Job Listings

Director, Academic Project Management

Western Governors University
Job Location:
Salt Lake City, Utah
Business and Financial Services

Job Type: Full time

Job Number: JR-010863

Location: Home Office

If you're passionate about building a better future for individuals, communities, and our country-and you're committed to working hard to play your part in building that future-consider WGU as the next step in your career.

Driven by a mission to expand access to higher education through online, competency-based degree programs, WGU is also committed to being a great place to work for a diverse workforce of student-focused professionals. The university has pioneered a new way to learn in the 21st century, one that has received praise from academic, industry, government, and media leaders. Whatever your role, working for WGU gives you a part to play in helping students graduate, creating a better tomorrow for themselves and their families.

*****INTERNAL POSTING UP UNTIL 5/28/2022*****

Essential Functions and Responsibilities:

  • Establishes and maintains the guidelines, quality standards, and performance requirements aligned to the project management mission of the organization.
  • Seeks implementation efficiencies to meet or exceed the financial expectations of the Academic Organization.
  • Plans and manages department budgets for headcount, expense, and capital investment.
  • Develops, implements, and governs program management processes, dashboards, templates, policies, and metrics.
  • As appropriate acts as a shared service provider for project management outside of the academic organization.
  • Monitors compliance with project policies and standards.
  • Coaches and mentors project management professionals and share knowledge of best practices with other WGU project management teams.
  • Sets annual performance targets for direct reports and conduct performance reviews.
  • Oversees project managers and managers of project managers for the delivery of projects/programs on time, within scope and budget.
  • Provides executive leaders with the information needed to assess and decide with project/program proposals have the highest potential value, impact, and strategic alignment.
  • Interfaces with executives to define project priorities, implementation opportunities, challenges and communicate project risks and opportunities.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Skill and Abilities:

  • Mastery level skills in the business functions of Project Management, Change Management, Business Transformation Leadership, Project Portfolio Management, and New Product Introduction/Launch.
  • Excellent leadership and project management skills.
  • Works well in a team environment.
  • Ability to influence change and motivate others.
  • Strong oral and written communications abilities.
  • Ability to stand-up and present results and action plans to large groups at internal meetings.
  • Solid technical and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to plan and meet schedules.
  • Ability to record and publish meeting minutes, rolling action items, and status reports.
  • Ability to use all related computer equipment and applications
  • Understanding of statistics and statistical analysis techniques related to continuous improvement.


Organizational Impact:

  • Develops and recommends plan to accomplish division or job area responsibilities that align with the department.
  • Performance affects department results. Work requires extensive knowledge of the University to recognize impact of decisions.
  • Responsible for compiling data to produce a budget or a portion of a budget for a department or job area.

Problem Solving & Decision Making:

  • Responsible for making significant improvements to processes, programs, and systems to enhance the outcomes of the division or job area.
  • May create and direct policy decisions within scope of responsibility. Accountable for coordinating activities and maintaining relationships with external parties as needed.
  • Problems faced are numerous and undefined, and require detailed information gathering, analysis, and prior experience. Solutions to problems typically affect multiple departments.

Communication & Influence:

  • Represents the division or job area as the primary internal contact for operations.
  • Influences others to accept the division or job area's views, practices, concepts, and approaches. Interacts with equivalent level management concerning matters of significance to the University.
  • Conducts briefings with senior leadership to gain approval.

Leadership & Talent Management

  • Manages teams of managers and professionals. Responsible for creating workforce and staffing plans for area. Directly oversees hiring, firing, promotion, performance management, employee training, and other personnel decisions of significance within the division or job area.
  • May spend time as completing functional tasks, but primarily achieves goals through leading a team.

Job Qualifications:

Minimum Qualifications:

  • University Degree or equivalent.
  • 10 years of project management experience which includes a minimum of 5-7 years of direct management of project management teams or a project management office.
  • The ability to travel to WGU headquarters in Salt Lake City at least six weeks a year (flying on Monday and Friday) to attend working meetings and team building events with the whole team.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master's degree in Business Administration, or related field.
  • PMP or PJMP Certification is highly desired.
  • Prosci ADKAR Certification (or similar Change Management certification) is highly desired.
  • Experience with Project Portfolio Management tools, techniques, systems, and operational execution.
  • Experience in Higher Education, Publishing for Education Markets, Business Transformation.
  • Experience in New Product Introduction/Launch processes.

Physical Requirements:

  • Prolonged periods sitting at a desk and working on a computer.
  • Must be able to lift up to 15 pounds at times.

As an equal opportunity employer, WGU recognizes that our strength lies in our people. We are committed to diversity.

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