University of Wisconsin System — Associate Vice President for Policy Analysis and Institutional Research

Madison, WI

The University of Wisconsin System is one of the largest systems of public higher education in the country and employs more than 40,000 faculty and staff statewide. The UW System institutions’ combined headcount enrollment is approximately 180,000, and it confers more than 36,000 degrees each year. The UW System is comprised of 13 four-year universities, 13 freshman-sophomore UW colleges, and a statewide UW-Extension. Two of the universities (UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee) are doctoral degree-granting institutions and 11 are master’s degree-granting comprehensive institutions. The UW System is governed by a single Board of Regents comprised of 18 members. The UW System head is the President of the System. Together, these institutions are a tremendous academic, cultural, and economic resource for Wisconsin, the nation, and the world.

The mission of the Office of Policy Analysis and Research (OPAR) is to inform University of Wisconsin System planning, policy development, evaluation, and decision-making processes, and guide UW System’s strategic direction in contributing to the economic development and higher education goals of the State of Wisconsin.  In fulfilling this mission, OPAR’s primary functions are to oversee the collection and management of student, curricular, admissions, and financial aid data from UW System institutions and conduct relevant analysis in these areas; serve as the office of record and clearinghouse for the UW System Administration (UWSA) on student, curricular, admissions, and financial aid information; provide accurate, timely information and analyses to the Board of Regents, UWSA senior leadership, and UW System institutions; lead system wide accountability reporting efforts; conduct instructional workload and cost analysis; initiate studies to address emerging national and state issues in higher education; support review and evaluation of UW System policies and academic programs; contribute to the budget planning process; benchmark UW System performance against peer systems and institutions; coordinate and analyze system wide surveys; respond to state and federally mandated information requirements and other data requests; adopt best practices in use of technology in institutional research; and facilitate collaboration on higher education issues with UW System institutions.

Major Responsibilities:
Reporting to the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, the Associate Vice President for OPAR provides the dynamic leadership needed for an effective system office that delivers analyses of UW System data, state policy, and national trends in support of the UW System’s strategic direction.  With an emphasis on the improvement of the success of students in the System’s broad array of programs, the Associate Vice President must provide creative leadership in the areas of data analysis, policy development, and predictive analytics. This leadership role must be carried out in a collaborative manner with the UW System institutions and all divisions within UW System Administration.  In particular, the Associate Vice President will maintain strong, constructive ties with institutional research offices and academic leadership on each of the UW System Institutions.

Under the direction of the Associate Vice President, OPAR supports the collection of a broad array of data elements needed to perform system wide policy analysis.  Additionally, OPAR monitors national and state developments in higher education, initiates studies and analysis to address educational issues, contributes to the budget planning process for the System, and contributes to the review and evaluation of system wide, state, and federal policies and programs for the UW System.

With the recent adoption of the 2020FWD strategic framework that will guide the UW System strategic priorities for the next four years, the Associate Vice President will play a vital role in supporting the development of effective strategies to improve our educational pipeline, provide better experiences for students, enhance our engagement with Wisconsin businesses and communities, and build on our operational excellence.  Key components of this support will be providing leadership for the development of system wide predictive analytics, delivering crucial analyses for effective enrollment management, and keeping our institutional research and policy analysis team highly engaged in support of innovation throughout the UW System.

The Associate Vice President must create a workplace environment placing a high value on collaboration among the members of OPAR, successful engagement in team dynamics within the Division of Academic and Student Affairs, and respect for a broad spectrum of individual backgrounds and experiences.  The Associate Vice President will also maintain and leverage contacts and strong partnerships with the appropriate national and regional associations, organizations, and higher education policy development entities.

Minimum Qualifications:
In order to be considered for this position, applicants must have:

  • Master’s degree from an accredited institution.
  • At least seven years professional experience in higher education, with extensive experience in institutional research and administrative leadership.
  • Demonstrated success in providing the leadership necessary for setting and achieving strategic initiatives for a unit focused on policy analysis and institutional research.
  • Experience with the use of data to improve student success at a higher education institution.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with multiple institutions and interests to lead the effort towards a common goal of a more extensive use of data to enhance student achievement.
  • Ability to oversee the development of predictive analytics, enrollment management modeling, instructional costs analysis, faculty workload reports, financial aid inquiries, federal data reporting, and strategic planning metrics.
  • Ability to lead a team that will provide timely and accurate analysis of policy proposals in a format that lends itself to both internal policy development and responding to external policy proposals.
  • A demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  • A demonstrated ability to develop and maintain collegial and collaborative relationships.
  • A commitment to working across units within the Academic and Student Affairs Division in the support of a team approach to project management.
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Doctorate in an area directly related to policy analysis and data analysis such as social science with an analytic emphasis, statistics, mathematics, or higher education policy analysis.
  • Experience with a range of institution types (doctoral, comprehensive, and two year) is desired.
  • Background in working within a multi-university system.

Conditions of Employment: This is a full-time, salaried (exempt) limited position. The successful candidate can expect to make between $140,000 to $164,606 on an annual basis commensurate with the candidate’s qualifications and experience.  UW System employees receive an excellent benefit package: Summary – Faculty, Academic Staff & Limited Appointees. Please see this link for total compensation information: UW System Total Compensation Estimator. Special Note: The UW System conducts criminal background checks for final candidate(s).

To ensure full consideration, a cover letter, completed application and a response to the question below must be received by Wednesday, November 9, 2016.

However, applications may be accepted until the position has been filled. To apply, upload:

(1) a cover letter specifically addressing how your education and experience relate to the position and qualifications described above, with an emphasis on the areas outlined under “Minimum Qualifications”; (2) a comprehensive resumé; (3) the names, addresses, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers for at least five professional (including supervisory) references.  Your application materials also need to include a statement of whether you wish to have your application held in confidence or made available to the public upon request. Please note that in the absence of any statement regarding confidentiality, we will assume you do not wish to have your application held in confidence.

The University of Wisconsin System will not reveal the identities of applicants who request confidentiality in writing, except that the identity of the successful candidate will be released. See Wis. Stat. sec. 19.36(7).

These documents are to be uploaded electronically as a single PDF file in the “Upload a New Resume” section of the online application process. You will then NOT be submitting individual documents in the “Add Attachment” or “Add References” sections of the process. Applications should be completed online here.

Questions may be addressed to: Lori Fuller, Interim Assistant Director – Human Resources, Office of Human Resources and Workforce Diversity, at or at (608) 263-0847.

The University of Wisconsin System Administration is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and actively seeks and encourages applications from women, minorities, and person with disabilities.