Associate Director - PhD Network Planning & Operations

  • Northeastern University
  • Boston, MA, USA
  • May 04, 2022
Full time Admissions/Retention/Enrollment Mgmt. Deans & Directors Student Affairs

Job Description


Associate Director - PhD Network Planning & Operations

About the Opportunity

Position Summary:

The Associate Director of Planning & Operations has primary responsibility of planning and implementation all operations and processes for the PhD Network unit within the Office of the Provost as well as ensuring operational alignment across PhD Network and University initiatives. The PhD Network is a strategic and student-centered organization that envisions and develops distinctive offerings for PhD students and postdoctoral research associates. The Network provides administrative support for general graduate administrative functions and interfaces with the Graduate Student Government, academic colleges and the academic backbone infrastructure including the registrar, office of global services, enrollment management, and student financial services. Planning and operation activities include oversight, implementation and revision of processes related to PhD education and PhD Network activities; expense management for core budget and grants funded through external sources; project management for PhD Network initiatives; liaison with graduate representatives across campus regarding graduate education matters; review and recommendation related to PhD student policies, and activities that increase external fellowship opportunities for PhD students and postdocs. This role provides a strategic perspective of programming offered to PhD students and postdocs within the PhD Network and across campus, process design, implementation and overarching guidance and oversight through partnership with colleagues within the Office of the Provost and units across campus that support graduate students.


Planning and Strategic Operational Alignment: (30%)
Chair regular meetings of graduate support staff to share best practices, opportunities, and challenges related to recruitment and student services across colleges and supporting offices (such as the registrar, Office of Global Services, Student Financial Services, Enrollment Management). Use this committee to identify gaps to lead solution design.

Provide leadership in the sharing of information and communication across colleges and additional supporting offices.

Design and implement with appropriate university offices recruitment strategies for fellowship programs (such as the STARS Fellowship).

Develop, integrate and implement overarching programming such that PhD Network initiatives meet the needs of all stakeholders.

Development of programs and offerings to increase the success rate of PhD student and Postdoc fellowships - NU-Res, etc.

Operations: (30%)

Establish shared processes and templates to be used across colleges. Exploit the use of technology to manage information through dashboards and workflows whenever possible.

Design and implement regular processes including those for student awards and other recognition, fellowship opportunities, and other initiatives such as the LEADERs program and other Experiential PhD initiatives.

Provide oversight for the implementation, assessment and revision of formal processes and practices to ensure appropriate fit within the larger organizational mission.

Design and establish procedures to address student (prospective and current) queries and other PhD admission matters.

Design and establish communication campaigns to students, prospective students and potential partners.

Project Management: (20%)

Establish milestones to support the multiple PhD Network projects.

Create and maintain a schedule and dashboards to monitor progress.

Create functional SharePoint sites (or other) to maintain meeting agendas and materials.

Budget Administration: (10%)

Monitor the Graduate Education and PhD Network budgets; working with the Associate Director of Fiscal Affairs and Administration of the Division

Maintain costs associated with regular activities

Monitor transactions associated with external awards

Work with the Associate Director of Fiscal Affairs and Administration of the Division to administer funds for the PhD Network travel awards

Special Projects: (10%)
Perform special projects as needed.

Position Type

Academic Administration

Preferred and Required Qualifications


The position requires the ability to lead with influence, collaboration with colleagues from different disciplines and functions, a systems perspective, critical thinking, attention to detail, excellent communication (verbal and written) skills, a data driven approach to decision making and an enthusiasm to learn new technology. Applicant must be self-motivated, anticipate problems and demonstrate significant independent judgment - must be able to take initiative and follow through on tasks independently. Demonstrated record of leadership, collaboration, establishment of effective processes, commitment to process and self-improvement, and integrity along with a passion to support the graduate education mission. Computer skills are essential along with thirst to learn new tools and methods. Commonly used software packages include the Microsoft packages, Adobe suite, SharePoint, WordPress, MailChimp, database tools and enterprise systems such as Banner, Salesforce, Tableau, SharePoint and Smartsheet. Master's degree required. Minimum of 5 years of experience in higher education with specific experience with PhD students, postdoctoral research associates, strategic programming, operations, budget administration, collaborative environments, and supervision.

Application Details

Additional Information

Northeastern University is an equal opportunity employer, seeking to recruit and support a broadly diverse community of faculty and staff. Northeastern values and celebrates diversity in all its forms and strives to foster an inclusive culture built on respect that affirms inter-group relations and builds cohesion.

All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

To learn more about Northeastern University's commitment and support of diversity and inclusion, please see

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