Academic Planner II


This is a professional position that works closely with the leadership of the School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) Office of Basic Research, Biotechnology, and Graduate Studies to manage and support administration of the school’s graduate programs and to advance other initiatives related to the office’s research mission. This position is responsible for providing leadership, vision and expertise to faculty and staff in coordination of administrative efforts. The office’s leadership delegates management of day-to-day operations to this position and seeks expert advice and recommendations from this position as it strategizes on present and future policy and program development.

Reporting to the Associate Dean for Basic Research Training, this position conducts academic planning, including managing the program review process and providing expert guidance to departments and graduate programs on proposals for new and changed courses and programs, and guiding proposals through the university’s governance process. This position also manages school-wide administrative responsibilities and projects related to graduate and postdoctoral programs, including policy and process development, organization of meetings and events, communication and liaison with other SMPH and university units, serving as staff to committees, budget development and review, data reporting, and special projects.

Working with the office’s leadership, this position manages additional processes, projects, and initiatives that support the office’s research mission beyond graduate education. The position provides expert guidance to research centers on the process for establishing, evaluating, and changing centers, and guides proposals through the university’s governance process. The Office of Basic Research, Biotechnology, and Graduate Studies is embarking on a new strategic plan, and this position will manage and support ad hoc committees and initiatives that fulfill the goals of the strategic plan.

Using attention to detail, organizational skills, and communication skills, this position will be responsible for day-to-day aspects of multiple committees, projects, and processes.

Using content expertise and the ability to think critically, this position advises and works collaboratively with leadership to strategize on present and future policy and program development. This position reviews, monitors, and evaluates policies and procedures to determine best practices and make improvements. This position represents the office and the SMPH with university officials and on committees.

SMPH is committed to being a diverse, equitable, inclusive and anti-racist workplace and is an Equal Employment Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Applications from Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) individuals, LGBTQ+ and non-binary identities, women, persons with disabilities, military service members and veterans are strongly encouraged.


Supports academic, course, and curricular planning and implementation of the academic structure at the school, college, or division. Implements, operationalizes, and assesses the use of policies and procedures to comply with policies set at the school, college, division, institutional level, UW System level, and externally set requirements. Identifies needs and recommends policy and process improvements to school/college/division level leadership.

  • 10% Incorporates improvement recommendations into existing academic programming policy and practice based on school, college or divisional needs and external requirements (e.g., academic accreditation)
  • 15% Reviews proposals for new academic programs, program changes, curriculum, and/or courses to ensure that proposals meet policy standards, and provides feedback to proposing academic units
  • 10% Designs and delivers directed academic planning and programs messaging to internal and external audiences; maintains all records and documentation of academic, curricular, and course change actions
  • 15% Collects, prepares, and analyzes academic program information and prepares reports and analyses of patterns of activity based on that information
  • 5% Ensures that the work of formal school, college, or divisional planning council or curriculum committees operate effectively and according to committee procedures, which includes among other activities, agenda and document preparation and distribution, communication with members and presenters, and follow up communication
  • 10% Provides recommendations for changes to policy and advances proposals for policy changes to meet changing needs of the academy in partnership with governance committees and colleagues in academic units
  • 10% May develop new approaches, methods, or techniques to resolve problems and addresses unexpected, controversial, or complex situations
  • 5% Directs and leads collaborative activities across units, schools, colleges, and divisions
  • 20% Manages projects for the Office of Basic Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies


Required Qualifications

Minimum two years of experience working in higher education administration and/or student services

Preferred Qualifications

  • Broad understanding of graduate education and the operations of a major research university
  • Background in UW-Madison academic administration, student services, and/or project management
  • Experience managing UW-Madison course proposals, program proposals, and/or program reviews
  • Proficiency with technology, such as Microsoft suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.), Google Apps, Box, virtual meeting platforms (Zoom, WebEx, and Microsoft Teams), CourseLeaf (i.e., Lumen) and PeopleSoft (i.e., SIS)

Preferred Skills and Abilities

  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to exercise independent and sound judgment
  • Ability to professionally manage confidential and sensitive information and matters
  • Ability to create and maintain professional relationships with all levels of personnel within and outside the School of Medicine and Public Health, and to facilitate work across units

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