The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Chief Undergraduate Advisor

Application priority date: July 22, 2019

Job Summary

The Chief Undergraduate Advisor (CUA) manages a team in the Department of Political Science and Programs in Legal Studies providing comprehensive academic counseling to department undergraduate majors. The CUA leads the development and delivery of programs and services that will enhance student success and retention and collaborates in the planning and development of course schedules. The CUA also analyzes and uses student data to inform and improve programmatic and individual student advising performance.

Essential Functions

  • Manage advising staff to provide academic advising to majors in two different undergraduate programs: Political Science and Legal Studies. Support advising staff, graduate advisors, and peer advisors in all advising activities. Develop creative solutions to challenging special cases that arise with students. Determine and approve equivalent transfer courses by evaluating course materials from other institutions.
  • Develop strategies and key programmatic ideas using departmental and University-wide data to inform advising services, recruitment and retention. Employ data analytics and associated tools to create a map of students in Political Science and Legal Studies to identify and describe key strengths, weaknesses and patterns in the program and transform that information into implementable student service and programmatic improvements.
  • Assess, improve, and maintain undergraduate/advising communication and outreach strategies to strengthen the department's overall communications strategy. Develop and maintain relevant templates, scripts and other tools for re-use in recruitment, retention, guidance and other key dimensions of advising.
  • Maintain an active presence in the Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) Advising Network and other University/SBS committees. Continuously search for "best practices" and share innovations developed in the department. Work collaboratively with relevant faculty, staff, students, student groups and other campus groups as necessary.
  • Develop student success programming such as workshops and advising events. Collaborate with relative parties to support Political Science and Legal Studies individual majors and student organizations to enhance community-building among undergraduate majors.
  • Develop, train, support and manage a team of peer advisors. Develop and teach a seminar to promote student leadership and development.

Other Functions

  • Perform related duties as assigned or required to meet Department, Executive Area/Division, and University goals and objectives. 
  • Understand responsibilities with respect to Title IX, Clery and other compliance requirements.
  • Demonstrate capacity, skill and willingness to engage students and contribute to student success.
  • Work collaboratively with other campus stakeholders to fulfill the mission of Student Affairs. 

Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Master’s degree in higher education administration, counseling, political science, or related field.
  • Four years of experience in academic advising and/or student success programming.
  • Demonstrated ability to use data analytics and associated tools to proactively identify patterns across student outcomes and profiles, organize and evaluate the success of programming, workshops, campaigns and communication channels.
  • Excellent computer skills to include MS Office Suite; knowledge or experience with a student enterprise system (preferably Peoplesoft/Spire); knowledge or experience with an academic advising tool (preferably Student Success Collaborative Advising Tool).
  • Demonstrated excellence in problem solving and written, verbal and interpersonal communication. Demonstrated collaborative communication and management style with a proven ability to build effective professional relationships to develop programs and accomplish objectives.
  • Ability to learn about the fields of political science and legal studies, with an understanding of how degrees in these fields relate to the future education or career choices of undergraduates.
  • Ability to effectively manage situations that involve interaction with distressed students, and ability to offer appropriate counsel to help resolve difficult academic or administrative problems.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with a high degree of assertiveness and initiative, to make sound and mature decisions and to carry out assignments in an organized and timely manner, balancing the demands of concurrent and potentially competing projects. 
  • Ability to adhere to the Department of Political Science Code of Conduct.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with diverse populations.

Physical Demands/Working Conditions

Typical office environment activity. 

Work Schedule

Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm. Required to work some nights and weekends. 

Salary Information

Level 27

PSU Salary Ranges

Special Instructions to Applicants

Please include a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three professional references. Applicants must apply by the priority deadline of July 22, 2019 in order to ensure consideration. Applications may be accepted after the priority date until a suitable candidate pool has been identified.

UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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