Position Description: Associate Vice President for Research and Innovation and Dean of the Graduate College

Working Title:  Associate Vice President for Research and Innovation and Dean of the Graduate College            

Appointment Type:  Academic Administrator         

Reports To (Title):   Provost & Executive Vice President

Division:  Academic Affairs

FLSA Status:  Exempt: Administrative

Prep Date:  January 2018

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Advances the university vision, mission and strategic plan in relation to scholarship, research, and creative activity, in relation to engaged and applied learning, and in relation to graduate studies; works closely with the Associate Provost for Faculty, the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, and the Director of Research and Sponsored Programs (RSP) to assist with faculty development, strategic initiatives, and other activities; works with the faculty, Deans, Associate Deans, Department Heads, Associate Provost for Faculty and the Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning to elevate and expand research and scholarship, including the scholarship of discovery, integration, and application and undergraduate and graduate student research; provides oversight for the graduate college, including the development and implementation of a vision, mission, and strategic plan; within the graduate college, oversees recruitment initiatives, curricular initiatives, program assessment, budget and funding allocations, and supervision of staff; works with the Associate Dean and the Graduate Council to advance and elevate graduate programs; assists with providing leadership for meeting goals of the enrollment master plan for graduate education; implements and administers policies and regulations affecting graduate students, including oversight of student requests, complaints and grievances; works with the Director for RSP to facilitate a positive campus culture of grant seeking and to complete reports, including reports for the Board of Regents, State of Iowa (BOR); as required, acts as liaison with the BOR; assists Office of Institutional Research on accreditation; and represents the Provost’s office as requested.


  1. Facilitates the development of and support for faculty research, scholarship and creative activity, including enhancing faculty collaboration and elevating undergraduate and graduate student research; supports faculty, including especially junior faculty, in the development of their scholarly agenda; works with faculty, deans, associate deans, department heads and the Associate Provost for Faculty to advance other scholarly activities, including the scholarship of integration, application, and teaching and learning and the writing of grants and contracts;

  2. Working with the Director for Undergraduate Studies, the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, Career Services, and the Office of Community Engagement, advances engaged and applied learning experiences at the University of Northern Iowa; elevates innovation and creativity and diversity and inclusion as key elements in student engagement and success; works with internal and external offices to advance innovative partnerships, including the Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CF High School), the Center for Technical Education (Waterloo HS), Hawkeye Community College (2+2+2 programs), Allen College, and others;

  3. As Dean of the Graduate College, works with the Associate Dean and the Graduate Council to develop and implement a vision, mission, and strategic plan for the Graduate College; increases the visibility of Graduate College to internal and external stakeholders by working with Office of Admissions, University Relations, the Division of Continuing Education and Special Programs, and academic colleges; supervises Graduate College staff;

  4. Provides leadership and facilitation with regard to the development of graduate curriculum; chairs the Graduate Curriculum Team; works with the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs on academic program review; presents graduate program proposals to Faculty Senate and the Board of Regents, as necessary; develops and implements recruitment and retention initiatives in collaboration with Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and the Office of Admissions and University Relations; continues to build community for graduate students through various ongoing and new initiatives; provides leadership for advancing excellence in graduate education;

  5. Provides leadership and oversight of graduate college policies impacting admission and retention of students, assistantships and scholarships, graduation requirements, student requests and grievances, thesis and dissertation requirements, faculty and student awards, and other policies and procedures related to graduate studies; provides leadership for development of effective and efficient Graduate College processes; provides support for the development and implementation of graduate program assessment; serves as needed on committees that work to address goals and objectives of strategic plan relating to graduate education;

  6. Oversees distribution of university-wide allocations of Graduate Assistantships and Graduate Scholarships; manages approximately $3.4 million budget; works with the Advancement Division (Foundation and the Alumni Association) to make the Graduate College a new focus for fundraising; supervises Graduate College staff;

  7. Supervises the Director of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, and with the Director provides oversight of the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs; elevates the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs through developing a clear vision, mission, and strategic plan; supports faculty in seeking external support for mission-related research and outreach initiatives, including support from state and federal governmental sources as well as private foundations;

  8. Works with the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs to provide incentives for faculty to engage in grant and sponsored activity and works to create a positive campus culture for grant seeking and administration; works closely with the Senior Director for Corporate and Foundation Relations to elevate partnerships with various entities;

  9. Working with the Director of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, provides oversight for the establishment and review of Centers & Institutes; provides oversight for the UNI IRB; provides leadership in promoting academic ethics among faculty and students and support for the facilitation of research misconduct investigations; and supports cooperative efforts to coordinate and streamline sponsored program administration with Human Resource Services, Office of Business Operations, Career Services, Facilities Management, and other key campus support areas;

  10. Serves on the Academic Affairs Council, Deans’ Council, and the management team for the University’s Office of Intellectual Property; and completes other duties as assigned by the Provost.


Doctorate or other terminal degree; Associate Professor rank; plus at least five years of experience in higher education leadership. Demonstrated knowledge and skills in graduate program planning and project management; evidence of extensive research and scholarly record over a period of time, as well as the ability to mentor others in scholarship; experience in writing and applying for externally and internally funded grants. Evidence of strategic thinking and implementation, of successful collaboration and interdisciplinary work, and of ability to handle sensitive situations and information with discretion. Experience with college/university personnel, policies and procedures, as well as current trends in higher education. Outstanding communication skills in writing, speaking, and listening. Demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion and affirmative action and equal opportunity procedures and principles also required. Preferred: Full professor rank; recent experience as Department Head, Graduate Program Coordinator, or role within Research & Sponsored Programs.

The above statements reflect characteristic duties and responsibilities of the position and are not intended to limit the university's right to assign, direct and control duty assignments.

Prepared By:            Incumbent:                                      Approved By:

Jim Wohlpart                                                                   Jim Wohlpart