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Director of Online Program Operations

Center for Academic Innovation
Ann Arbor, Michigan
$130,000.00 - $145,000.00
Posted Date
Oct 10, 2022

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How to Apply


A cover letter and resume are important submissions for the hiring team to get a sense of your experience. In the cover letter, in two pages or less, please let us know how this role aligns with your career aspirations and skill set. Submit both a cover letter and resume as one file (because of system limitations).

What You Will Do

The Center for Academic Innovation at the University of Michigan is seeking an experienced, innovative, and collaborative Director of Online Program Operations. In this role, you will be responsible for growing and managing a new team that will support engagement and success for learners enrolled in courses across U-M’s portfolio of open and credit-bearing online learning programs. You will also support the iteration of program and course designs for online and hybrid degree programs at U-M, as well as a range of ongoing activities related to ongoing program operations. You will report to the Senior Director for Online Learning and will work closely with team members in the Center for Academic Innovation as well as partners in academic and administrative units across U-M’s campus in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

About the Center for Academic Innovation

The Center for Academic Innovation is where creativity, excellence, and the University of Michigan’s aspirations for societal impact combine to reimagine the future of higher education. Through curricular innovation, educational data and research, and educational technology, we position U-M as a global leader in academic innovation to create and inspire change in higher education and to reinforce an engaged and informed society.

About Online Learning at CAI

The Online Learning group within CAI consists of five teams that collaborate with others across the Center and University to design and develop online learning experiences that support the future of education for a global community. We work with faculty and academic unit leaders to envision how they can expand reach and impact, advance innovative teaching, and support greater access and lifelong learning through the design and development of integrated online learning experiences. Our teams focus on the following areas:

  • Strategic sourcing of new opportunities for online learning;
  • Developing internal and external partnerships that promote engagement with learning experiences;
  • Providing program management services throughout degree program development and operations;
  • Supporting end-to-end design and development of online learning experiences, including design management, learning experience design, and iteration of learning experiences after they have launched;
  • Supporting learners’ success and engagement in live courses and programs.

For more information, please visit our website: Academic Innovation.


Learner Support, Engagement, and Success

  • Establish a strategic plan for expanding the support and services necessary to enable learner engagement and success across non-credit and credit-bearing learning experiences within an academic unit’s online learning portfolio.
  • Provide direction and oversight for the Center’s Course Operations team, which leads support for learner engagement, iteration of learning experiences, and community building within U-M’s portfolio of open courses.
  • Collaborate with the Program Manager for Student Services to establish a support model for student services and student success in credit-bearing online courses.
  • Collaborate with the Director of Content and Platform Strategy to establish a strategic and ongoing operating plan for expanding the support and services necessary for Michigan Online to achieve desired online offering growth and promote excellence in the learner and innovator experience.
  • Collaborate with the Center’s Partnership Development team to understand unique support needs for industry-sponsored learners engaging with learning experiences across non-credit and credit bearing experiences.

Program and Course Design

  • Collaborate with academic unit and program leadership to establish a service model to effectively meet needs related to iteration and strategic expansion of course and program designs.
  • Establish and manage a team responsible for supporting ongoing online degree courses and program iteration.
  • Partner with CAI design teams to establish operational models and effective handoff of course designs to support unique design needs of degree program partners across the institution.
  • Work closely with academic unit program administrators and the Center’s Research and Analytics team to identify and establish data sources necessary to support data-informed iteration of credit-bearing courses.
  • Collaborate with CAI’s Policy and Compliance Lead to establish effective processes for integrating design considerations relevant to the regulatory and compliance landscape into new and iterative course and program designs.

Program Growth and Institutional Infrastructure

  • Collaborate with academic unit leadership, the Director for Content and Platform Strategy, the Program Management team, and the Research and Analytics team to identify and establish services needed to support the growth of new online learning experiences related to existing program offerings.
  • Partner with academic unit leaders and the Center’s Marketing and Communications team to explore marketing and enrollment management needs to support enrollment growth and engagement with online portfolio offerings.
  • Collaborate with other campus administrative stakeholders to support development of services and institutional infrastructure related to student services and student success in credit-bearing learning experiences.
  • Collaborate with other campus administrative stakeholders to continue developing the institutional infrastructure to support operational needs for credit-bearing online courses.
  • Lead planning and development of programming for an institution-wide Community of Practice related to Online and Hybrid Program operations.

Required Qualifications

  • Minimum Bachelor’s degree required.
  • 7+ years of experience in an online learning field including time in a strategic leadership and managerial role.
  • 3+ years supervising professional staff and managing budgets.
  • In-depth knowledge of the operational complexities related to designing, developing, and supporting learners in online degree courses and programs.
  • Applied experience establishing and implementing an operational plan for supporting online degree programs.
  • Understanding of the distance education regulatory environment and its impact on online degree program design and support.
  • Experience in a complex organization building partnerships with diverse groups of individuals, gaining their support and commitment.
  • Passion for diversity, equity and inclusion in a workplace environment.

Salary Information

The general salary range for this position is $130,000 - $145,000. Candidates can expect to be paid a competitive and equitable salary. Factors used to determine salary include experience, knowledge and skills for the position and internal equity within the unit. All candidates are encouraged to discuss salary questions to honor alignment and transparency throughout the recruiting process.

Additional Information

This is not a remote position and any adjustments to a standard in-person schedule will be discussed during the hiring process.

Must have legal authorization to work in the United States

Excellent benefits are available, for details, see

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The Center for Academic Innovation (CAI) is committed to inclusion in our organizational work, culture, climate, and the products we create. We strive to recruit, develop, and retain a diverse team as a reflection of our commitment to our work designing equitable and inclusive learning and work environments that are necessary for the university community to make progress on solving societal challenges. CAI draws on each of our team member’s unique backgrounds and experiences to guide our everyday work in the center, and our team collaborates with students, staff, and faculty on projects that center our commitment to DEIJ work. All interested applicants, including those from groups historically marginalized by educational privilege, are encouraged to apply.

Background Screening

The University of Michigan conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background checks. Background checks will be performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.


Application Deadline


Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days.  The review and selection process may begin as early as the eighth day after posting. This opening may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.


Decision Making Process


Applications will be reviewed as received throughout the posting period and continue until the position is filled.


U-M EEO/AA Statement


The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

U-M COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

COVID-19 vaccinations, including one booster when eligible, are required for all University of Michigan students, faculty and staff across all campuses, including Michigan Medicine.  This includes those working remotely and temporary workers.   More information on this new policy is available on the U-M Health Response website or the UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint websites.

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