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A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position, your salary requirements, and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.

Job Summary

The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan is a diverse learning community grounded in the principle that business can be an extraordinary vehicle for positive change in today's dynamic global economy. The Ross School of Business mission is to develop leaders who make a positive difference in the world. Through thought and action, members of the Ross community drive change and innovation that improves business and society.

Ross is consistently ranked among the world's leading business schools. Academic degree programs include the BBA, MBA, Part-time MBA (Evening and Weekend formats), Executive MBA, Global MBA, Master of Accounting, Master of Supply Chain Management, Master of Management, and PhD. In addition, the school delivers open-enrollment and custom executive education programs targeting general management, leadership development, and strategic human resource management.

The Tauber Institute for Global Operations is a joint program between the Ross School of Business and the College of Engineering to enhance the academic capabilities of graduate students pursuing careers in the operations, supply chain and/or manufacturing sectors with leadership, teamwork, and hands-on experience in industry. 

The Tauber Institute works with world-class firms to develop top-level graduate students into superior operations professionals — managers who are fluent in the underlying technology of their industry, yet want to apply their talents to the broader challenges of business — leaders who can guide their companies through the vast changes ahead and help them emerge the victor.  The Tauber Institute's degree program "overlay" approach offers several advantages for both students and companies associated with Tauber. As a degree add-on program, Tauber is able to address career preparation issues from both a curricular and hands-on perspective, developing and implementing solutions in both channels. This structure allows Tauber to be quicker and more responsive to the ever-changing needs of industry than non-overlay based programs. In addition, the Tauber Institute's LeadershipAdvantageSM Program and team project experience prepare students to hit the ground running upon graduation.

For more information about the Tauber Institute for Global Operations, please visit our website.

The University of Michigan College Of Engineering is one of the top engineering schools in the country. Eight academic departments are ranked in the nation's top 10 -- some twice for different programs. Its research budget is one of the largest of any public university. Its faculty and students are making a difference at the frontiers of fields as diverse as nanotechnology, sustainability, healthcare, national security and robotics. They are involved in spacecraft missions across the solar system, and have developed partnerships with automotive industry leaders to transform transportation. Its entrepreneurial culture encourages faculty and students alike to move their innovations beyond the laboratory and into the real world to benefit society. Its alumni base of nearly 70,000 spans the globe.

The position of Associate Director, External Relations is crucial to the Institute’s mission as it oversees all external relationships. This involves developing and managing corporate relationships (including student interactions with a large network of industry sponsors) and faculty relationships in ways that benefit the Institute and its direct constituents (the Business School, the College of Engineering and the University of Michigan).

Key elements of the Institute’s operations include training students in operations and leadership, and arranging 14-week summer projects for teams of Tauber students.  The last element is considered a capstone experience for our students and strategically positions the Institute to draw top talent and leading sponsors to the University.  This position is critical to a successful project experience for both students and industry sponsors. 

In addition to engaging a significant number of new sponsor companies, this position’s responsibilities include designing (scoping) projects with both business and engineering content, overseeing a portion of the projects, and continuously evaluating and improving a structured program between industry sponsors, faculty, and students.

The direct budget accountabilities of this position are approximately $1.1 million, however, the success (or failure) of this position effectively opens the Institute’s exposure to over $2 million.  This person has the authority to create new financial models of interactions between industry and the University. Independent judgment is critical in developing sponsor relationships and creativity and innovativeness is expected for developing new forms of interactions.

The Tauber Institute’s interactions with industry have expanded beyond team projects; an additional element of this position includes facilitating faculty research collaborations with our sponsor companies - an area which is part of the Institute’s mission.

In addition, this individual will oversee the Institute’s leadership program, ensuring that both industry constituents’ and students’ voices are taken into account. A dedicated employee (Tauber Team Project Manager) will report directly to this position.  The Associate Director will report to the Institute’s Managing Director.


Team Project Oversight

  • Represent the Institute to external and internal constituents, including corporate partners, graduate business and engineering students, faculty and staff.  Target, establish, and cultivate on-going relationships with strategic national and international corporate sponsors (predominantly Fortune 100 and Fortune 250 companies).  Influence corporate sponsors to submit and support substantive global team projects which include both business and engineering content. Project sponsorship is both a monetary and human resource investment: the average cost to a corporate sponsor for a summer project has been $100,000 and requires engaging with executive-level personnel to sponsor, mentor, and propel the project through their organization.
  • Direct sponsors to define the strategic importance of the project, identify expected deliverables, and ensure executive support to accommodate all students in a cohort (historically in the range of 35-40 projects). When necessary, leverage financial incentives to secure enough projects every year, deviating from normal sponsorship.
  • Manage all aspects of the Team Project solicitation and selection process including initial project contact, guiding scoping discussions, reviewing student skillsets, and articulating project benefits with minimal input from unit director and Co-Directors.  Assess all team project submissions and provide feedback to sponsors to ensure appropriate Operations content, relevance/interest to students, and quality and breadth of business and engineering content and scope.
  • Oversee project presentation process [to students] - educate and support corporate sponsors to effectively present project content to students. Administer team project interview process to ensure project sponsors and students portray themselves in their best light. If necessary, intervene and offer counsel on how to improve. 
  • Manage the project matching process using a linear optimization algorithm to staff students on projects.  Ensure all students receive an internship offer from a team project sponsor. Direct a Kick-Off event for students, faculty advisors, and team dynamics coaches to begin the team project execution cycle.
  • Represent the organization to internal and external audiences in the absence of the Managing Director and/or Co-Directors. 

Manage External Relations

  • Analyze, propose, and track budget of $1+ million to ensure students, faculty, and corporate sponsors are knowledgeable about, and well-prepared for, each step in the project execution process. Update and/or create resources (e.g., guides, handouts) to support students, faculty, and sponsors. Evaluate and solicit resources to support project teams including, but not exclusive to team dynamics coaches, communications coaches, and librarians.
  • Work with the Office of Sponsored Research and Projects (ORSP) to execute NDA process and bind the university in a project relationship with a sponsoring company.
  • Monitor project status, student team performance, and faculty involvement of all projects. Intervene on an as-needed basis to influence the project direction and scope when unexpected changes occur.  Analyze and apply various courses of action with students, sponsors, or faculty to make sure teams meet and/or exceed sponsor expectations.  Solicit and evaluate feedback from all constituents and implement process changes to ensure continuous improvement.
  • Directly oversee a subset of projects; travel to on-site project presentations (during the month of  June) to confirm projects are on track to deliver high-level results to sponsor, students are performing well, and faculty is engaging with both students and sponsor companies.
  • Promote faculty collaborations with industry partners including project advisement, faculty research, and publication of project results (e.g., case studies or white papers).
  • Supervise Team Project Manager

Direct Leadership Program

  • Plan and execute the Institute’s leadership development program. The program provides a methodical and comprehensive preparation to maximize individual and team performance on the summer team project with an emphasis on leading and influencing an organization through collaboration, creativity, communication, and analytics.
  • Ensure module alignment with Institute strategy and goals. Lead process to improve offerings based on student feedback and Industry Advisory Board input.

Support Students’ Employment Opportunities

  • Direct permanent placement recruiting activities for Tauber Institute students. Facilitate Tauber-specific recruiting events for corporate partners. Network with corporate sponsors and students to understand constituent needs. Counsel students in relation to career interests/paths in Operations-related fields and develop ways to bring students and corporate sponsors together.

Required Qualifications*

  • Bachelor’s degree required, master’s degree preferred (majors preferably in engineering, business, or the sciences)
  • Candidate should have 7 or more years of direct industry experience preferably in an operations, supply chain, or manufacturing environment
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and as a critical member of a team.  Professional demeanor and presentation
  • Proven track record and experience in relationship management with major corporations
  • Contributes to a positive work community by approaching work with diversity, equity, and inclusion in mind; treats others with respect, dignity, and in a manner where individuals feel they belong; listens, values feedback, and learns from the perspectives of others
  • Strong leadership skills, drive, and initiative
  • Strong communication skills, including public speaking and presentation skills
  • Strategic planning, organizational, administrative and budgetary experience
  • Ability to review, balance and determine best courses of action
  • Ability to set priorities, work simultaneously on numerous projects, and meet deadlines
  • Demonstrated attention to detail
  • Some evening and weekend work; up to 10% travel will be required
  • Proficiency with computer software (MS Excel, Word, and PowerPoint)

Desired Qualifications*

  • Master’s Degree in Business or Engineering or related field
  • Ten years of experience including some operations, supply chain or manufacturing or equivalent combination of education and related experience

Additional Information

Skills Testing

  • Skills testing may be required.

Physical Demands/Work Environment 

  • The person in this position routinely communicates with students about career goals, recruiting, team projects, programs, events, activities, etc.
  • The person in this position routinely presents information at events
  • The person in this position occasionally moves through the facility to attend meetings/events and access files or information
  • The person in this position routinely moves materials weighing up to 20 pounds to campus locations or other venues for recruiting or alumni events
  • May require work during early mornings, nights, and/or weekends
  • Will require some travel (10%)
  • May require on-call hours

Michigan Ross values a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion.  We are committed to the development of diverse and culturally intelligent staff who thrive and contribute to a positive and inclusive environment.

The statements included in this description are intended to reflect the general nature and level of work assigned to this classification and should not be interpreted as all-inclusive.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.