• Title

  • Academic Division Manager

    Posted: 10/09/2022

    Job Summary

    Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) seeks applicants for two Academic Division Manager positions, one for the Division of Fine Arts and one for the Division of Architecture and Design.  The Academic Division Manager will provide administrative and logistical support to the Dean and the Division.  Support the planning and oversight of curricular offerings, teaching loads, faculty contracts, and salaries. Support the planning and tracking of operating and capital budgets, scholarships, and restricted accounts. This role will serve as a resource in acclimating and orienting divisional faculty, staff and students to operational processes and practices and act as a liaison between the various campus departments, faculty, staff, students, alumni, prospective students and the Division.   Hire, train, evaluate and supervise divisional administrative support staff.   Maintain confidentiality in all sensitive matters. 


    We seek applications from equity-minded individuals with high levels of administrative experience to manage the day-to-day administrative operations of a complex divisional office and provide leadership and guidance to the academic support staff of the Division. Successful candidates will thrive in an inclusive academic environment with a wide range of creative practices and specialized departments and programs, all dedicated to the highest levels of art and design education. 


    As an employer, RISD offers a supportive, collegial, and inclusive work environment and a competitive benefits package.


    Essential Functions:

    Administrative Support of Dean

    • On behalf of the Dean, act as liaison for the Division to provide administrative advice and guidance to department heads, full-time faculty, part-time faculty, graduate program directors, department support staff members, and technicians.
    • With Academic Affairs, orient newly appointed deans to division and existing administrative practices and procedures, as appropriate.
    • With the Dean and division staff, serve as the central point of contact for the internal and external community for the Division, including visitors, students, parents, and faculty, and other RISD departments.
    • Support division international initiatives and funded/sponsored efforts as directed.
    • Oversee processing of all internal and external correspondence for the dean and see that communications are handled properly.  Compose correspondence as required.  Compile information, conduct research and produce complex reports for dean and academic affairs as requested.
    • Stand in for the dean at meetings and special events and represent the Division on various school-wide committees as needed.
    • Organize and maintain division records. 
    Staffing and Staff Development
    • Hire, professionally develop, lead and supervise academic support staff.  Support temporary office staff and divisional work-study students as needed.
    • Proactively engage with Academic Affairs, to coordinate, train, and share best practices with academic support staff, and enhance opportunities for division wide coverage.
    • Remain current and familiar with RISD policies and procedures, as well as pertinent union contracts, to help recognize, analyze and communicate issues and ensure division and department compliance or resolution.
    • Support planning and oversight of courses for undergraduate and graduate degrees. Serve as the first line of review to ensure that full-time faculty and part-time faculty teaching unit loads comply with contracts and that all leaves, course releases for full-time faculty teaching in other departments, and cost sharing for courses are verified and documented. Ensure that published curriculum and course tables are audited for compliance to school, division and department norms and are received and processed in a timely manner.
    • Assist faculty teaching courses offered through the Division with coordination and logistics related to courses.
    • Review and process forms on behalf of and/or in consultation with the dean.  Ensure the accuracy, contractual compliance and timely processing of day-to-day transactions, including, but not limited to student, staff and faculty Conference and Professional Development Fund applications, Exceptions to Policy, course cost expenses, course proposals, course revision forms, faculty staffing forms and New Hire forms, stipends, and other academic transactions.
    • Assist the dean in complete and accurate submission of soft funded course proposals and other complex processes requiring additional information/documentation and those requiring Curriculum Committee or Wintersession Committee review such as travel courses, graduate student authored courses, curricular changes and new programs.  Collaborate with RISD Global Finance, Research, Academic Affairs, and other offices as needed towards these goals.
    • Using enrollment information from Admissions and the Registrar track and analyze statistics related to student contact hour/teaching unit ratios, change of majors, withdrawals, and readmits from to assist the dean in determining resource allocations as needed. Using budget, contract and salary table data review New Hire requests and provide analysis, as requested, for the Dean on rate equity and budget compliance. Analyze internship data provided by RISD Careers.
    Budget and Resources
    • Coordinate and assist with developing capital budget requests.  Assure that forms are properly completed and supporting documentation provided.
    • Support planning and monitoring of operating budget and capital budgets.  Monitor all departments’ operating, capital, scholarships, and restricted accounts for compliance.
    • Facilitate meeting of deadlines pertinent to the dean, associate dean, department heads and graduate program directors.  
    • Alert Dean(s) and Departments of issues of concern; work with Academic Affairs to reconcile financial matters.
    • Ensure the accuracy, compliance, timely processing, documentation, and reporting of Divisional Financial transactions.
    • On an as needed basis, support and coordinate facilities, space and resources acquisitions; this includes working with Information Technology Services, Academic Affairs and Departments to identify and accommodate the computer needs of full-time faculty, staff, departments, and computer labs.
    Division Events and Communications 
    • Responsible for the communication of and logistical arrangements (travel, catering, media resources, facilities, public safety, etc.) for regular division meetings and special events.
    • Organize and oversee visits at the divisional level.  May assist with departmental and multi-departmental visits as needed.
    • Serve as the representative for the Division Commencement ceremonies and collaborate with Alumni Relations and the Commencement Committee as needed.
    • Oversee the compilation and dissemination of news about the Division, its departments, faculty, students and alumni accordingly.
    • Collaborate with Academic Affairs Recruiting Coordinator on Faculty Searches; serve as primary contact and coordinator of division and department recruiting events (planning, logistics, and promotion) for finalists’ on-campus visits.
    • As needed, provide administrative support for special projects within the Division including, but not limited to, new curricular initiatives and degree programs.
    Student Issues 
    • Provide advice, information, and assistance to students where judgment, knowledge, and interpretation of College policies and programs are necessary such as the grade appeal process, academic standing, and proper completion of various forms.  Maintain absolute confidentiality relative to sensitive student issues. 

    Scholarship Management

    • Coordinate with Institutional Engagement pertaining to awards and scholarship processes for the Division and its departments, including verification of student eligibility and award conveyance.
    • In collaboration with Institutional Engagement and Student Financial Services, manage materials pertaining to year-end Division scholarships and awards; distribute documents to respective departments.  Collect recipient data by deadline and review on the Dean’s behalf.
    • Administer divisional scholarships by distributing calls for nominations, proposing funding distribution to the Dean and Assistant Director for Scholarships and issuing notifications of awards to recipients, nominators, and appropriate RISD offices including Student Financial Services.
    Required Knowledge/Skills/Experience:
    • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and experience.
    • At least five to seven years administrative support experience with at least three years providing administrative support to senior management level, preferably in an academic environment.
    • Three years or more of management experience.
    • Ability to articulate and demonstrate the employment of diversity, inclusion, and equity in systems, policies, procedures, and services. 
    • Must be able to work independently (i.e. with minimal supervision).
    • Team player, ability to step in and offer support where needed.
    • Adept at dealing with ambiguity, effectively able to resolve conflicts before they become issues.
    • Ability to interpret and prioritize request for information and follow up as needed.
    • Previous experience managing and maintaining electronic calendars and filtering requests for senior manager’s time.
    • Ability to always act in best interest of the College.
    • Excellent interpersonal, communication, and analytical skills. 
    • Experience managing budgets and logistical arrangements necessary.
    • Strong knowledge and skill in using PC and Mac computer software including word processing, spreadsheets, databases, and Google applications.
    • Ability to learn and adapt to new systems, processes, and software is required, including developing proficiency with various Enterprise Resource Planning, space and student systems (i.e. Workday, 25Live).
    • Demonstrated ability to work in a complex and fast-paced environment and to interact with multiple diverse populations of varying needs.
    Valued but not required qualifications:
    • Experience in an academic environment
    • Ability to supervise with tact and diplomacy in a complex, matrixed environment.




    Work Schedule

    35 hours per week; 12 months per year


    Employment Status

    Full-time; Exempt





    Documents Needed to Apply


    Cover Letter


    Salary Grade Structure


    Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please upload all required documents.


    The successful candidate will be required to meet our pre-employment background screening requirements.


    RISD recognizes diversity and inclusivity as fundamental to its learning community and integral to an art and design education. We welcome candidates whose experience has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and excellence. RISD is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetics, or any other protected characteristic as established by law.
    Click here to apply.



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