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University of Michigan
  • Position Number: 1498070
  • Location: Ann Arbor, MI
  • Position Type: Education

Associate Director of Optimize

Job Opening ID: 173739
Work Location: Ann Arbor Campus
Full Time/Part Time: Full-Time
Regular/Temporary: Regular
FLSA Status: Exempt
Organizational Group: College Of Lsa
Department: LSA UG: OptiMize
Posting Begin/End Date: 6/10/2019 6/30/2019
Salary: $60,000.00 $65,000.00
Paid Time Off:
Career Interest: Administration

How to Apply
A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.

Job Summary
LSA OptiMize is a student-led social innovation incubator that offers workshops, mentorship, and funding for students to work on self-directed projects that make the world more just and sustainable. Since starting as a student-led organization at the University of Michigan in 2012, optiMize has helped more than 3000 students start social impact projects, awarded more than $1 million in seed funding to student teams, and helped students at Wayne State and Eastern Michigan run their own programs based on the model. Following optiMize's initial success as a student group, the University of Michigan College of LSA created a new Social Innovation unit to work in collaboration with the student-led optiMize team. In 2018-2019, more than 800 students participated at Michigan,

The LSA Associate Director for Social Innovation & optiMize leads operations for optiMize and reports to the Director. We are seeking candidates who love working collaboratively, enjoy managing daily operations and logistics, and are excellent communicators across a range of stakeholders. Please submit a cover letter and resume/CV with your application.

Mission Statement
The mission of the University of Michigan is to serve the people of Michigan and the world through preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving and applying knowledge, art, and academic values, and in developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future. The University of Michigan is committed to foster learning, creativity and productivity, and to support the vigorous exchange of ideas and information, not only in the classroom but in the workplace by:
  • Creating a work environment in which people treat each other with respect and dignity, regardless of roles, responsibilities or differences.
  • Providing support, direction and resources enabling us to accomplish the responsibilities of our jobs and to reach the goals that are set for professional and personal growth.

Hiring, Supervision, and Development of Staff and Volunteers (30%)
  • Hire, train, supervise, and evaluate optiMize staff, both regular and temporary
  • Set agendas and lead weekly optiMize staff and volunteer team meetings
  • Keep aware of workflows for team members and check in when necessary
  • Develop on-boarding and training processes for new and continuing staff
  • Establish staff work procedures and manage work hours throughout the office
  • Create yearly professional development & best practices model(s) for the continuous growth of optiMize staff, both regular and temporary
  • Recruit, train, supervise, and evaluate optiMize volunteers and staff
  • Establish a strategic model for engaging more than 100 consistent active volunteers, including on-boarding, training, bi-weekly work assignment, regular feedback, and growth plans
  • Facilitate effective communication and collaboration across stakeholders in the optiMize organization and community

Unit Administration, Fiscal Management, and Program Administration (25%)
  • Primary responsibility for day-to-day unit operations and oversight of all programs
  • Manage the unit's financial transactions and transfers
  • Lead the unit's budget adjustment processes as the fiscal year progresses
  • Serve as an active contributing member of the optiMize leadership team
  • Chair and/or serve on department committees as required
  • Provide leadership in promoting the holistic, active, and developmental model of optiMize student success
  • Oversee all optiMize programs, assure the highest level of quality, and make adjustments as necessary to ensure the continued improvement and growth of all programs in the unit
  • Report operational insights to Director
  • Primary responsibility for strategic plan implementation and daily operations
  • Provide leadership in ensuring all programs and initiatives stay within budget
  • Create and develop new models, policies, and procedures for effectiveness of the optiMize model for student learning
  • Support the Director in assessing and evaluating the optiMize educational model across all programs
  • Develop evaluation tools to assess effectiveness of educational services
  • Provide leadership in the development of Social Innovation Challenge workshop curriculum
  • Manage programs calendar and other calendars with support from the Office Coordinator
  • Process new optiMize affiliates and oversee student group processing for incoming students
  • Represent the unit when Director is unavailable
  • Assist Director with external communications, marketing, and public relations

Program Development, Outreach, and Engagement (20%)
  • With Director, develop annual budget for optiMize programs
  • Develop visions, plans, timelines, and staff and volunteer assignments for annual slate of events across all optiMize programs
  • Oversee implementation of weekly events lineup for optiMize Challenge
  • Oversee implementation of systems for tracking student participation and engagement across all optiMize programs
  • Serve as primary contact and handler for workshop speakers, vendors, and contributing consultants
  • Host weekly open house events for current and prospective students, alumni, and donors
  • Organize and host conferences and public events
  • Handle complaints and inquiries from all stakeholders
  • Organize and disseminate opportunities for current students and alumni to advance their self-directed projects
  • Develop and implement public events in tandem with Director, Mentorship Manager, and Community Partnerships Manager
  • Select and prepare the optiMize selection committee to manage consensus decision process for prize funding allocation
  • Provide direct introductions and connections across the optiMize and University community

Coursework Administration (10%)
  • Work with faculty to develop and coordinate courses for the ALA division
  • Recruit, train, and assess student facilitators and course assistants
  • Develop a model for student-led courses in the College of LSA
  • Establish procedures for student-led course proposal and approval, with input from the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education

Mentoring and Advising Students (5%)
  • Advise and support caseload of diverse undergraduate students
  • Orient students to academic programs and university services
  • Help students as they develop their self-directed projects
  • Monitor progress and provide individual feedback to students

Liaison to University Units (5%)
  • Establish effective working relationships with partnering units throughout the university
  • Develop communication plan to share information among optimize and other units
  • Serve on committees in LSA when requested
  • Meet with other unit leaders as needed
  • Represent optiMize locally and nationally

Professional Development (5%)
  • Attend workshops, trainings, institutes, and conferences related to the optiMize mission
  • Remain current on research, scholarship, and best practices related to the liberal arts and sciences, higher education, and position specific requirements

Required Qualifications*
Bachelor's degree and at least one year of relevant professional work experience with strategic planning in a higher education or non-profit environment. Excellent interpersonal, oral and written communication skills. Strategic leadership and management experience. Entrepreneurial mindset and comfort with ambiguity. Experience working with and engaging diverse groups of students. A demonstrated ability to work independently and a proven record of working collaboratively and diplomatically with others. Capability to design strategic program aims and lead others in creating programs to achieve those aims. Capacity to develop productive relationships and work collaboratively with a variety of University stakeholders. Capacity and experience with community building and volunteer engagement.

Desired Qualifications*
Experience with startups is highly preferable. Experience with grant writing and donor engagement. Experience in curriculum design and development, especially in the areas of leadership development and organizational training. Expertise in developing student programming and facilitating growth in student leadership. Experience in program evaluation.

Additional Information
The College of Literature, Science, and the Arts seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce as a reflection of our commitments to serve the diverse people of Michigan, fulfill the College's Guiding Principles, and sustain the excellence of LSA.

To learn more about diversity, equity, and inclusion visit

To learn more about LSA's Guiding Principles visit

Background Screening
The University of Michigan conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background checks. Background checks are performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Application Deadline
Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days. The review and selection process may begin as early as the eighth day after posting. This opening may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.

U-M EEO/AA Statement
The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

To apply, visit

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