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Vanderbilt University Senior Partnering Consultant in Nashville, Tennessee

Senior Partnering Consultant (Job Number: 2000315)


The Senior Partnering Consultant is part of the Office for Planning and Institutional Effectiveness (PIE) at Vanderbilt University and is a key contributor, working in partnership with their designated academic areas or support units, to ensuring that Vanderbilt makes decisions and plans on the basis of high-quality and relevant data, information, and analysis. Reporting directly to the Assistant Provost and Executive Director for Planning and Institutional Effectiveness, the Senior Partnering Consultant will also have a strong dotted-line reporting relationship with the designated leaders in their partner area(s).

The Senior Partnering Consultant is a generalist role providing professional support around data, information, and analysis to leaders in their designated partner area(s). The Senior Partnering Consultant is a matrix role, with integration into both the designated partner area(s) and also the broader PIE Team. They will build strong relationships in those area(s) to provide targeted and nuanced support, helping the area(s) to interpret and use information for decision-making and planning. They will draw on relationships within the PIE Team to provide specialist support as required, and to feedback to PIE about priorities and preferences among users to ensure that PIE outputs are focused on institutional and local need.

The Office for Planning and Institutional Effectiveness (PIE) is a new Office, bringing together the former Vanderbilt Institutional Research Group and the Office of Assessment. The Office partners with leaders in Academic Affairs and beyond to support decision-making, planning, and actions based on high-quality and relevant data, information, and analysis. The Office comprises four teams: Partnering; Institutional Research and Analysis; Assessment; and Data Governance and Solutions.

The Senior Partnering Consultant is a matrix role, with integration into both the designated partner area(s) and also the broader PIE Team. The specific structure may vary depending on the size, resources, and needs of the partner area(s).

Duties and Responsibilities

The key function of a Senior Partnering Consultant is to enable their designated area(s) to make use of data, analysis, and other information to support decision-making and planning. The Senior Partnering Consultant will draw on the technical expertise and resources within PIE and integrate that with a detailed and comprehensive knowledge of the needs of their designated area(s). Their success will be based on strong relationships with both the PIE and designated area teams. Senior Partnering Consultants provide advice and have privileged access to information, and as such they must be credible and trusted by their colleagues. Key functions include:

Making data and analytical information accessible, relevant, and usable to stakeholders in the partner area(s)

  • Share and explain data, analysis, assessment findings, and other similar information to leadership and other stakeholders in partner area(s). This may include drawing down and personalizing reports for the area, using a variety of tools including Excel, PowerPoint, and data visualization software

  • Ensure key stakeholders have appropriate access to data, information, and analysis, and train them in the use of reports, reporting tools, and other systems and outputs as appropriate

  • Drawing on knowledge of available resources, advise, suggest, and/or make available data, information, and analysis to support decision-making in the area

Providing analysis to support decision-making and planning

  • Be familiar with the key issues facing their partner area(s) and work with leadership to understand those issues and to determine how data, information, and analysis can best support decision-making

  • In collaboration with PIE colleagues as appropriate, collect data / information and provide analysis to support planning and decision-making. As part of this process, integrate quantitative and qualitative information with an understanding of the goals and constraints of the area(s)

  • Present/discuss issues, data, and analysis with local leadership, linking these discussions to decisions and planning

  • Advise on options, risks, and action plans

  • Assess and evaluate activities in the partner area(s) to inform future plans

Communicating data, analysis, and information to make an impact

  • Present to a variety of audiences using different media, both formally and informally

  • Author reports and presentations for a variety of audiences

  • Tailor the message to suit the audience and to take into account the sensitivity and / or confidentiality of the information

Serve as an intermediary between PIE and their designated area(s)

  • Identify projects (e.g., assessment, surveys, analysis, reporting) which may require input from the broader PIE team and broker and facilitate those conversations

  • Provide feedback to the PIE team about the effectiveness and impact of various office outputs, and about local priorities from their partner area(s)

  • Remain abreast of developments elsewhere in the PIE team to identify what may be of use to their designated area(s)

Serve as a source of data expertise and support the development of institutional data capability

  • Answer ad hoc questions about data and information for their designated partner area(s)

  • Advise and support individuals and groups of users to improve their familiarity with and level of comfort using institutional data

  • Provide communications and training on data-oriented activities

  • Support institutional data governance activities to ensure the appropriate use of data

Compile and submit data for area to internal and external data collection exercises, as required

  • Coordinate the collect and compilation of local data, ensuring it is compliant, consistent, and in the correct format

Support regional accreditation processes

  • Work with local and institutional leadership to support regional accreditation processes

Shape and support the implementation of the PIE Communications Strategy

  • Identifying opportunities to share information

  • Writing and contributing to communications targeted to the Vanderbilt community and beyond

  • Contributing to presentation materials for senior colleagues, as well as presenting materials themselves

Contribute to or lead institutional or PIE projects. Actual projects will vary, but examples of current activities include:

  • Redevelopment of website and Factbook

  • Review of reporting resources and tools to develop a more self-service approach

  • Communication of institutional datasets, surveys, or findings

Cover for colleagues in Partnering team and collaborate as required inside and outside PIE

Profile of an Ideal Candidate

  • A bachelor’s degree is necessary.

  • A master’s or doctoral degree is preferred.

  • At least three years’ experience working in a professional setting is necessary.

  • Experience of working with quantitative information and data is necessary; this may be demonstrated by academic or professional experience.

  • Ability to manipulate and present data in Excel is necessary.

  • Ability to work with Tableau or a similar data visualization tool is strongly preferred.

  • Ability to do descriptive statistical analysis (e.g., compute means, variances, change over time) is necessary.

  • Training in and experience of more advanced statistical techniques is preferred.

  • Experience working in higher education is necessary, with a demonstrated understanding of how a higher educational institution works. This includes an understanding of the strategic challenges, knowledge of the formal structures, and an appreciation of the internal and external political context and how that influences appropriate behavior.

  • Ability to understand and translate quantitative data for a wide variety of audiences is necessary.

  • Excellent interpersonal skills are necessary. The Senior Partnering Consultant needs to be able develop a rapport with a wide range of individuals. They must be able to effectively challenge pre-conceived notions and deliver messages which may be unwelcome.

  • Excellent communication skills are necessary. This includes both written and verbal skills.

  • Ability to present and do training to targeted audiences is necessary.

  • Excellent problem-solving skills are necessary. The Senior Partnering Consultant needs to be able to define a problem, place it into a broader context, and work collaboratively to explore the issue and develop solutions. This requires the intellectual agility to move from theoretical to practical and back again, drawing together a variety of different inputs to come to a conclusion.

  • Demonstrated experience managing projects through to completion is preferred.

  • Strong time-management skills are necessary, as this post will be working in a matrix environment so will need to prioritize their own workload much of the time.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Vanderbilt University is committed to achieving the goal of a diverse and inclusive academic community of faculty, staff, and students. We seek individuals who are committed to this goal and our campus values.

Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.

Primary Location: United States-Tennessee-Nashville

Organization: 11100 - Institutional Research

Job: Research, Extension, and Other Education Professionals

Vanderbilt University is committed to principles of equal opportunity and affirmative action