 to ensure consideration.

To apply, visit: http://careers.umass.edu/amherst/en-us/job/503467/director-of-academic-programs-cics 


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.