Careers at UMass Amherst

Senior Director for Instructional Innovation and Technology

Apply now Job no: 499638
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: IT Engagement & Innovation
Union: Non-Unit Exempt
Categories: Computer & Information Technology


About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


Job Summary

  • Reporting to the Vice Chancellor of Information Technology Services and Strategy (VCIT), the Senior Director for Instructional Innovation and Technology oversees major IT initiatives related to teaching and learning, including institution-wide and potentially system-wide collaborations, and provides oversight for Instructional Innovation and Technology support staff, ensuring efficient and effective use of human resources with a strong emphasis on delivering quality support for Instructional Innovation services.
  • This position will develop and promote instructional innovation and technology strategy and initiatives in collaboration with campus partners, including The Institute for Teaching Excellence & Faculty Development (TEFD), Online Education (OE) Group, and the Libraries.
  • The Senior Director will build and sustain relationships with faculty, students, and academic departments to provide strategic, organizational development, and operational leadership to advance technology engagement and innovation in alignment with the Campus Strategic Plan, IT Strategic Plan and campus and system goals. Primary amongst these include promoting a culture of student-centered learning; improving support of faculty in the creation, implementation, and use of effective, innovative teaching techniques; and providing a new IT ecosystem for learning and teaching that fosters even more creative pathways to achieve diverse individual goals.


Essential Functions

  • Oversees IT Instructional Innovation and Technology staff, and integrates work within the unit with the larger IT organization. Advocates for and manages unit budget and resources, ensuring their efficient and effective use, in order to deliver quality services. Supports team and individual growth among the IT Instructional Innovation and Technology unit staff in order to provide support services that anticipate and meet the needs of the faculty and students across a broad range of instructional technologies. Mentors staff across IT and beyond.
  • Supports Strategic Initiatives - advocates for the student learning experience and instructor teaching experience in system and campus-wide Information Technology planning and partnership efforts.
  • Fosters Collaborations - actively develops relationships with the campus community to engage, understand, and support, teaching and learning, research, and administrative technology. Establishes and maintains strategic IT vendor and alumni relationships.
  • Promotes Service Excellence – proactively fosters, develops, assesses and improves technology services with peers in IT and across campus as well as the IT Instructional Innovation and Technology team. Keeps abreast of higher education peer institutions and works with IT team members to understand best practices and implement them in a proactive manner.


Other Functions

  • Serves on the IT Directors team to ensure technology services are delivered within campus guidelines, best practices, and standards in process and design.
  • Stays abreast of research and developments in the instructional technology field, encourages exploration of new technologies and developments.
  • Communicates technology-related opportunities as they relate to curricular, pedagogical, or research practices.
  • Prepares reports as needed for broad audiences at all levels.
  • Maintains relationships with higher education peers to gain competitive assessments and share information, where appropriate.
  • Serves on campus, system, and external and related committees.
  • Completes other projects and performs other duties as assigned.


Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Education, Communication, Instructional Design, Education Media, Educational Technology, or related field.
  • 8 years of progressive experience working in higher education environment in the field of instructional design or academic technology.
  • Extensive knowledge of instructional design theories and methodologies, innovation in teaching and learning, trends in IT engagement, and of best practices in the management of engagement and innovation technologies and related support services.
  • Demonstrated leadership skills and experience leading a medium to large sized team with an inclusive and collaborative leadership style.
  • Proven team builder with a demonstrated commitment to mentoring and cultivating a work environment/culture that fosters inclusive collaboration, consensus building, and positive relationships based on trust and open communication.
  • Experience planning, developing, and implementing emerging instructional information technologies, and promoting physical (classroom and labs), online, and innovative learning environments.
  • Proven record of success in developing and maintaining strong working relationships with faculty, students, staff (particularly technology staff), administrators, and both internal and external partners. Proven ability to lead or serve on cross-campus collaborative groups.
  • Strong administrative, conceptual, analytical, and critical thinking skills, and ability to exercise sound judgment.
  • Understanding of state and federal laws regarding disability and accessibility in higher education, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act. Knowledge of and experience with accessibility principles regarding procurement and use of accessible technology.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills, and experience developing planning documents, proposals, budget request justifications, and other forms of communication with/for senior administration and faculty.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s Degree or Ph.D. in Education, Communication, Instructional Design, Educational Media, Educational Design or related field
  • 5 years experience and an understanding of a large, complex higher education environment.
  • Strong change-management skills and demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects and work successfully under deadline.
  • A record of participation in national organizations on technology engagement and innovation. Demonstrated record of commitment to ongoing professional development for self and as a supporter/mentor of others.


Work Schedule

Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, some weekends and evenings. Regular days off: Saturday/Sunday.


Special Instructions to Applicants

Submit a resume, cover letter and contact information for three (3) professional references by April 19th, 2019 in order to ensure consideration; however, applications will be accepted until the position has been filled.


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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