The Director is part of the Office of International Student and Scholar Services in the University Enrollment Affairs division at Vanderbilt University and is a leader responsible for delivering vision, innovation, advocacy, and guidance related to the services provided to international students and scholars and their families. The Director oversees the implementation of immigration-related policies and procedures and the ongoing development of systems and practices in line with regulatory requirements. Reporting directly to the Assistant Provost and University Registrar, the Director collaborates frequently with campus partners across the university as well as external agencies to ensure the support of the university's international community.
The Director will have responsibility over the daily management and strategic direction of the International Student and Scholar Services office, leading a professional staff of five full-time employees and a number of graduate assistants. This position will evaluate, create, and provide counsel on policies and best practices to enhance the experiences of international students and scholars. The Director will develop, implement, and maintain university policies and processes as they relate to international populations, SEVIS requirements, and federal immigration regulations. A successful Director will maintain a commitment to Vanderbilt's international strategy as outlined in the Academic Strategic Plan and the 2017 report of the International Strategy Working Group, and will represent the International Student and Scholar Services office and the University Enrollment Affairs division on university and external initiatives, committees, and other programming efforts to help guide and promote Vanderbilt University's global objectives and priorities.
International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) serves to be the primary resource for non-immigrant students and scholars at Vanderbilt University. International Student and Scholar Services fosters the education and development of non-immigrant students and scholars to enable them to achieve their academic and professional goals and objectives. ISSS provides advice, counseling, and advocacy regarding immigration, cross-cultural, and personal matters. ISSS supports an environment conducive to international education and intercultural awareness via educational, social, and cross-cultural programs.
Duties and Responsibilities
Serve as Primary Designated School Official (PDSO) for the F-1 visa program and Responsible Officer (RO) for the J-1 visa program, as authorized by U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of State, respectively.
Engage federal, state, and local offices and bureaus (e.g., U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Department of Labor) regarding immigration and visa-related matters.
Monitor SEVIS alerts.
Ensure Vanderbilt is meeting its reporting and compliance obligations, especially with regards to the J-1 Annual Report, Open Doors report for Students and Open Doors report for Scholars, SEVIS/FSA Reconciliation, etc.
Keep current with changes in immigration regulations and upgrades in SEVIS and Terra Dotta Software in order to ensure that local, state, and federal guidelines and objectives are met.
Develop and implement an ISSS strategic plan; offer vision and guidance for a forward-looking, service-oriented model.
Serve as a primary source of information and expertise to deans, administrators, faculty members, and staff professionals to address issues and concerns related to international students and scholars.
Develop innovative strategies to deliver international student and scholar services and programming that enhance the academic and overall experience for international populations.
Provide expert policy interpretation and analysis to campus stakeholders; collaborate with and counsel university administrators on the interpretation of regulations within context of university, state, and federal policies.
Supervise and mentor staff and graduate student assistants, providing clear performance expectations, effective training and feedback, and professional development opportunities.
Provide vision, leadership, and oversight for a comprehensive program of support for international students and scholars.
Work on collaborative programming with and serve as liaison to campus and local partners; guide the integration of international services into the broader university community.
Represent ISSS and University Enrollment Affairs on university committees.
Advise students and scholars on complex immigration requirements, options, benefits, and permissions during walk-in periods, appointments, and workshop presentations; advocate for international students and scholars on campus.
Counsel students and scholars or make appropriate referrals to available support resources for various personal, social, academic, cultural, financial, taxation, and other issues.
Analyze relevant information and issue immigration documentation on behalf of the university.
Other duties as assigned.
Supervisory Relationships This position does have supervisory responsibility; this position reports administratively and functionally to the Assistant Provost and University Registrar.
Master's degree is necessary.
Degree in international education or higher education administration is preferred.
Minimum of five years of relevant experience is necessary.
U.S. Citizenship or Permanent Residency is required to access the SEVIS system.
Minimum of seven years of direct experience as a P/DSO and A/RO working with international students, scholars, and dependents in a higher education environment is preferred.
Equivalent combination of relevant education and experience may be substituted as appropriate.
Excellent communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills are necessary.
Extensive knowledge of F-1 and J-1 regulations, and experience with SEVIS and SEVIS batch processing.
Success in a leadership position managing complex international student and scholar support and/or related immigration processes.
Demonstrated management experience with a record of accomplishment in leading teams through organizational change.
Strong advocacy for international students, scholars, and dependents; service-oriented focus.
Outstanding strategic management and planning skills, including the ability to handle multiple simultaneous projects in a complex environment.
Direct experience with advising or counseling international students and scholars, and with providing cross-cultural programming for international students and scholars.
Ability to communicate and interact effectively with individuals from a wide range of cultural backgrounds.
Working knowledge with a records management system such as PeopleSoft and Terra Dotta Software; experience using technology to leverage resources and enhance services.
Demonstrated leadership with NAFSA - Association of International Educators or similar professional organizations.
Lived and/or significant study abroad experience.
Sensitivity to unique needs and cultural differences of international students.
Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
At Vanderbilt University, we are intentional about and assume accountability for fostering advancement and respect for equity, diversity, and inclusion for all students, faculty, and staff. Our commitment to diversity makes us who we are. We have created a community that celebrates differences and lets individuality thrive. As part of this commitment, we actively value diversity in our workplace and learning environments as we seek to take advantage of the rich backgrounds and abilities of everyone. The diverse voices of Vanderbilt represent an invaluable resource for the University in its efforts to fulfill its mission and strive to be an example of excellence in higher education.
Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.
Please note, all candidates selected for an offer of employment are subject to pre-employment background checks, which may include but are not limited to, based on the role for which they have been selected: criminal history, education verification, social media review, motor vehicle records, credit history, and professional license verification.
Internal Number: 10000219
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.