The Director of Assessment in the Office for Planning and Institutional Effectiveness (PIE) at Vanderbilt University leads the development and implementation of assessment in order to support student and faculty success at all levels. The Director will work closely with faculty leaders, staff, and administrators to support a culture of assessment across the diverse range of Vanderbilt's offerings and disciplines.
The Director will be thoughtful, pragmatic, and creative in their approach to collecting and using data and information to evaluate outcomes and inform decision-making. They will be a source of expertise and advice, and they will ensure an ethical and robust approach to assessment rooted in Vanderbilt's values and strategic aims.
The Director reports to the Assistant Provost and Executive Director for Planning and Institutional Effectiveness and will be a member of PIE's leadership team. The Director oversees the work of the Assessment Team. Partnering closely with the other teams in PIE and with senior leaders in Academic Affairs and across the University will be a fundamental part of the Director's role.
The Office for Planning and Institutional Effectiveness (PIE) brings together the former Vanderbilt Institutional Research Group and the Office of Assessment. With this merger, the Office's role in assessment has been enhanced and broadened. The Office partners with leaders in Academic Affairs and beyond to support decision-making, planning, and actions based on high-quality and relevant data, information, and analysis. The Office comprises four teams: Partnering, Analysis, Assessment, and Data Governance and Solutions.
Duties and Responsibilities
Leading the development and implementation of assessment strategies, approaches, and practices
Use their knowledge of assessment practices and tools to advise academic leaders on the most effective and sustainable way to evaluate outcomes and inform decision-making, working with colleagues to develop approaches with credibility and ownership from the faculty.
Provide vision to develop and implement assessment of institutional initiatives and innovations, such as Immersion Vanderbilt and initiatives for student success.
Ensure that assessment supports the needs and success of all Vanderbilt's diverse populations.
Draw together different sources of quantitative and qualitative information to assess outcomes.
Develop pragmatic approaches to assessment, drawing on existing evidence, as well as supporting the creation of sustainable and robust assessment strategies at the start of projects or initiatives.
Support the development of a culture of assessment and evidence-based decision-making to support academic initiatives, not as a bureaucratic imposition.
Advise local areas on their assessment plans, ensuring methodological soundness and alignment with institutional initiatives.
Identify gaps and new opportunities, and introduce, propose, and test new and innovative ideas around assessment.
Ensure robust and ethical assessment practices that align with Vanderbilt's values and strategic aims.
Developing and implementing a strategy for data collection that is resilient, practical, and effective
Develop a survey strategy for Academic Affairs, and advise on institutional survey strategies where appropriate. Consider timing, methodologies, and the choice and design of survey tools and techniques for administration, as well as alternatives to surveying and ways to ensure maximum use of assessment outcomes. Advise on how to ensure maximum utility and impact of survey instruments to avoid over-surveying while maximizing response rates.
Advise on the use of alternatives to surveys, including qualitative methodologies and "short, sharp" forms of data collection.
Support faculty leaders as they devise local data collection strategies, including providing expertise on methods and analysis.
As appropriate, work with schools and colleges around course evaluation strategies and approaches.
Providing training, presentations and formal and informal information-sharing and awareness-raising around assessment approaches, tools, and outcomes
Brief and train faculty , administrators, and staff, as part of supporting a culture of assessment.
Develop a communications strategy for assessment outcomes to ensure awareness among appropriate leaders of the messages and information generated by assessment activity.
Be a "public face" of PIE within and outside Vanderbilt
Partnering with leaders in Academic Affairs and beyond
Develop relationships with faculty and administrators to facilitate close collaborative working.
Engage in focused discussions to find a way forward, listening to the goals and concerns of others and demonstrating how their (the Director's) expertise can add value to the end result.
Work closely and collaboratively with the other teams in PIE to ensure the Office is able to achieve its goal of supporting the institution's effectiveness through the provision of data and evidence, working in partnership across Vanderbilt.
Supporting Vanderbilt's institutional accreditation activities, working closely with the institutional SACSCOC liaison
Support academic units to fulfill annual reporting requirements and prepare reaffirmation reports.
As appropriate given resources available, support local accreditation efforts by providing data and advice to schools and colleges.
Ensure that institutional submissions around accreditation are compliant, accurate, and timely.
Represent Vanderbilt at external meetings, conferences, and venues.
Serving as a source of expertise
Become recognized at Vanderbilt as a source of expertise around both quantitative and qualitative assessment techniques.
Remain abreast of developments in the field of assessment and advise about their testing and adoption at Vanderbilt.
Leading a team of assessment experts and serving as part of the PIE Leadership Team
Lead the Assessment Team (currently made up of two Assessment Consultants), including shaping expectations, delegating responsibilities, collaborating to develop solutions, supporting professional development and advancement of team members, enhancing the team's impact and effectiveness, and providing feedback and day-to-day support and management.
Contribute to the development and implementation of PIE strategy, communications, and decision-making, advising the Assistant Provost and Executive Director
Collaborate with colleagues from the PIE Leadership Team to deliver innovations and solutions to support Vanderbilt's mission
Develop the PIE team, leading on hiring, line management, and professional development within Assessment and contributing to decisions about team structure, behaviors, and values within the PIE team.
Develop and maintain internal networks in order to remain aware of organizational priorities, initiatives, developments, and politics, which may affect PIE's work, and to support engagement with PIE's outputs.
Remain abreast of developments in higher education and institutional research and use external networks to inform Vanderbilt decision-making.
Deputize for the Assistant Provost and Executive Director as required.
Profile of an Ideal Candidate
A master's degree in social sciences, with training in quantitative and qualitative research methodologies is necessary.
A doctorate is preferred.
Experience in using quantitative techniques in an assessment context is necessary.
Experience in designing, administering, and analyzing quantitative research tools, including surveys, is necessary.
Experience in designing and/or administering qualitative research tools is necessary
Experience in managing professional staff is necessary.
A proven track record in communicating complex quantitative material to an academic or similar professional audience in various formats (written, oral, etc.) is necessary.
A proven track record of collaborative working with varied stakeholders is necessary.
A proven track record of working in a complex institution with competing stakeholders is necessary.
A proven commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion in a higher educational setting is necessary
Experience working with academic and professional leaders in a higher education setting is necessary. Experience in a research-intensive institution is preferred.
Experience overseeing higher education accreditation efforts is necessary.
Experience of working with analytical and reporting tools is strongly preferred.
The willingness and ability to represent Vanderbilt nationally through participation in consortium and other professional associations in a professional and positive manner is necessary.
Internal Number: 1901524
About Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt University is a center for scholarly research, informed and creative teaching, and service to the community and society at large. Vanderbilt will uphold the highest standards and be a leader in the quest for new knowledge through scholarship, the dissemination of knowledge through teaching and outreach, and the creative experimentation of ideas and concepts. In pursuit of these goals, Vanderbilt values most highly intellectual freedom that supports open inquiry, equality, compassion, and excellence in all endeavors.