University of Michigan Academic Program Manager in Ann Arbor, Michigan

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

The Rackham Graduate School’s Graduate Student Professional and Academic Development team is seeking an individual to provide the highest level of excellence in the development and implementation of innovative professional development programs to engage a highly diverse STEM graduate student and postdoctoral fellow community. We seek an individual that will be energized by working in a student-centered, multidisciplinary and collaborative team environment.

The Academic Program Manager will design and manage programs; cultivate relationships and develop collaborations with university and external partners; analyze career outcomes for STEM Ph.D.’s; engage in professional development related scholarship; and collaborate within Rackham to further Rackham’s mission.

They will be responsible for developing strong partnerships with faculty, staff and graduate students in graduate programs and departments in the schools and colleges across the University to inform and support high quality, innovative graduate student professional development programs and resources.

The position may require some travel and evening and weekend work.

For more information on the Rackham Graduate School go to


Job responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Program Design: Develop new and innovative ways to provide professional development opportunities for STEM (as defined by the National Science Foundation) students and postdoctoral fellows by maintaining and building upon Rackham’s professional and academic development programs. Contribute to Professional and Academic Development curriculum in areas related to Rackham's core skills for professional development (including communication, collaboration, career development, and leadership). Take the lead on Rackham north campus curriculum design (workshops, seminars, programs, etc.). Design new experiential learning activities for STEM students and postdoctoral fellows (e.g., job simulations, immersions, online delivery possibilities, etc.). Review the future faculty programming for STEM graduate students on campus, identify gaps in that curriculum, and design programming to address those gaps. Design programming to address the national need to recruit and retain diverse faculty and mentors, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds in STEM.

Cultivate relationships and develop collaborations with university and external partners: Make connections, develop relationships, share ideas, discuss collaborations and determine appropriate collaboration and co-sponsorship with contacts on and off campus. Coordinate regularly with the University Career Center, Engineering Career Resource Center, Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies in the Medical School, Fast Forward Medical Innovation, College of Engineering Office of Student Life and other partners in the area of STEM professional and academic development to provide professional development related to core skills (communication, collaboration, career development, leadership, etc.) for our STEM graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Collaborate on campus-wide future faculty initiatives for STEM graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Interview STEM alumni to gain insights on improving our professional development curriculum to better meet the needs of our STEM students and postdoctoral fellows. Coordinate with STEM graduate student organizations (e.g., FEMMES, RELATE, WISE, Tau Beta Pi, STEM in Color, ChEGS, GradSWE and local student chapters of NSBE, ASEE, etc.). Connect to graduate student organizations to 1) better understand what professional development activities students are organizing and 2) align Rackham’s programming to support and reinforce that work and avoid duplication.

Program Management: Manage Internship Grant for biological sciences students. Manage AAAS CASE workshop competition for STEM students in coordination with Rackham Program in Public Scholarship. Manage “What’s Next? Career Paths for STEM PhD’s”. Attend STEM and multidisciplinary professional development workshops, seminars, and programming on both central and north campuses. Implement programming on both central and north campuses by facilitating workshops, introducing guest speakers for Rackham programs, and moderating panels. Implement new experiential learning activities for STEM students and postdoctoral fellows (e.g., job simulations, immersions). Work closely with the Professional and Academic Development Events Coordinator to supervise program logistics.

Rackham Collaboration and Leadership: Collaborate on or lead Professional and Academic Development large multidisciplinary events, such as Winter Welcome Back, PhD Connections career conference, etc. Meet regularly with Rackham Associate and Assistant Deans to involve them in STEM professional development programming. Work with Rackham Development and the Alumni Relations to increase STEM alumni engagement with Rackham students. Participate in Professional and Academic Development team meetings, as well as critical meetings with other Rackham teams (Rackham Communications, Rackham Recruitment and Engagement, etc.). Contribute to Rackham committees.

Career Outcomes Analysis: Rackham is committed to accessible data about career pathways for STEM students. Understand the scholarly literature on national career outcomes for STEM graduate students. Work with the Rackham Institutional Research team to investigate the Rackham STEM career outcomes data and make recommendations to align our programming with STEM students’ career outcomes.

Scholarship: Research best practices in the area of STEM professional and academic development and explore programs conducted at peer institutions. Evaluate Rackham program effectiveness and disseminate findings at relevant local and/or national conferences. Write for publication in higher education press and/or peer review journals.

Required Qualifications*

Master’s degree in a STEM discipline (as defined by the National Science Foundation) or equivalent combination of education in a STEM-related field plus 1-2 years of responsible experience in higher education professional development work. Reasonable, increasingly responsible experience as a successful member of a high-level support team in program development, management and coordination in a university setting, including staff work, program planning and administration. Experience implementing effective and innovative student programs and services. Understanding, appreciation of, and strong personal commitment to the issues involved in diversity programming for students, particularly students of color and women in fields in which they are historically underrepresented. Experience developing and implementing workshops on a university campus and coordinating large scale events. Demonstrated customer service attitude and experience and excellent interpersonal communication skills are essential, including the capacity to build collegial relationships with students, faculty and staff within the Graduate School and across the University and the ability to work with a wide range of people who represent our diverse and multi-cultural society. Demonstrated ability to exercise a high level of initiative, creativity and judgment and to achieve organizational and operational change within a large and complex organization with multiple operations and constituencies. Strong problem-solving skills, including the demonstrated ability to synthesize ideas, anticipate next steps, and prioritize important decisions. Demonstrated organizational skills to plan, organize, manage and follow through on a large and diverse workload with excellent attention to detail and ability to meet deadlines in a timely manner. Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with faculty, staff and graduate student constituencies, both orally and in writing, including the ability to exercise discretion and judgment in matters of a sensitive or confidential nature. Understands and values diversity and the importance of inclusion as demonstrated through a commitment to apply and incorporate the differences, complexities, and opportunities that diversity brings to an organization. Knowledge of personal computer productivity tools including word processing, spreadsheets, calendaring, scheduling, presentation and communication software packages. Commitment to empowering students in their professional development. Understanding of the current higher education landscape and diverse career options for graduate students within and beyond academe. Experience implementing effective and innovative professional development programs and services. Understanding, appreciation of, and strong personal commitment to the issues involved in programming for diverse students, particularly students of color and women in STEM fields in which they are historically underrepresented. Energized by working in a student-centered, multidisciplinary and collaborative team environment. Ability to travel to locations across campus to attend meetings and oversee events.

Desired Qualifications*

Ph.D. in a STEM or other related field with 1-2 years of graduate student professional development programming experience. Program evaluation experience and familiarity with quantitative and qualitative methodologies for authentically assessing programs. Knowledge of and ability to clearly and concisely articulate University and Rackham policies and procedures. Experience implementing initiatives that require organizational/cultural change. Extensive knowledge of graduate education and the diverse culture of the University’s schools, colleges, and units with which the Rackham Graduate School interacts. Knowledge of University organizational structure, policies, procedures, and practices; and working familiarity with and appreciation of the diverse cultures of the schools, colleges, and units of the University. Familiarity with a wide range of professional development related social media communications (e.g., Twitter, LinkedIn) and digital collaboration tools.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days. This job 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.

Job Detail

Job Opening ID


Working Title

Manager of STEM Professional Development Programs

Job Title

Academic Program Manager

Work Location

Ann Arbor CampusAnn Arbor, MI

Full/Part Time




FLSA Status


Organizational Group

Rackham Grad School


Rackham Grad Prof & Acad Dev

Posting Begin/End Date

9/27/2018 – 10/20/2018


$52,150.00 –$70,000.00

Career Interest

Academic & Student Services

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