The University of New Mexico (UNM), the state’s flagship institution, seeks a strategic and collaborative leader to serve as the next Director of the Office of Advising Strategies. The Director will oversee academic advising, coordinate staff advising development, and contribute to student academic success, engagement, and retention initiatives. The Director will play a significant role, in partnership with Academic Affairs and the Division of Student Affairs and Services and UNM's branch and health sciences campuses, in meeting the strategic goals outlined in the UNM 2040 strategic plan (https://opportunity.unm.edu). UNM has one of the most diverse student bodies of any flagship university in the nation, and is one of only a handful of Hispanic-Serving Institutions in the U.S. that has Carnegie Classification of Highest Research Activity (“R1”) and Community Engagement, as well as a First Generation Forward designation. It aspires to be a model of academic excellence, research, student success, and access in the context of the changing demographics of the U.S. The successful candidate for this position will be experienced in academic advising and will show demonstrated success in supporting and retaining a diverse student body by ensuring a welcoming and robust student advising experience.
UNM provides education to approximately 25,000 enrolled students, more than 80% of whom are New Mexico residents. The university also includes a Health Sciences Center with an enrollment of over 3,000 students, branch campuses that enroll over 3,800 students in Gallup, Los Alamos, Taos, and Valencia, technology incubators, and multiple education, clinical, and research sites throughout the state. The student population reflects the ethnically diverse population of New Mexico and includes historically underrepresented groups, including a Hispanic student population of over 40%, some of whom are descendants of Spanish colonists with deep roots in the region while others are recent immigrants from a variety of Latin American nations, Native American students from the state’s many indigenous tribes, and other underrepresented minority backgrounds. It is a point of pride that the university is composed of a cross-section of cultures and backgrounds. UNM has a decades-long commitment to the state’s residents, maintaining low tuition and providing significant scholarship and financial aid to about 80% of undergraduate students and 70% of graduate students, with more than 7,800 UNM students receiving nearly $33.5 million in Pell Grants in the 2020-21 school year. The University also has a significant impact on the state, serving as one of the state’s largest employers, the largest producer of skilled labor, and operating the state’s largest healthcare system. About 58% of UNM alumni remain in the state and provide valuable contributions to the state’s intellectual life, economy, cultural community, legal and educational systems, healthcare industry, and every other aspect of life in New Mexico.
Reporting to the Associate Provost for Student Success, the Director of the Office of Advising Strategies provides strategic leadership and oversight for all academic advising processes and practices at the University, including but not limited to, the development and execution of a holistic campus-wide advising model, faculty and staff training, student advisement at orientation/transfer student events, assessment/improvement of advising processes, and collaborative and team-based approaches to student support. The successful candidate will be responsible for working directly with, and developing programs for, special populations of students such as first-year students, transfer students, undecided students, at-risk student populations, and students on academic probation in coordination with college advising directors and resource center directors.
Specific responsibilities of the position include, but are not limited to the following:
• Planning, directing and evaluating a comprehensive campus-wide academic advisement program, in coordination with academic deans, program chairs, faculty advisors, Athletics, Career Services, Student Affairs, Enrollment Management, the Bursar’s Office, and all other relevant units.
• Developing, implementing and assessing campus wide and college-level academic advising goals in collaboration with deans and college-level advising directors and in coordination with initiatives in the Division of Student Affairs and Services (DSAS).
• Leading the development of effective innovative campus-wide academic early alert/warning referral procedures, along with systems that implement these procedures.
• Oversight of the design and implementation of effective and ongoing training programs for faculty, integrated advisors and academic advisors to ensure that students are provided an outstanding and consistent academic advising experience, in coordination w/ DSAS.
• Contribute to the development of innovative systems that support the delivery of information regarding students’ academic performance throughout the semester to departments/colleges, academic advisors, academic coaches, and student support units.
• Contribute to the development of systems for monitoring the academic progress of student cohorts, including the students in specific academic programs, undeclared students, transfer students, at-risk students, etc.
• Work collaboratively with New Student/Transfer Student Orientation staff to develop registration processes that facilitate students in transition to UNM.
• Coordinate with the Department of Athletics to ensure appropriate advising support for student athletes.
• Serve as a university liaison for the development of professional advising standards and practices (e.g., NACADA best practices).
• Oversight of hiring and staff positions and assignments of advising classifications in coordination with HR (routing through OAS)
Master's degree; at least 5 years of experience directly related to the duties and responsibilities specified.
Completed degree(s) from an accredited institution that are above the minimum education requirement may be substituted for experience on a year for year basis.
• A doctoral or terminal degree
• Ability to evolve with and awareness of technology trends in advising
• 5 years of management and leadership experience
• Experience in higher education or a position involving academic advising or counseling.
• Ability to work collaboratively across the various campus units in a fast-paced and demanding environment, while maintaining a student-focused service orientation.
• Highly self-directed, well organized, detail oriented, and comfortable completing tasks with a minimum of direct supervision.
• A high proficiency in written communication, along with oral communication skills conducive to leadership and team-building.
• Demonstrated knowledge of current developments/trends in advisement.
• Demonstrated experience working with or in degree-granting units