Attention: All employees of the Presidents Office must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or obtain an approved exemption on medical or religious grounds.

Assistant Vice President and Chief Data Strategist

Apply now Job no: 519081
Position type: Staff Full Time
Campus: UMass President's Office
Campus Location: Beacon Street-Boston
Department: Academic Affairs
Categories: Academic Affairs
Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close:

Job Summary:

Academic Affairs within the University of Massachusetts President’s office is seeking an Assistant Vice President and Chief Data Strategist to lead our team of institutional research and data analytic experts.  You will report to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. You will work with the University’s Information Technology Services department (UITS), Administration & Finance departments (A&F) and Institutional Research (IR) colleagues on our five campuses and in the system office, integrating both internal data for student records, finance, space, and alumni as well as external data, such as: the federal Census, the American Community Survey, statewide household census data, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and other federal and state survey data.  You will possess experience in predictive modeling and an interest in the improvement of higher education and the ability to communicate your findings to non-technical audiences.  You will work with the UMass community to develop and communicate a clear data management vision and articulate strategic priorities for management and delivery of data throughout the university system. In addition to extensive data management and data architecture experience, this role requires excellent leadership skills and demonstrated success in driving transformational change through collaboration.

Essential Functions:

  • Lead overall Data Management strategy.
    • Develop a deep understanding of the needs of the key stakeholders regarding the use and value of data.
    • Catalog and gather consensus around existing shortcomings and challenges of how data is managed across the university system.
    • Develop strategies for increasing data access, sharing and consumption.
    • Working with the individual campuses, design and implement effective data governance and data standards that achieve effective data stewardship.
    • Provide direction on data lifecycle management, data quality strategy, assessment and cleansing, advanced analytics, archiving and retention.
  • Recruit, integrate and manage a team of data science and institutional researchers in the President’s Office and develop collegial relations with the five campus-based institutional research and IT groups.
  • Develop, recommend, implement, and evaluate policy experiments designed to improve student success.
  • Create data visualizations to provide insight to complex business problems.
  • Work collaboratively with colleagues to plan for new data development and analyses that will answer pressing policy-relevant questions.
  • Work closely with UITS on:
    • Modernizing the shared data management and analytics architecture in support of the data management strategy.
    • Facilitating joint collaborations with campuses to leverage shared architecture and resources.
    • Building consensus around and implementing data governance policies.
    • Working with external organizations such as DESE and DHE, among others, on collaborative projects to source external data.
  • Collaborate with UITS to develop the UMass Data Lab, an integrated data analytics capacity that can enable the President’s Office to:

    • Analyze system level information across multiple subject areas including, recruiting and admissions, student records, completions, financial aid, student financials among others.
    • Enable student success analysis for first time and transfer students, including the predictive value of courses taken at entry (or in community colleges), the impact of financial aid and work responsibilities on student performance. 
    • Develop clearinghouse data which will enable campuses to get a better sense of competition (where students who are accepted go), and to compile “graduation rates” of students who start with the University but go elsewhere. 
    • Help campuses track graduates for the purposes of maintaining valuable databases for advancement purposes as a service both to the President and the Chancellors. 
    • Track dropouts for the purposes of building degree completion programs.
    • Compile analytic information to assist in planning for admissions campaigns within and outside the Commonwealth.
    • Compile demographic data that will permit A/F office to understand patterns of growth and decline in the populations served or need to cultivate. 
    • Compile application and admissions data that will help to inform A/F of the fit between enrollment and budget forecasts.

Other Functions:

  • If appropriate, publish results in academic journals and policy outlets to enhance the visibility of the President’s Office as a source of innovation. 

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

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science, labor economics, statistics, sociology, operations research or related field.
  • 3+ years of experience developing programs in data analytics.
  • Experience supervising teams.
  • Experience applying machine learning/predictive analytics techniques and ability to train subordinates in new methods.
  • Ability to supervise quantitative and qualitative analyses.
  • Knowledge of R, Python, SAS, SPSS, STATA or similar tool set for data extraction, manipulation, and analysis.
  • Experience developing descriptive and predictive models (both supervised and unsupervised) using a variety of statistical techniques such as linear and logistic regression, multivariate analysis, maximum likelihood estimation techniques, Time Series and Markov Chain Analyses, as well as decision trees, support vector machines, and Naïve Bayes classifier.
  • Familiarity with SQL data extraction & manipulation to generate data sets for statistical models.
  • Experience using data visualization tools, such as Tableau, to manipulate, analyze, and present data.
  • Excellent communication skills and experience presenting findings to decision-makers.
  • Ability to collaborate with senior leadership, work effectively and independently on multiple priorities with strict deliverable dates.
  • Experience working with both business users and technical development teams.

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

  • Doctoral Degree/Advanced degree in Computer Science, Labor Economics, Sociology, Statistics, Operations Research, or related fields. 
  • Prior experience in higher education
  • A strong belief in transparent, explainable models.
  • Strong understanding of data warehouse concepts and experience working with large structured and unstructured data sets.
  • Experience working with one or more ERP systems, such as PeopleSoft or Banner, as well as analytical tools such as Tableau.
  • Experience working with unstructured data.
  • Experience implementing predictive models in a production setting.

Working Conditions:

Typical Office environment, located in Boston, MA; Hybrid schedule. Must be able to independently travel to the University campuses in Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, Lowell, Worcester and Shrewsbury.


Back to search results Apply now Refer a friend

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.