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Executive Director, Student Academic Success Center

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA ~ May 04, 2022

Carnegie Mellon University, located in Pittsburgh, PA, is searching for an Executive Director, Student Academic Success Center (SASC). The SASC is a collaborative, equity-focused, data-driven, and student-centered resource for undergraduate and graduate students that offers a full range of academic support programs in one integrated Center, including disability resources, academic coaching, tutoring, 1-1 support, and more.

Reporting to the Associate Vice Provost for Operations and Strategic Initiatives, the Executive Director, Student Academic Success Center will oversee a comprehensive academic support program for all students. The Executive Director provides leadership in the design, implementation, and assessment of comprehensive programs and services that support student academic success for approximately 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students.


Major Duties:


  • Create, oversee, and monitor a comprehensive academic support program for students.
  • Advocate for and allocate resources, organizational structure, and organizational maturity including establishing staffing for key goals and an advisory board of campus partners.
  • Assess department effectiveness and plan for continued improvement.
  • Aid in development, supervise, and administer the budget for the unit. 
  • Supervise, train, coach, and lead a team of 5 direct reports and 22 overall staff that oversee the following areas:
    • Support Programs: Tutoring, Workshops, Coaching, and Tartan Scholar program; 
    • Disability Resources;
    • Operations: including data and reporting;
    • Persistence and Advising; 
    • Communication and Language Support.


  • Implement and evaluate new initiatives to support student learning.
  • Innovate new education techniques and strategies based on continuous research of evidence-based practices from universities.
  • Partnership builder for student success working broadly across all academic and administrative units.  Serving on the Student Success Steering Committee and leading many new innovative efforts to support student success.
  • Oversee the management of programs and services for students with physical, sensory, cognitive, and emotional disabilities. These services include academic and housing accommodations, coaching, and other programming as needed.
  • Engage and support/advocate for the academic advising community through professional development and advocacy/support.
  • Provide workshops, presentations and orientations for internal and external audiences. This would include current and prospective students, colleagues, professional organizations, etc.
  • Actively participate on institutional teams representing academic support.
  • Create, update, and review critical communications to students and faculty to ensure a clear and consistent message.
  • Develop and disseminate materials, resources and curricular content, including online offerings, to enhance academic enrichment access and support for learners including students, faculty, and staff.
  • Continue to review student promotion and retention data among other learning outcomes, and revise academic support programs and implement strategies to achieve optimal outcomes.
  • Oversee the timely completion of reports and surveys. Track and report program outcomes and quality measures.
  • Oversees technology and software programs related to the Student Academic Success Center. 
  • Engage and support/advocate for the academic advising community through professional development and advocacy/support.


Minimum Requirements


  • Completion of a Master’s degree in higher education administration, counseling, or related field - with knowledge of student development and learning theory.
  • 7-10 years of progressive experience in academic support, advising, or student support services.
  • Experience providing student-centered vision and leadership within a higher education setting; knowledge of strategic planning and research needed to support student services.
  • Previous professional staff supervisory experience.
  • Knowledge of and/or experience in the delivery of ADA/504 mandated post-secondary academic services to students with disabilities.
  • Demonstrated ability to increase outcomes for diverse student populations
  • Experience working with low-income, first-generation students, and students with diverse learning needs and abilities.
  • Ability to effectively communicate in written and oral forms.
  • Some experience with teaching and/or instructional design.
  • Demonstrated experience with support program assessment.




  • 5+ years of leadership experience at director level or higher in academic support, advising, or student support services 
  • Terminal degree.
  • Strong leader who has had previous experience supporting, managing, strengthening, and growing a team
  • Strong collaboration and innovation skills.
  • Experience managing and supporting grant-based initiatives.


All applicants must apply via the link below for official consideration:




Applications received by 05/29/2022 will be given full consideration. Applications received after that date may be considered until the position is filled. 


All individuals interested in this position are encouraged to apply.


Contact: Ferra Executive Search has been retained to manage the search. If you have any inquiries or nominations, please send an email to:
Kevin Ferra, Founding Partner
Ferra Executive Search 
Please use ‘Executive Director, Student Academic Success’ as the subject line when you contact Kevin

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