Director of Student Success & Retention (HR title: Associate Director 2)
Southern Methodist University Inc

Dallas, Texas

Posted in Education and Training

This job has expired.

Job Info


Salary Range:

Low 70's

About SMU

SMU's more than 12,000 diverse, high-achieving students come from all 50 states and over 80 countries to take advantage of the University's small classes, meaningful research opportunities, leadership development, community service, international study and innovative programs.

SMU serves approximately 7,000 undergraduates and 5,000 graduate students through eight degree-granting schools: Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Cox School of Business, Lyle School of Engineering, Meadows School of the Arts, Simmons School of Education and Human Development, Dedman School of Law, Perkins School of Theology and Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies.

SMU is data driven, and its powerful supercomputing ecosystem - paired with entrepreneurial drive - creates an unrivaled environment for the University to deliver research excellence.

Now in its second century of achievement, SMU is recognized for the ways it supports students, faculty and alumni as they become ethical, enterprising leaders in their professions and communities. SMU's relationship with Dallas - the dynamic center of one of the nation's fastest-growing regions - offers unique learning, research, social and career opportunities that provide a launch pad for global impact.

SMU is nonsectarian in its teaching and committed to academic freedom and open inquiry.

About the Department:

Student Academic Engagement & Success (SAES) is a division within the Office of the Provost at SMU that oversees a wide range of academic support and engagement offices and initiatives.

About the Position:

This role is an on-campus, in-person position.

The Director leads the Office of Student Success and Retention (SSR). The primary role is supervising three full-time staff and providing day-to-day problem-solving for students trying to remain, depart, or return to SMU.

Working closely with the Assistant Provost for Undergraduate Education and Academic Success and the SMU in Four initiative, the Director operationalizes processes to identify at-risk students, strategically outreaches to inspire engagement, coordinates interventions, tracks academic progress, and assesses our institutional strengths and weaknesses in these areas. Manage interventions as projects, repeating annually or each term, involving multiple offices.

The Director chairs a university-wide retention and financial support committee to retrain undergraduate students. The position serves as a critical partner to the Office of the Dean of Students.

Essential Functions:

  • Develop, project manage, and maintain data related to multiple student success interventions (e.g., annual or recurring each term) within the office. Collaborate to identify undergraduate students at risk of leaving or not making satisfactory academic progress. Maintain and update systems to demonstrate the impact of the office on retention and graduation.

  • Supervise a staff team of three full-time staff. Meet with students with highly idiosyncratic concerns. Oversee office marketing and communication efforts related to successful interventions. Re-recruit students, consider transfer options, manage obstacles, and assist students who decide to leave. Meet with students to help/intervene with specific concerns. Ensure accurate records are maintained.

  • Strengthen connections and partnerships across key student support units (e.g., academic and student affairs) and other units that support students from historically marginalized and minoritized backgrounds. Meet regularly with the Dean of Students Office to share students of concern and devise support plans.

  • Chair a bi-weekly university-wide committee to discuss students at retention risk. Facilitate a sub-committee that reviews financial aid and funding requests.

  • Using data, assess broader retention patterns/trends throughout the undergraduate population and propose strategies to interviene. Identify students at risk for missing 4-6 year graduation goals. Review procedures & policies to determine unintentional success obstacles. Make policy recommendations.
  • Other duties as assigned.


Education and Experience:

Master's degree is required.

A minimum of five years of professional advising experience or student success work with undergraduate students is required.

Experience in data collection and analysis is also required. Supervisory experience is required (may include student supervisory experience).

Experience in counseling or teaching preferred. Experience working with a wide variety of students (including first-generation, low-income, international, athletes, students with disabilities, or another historically marginalized population) desired.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Candidate must demonstrate strong interpersonal and verbal communication skills, with the ability to establish and maintain positive working relationships with a wide range of constituencies. Must also demonstrate strong written communication skills. Strong listening skills are essential.

Candidate must possess strong problem-solving skills with the ability to identify and analyze problems, as well as devise solutions. Must also have strong organizational, planning, and time management skills. A strong focus on attention to detail and project management skills are essential.

Candidate must have the ability and experience to conduct research. Familiarity with higher education culture, academic advising, student success research, and factors that drive undergraduate retention is essential.

Candidate must have a strong working knowledge of MS Office (e.g.Word, Excel, Outlook). Familiarity with statistical software to perform data analysis is required. Desire and willingness to learn new software is required.

Experience with Microsoft Power Automate or PowerApps is preferred. Knowledge of and/or experience with Microsoft SharePoint, PowerAutomate, Power BI, Tableau, Box, and/or Maxient desired.

Physical and Environmental Demands:
  • Sit for long periods of time
Deadline to Apply:

The position is open until filled.

Priority consideration may be given to submissions received by June 5, 2023

EEO Statement:

SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601,


SMU offers staff a broad, competitive array of health and related benefits. In addition to traditional benefits such as health, dental, and vision plans, SMU offers a wide range of wellness programs to help attract, support, and retain our employees whose work continues to make SMU an outstanding education and research institution.

SMU is committed to providing an array of retirement programs that benefit and protect you and your family throughout your working years at SMU and, if you meet SMU's retirement eligibility criteria, during your retirement years after you leave SMU.

The value of learning at SMU isn't just about preparing our students for the future. Employees have access to a wide variety of professional and personal development opportunities, including tuition benefits.

This job has expired.

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