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Assistant Director of Research Assessment

Application Procedure:

  • CURRENT PENN STATE STUDENT (not employed previously at the university) and seeking employment with Penn State, please login to Workday to complete the student application process. Please do not apply here, apply internally through Workday.

Job Duties

The successful candidate will possess knowledge of, or a strong desire to learn about, current trends and issues related to student learning assessment, current and innovative practices in the development and assessment of institutional effectiveness, and current theory and practice in higher education research. The successful candidate will also have proven ability to design research, data collection and analysis plans, processes, and systems; identify analytical methods and integrate appropriate assessments to inform strategic initiatives.

This position reports to the Assistant Vice Provost for Assessment. The location of this position is flexible with options to be fully remote from most U.S. states, fully in-person at our University Park Campus, or in a hybrid model of both in-person and remote. Standard working hours are in the eastern time zone.

The Assistant Director for Assessment Research will:

  • Design, produce, and present academic program assessment and institutional effectiveness research to a variety of audiences, turning data into knowledge that can inform strategic initiatives and improve student outcomes. 
  • Establish and document processes and procedures for extracting, compiling, analyzing, and presenting data related to student success outcomes, academic program assessment and institutional effectiveness.
  • Prepare oral and written reports, with a strong focus on data storytelling and visualization, for internal and external audiences.
  • Participate in a collaborative team environment within OPAIR and work collaboratively with University stakeholders.
  • Liaise with colleagues and represent the assessment team in the Institutional Research Group (IRIG), Power BI Community of Practice, ad hoc committees, task forces, and University-wide initiatives.

Job Qualifications

Required qualifications:

  • Commitment to fostering diversity, equity and inclusion as demonstrated through past research and reports.
  • Demonstrated ability to think creatively and innovatively to design studies that address complex strategic and operational issues.
  • Experience extracting and manipulating data from a variety of enterprise systems.
  • Expertise in basic statistics including sampling, descriptive statistics, measures of central tendency, and inferential statistics.
  • Expertise in using statistical software including R to clean, format, analyze, and visualize complex data.
  • Experience building reports and dashboards in Power BI or similar software.
  • Excellent interpersonal, teamwork, problem solving, and time management skills, as well as attention to detail.
  • Strong written, oral, and visual communication skills.
  • Ability to work independently, prioritize tasks, and manage projects.

Preferred qualifications:

  • A professional or educational background in learning outcomes assessment.
  • Familiarity with the characteristics and structures of human resources, student, and learning data, as well as the systems that store them.
  • Experience creating and implementing surveys.
  • Experience using Python to automate tasks.
  • Experience building surveys in Qualtrics or similar survey software.

Education and experience:

  • A master’s degree or higher plus three years of experience in higher education, or an equivalent combination of education and experience is required. 

Institution Description

The Pennsylvania State University is a multi-campus, land-grant, public research university that educates students from around the world and supports individuals and communities through integrated programs of teaching, research, and service.

The Office of Planning, Assessment, and Institutional Research (OPAIR) is the nexus of research, accreditation, assessment, and strategic planning that supports individual unit endeavors toward organizational excellence by making institutional data and strategic information easily accessible, clearly understood, and well-leveraged both within Penn State and across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.


Penn State provides a broad range of benefit options to cater to your specific needs. As an institution, the university places great importance on the physical and mental well-being of our faculty and staff, which is reflected in our comprehensive and competitive benefits package. For full-time employees, this package includes extensive healthcare coverage, tuition remission, a retirement savings scheme, and various other benefits, including voluntary options.
Application Due Date: 2024-07-31
Job Start Date: 2024-09-01
Salary: $68200 - $102300
City: University Park
State/Province/Region: PA
Institution: The Pennsylvania State University
Reports To: Associate Vice Provost for Assessment
Staff # Reporting to Position: 0
Reports In Office: Planning, Assessment, and Institutional Research

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