Founding Executive Director, Research Institute

Texas, United States
Salary Not specified
Sep 03, 2020
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Dallas College

Founding Executive Director, Research Institute

For best consideration, please apply by October 5, 2020.

Academic Career & Executive Search is pleased to assist Dallas College in their search for Founding Executive Director, Research Institute.

Dallas College, formerly known as Dallas County Community College District, has served the community for over 50 years operating as a district of seven independently accredited colleges. In 2020, those colleges united under a single name offering students a more streamlined, convenient experience. The seven original campuses live on as primary locations.

Serving in this inaugural role, this is a tremendous time to join the College and help to shape the ways in which Dallas College will continue to serve the community for the next 50 years. This newly created position requires a highly accomplished researcher and thought leader to establish this new department. The new Executive Director will have the opportunity to build their own team consisting of data analysts and social science researchers.

The Founding Executive Director, Research Institute is a heart driven leader committed to access to education, it’s impact on social and economic mobility and understands the factors affecting it. The Founding Executive Director will conduct research with impactful results at the local, state and regional levels. The ideal candidate is skilled in all aspects of complex research initiatives with a deep understanding of the latest practices in predictive analytics, and AI. They are equally skilled working in a dynamic, fluid environments and creating this new department from the ground up. 

This position requires a skilled team builder with impeccable communication skills to act as a data storyteller with a variety of internal and external stakeholders.

This position reports to the Vice Chancellor Student Success.

Position Summary

Oversees the Research Institute, pursuing innovative robust research to strategically find ways to support student success and publishing findings externally to drive further innovation.

Member of the Research Institute Advisory Board which sets the broad goals for the Research Institute, taking the lead on executing the board's decisions.

Key Responsibilities

  • Plan, direct and perform complex research initiatives pertaining to student success, access to education and its impact on social and economic mobility – its drivers, effects and successful strategies
  • Leverage strategic partnerships with academic, community and other non-profit research organizations to deliver a robust research agenda.
  • Successfully develop and secure grant funding for research initiatives and maintain relationships with funding entities
  • Effectively communicate research findings to broad stakeholder network
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge of the purpose of community colleges and the vision of Dallas College
  • Keen intellectual curiosity and a deep interest in making positive impact on the intersection of education and poverty through applied research
  • Strong creative and entrepreneurial spirit and experience leading social science research
  • Possess a professional and collaborative demeanor.  A personality that has the ability to address and resolve conflicts with integrity and compassion, and that can actively develop effective relationships at all levels.
  • An appreciation of shared governance and evidence of strong ability to work effectively and collaboratively with administration, faculty, students, staff, and other constituent groups.
  • Experience with data storytelling and the ability to empower stakeholders to both understand and act on data through the power of stories.
  • Demonstrable experience in using data
  • Understanding of predictive analytics and machine learning
  • Demonstrable experience in data mining
  • Experience with publicly available datasets
  • An understanding of contemporary issues in higher education
  • Demonstrated knowledge of principles of equity and inclusion and a demonstrated commitment to the promotion of diversity
  • Ability to identify, address, and collaborate with other leaders on solutions to barriers preventing a significant portion of our population from having a job that pays a living wage

Minimum Qualifications

  • Masters degree in social sciences, public policy, higher education research or related field
  • A minimum of seven years of experience leading multi-disciplinary research teams and developing funded research initiatives

Preferred Qualifications

  • Earned doctorate preferred
  • Proven history of successful grant writing and securing grant funding for research
  • Experience working in a heavily matrixed organization

About Dallas College:

Since 1965, Dallas College, formerly known as the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) has served more than three (3) million students.  Dallas College is one of the largest community college systems in the state of Texas, which includes seven campus locations around the Dallas/Fort Worth area and strives to be a leader in the Community College space, placing students at the center of everything they do.

Dallas College serves more than 100,000 credit and continuing education students offering 300+ academic and technical degrees and over 100 high-demand career programs and training.

In June 2020, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) approved the district’s plan to unify as a single institution, Dallas College. The new Dallas College encompasses Brookhaven, Cedar Valley, Eastfield, El Centro, Mountain View, North Lake and Richland, which will now be referred to as campuses instead of colleges.

By approving a comprehensive application detailing concrete steps on how the district would consolidate its colleges to better serve students, SACSCOC also granted the district a “level change,” allowing what is now Dallas College to offer a Bachelor of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education and Teaching, the first four-year degree offered by the institution.

Submitting Your Application:

Applications will be reviewed as they are received and should include a cover letter and CV. Please do not email applications and apply directly at

Inquiries and nominations are treated confidentially and can be sent to Jennifer Muller, Managing Partner with Academic Career & Executive Search:

For best consideration, please apply by October 5, 2020.

Dallas College is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Read the EEOC Statement here



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