Although open until filled, priority application date is November 13, 2018.
Commanding a position among the world’s premier educational and research institutions, we at the University of Washington know that as we reach for ever-higher levels of excellence in education, research, and community service our greatest asset is our people.
Our environment promotes diversity, fosters effective community involvement, stimulates the intellect, encourages artistic pursuits, and provides the inspiration and refreshment of settings that feature great natural beauty. All of which has led UW to be nationally recognized as a “Great College to Work For” by the Chronicle of Higher Education for the last five years. We have also achieved the Times Higher Education ranking of fourth among U.S. public institutions.
The mission of the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity (OMAD) is to create pathways for diverse populations to access postsecondary opportunities, nurture and support their academic success, and cultivate a campus climate that enriches the educational experience for all. OMAD staff enjoy a fast-paced, mission-oriented work environment noted for its commitment to diversity and excellence. Within OMAD is the College Access unit that implements programs focused on expanding access for underserved communities by partnering with K-12 school districts, two-year colleges and community coalitions.
POSITION SUMMARY & RESPONSIBILITIES
OMAD is now able to offer an excellent opportunity for an Executive Director of Washington MESA. WA MESA is a statewide organization committed to building pathways to college and careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) for traditionally underrepresented minority (URM) students, including women, Native Americans/Alaska Natives, African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders.
WA MESA directs its programs toward Washington K-14 students. At the K-12 level, MESA serves over 4,000 students, providing them educational enrichment experiences and the practical help needed to prepare for university-level studies in a variety of science- and technology-related fields. MESA also works with teachers to help them implement STEM-related curriculum. At the two-year college level, WA MESA Community College Program (MCCP), operated in partnership with the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC), seeks to increase the number of historically underrepresented community college students who transfer to universities and earn a bachelor’s degree in a STEM-related field. As of 2017-18, MESA MCCP Centers serve 400 students.
To date, the outcome data for the MESA Pathway demonstrates that:
• 97% of MESA’s high school seniors go on to college;
• 58% of MESA’s high school seniors take four years of math and science courses, compared to 33% of all Washington State residents in general; and
• 85% of MESA students are from underrepresented groups.
We seek an executive director who will build on the solid foundation of this 36-year-old statewide organization and diligently work to position the MESA Pathway by 2030 as the STEM education leader, catalyst and model for educational excellence and equity for underrepresented students in Washington State. WA MESA seeks to expand our impact by serving more students and educators and to be able to demonstrate the MESA Pathway effectiveness to our stakeholders and communities.
We are looking for a talented individual who will exercise strategic leadership in and management of WA MESA’s organization that includes statewide-decentralized Centers and a state office. Our ideal candidate is a skilled professional who has deep knowledge of how to develop and implement strategy and has experience with the design of performance management system(s) that cover goals, targets and monitoring processes.
This leader will work with Washington STEM Education organizations and leverage long-term partnerships with institutions of higher education (including community colleges), school districts, industry, business, government, community organizations, families, and alumni. Together with our partners, WA MESA can champion STEM and community initiatives that enhance, align and accelerate the MESA mission.
This position reports to OMAD’s Associate Vice President of College Access and works closely with the WA MESA Advisory Board of Directors. This position offers a notable opportunity for a mission-driven leader who is passionate about increasing diversity in STEM, understands how to navigate diverse STEM ecosystems, and is committed to expanding higher education opportunities for underrepresented students.
The executive director is responsible for the leadership and management of the statewide MESA Pathway programs operated through 18 MESA Centers located across Washington State. This includes six Pre-College Centers: First Nations (operated out of Heritage University in Toppenish, WA), Seattle, Tacoma, Southwest, Yakima Valley Tri-Cities@PNNL, and Spokane. In addition, there are 12 MCCP centers operated throughout the State: Clark College, Columbia Basin College, Edmonds Community College, Everett College, Green River College, Highline College, Olympic College, Seattle Central College, Spokane Falls College, Tacoma Community College, Wenatchee College, and Yakima Valley College.
The Executive Director will work with the State Board, responsible administrators at the partner institutions, and Center directors to develop and implement strategic plans and assess the effectiveness of the MESA Pathway programs in accordance with statewide policies, practices, and guidelines. It will also be crucial to direct and implement MESA’s data collection to ensure all areas of the programs have the information and guidance to pursue continuous improvement and ensure program effectiveness. The executive director will also exercise oversight of the subcontracting process from the UW/SBCTC to the Centers and monitor Center operational budgets and expenses.
The executive director will manage the day-to-day operations of the WA MESA state office, whose role is to provide technical assistance and expertise to the Centers operated statewide, to build and sustain innovation, develop forward-looking strategies to deepen the impact of the MESA Centers, and to build support for the work they do. We have noted an increase over time in the complexity of our organization and the number of its stakeholders and the executive director must be able to thrive in tandem with such growth.
Our executive director will facilitate short- and long-term planning to ensure that WA MESA remains on the cutting edge of innovation in line with the STEM sector’s evolution, aspiring always to achieve the highest standards nationally and to maximize efforts on behalf of the MESA students, educators, and industry partners. The Executive Director will manage the State Office team made up of four professionals, including annual planning, goal setting, evaluation of programs, and appropriate reporting.
They will create and manage the highly complex budget of the WA MESA organization, which includes state-allocated funding, corporate donations, individual gifts, and national funding. It will also be necessary to monitor grant development opportunities in order to maximize grant-award potential in alignment with the strategic direction and priorities of WA MESA.
The executive director will monitor the status of organizational performance indicators and, as appropriate, recommend modifications while preparing and presenting data and research results to the Advisory Board, OMAD leadership, Institutional partners, funders and other appropriate stakeholders.
In order to broaden the WA MESA funding base and sources, the executive director will identify funding potential for program operations from external sources such as philanthropy, federal and state agencies, corporations, and individual donors and secure it to maintain and grow sustainable programing and services for MESA students and educators.
The Executive Director will lead the strategy and implementation of effective program advocacy and communication with the state legislature, government agencies, industry leaders and other STEM-related organizations in WA State and additionally with national STEM organizations such as the National MESA and other STEM-related coalitions. It will be important to ensure that all engagements and communications align with WA MESA brand standards and strategic objectives, and that messaging guidelines are deployed in consultation with partners to ensure effective coordination.
The executive director will closely work with the WA MESA Advisory board in order to fulfill the organizational mission. They will be responsible for effectively communicating with the advisory board in a timely and accurate manner and providing all information necessary to enable the Board to function properly and to make informed decisions.
Other duties as assigned.
• Strategic Visioning: Anticipates emerging trends and issues and develops a clear sense of purpose and goals that focus and drive the creative energy of the organization in alignment with the organization’s mission, vision, and values.
• Fund-Raising Experience: This may be demonstrated through experience with state/federal government, preparation of grant proposals and foundation requests, and general fundraising from business and industry or other sources.
• Effective Communication: Able to express oneself clearly and empathetically in interactions with others in all forms of communication, i.e., verbal and written, one-on-one, group, and more.
• Organizational Acumen: Capable of sizing up a situation, balancing reason and the interests of others, and act in a decisive, timely and appropriate manner that is congruent with the organization's values, goals and mission to achieve success.
• Interpersonal Awareness: Builds and maintains positive relationships and actively contributes as a member of working teams in order to achieve results.
• Professional Credibility: Takes responsibility for meeting goals, objectives, obligations, and solving problems while representing the mission, vision and values of the organization.
• Critical Thinking: Obtains, analyzes and evaluates information effectively in the face of ambiguity. Makes appropriate decisions based on relevant information and experience.
• Results-Oriented: Acts decisively to achieve results.
• Conflict Resolution: Works to resolve conflicts and differences in a timely manner through dialogue and open communication. Sees every difference as an opportunity for growth and change.
• Relationship Acumen: Depth of skills in building, navigating and growing relationships with a very wide range of constituents and partners.
• Ethics and Trust: Models and upholds the values of candor, openness, inclusiveness, and honesty despite any internal and external pressures. Acts consistently with Washington State ethical guidelines and organizational core values and beliefs.
• Diversity & Inclusiveness: Respects, values, and contributes to the UW’s commitment to inclusiveness and diversity.
• Master’s degree or an equivalent combination of education and experience from which comparable knowledge and skills have been acquired may substitute for degree.
• Nine years of experience as a leader or manager in an agency, program, or work unit addressing student services, STEM and/or diversity issues.
• Demonstrated sensitivity to and expertise in diversity issues in K-12 school systems and institutions of higher education plus familiarity with the organization and operation of these entities. Respects, values, and contributes to the UW’s commitment to inclusiveness and diversity.
• Demonstrated experience in policymaking, issue advocacy, and legislative advocacy.
• Experience working with community coalitions, business and industry, school districts, community colleges, universities and professional groups.
• Experience implementing measures of program efficacy and effectiveness. Experience creating organizational-wide targets and metrics, and using data to assess effectiveness of project and mission. Proficiency with data extraction, manipulation, compilation, and presentation-techniques.
• A master’s degree in a science, mathematics, engineering, education, or management discipline.
• Experience managing web-based communications and using various information technology tools to support organizational goals.
• Experience in managing multiple budgets.
• Experience managing and developing staff and/or teams.
• Experience working in a higher education system, including teaching experience, or related work experience dealing with policy at the state level or equivalent level.
• Demonstrably strong computer skills and data management skills, as well as proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for producing correspondence, special reports, spreadsheets, databases, forms, and more.
• Ability to work evening and weekend hours, as necessary, on short or limited notice.
• Must have regular and reliable transportation for local travel and willingness to travel when necessary.
As a UW employee, you will enjoy generous benefits and work/life programs. For detailed information on Benefits for this position, click here.
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