Director of Economic & Employer Engagement

University of Wisconsin System   Madison, WI   Full-time     Management
Posted on January 25, 2023
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The University of Wisconsin System, a premier system of public higher education, educates approximately 161,000 each year and employs 40,000 faculty and staff statewide. The UW System’s combined enrollment headcount exceeds 165,000, and the System confers more than 37,000 degrees each year. The UW System is comprised of 13 four-year universities with 13 two-year branch campuses affiliated with seven of the four-year institutions. Two of the universities (UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee) are doctoral degree-granting institutions and 11 are master’s degree-granting comprehensive institutions. The UW System is governed by a single Board of Regents comprised of 18 members. The UW System head is the President of the System. Together, these institutions are a tremendous academic, cultural, and economic resource for Wisconsin, the nation, and the world.

The Office of Corporate Relations & Economic Engagement is responsible for advancing the UW System’s mission through business and economic-related stakeholder engagement.

Major Responsibilities

Reporting to the Vice President for University Relations, this position will determine the strategic direction of the unit; personally cultivate and maintain relationships with business and industry partners; and will be accountable for all unit programmatic, fiscal, and personnel related matters to align with corporate and foundation-related institutional strategic goals.

The major responsibilities of this position are as follows:

  • Develop a systemwide employer and economic engagement strategy with significant input and collaboration from the institution level.
  • Assist the Universities with engagement and relationship development with employers.
  • Direct the development objectives to ensure appropriate use of financial, administrative, and staffing resources in alignment with the strategic plan.
  • Develop operating policies and procedures to comply with regulations, institutional policies, and objectives.
  • Serve as a liaison to internal and external stakeholder groups providing organizational information and representing the interests of each university in the cultivation of industry and business partner relationships.
  • Regularly convene and support the following university-based staff:
    • Staff who engage in business outreach, economic development, or corporation relations.
    • Research Administrators (in partnership with Academic Affairs and Federal Relations.
    • Staff involved with foundation and development work.
  • Work closely with the IBE Executive Director to ensure a unified business engagement strategy.

Minimum Qualifications

To be considered for this position, applicants must have:

  • A Bachelor’s degree.
  • At least five years of experience in academic related external relations and/or business engagement, or related relationship management positions.
  • Capability to develop long-term strategies for corporate relationships that expand engagement opportunities within the UW System.
  • Ability to promote UW System’s strategic priorities, and each UW-institution’s research goals by developing excellent working relationships with university leadership, deans and other leaders throughout the System.
  • Proven capability as a primary liaison interacting with corporate executive officers and other senior corporate leaders.
  • Demonstrated competency in developing, coordinating, and implementing strategies effectively across an organization.
  • Ability to travel for a significant amount of time.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in a related field (e.g., Business Administration, Public Affairs, Higher Education Administration)
  • Experience in and knowledge of public higher education.

Conditions of Employment

This position is a full-time, salaried (exempt) limited appointment. Well-qualified candidates can expect a starting annual salary within a range of $91,000 - $126,500 annual, commensurate with the candidate’s education, related experience, and qualifications. UW System employees receive an excellent benefit package. To learn more about the UWSA comprehensive benefit package, you can read our benefit summary guide: Summary - Faculty, Academic Staff & Limited Appointees. Furthermore, the UW System Health & Retirement Contributions Estimator is a tool designed to provide you with total compensation information.

Special Notes

The UW System is required to conduct a criminal background and sexual harassment check for final candidate(s) prior to employment.  Please note that successful applicants are responsible for ensuring their eligibility to work in the United States (i.e., a citizen or national of the University States, a lawful permanent resident, a foreign national authorized to work in the United States without the need of employer sponsorship) on or before the effective date of appointment.

Application Instructions

To ensure full consideration, please submit application materials as soon as possible. Applicant screening will begin immediately and be ongoing through February 5, 2023. However, applications may be accepted until the position has been filled.

  1. Go to the UWSA Applicant Portal to submit your materials online.
  2. Select the appropriate applicant portal, either External Applicants or Internal Applicants.
  3. Locate the position you want to apply for and click on the position.
  4. Follow the onscreen instructions; be sure to upload ALL THREE of the required documents: resume, cover letter, and references as PDF files. Failing to include any of these documents may disqualify your application. Uploading your documents as PDFs is also critical to maintain the formatting of your documents.
    1. Your cover letter MUST specifically address how your education and experience relate to the position and qualifications. Be sure to emphasize the areas outlined under “Minimum Qualifications.”
    2. Your reference page should include the names, addresses, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers for three professional references with at least one being from your current supervisor.
  5. Include a statement of whether you wish to have your application held in confidence or made available to the public upon request. Please note that in the absence of any statement regarding confidentiality, we will assume you do not wish to have your application held in confidence. The UW System will not reveal the identities of applicants who request confidentiality in writing, except that the identity of the successful candidate will be released. See Stat. sec. 19.36(7).
  6. Submit your application.

 The University of Wisconsin System Administration is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and actively seeks and encourages applications from women, minorities, and person with disabilities.

Questions may be addressed to: Lori Fuller, Senior Human Resources Manager; UW System Human Resources; at or at (608) 263-0847.