Director of Strategic Initiatives



Harold Washington College (HWC)is one of the seven City Colleges of Chicago. HWC is located in the Chicago Loop and serves nearly 11,000 students. HWC is a federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and Minority Serving Institution (MSI) with more than 70 percent Latinx or Black students. The college offers an exceptional liberal arts and sciences curriculum and programs in Business, Early Childhood, Architecture, and Digital Media. HWC is City Colleges’ Center for Business. The college is also home to the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program and is currently the only community college in the city to offer a business degree accessible entirely online. In addition, the college has program partnerships with leading industry organizations such as Aon, Year Up Chicago, DePaul University, and the Joffrey Ballet.

Reporting to the President of a college within the City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) district comprised of seven colleges, the Director of Strategic Initiatives is responsible for implementing initiatives and executing projects aimed at promoting and supporting a college’s vision, mission, and strategic plans.

Working in collaboration with the President and senior college leaders, the Director of Strategic Initiatives provides leadership, administrative direction, and oversight of a college’s initiatives in areas to include academic programs, enrollment, accreditation, strategic planning, and other areas of operation. As a project manager, the position effectively manages the life cycle of major projects, including acquiring resources and coordinating the efforts of college-wide teams, district personnel and third-party contractors or consultants in order to deliver projects according to plan. Performs related duties as required.

RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Directs and manages projects and initiatives assigned by the President from idea through implementation.
  • Aligns college’s strategic plan with the established strategic plan for the district and collaborates with district personnel to ensure alignment between district initiatives and college projects.
  • Defines project or initiative scope, goals and deliverables that support business goals in collaboration with senior leadership and stakeholders.
  • Generates metrics to measure team and project impact and hold the team accountable success.
  • Develops full-scale project plans and associated communications documents.
  • Effectively communicates project expectations to team members and stakeholders in a timely and clear fashion.
  • Identifies opportunities to improve student success and business process implementation.
  • Proposes new projects, builds sponsorship, gains resource commitments and drives project results. Leads teams to drive operational, organizational, and financial improvement projects.
  • Estimates the resources and participants needed to achieve project goals.
  • Drafts and submits budget proposals, RFP’s or other necessary documents and recommends subsequent budget changes where necessary.
  • Where required, negotiates with other department managers for the acquisition of required personnel from within the organization.
  • Identifies, codifies, and disseminates internal and external best practices.
  • Determines and assesses the need for additional staff and/or consultants and makes the appropriate recruitments through the Office of Human Resources, if necessary, during the project cycle.
  • Sets and continually manages project expectations with team members and other stakeholders. Provides consulting, training and coaching support to employees to empower them to solve problems and implement solutions independently.
  • Tracks project milestones and deliverables
  • Develops and delivers project proposals, charters, progress reports, requirements documentation and presentations
  • Proactively manages changes in project scope, identifies potential crises, and devises contingency plans.
  • Works with stakeholders and the district office to define project success criteria and disseminates them to the stakeholders throughout the project life cycle.
  • Builds and grows business relationships vital to the success of the project.
  • Conducts post-project reviews and creates a recommendations report in order to identify successful and unsuccessful project elements.


QUALIFICATIONS:

  • A Master’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • Three years of work experience in strategic consulting, strategy department and/or turnaround departments
  • Experience working in a higher education environment desirable
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience with process change and optimization
  • Demonstrated ability to advise and influence leaders throughout the organization on performance improvement opportunities in areas of academics, finance, and operations
  • Proficient in the use of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)

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