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.
About Vanderbilt Benefits
In addition to offering a lively community that encourages learning and celebrates diversity, Vanderbilt University offers a competitive, flexible benefits package including health, dental, vision, life, accidental death & dismemberment, disability insurance, paid time off, and a 403(b) retirement plan with employer match. Vanderbilt offers tuition assistance to employees, spouses and dependent children. Also, after five years of service, Vanderbilt will pay up to 55% of the tuition for up to three dependent children to earn a bachelor's degree. Learn more about Vanderbilt's benefits at VU Benefits Overview.
About Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt University, located in Nashville, Tennessee, is a top-15 private research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Vanderbilt is situated on a 330-acre campus near the thriving city center, serving more than 12,000 students and employing almost 7,000 faculty and staff. The university's students, staff, and faculty frequently cite Nashville and the surrounding area as one of the many perks of being a part of the Vanderbilt community. Vanderbilt University is a place where your expertise will be valued, your knowledge expanded, and your abilities challenged. It is a place where your diversity is sought and celebrated. Vanderbilt was recently named as one of "America's Best Large Employers" and the top employer in Tennessee and the Nashville metropolitan area in 2019 (Forbes).
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.
Internal Number: 1901504
About Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt University is a center for scholarly research, informed and creative teaching, and service to the community and society at large. Vanderbilt will uphold the highest standards and be a leader in the quest for new knowledge through scholarship, the dissemination of knowledge through teaching and outreach, and the creative experimentation of ideas and concepts. In pursuit of these goals, Vanderbilt values most highly intellectual freedom that supports open inquiry, equality, compassion, and excellence in all endeavors.