Senior Director for Institutional Research and Analytics

University of South Carolina

University of South Carolina

Senior Director of Institutional Research and Analytics

The University of South Carolina is seeking a data-savvy and collaborative leader as their inaugural Senior Director Institutional Research and Analytics. The Senior Director will collaborate across the University and System to lead a comprehensive research program that manages compliance reporting with state, federal, and external entities; leverages institutional data to guide business decisions at the senior level; and ensures data integrity in the provision and fulfillment of data requests from campus units. The successful candidate will have extensive experience with data management and reporting in higher education, familiarity with multiple data platforms and statistical tools, and a successful record of working with teams and communicating across complex organizations.

The University

Founded in 1801, the University of South Carolina (USC) Columbia is the flagship institution of the University of South Carolina System—the leading educator for the state, serving more than 52,000 students across eight institutions. The flagship institution is located in the capital city of Columbia, SC.

With over 750,000 residents in the greater metro area, Columbia is one of the largest cities in the state and is among the most livable places in the South with easy access to amenities, dining, shopping, entertainment, and outdoor recreation. The city is within a 2-hour drive to nearby beaches, within 90 minutes of the Appalachian Mountains, and within 20 minutes of nearby Lake Murray. Visit Experience Columbia to find out more.USC contributes about $6.2 billion to the state economy annually and supports more than 63,000 jobs statewide.

Fall enrollment on the Columbia campus exceeds 35,000, with students hailing from all 50 states and more than 90 nations. USC is one of the oldest public universities in the country and the first state university to be supported continuously by annual state appropriations. It is one of only 64 public universities in the US to earn both the top research classification and the community engagement classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Over the past 10 years, applications to the Columbia campus have more than doubled, admission has become increasingly competitive, and the size of the freshman class has grown by more than 45%. In fall 2023, USC received a record-breaking number of applicants and welcomed its largest class in the history of the institution.Of those, 53% were South Carolina residents and 1,725—nearly 24%—were underrepresented minority students, an increase of 12% above the previous year.

USC is a Carnegie Tier I Research (R1) Institution with research expenditures exceeding $240 million in 2022, with 60% of the awards in Health Sciences. The flagship campus in Columbia includes sixteen colleges and schools with over 2500 faculty many of whom have earned significant recognition, placing the university in the top 5% of public universities in the nation for the number of national faculty awards received.

USC operates two medical school campuses (one each in Columbia and in Greenville) and is home to the state’s only public law school. USC is nationally ranked in 60+ academic programs—more than any other institution in the state. USC has consistently ranked in the top 3% in the nation for the number of African American graduates by Diverse Issues in Higher Education. Other rankings include USC’s international MBA program, undergraduate international business major, and online nursing graduate program, all ranked number one by the U.S. News and World Report. The university has distinguished itself as the nation’s best first-year experience among public universities (U.S. News & World Report) and is rated a best value public college by Kiplinger’s, Inc. and Forbes. Ranked by the U.S. Department of Education in the top 10% for its public university graduation rates, USC boasts a six-year graduation rate of 78% and a first-year retention rate of 87%.

University Mission
The primary mission of the University of South Carolina is the education of the state’s citizens through teaching, research, creative activity, and community engagement. At the heart of its mission lies the university’s responsibility to state and society to promote the dissemination of knowledge, cultural enrichment, and an enhanced quality of life. The University of South Carolina serves a diverse population of students with widely varying backgrounds, career goals, and aspirations. The university offers over 350 degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and professional program levels, affording students the most comprehensive array of educational programs in the state. Opportunities for personal and career development are provided to the citizens of South Carolina through outreach and continuing education activities. The university provides additional opportunities for associate degrees through Fort Jackson and through the oversight of Palmetto College campuses (Lancaster, Salkehatchie, Sumter, and Union), offering multiple degree options, both online, and in-person at regional and senior campuses across the state.

Through classroom and laboratory instruction delivered in a variety of face-to-face and distance learning formats and modalities, degree programs are offered in the following areas: arts and sciences; business; education; engineering and computing; hospitality, retail and sport management; information and communications; law; medicine; music; nursing; pharmacy; public health; and social work. The depth and breadth of its graduate programs distinguishes the University of South Carolina from all other institutions of higher learning in South Carolina.

Strategic Plan and Priorities
The University of South Carolina is one of the fastest-growing flagship universities in the nation with cutting-edge research initiatives to highly personal student services, and top-ranked academic programs to top-ranked athletics teams. USC recognizes the value of being agile during times of change and is committed to properly serving its students, community and state well into the future. The current strategic plan was created to identify priorities that will propel the University of South Carolina to future successes.

Senior Director of Institutional Research & Analytics

The Senior Director of Institutional Research and Analytics is a key leadership position in the Office of Institutional Research, Assessment, & Analytics (OIRAA), and is a full-time, twelve-month position. OIRAA is supported by a staff of professionals in the fields of analytics, assessment, and institutional research who work to connect the USC community to information about university data, assessment activities, and the accreditation process. The position of Senior Director for Institutional Research and Analytics

The Senior Director supervises the Director of Analytics and a team of Research Analysts, and reports directly to the Executive Director of OIRAA. The primary responsibility of the Senior Director is to manage the University’s reporting obligations as defined by all state and federal requirements, as well as for data consortiums, college guides, and rating systems. This position is responsible for the timely and accurate reporting of all institutional data to external constituencies for all eight campuses across the University of South Carolina System—this includes four two-year campuses and four four-year campuses. The Senior Director of Institutional Research and Analytics must remain current on all necessary reporting regulations and must provide leadership in ensuring that all data required for reporting is available.

The Senior Director of Institutional Research and Analytics is responsible for developing, implementing and overseeing a comprehensive program of institutional research activities in support of university-wide compliance, accreditation, research initiatives, data governance, planning and assessment. To this end, the Senior Director leads a team that provides support for key university functions including enrollment management, student success, strategic planning, academic programming, university advancement and more through analyses, dashboards, research, and reporting.

The work of the Senior Director of Institutional Research and Analytics helps promotes the institutional goal of being a data-driven campus culture by ensuring the availability and integrity of institutional analyses, improving access to information through automation, serving on key campus committees, and working collaboratively with data stewards across the university.

OIRAA’s Role
While the primary focus of OIRAA is the collection, analysis, and dissemination of data and information pertaining to the Columbia campus, the office also has substantial responsibility for the entire University of South Carolina System. The flagship Columbia campus is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The regional Palmetto College campuses (Lancaster, Salkehatchie, Sumter, and Union) are branch campuses of the University of South Carolina Columbia and accredited as part of USC Columbia; therefore, the continued accreditation of the University of South Carolina Columbia and these campuses is mutually dependent. Each Senior campus (Aiken, Beaufort, Upstate) is separably accredited. OIRAA staff direct the SACSCOC continuous compliance process for both USC Columbia and Palmetto College, as well as oversee IPEDS reporting for the entire USC system and CHE reporting to the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. Visit the OIRRA website for information on current efforts in these areas.

University of South Carolina seeks a forward-thinking and collaborative leader withthe experience, knowledge, and collaborative approachtolead institutional research, analytics, and compliance reporting efforts. The ideal candidate will be strong in both technical and interpersonal skills to achieve the following duties:
Job Duty 1: Develop, implement, and manage a comprehensive institutional research program that will support required reports, accreditation, research, strategic planning, assessment, analysis, predictive analytics, and other processes requiring robust understanding of underlying data schemas in Banner, Redshift, and other databases. Lead development in theDWHenvironment and the creation of frozen IR data files.

Job Duty 2: Manage the institution’s compliance with required state (SCCHE) and federal (IPEDS) reporting requirements; provide dissemination of compiled research reports and oversee completion of external surveys including US News, College Board, and others.

Job Duty 3: In conjunction with the OIRAA leadership team, lead development to collaboratively optimize USC’s DWH schema and frozen file preparation to support both visual and tabular reporting for required reports, accreditation, research, strategic planning, assessment, analysis, and predictive analytics.

Job Duty 4: Provide both operational and summary data to the USC community. This includes, but is not limited to, routine data requests by the Provost, Deans, department chairs, and others for program review, accreditation, reporting, and other needs. Provide information relating to academic programs, curriculum, students, faculty, staff, and other areas of the University as directed by the Executive Director of OIRAA.

Job Duty 5: Develop and maintain standard operating procedures for reporting processes that ensure data integrity; improve existing data collection strategies and develop new approaches and procedures to guide institutional data governance.

Job Duty 6: Manage and guide the assignment and tracking of ad hoc requests for data/information. Work with the IR Team and provide continued leadership in helping build data literacy across the University and System.

Required Qualifications
The successful candidate for this position will have the requisite experience and knowledge to lead a comprehensive institutional research and analytics function for a large, complex higher education structure. Minimum qualifications include:
• An earned Master’s degree in Statistics/Mathematics, engineering, management information science, computer science, a Social Science or a related field of study
• At least ten (10) years of experience working with higher education data, including 3 at a supervisory level, preferably in similar Higher Education/Research institutes.
• Demonstrated competence in institutional research processes, including data collection, analysis, analytics, standardized/statistical reporting, and use of statistical methods.
• At least ten (10) years of experience working with statistical tools such as SAS, SPSS, Stata, R, and/or other relevant analysis and analytics software
• Ability to interpret or code SQL and extract data from various databases (e.g., Oracle, SQL Server, Redshift), and data visualization tools (e.g., Tableau).
• Ability to mine and leverage data to guide and inform business decisions at the highest levels of the University, and assist in building a data-informed institutional culture.

Preferred Qualifications
The most competitive candidates will meet several of the following preferred experiences and qualities:
• Ph.D in in Statistics/Mathematics, engineering, management information science, computer science, a Social Science or other related discipline.
• Experience with Cognos Report Studio.
• Experience with Banner/PeopleSoft Operational Data Store and/or Banner Enterprise Data Warehouse; demonstrated experience with ERP data, information, and reporting needs of a comprehensive institution of higher education; and functional user experience with Ellucian Banner Student, Finance, and/or Human Resources modules.
• Experience preparing and submitting files to the Postsecondary Data Partnership (PDP).
• Experience working in a management function within a large, complex system.
• Excellent organization skills and attention to detail.
• Ability to prioritize work and handle multiple tasks and deadlines.
• Ability to manage and mentor staff.
• Ability to work independently and as a part of a collaborative team effort.

Desired Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
Demonstrated experience is desired in the following areas:
• the ability to prioritize and meet competing internal requests for support and external reporting requirements;
• ability to utilize enterprise management (preferably Banner and PeopleSoft), data collection, data mining, data visualization, and report writing information systems;
• strong interpersonal and communication skills with an ability to establish and maintain excellent working relationships across University and System-level constituencies, as well as capacity to work well with faculty and staff at different levels of the organization;
• comprehensive knowledge of the higher education landscape, trends and student experience, as well as the drive to remain current on new developments;
• strong leadership and exceptional project management skills including excellent attention to detail and ability to ensure quality, accuracy and timeliness of deliverables;
• strong collaboration skills with experience leading, directing and mentoring individuals and teams to meet shared goals; excellent written and oral communication skills with ability to convey complex information to diverse audiences;
• proficiency in quantitative and qualitative research design and analysis;
• experience with standard statistical procedures relating to sampling, correlation analysis, projections, instrument design, quantitative and qualitative measures applied to educational and social research; and
• solid knowledge of data management within institutional systems.

Application Procedures
Applications should consist of:
1. a detailed cover letter addressing the expectations of the position;
2. a current resume or curriculum vitae (CV); and
3. a list of five professional references with contact information and a brief description explaining the working relationship of each to the applicant. References will not be contacted without the explicit permission of the candidate.

All documents should be submitted in PDF format.

Nominations and applications should be sent to The position is open until filled but only applications received by July 19, 2024 can be assured full consideration.
This search is assisted by Academic Search. Prospective applicants and nominators may arrange a confidential discussion with senior consultant Mahauganee Shaw at

The University of South Carolina does not discriminate in educational or employment opportunities or decisions for qualifies persons on the basis of age, ancestry, citizenship status, color, disability, ethnicity, familial status, gender (including transgender), gender identity or expression, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, military status, national origin, pregnancy (false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, childbirth, recovery therefrom or related medical conditions, breastfeeding), race, religion (including religious dress and grooming practices), sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other bases under federal, state, local law, or regulations.


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