Assistant Vice President for Research American Council on Education American Council on Education 27 reviews

Job Details


The American Council on Education (ACE) is a membership organization that mobilizes the higher education community to shape effective public policy and foster innovative, high-quality practice. As the major coordinating body for the nation’s colleges and universities, our strength lies in our diverse membership of more than 1,700 colleges and universities, related associations, and other organizations in America and abroad. ACE is working toward a vision of a vibrant democratic society that relies on postsecondary education to expand knowledge, equity, and social progress. ACE demonstrates its core values of inclusion, excellence, innovation, collaboration, and impact in the work we do and how we serve our members. Our work is driven by three strategic priorities: (1) Affirm and Strengthen Public Trust in Postsecondary Education, (2) Champion Equity, Access, and Completion, and (3) Enrich the Capacity of Institutions and Leaders to Innovate and Adapt.

The Assistant Vice President for Research is an important contributor to the success of ACE, leading a complex unit that has a significant impact of the success of the organization. The Assistant Vice President will co-develop and manage policy and practice research agenda for ACE’s research team within the Learning and Engagement Division. With the Chief Learning and Innovation Officer, the Assistant Vice President leads, contributes, and ensures the quality of work produced in ACE’s thought leadership areas: equity-minded leadership, institutional transformation, and student success. This thought leadership manifests in industry benchmarking research studies, including: Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education; the American College Presidents Survey; and Mapping Internationalization in Higher Education; as well as data analysis and commentary that frame key issues in the contemporaneous public dialogue on higher education policy and practice for key stakeholders.

The Assistant Vice President should have extensive experience conducting and a deep understanding of research in support of diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education. The Assistant Vice President supervises the research directors and team. Furthermore, the Assistant Vice President brings advanced knowledge and expertise in higher education leadership, student success, public policy, internationalization and global engagement, research design, and quantitative and qualitative research methods.

The Assistant Vice President will contribute to defining the strategic direction of ACE and work with senior leadership within the Learning and Engagement Division to understand member needs and develop/execute on business goals and priorities.

Essential Job Duties or Tasks:

  • Develop and lead the Research team’s work portfolio and talent. Oversee and manage the team and the production of research products intended for higher education leaders and policy audiences. Supervise the research directors and other staff as assigned. Contribute to the training and professional development of research staff.
  • Lead and contribute to the design and execution of major research studies, policy/practice briefs, conceptual papers, and surveys of college and university leaders.
  • Identify and form partnerships with external collaborators including campus leaders and practitioners, faculty members, other researchers, and funding partners, on jointly produced and commissioned work that supports ACE members and educate higher education stakeholders.
  • Supervise research support to other ACE units and respond to time-sensitive and highly visible higher education policy data inquiries from stakeholders such as member institutions, media, and legislative staff.
  • Lead, in collaboration with advancement team, efforts to develop and maintain strong relationships with external funders and raise funding in support of ACE’s research agenda.
  • Lead collaborations with Learning & Engagement Division colleagues to adapt research and survey findings into products and services that equip chief and other executives with the knowledge and tools needed to inform policy, practice, and decision-making to improve student success and other institutional goals. Ensure products align with ACE’s blended learning model for professional learning.
  • Play a lead role in facilitating collaborations with other ACE units on intersecting areas of work, including on research studies, professional learning activities, policy briefs, and institutional transformation labs that advance the organization’s strategic commitments.
  • Provide strategic counsel and support to senior ACE leadership.
  • Effectively manage multiple projects simultaneously, including the development of project timelines, deliverables, and areas of immediate and long-term action.
  • Represent ACE at external meetings and conferences

Education/Experience/Specialized Knowledge and Competency Requirements:


  • Doctorate in higher education, higher education policy, or related field.
  • Experience managing multi-year projects, resources, and teams.
  • 10 years of research experience in higher education.

Strongly Preferred:

  • Demonstrated ability to produce thought leadership at the intersection of public policy and institutional practice in higher education.
  • A thorough understanding of issues related to racial equity in higher education concerning students, faculty, staff, and senior leaders.
  • Strong knowledge of federal and other national higher education databases required.
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct analysis using quantitative and qualitative software tools.
  • Evidence of strong writing and communication skills required.

*To be considered please submit your resume and cover letter during the application process.*

Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities

The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)

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