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Widener University is committed to fostering an inclusive community in which faculty, staff, and students from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, and personal experiences are welcomed and can thrive. You are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

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Executive Director of International Strategy

Apply now Job no: 493168
Work type: Full-time
Location: Chester
Categories: Administrators

The inaugural Executive Director of International Strategy will lead the development and execution of comprehensive strategies to grow international student enrollments at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. This pivotal role will focus on market identification, partnership development with recruitment agents, governments, and educational institutions, and the creation and enhancement of pathway programs. The Executive Director will oversee a small, committed team of admissions, immigration, and student services personnel, ensuring a seamless and supportive experience for international students from recruitment through graduation. As enrollments increase, the Executive Director will also be responsible for expanding the team to meet the needs of the growing population. 

The ED prioritizes student-centeredness and responsiveness – emphasizing projects and processes which foreground those values. The ED is an agent of change, identifying and leading the organization in efforts which promote Widener’s success in a competitive marketplace. The ED must demonstrate cultural competency, serve as a strong advocate for the needs of international students, and support the university’s concepts of belonging, equity, diversity, and inclusion

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES (including, but not limited to):

Leadership and Management:

  • Provide visionary leadership and strategic direction to the international admissions, international student services, and program coordination teams, including study away/abroad.
  • Mentor and support staff development to build a high-performing team.
  • Develop an International Enrollment Plan that supports the university’s broader Strategic Enrollment Plan.
  • Set ambitious enrollment targets and develop actionable plans to achieve them. Monitor and evaluate progress regularly to ensure that goals are met.
  • Develop and manage budgets for international recruitment and support services, ensuring efficient use of resources.
  • Serve as a member of the Enrollment Leadership Team.
  • Provide professional development and educational opportunities to members of the faculty, staff, and leadership of Widener University.
  • Develop strong partnerships and relationships with units with a nexus to international student success, including student engagement, residence life, athletics, student success, financial aid and bursar, etc.

Market Identification and Development:

  • Conduct research and analysis to identify target international markets for student recruitment that capitalize on Widener’s academic strengths and location.
  • Develop and implement strategic marketing and recruitment plans to attract students from these markets.
  • Monitor global trends in higher education and international student mobility to adjust strategies accordingly.
  • Develop a multiyear market expansion plan with a balanced portfolio of international markets.

Partnership Development and Stewardship:

  • Establish and maintain relationships with international recruitment agents, governmental bodies, and educational institutions to create a robust recruitment network.
  • Negotiate and manage agreements and partnerships that support the university's international enrollment goals.
  • Represent the university at international education fairs, conferences, and other relevant events to promote programs and opportunities.
  • Monitor the compliance and practices of recruitment agents to ensure compliance with institutional agreements, alignment with Widener university’s values, and the retention and success of students who matriculate via a recruitment agent.

Pathway Programming:

  • Develop and oversee pathway opportunities designed to expedite students' time to degree completion by recognizing prior learning.
  • Create policies to award credit for international qualifications reducing time and tuition costs for students.
  • Explore online course options which would allow international students to earn credits at a reduced cost before matriculating at Widener.
  • Collaborate with academic departments to identify and honor equivalent coursework completed in students' home countries.
  • Develop agreements with international schools to offer dual credit or early college credit programs for prospective students.
  • Evaluate and enhance pathway programs based on student outcomes and feedback.
  • Assess the potential for language proficiency offering as prospective feeders to degree-granting programs, provide recommendations, and, if successful, oversee the development of the program.

Operational Oversight:

  • Oversee the processing of international student applications, ensuring timely and effective evaluation and communication.
  • Ensure compliance with all immigration regulations and provide support to international students navigating visa processes.
  • Develop and implement programs and services to support the integration and retention of international students.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS (education/training and experience required):

Required:

  • Master’s degree in Higher Education, International Education, Business Administration, or a related field. A doctoral degree is preferred.
  • Minimum of 7-10 years of experience in international student recruitment and admissions, with a proven track record of success.
  • Strong understanding of global higher education markets and trends.
  • Demonstrated experience in developing and managing international partnerships and pathway programs.
  • Excellent leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills.
  • Self-starter with a strategic mindset and the ability to work independently and collaboratively.
  • Skilled leadership and team-building skills which focus on developing talent, facilitating new opportunities, and leveraging professional development to support colleagues.
  • Competence in managing complex administrative processes effectively and efficiently.
  • Demonstrated commitment and sensitivity to multicultural needs and belonging.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Prior experience as a PDSO, DSO, RO, or ARO familiar with the administration of F and J visa programs.
  • Familiarity with the administration of language proficiency programming.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS AND/OR UNUSUAL HOURS: 

  • Ability to work evenings and weekends when needed.
  • Ability to travel internationally as required.

All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

Widener University is committed to fostering an inclusive community in which faculty, staff, and students from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, and personal experiences are welcomed and can thrive. We are an equal opportunity employer and are committed to providing equal educational and employment opportunities for all persons without regard to age, color, national origin, race, religion, disability, veteran status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, or status as a protected veteran.

Some positions may be eligible for a hybrid or remote work arrangement that may include a partially or fully remote work location, consistent with Widener’s Flexible Work policy. 

Widener University, an independent, metropolitan, doctoral-intensive university, connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention and experiential learning are key components of the Widener Experience. Located in Chester, PA, Widener's main campus is nestled between Philadelphia, PA and Wilmington, DE, with Law Schools located in both Harrisburg and Wilmington. For more information about the university, please visit our website at www.widener.edu.

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