Civic Initiative Academic Director

Apply now Job no: 499733
Work type: Hourly, Staff Full Time/Part-Time
Campus: UMass President's Office
Department: UMDI - Civics Initiative
Categories: Business & Financial Services

Primary Work Location:

100 Venture Way, Suite 9, Hadley MA 01035


Normal Work Schedule:

Day-to-day schedules will vary depending upon the program, specifically with respect to both academic and cultural activities. Academic Directors are required to be present throughout the duration of the program to which they are assigned; this can vary between four to twelve weeks. Academic Directors generally work around 40 hours each week, but these hours may not fall into the standard full-time work schedule.


Job Summary:

The University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute (UMDI) Civic Initiative (CI) business unit is dedicated to promoting democracy through education in both the U.S. and abroad. Select groups of students, scholars, and professionals from around the world come to the UMass Amherst campus and travel to other regional sites for various short term exchange programs. Programs are designed for attendees to improve their leadership skills, increase their subject knowledge, and learn about U.S. culture. Programs are based on engaging participants through active learning, integrating classroom readings, lectures, and discussions with community-based, collaborative projects that offer practical, real-life experience.

The Academic Director (AD) is responsible for creating and implementing a unified academic program consistent with the program and commitments contained in the grant award, and as expected by the funding agency.  With direction from the CI Director, the AD is responsible for the academic, administrative and organizational direction of the program. The position requires that the AD manage day-to-day functions of the program in collaboration with the CI team and with the assistance of CI program mentors. This will include curating and scheduling all program speakers and site visits, providing academic content and assigning appropriate projects to the participants.  The AD is expected to be present and engaged in academic content with the participants throughout the course of the program. The AD is responsible for bringing different program components into a unified context for participants and addressing any content confusion.

The AD must be developmentally, culturally, and linguistically responsive to participants from different ethnic, socioeconomic, religious, cultural, and political backgrounds. There is significant diversity within each program group.


Essential Functions:

The listing of functions include, but are not limited to:

  • Schedule speakers for academic program content;
  • Schedule site visits to complement academic program content;
  • Brief speakers in advance regarding content goals, group expectations and session delivery;
  • Curate reading assignments to meaningfully supplement class discussions and program activities;
  • Develop projects to complement the academic sessions and cultural visits; projects will vary depending on program content and are designed to add experiential learning to the classroom component;
  • Conduct sessions with the group to provide unity and continuity to the program;
  • Academic Directors will attend all academic sessions and provide summaries, and assist with understanding and integration of the curriculum by  providing additional context to program participants when necessary;
  • Conduct work in a collegial environment where Academic Directors are expected to maintain regular communication with CI Director and Program Manager;
  • Coordinate with the program mentors to organize daily activities, including events and outings;
  • Provide the CI administrative team all necessary information to process speaker honoraria and follow up to ensure payments are processed;
  • Provide weekly reports on program progress and highlights;
  • Demonstrate discretion and provide regular updates on program participants and mentor staff to the CI Director;
  • Notify the CI Director immediately in the event of any behavioral or health problem with participants;
  • Maintain an accurate calendar for the program;
  • Maintain database of all content and readings for the program;
  • Provide a final report within 30 days of the completion of the program;
  • Communicate with group participants in advance of the program as well as maintain communication after the program, such communications will last approximately two weeks before the program and two weeks after;
  • Attend pre and post program meetings to review program requirements and budgets;
  • Assist CI Director in the development of program renewal documents;
  • Assist CI Director in developing and deployment of pre and post program evaluations.


Other Functions:

  • Other duties as assigned.
  • Assist in evaluating participant progress.
  • Assist in insuring State Department rules and regulations for participant conduct are followed and, in cooperation with the administrative director, issuing warnings where appropriate.  


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience):

  • A valid domestic Driver’s License;
  • Demonstrated teaching experience in the program content area;
  • Demonstrated experience mentoring and/or teaching the grant target audience;
  • Master’s Degree in Business Administration, Management Sciences, or Entrepreneurship
  • Academic Directors must be developmentally, culturally, and linguistically responsive, demonstrating open-mindedness, patience, and cultural sensitivity to participants who come from different ethnic, socioeconomic, religious, cultural, and political backgrounds.


Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience):

  • Demonstrated experience in a leadership or mentorship role in Entrepreneurship and/or Management Sciences.
  • Demonstrated experience working with U.S. government funded programs.


Working Conditions:

  • Work environment is fast paced and can result in multiple interruptions and requests for assistance.
  • Work sites are varied and may include: program residence, classrooms, the UMDI CI office, and events at public and private locations. Academic Directors may lodge and work in various locations outside of MA (including, but not limited to: New York, Washington D.C.).
  • Must have the flexibility to travel on an as-needed basis within Massachusetts and in some instances outside of the Commonwealth to accompany program participants during site visits and study tour.
  • This role requires strong attention to detail, ability to meet deadlines, ability to multi-task, a respect for confidentiality requirements, high levels of accuracy and organization.
  • The physical/mental demands and work environment factors described above are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.
  • Academic Directors may be expected to travel with program participants on the academic study tour.


Additional Details:

  • This position is funded by grants and/or contracts, and is contingent upon funding.
  • No relocation assistance provided.
  • This is an hourly position.
  • Any job offer within the President's Office is specifically conditioned upon the potential candidate consenting to and successfully completing a background review.
  • Candidates must have the ability to work in the United States. University of Massachusetts will not sponsor Visas for this position. 
  • Hourly Rate: $23.00 - $25.00 per hour

Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close: Eastern Daylight Time

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The University of Massachusetts is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action, Title IX employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age over 40, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, marital status, or other protected class.