Department Manager (19411)

Date: Sep 12, 2023

Location: Washington, DC, US, 20016

Company: American University

Get to Know American University

At American University we value open and honest inquiry, servant leadership, and the affirmation of the human dignity of all. We envision a thriving AU community where individuals of all identities and experiences are understood, appreciated, and fully included, and where equitable treatment, opportunities, and outcomes prevail. 


Our diverse community of students, faculty, and staff represent every state and more than 150 countries. Our internationally recognized faculty are today's thought leaders in the areas of public policy, law, the arts, communications, international development, and more. Our staff are innovative, service-oriented, and dedicated to moving the university towards achieving its strategic goals. We are committed to an excellent experience for all of our students, faculty and staff and share a passion for creating change through our knowledge and our work. 


Learn more about American University by clicking here.  

About the Department/Unit

Departments within the School of International Service (SIS) serve as academic, organizational and community homes for our faculty, department staff, and students (undergraduate and graduate), while also facilitating interdisciplinary work within and across the school's programs and initiatives.  These are ‘non-traditional’ departments:  they fill core traditional departmental functions for faculty affairs and curricular development and delivery, but they are also specifically designed to be ‘incubators’ of SIS innovation:   developing new ‘thought leadership’ initiatives, driving more outwardly-facing engagement on translational work and issues; strengthening engagement with alumni and donors; and investing in pilots and partnerships that ensure SIS remains a Top 10 school of international studies and is viewed as cutting-edge on interdisciplinary approaches to solving challenges at the intersection of key global issues.  The Department Manager creates and leverages opportunities to enable departments to serve as incubators for strategic innovation, brings expertise in the business and operational requirements and trade-offs of specific investments and priorities, and serves as a strategic partner alongside other department leadership positions. The Department Manager is the key staff member responsible for the department’s thriving, and as part of that collaborates with the other members of the department leadership team to create, cultivate, and ensure a community within the department for students, faculty, and staff.  

The Department Manager will help us build the foundations of our exciting new academic departments. The Department Manager is a key staff member responsible for the overall success of the department. They play a strategic role in developing and implementing departmental policies and procedures, overseeing faculty affairs, managing the budget, and ensuring that the department is meeting its academic and operational goals. The Department Manager also collaborates with other SIS departments and offices to promote innovation and inclusive excellence.

This requisition is filling five positions at SIS's new departments. Positions to be filled are: 19411, 19412, 19413, 19414, 19451.  If there is any preference to work in a specific department, please mention this in your Cover Letter:

  • Dept. of Environment, Development & Health (19414)
  • Dept. of Politics, Governance & Economics (19413)
  • Dept. of Peace, Human Rights & Cultural Relations (19412)
  • Dept. of Foreign Policy & Global Security (19411)
  • Dept. of Global Inquiry (19451)


Under the supervision of the Department Chair, the Department Manager is an experienced manager who is responsible for developing, managing, and implementing the administration and operational policies, guidance, and processes of the department and contributes to long-term planning, the development of strategy, and the process of assessment/improvement for the department.  The Department Manager must bring strong diplomatic and relationship-building skills to manage productive relationships with other leaders across SIS and AU.
The department manager is comfortable with data collection and analysis and has experience with developing processes for data-driven decision making. The Department Manager supervises one Academic Program Coordinator and may also supervise part-time or student employees. The Department Manager models and promotes inclusive excellence. Together with the Department Chair, the Department Manager develops actionable diversity, equity, and inclusion goals, helps advance progress on these goals, and reports outcomes as they relate to SIS and AU diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy.  
This position is responsible for administering the department’s course offerings and designated faculty affairs processes and has financial oversight of the department’s $50K operational budget in addition to other budget streams such as IRCs and endowments where applicable. The Department Manager ensures effective graduate admissions processes, standards and engagement, oversees the delivery of high impact student experiences to support graduate and undergraduate retention, and designs the department’s knowledge management systems. The Department Manager also liaises and collaborates with other SIS departments and offices to identify, coordinate and implement strategic systems, processes, and procedures. The Department Manager establishes a plan, gathers resources, mobilizes and carries out actual delivery of the department’s day-to-day and strategic objectives. 

Essential Functions

  1. Strategic Management of Department Budget, Operations, and Administration: The Department Manager shapes and executes a set of annual goals to guide priorities and decision-making and assesses progress throughout the year. They provide and share knowledge and continuity across department chairs (which rotate on a regular basis) and develop and maintain departmental-level procedures and systems related to course planning, faculty and student affairs, and other department activities. The Department Manager designs, implements, and periodically reviews department administrative and operational policies, procedures, and guidance, and designs and executes systems to make department decision making more data-driven.   
  2. Curriculum Management & Student AffairsThe Department Manager manages the process for the preparation, submission, review, and adjustment of the department’s annual course offerings and course schedule. With the support of the Academic Program Coordinator, they oversee the planning and execution of student-facing programming as well as provide graduate program support and backstopping support as necessary. 
  3. Faculty Affairs: The Department Manager executes department-led processes for faculty affairs, including the collection of merit scores, the appointment and reappointment of term and adjunct faculty, processes related to faculty searches, and onboarding of new faculty.  The Department Manager develops and executes processes to support data-driven decision making and to align faculty resources with department needs.
  4. Material Development and Communications, Website, and Events Management: The Department Manager manages the generation of content creation for the department websites and disseminates department activities, achievements, and information across SIS, AU, and externally as appropriate, to create an accessible, differentiated “identity” that amplifies the Departmental contributions to the overall SIS/AU brand In collaboration with the Department Chair, the Department Manager develops and implements a strategy, based on department goals, for determining what faculty-initiated events will be supported by department resources, including funding and staffing. 
  5. Staff Supervision Training and Guidance: The Department Manager hires, onboards/trains, and supervises the Academic Program Coordinator and other student or part-time staff (if relevant). They complete the annual Performance Management Plan process with staff in the department, ensure staff meet performance expectations, and provide coaching or supervisory directives when needed. 
  6. Special Project and Other Duties: The Department Manager conducts additional projects as assigned by the Department Chair. The Department Manager also represents the department or its programs on SIS, AU or departmental committees or task forces, as necessary. The position serves as a backstop for other Department Managers or Academic Program Coordinators as necessary.

Supervisory Responsibility

  • Department Managers for Dept. of Environment, Development & Health (19414), Dept. of Politics, Governance & Economics (19413), Dept. of Peace, Human Rights & Cultural Relations (19412), Dept. of Foreign Policy & Global Security (19411) supervise Academic Program Coordinator, a Full-Time staff, and part-time or student employees.
  • The Department Manager for the Dept. of Global Inquiry (19451) does not supervise an Academic Program Coordinator.

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

  • Full-Time.
  • Exempt.
  • Sr. Coordinator/Analyst B.
  • Hybrid work arrangements: 3-4 days a week in-person, 1-2 days a week remote.
  • The Department Manager for the Dept. of Global Inquiry (19451) is union eligible.

Salary Range

  • $70,000-$75,0000, Commensurate with experience.

Required Education and Experience

  • Bachelor's degree.
  • 3-5 years of relevant experience.

Preferred Education and Experience

  • 5-7 years of relevant experience. Experience working with senior leaders to develop and operationalize strategic prioirities.

Additional Eligibility Qualifications

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Experience with financial administration, Experience with data analysis, business intelligence and other data system and data-driven decision making.
  • Office management skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Must be dependable and exhibit sound judgment and professionalism.
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite, especially Microsoft Outlook; facility with technology and familiarity with email distribution lists.
  • Organizational skills.
  • Experience in event management.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Must be dependable and exhibit sound judgment and professionalism.
  • Must be able to function independently with attention to detail and minimal supervision.


AU offers a competitive benefits package including a 200% matching retirement plan, tuition benefits for full-time staff and their families, several leadership development certificates, and has been recognized by the American Heart Association as a fit-friendly worksite. Click here to learn about American University's unique benefit options.


Other Details

  • Hiring offers for this position are contingent on successful completion of a background check.
  • Employees in staff positions at American University must deliver their services to the university from either the District of Columbia, Maryland, or Virginia, or perform work on-site at the university.
  • Please note this job announcement is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.


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