Director, Academic Systems
American Public University System - Charles Town, WV

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Director, Academic Systems
  • Reports to: Associate Vice President, Business Integration and Project Delivery
  • Department: Information Technology
  • Location: Charles Town, WV
  • FLSA Status: Exempt
  • Date Posted: December 5, 2012
  • Date Closing: Open Until Filled
Synopsis of Role:

The Director, Academics Systems leads the team that serves as the primary interface with the American Public University System (APUS) Academics Division for project delivery services. This role is responsible for understanding internal and external user expectations for Academics, influencing expectations when appropriate, and managing the delivery of solutions that meet those expectations. The Director is responsible for Information Technology (IT) project planning, scheduling, and delivery for the Academics organization, and owns Academics projects from business case development through benefits realization. The Director, Academic Systems is a contributor to the continuous improvement of APUS project and portfolio management processes, and as a member of the University's IT Team, participates in IT strategy and planning to accommodate corporate growth, support the University’s strategic plan, and enable improvements in IT service delivery for the Academics Division. This position may directly supervise approximately one Project Manager and one Business Process Analyst (BPA) and is responsible for the overall development and training of Project Manager and Business Analyst staff that support the Academics organization within APUS. The Director, Academic Systems collaborates with peer directors within the Business Integration Project Delivery team, as well as the IT Operations team on overall department priorities, resource allocation to projects, and team and staff development.

The Director, Academic Systems works closely with, and reports to, the Associate Vice President, Business Integration and Project Delivery and must have a strong, working knowledge of current business integration and project delivery best practices, as well as a solid understanding of the keys to effective stakeholder engagement.

Essential Functions:
  • Participates in strategic and operational planning to achieve APUS goals.
  • Participates in the development of the departmental vision, goals, objectives, and operating procedures that align with overall IT and APUS vision, goals, and objectives.
  • Develops and maintains trust-based relationships with APUS partners in the Academics Division and the IT Operations Team.
  • Oversees the development and implementation of the Academics project portfolio planning and management process by performing the following functions:
    • Ensures goals and objectives are clearly defined and are aligned with APUS strategic priorities.
    • Ensures resources are only allocated to approved projects and initiatives.
    • Ensures project plans, schedules, and costs are defined at the appropriate level of detail.
    • Accounts for the management of change within the Academics community of users as new IT capabilities are introduced.
    • Ensures approved project delivery processes are utilized.
    • Leverages project results and lessons learned as a vehicle for continuous improvement.
    • Participates in the development of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with Academics stakeholders and IT Operations stakeholders for project delivery and services.
    • Maintains accountability for delivering exceptional service to students, faculty, and business unit stakeholders and for establishing metrics to track and report on service-level related performance for the Academics organization.
    • Contributes to departmental operating budgets, where appropriate, that result in a cost-effective operation.
    • Ensures that Academics projects are managed to meet defined requirements and that department staff are cognizant of enterprise standards and compliance related requirements, such as: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 508, and the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA).
    • Develops a culture of continuous improvement and an environment that fosters staff growth and development.
    • Cultivates, disseminates, and enforces functional policies, procedures, and quality assurance best practices.
    • Participates in the development, management, and mentoring of two or more employees within the Academics functions of the Business Integration and Project Delivery Team.
    • Performs other duties as assigned.
Work Environment and Physical Demands:
  • Standard office environment in Charles Town, WV.
  • Infrequent travel to the Manassas, VA office to meet with staff members and business partners.
Required Skills
  • Strong leadership, organization, analytical, evaluative, and problem solving skills.
  • Advanced knowledge of IT best practices.
  • Advanced knowledge of IT Project Management best practices.
  • Ability to set and manage priorities judiciously.
  • Ability to set and monitor key staff performance metrics and provide meaningful feedback.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Strong negotiation skills.
  • Ability to present ideas in business and user-friendly language.
  • Exceptionally self-motivated and directed.
  • Keen attention to detail.
  • Focus on delivery of quality solutions and services.
  • Ability to effectively manage the introduction of technology changes into the user community.
  • Exceptional customer service orientation.
  • Ability to motivate in a team-oriented, collaborative environment.
  • Ability to manage resources and achieve objectives with direct-reports and/or matrixed resources.
  • Ability to collaborate with peers and resource managers on ensuring projects are delivered on time and within budget.
  • Ability to manage expectations for all stakeholders.
  • Ability to mentor and develop staff.
Required Experience
  • Bachelor’s degree required with advanced degree in Computer Science, Information Systems, Business Administration, or a related field preferred.
  • Minimum twelve years IT experience with five years leadership experience in IT with a focus on project management and delivery services.
  • Strong understanding and judicious application of Project Management and Portfolio Management best practices.
  • Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification preferred.
  • Experience leveraging change management best practices and methodologies.
  • Experience managing business processes and other business office operations.
  • Strong understanding of human resource management principles, practices, and procedures.
  • Experience in the education industry preferred.
  • Experience with business process improvement methods, techniques, and tools with 6 Sigma training experience preferred (Black Belt ideal).

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