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How to Apply

The following materials are required for consideration for this position:

  • Cover letter
  • Current resume
  • A writing sample representative of your work in a professional setting

To be considered, please complete an application and upload all materials as a single document through the UM Careers Website.

Job Summary

Note: this is a three-year term-limited appointment. Appointment beyond this timeframe is contingent on the outcomes of the program and status of project funding.

The University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts seeks a Project Manager to help lead the launch and development of the national Kessler Scholars Collaborative, a multi-institution project intended to build cohort-based supports for low-income, first-generation undergraduate students and improve understanding of student success interventions and outcomes through a multi-year evaluation and research project. With central coordination from LSA, the Kessler Scholars Collaborative project aims to 1) establish key points of consistency across the emerging national network of Kessler Scholars programs, 2) build opportunities for participating institutions -- and the students they support -- to learn from and support one another, and 3) engage participating institutions in opportunities for research and evaluation.

The college seeks to hire a Project Manager to play a central role in the development of this new national initiative. This position will plan, lead, and manage short- and long-term project activities among six institutions (U-M plus five additional sites) and define and execute central goals of the project. Duties will include, but will not be limited to: managing project benchmarks and budgets, guiding consistent program development at participating institutions, supporting data collection efforts across participating institutions, designing and implementing annual convenings of Kessler Scholars program staff, developing cross-institution engagement opportunities for students participating in Kessler Scholars programs, developing project schedule and creating systems for outcomes tracking, and writing reports related to project development, outcomes, and findings. The person in this role must be able to make decisions about the project goals and implementation that demonstrate sound judgment and creative, independent thinking.

This position will report to the Director of the Kessler Scholars Program in LSA. The position also will require close collaboration with the project evaluation team based in the U-M School of Education’s Center for Education Design, Evaluation, and Research (CEDER) and with program  leads at five participating institutions beyond U-M. As such, close and effective communication with multiple project partners, including senior leadership at participating partner institutions, is an essential characteristic of this position. Through work with internal and external stakeholders, including program donors, the person in this position will bring clarity and structure to this national initiative, tracking project risks and opportunities for the primary institutional stakeholders and external sponsors.

Overview of the Kessler Scholars Program

The mission of the Kessler Scholars Program at the University of Michigan, College of LSA, is to help low-income, first-generation undergraduate students thrive as part of a connected, cohort-based community on campus. The Kessler Scholars Program combines substantial scholarship awards with academic, professional, and personal support to help students navigate the University of Michigan with a clear sense of belonging and purpose across all four years of their undergraduate experience. The Kessler Scholars Program is led by dedicated program staff with expertise in college student development and academic transitions. The Kessler Scholars Program at U-M welcomes 40 new first-year students each year and supports overall a four-year cohort of up to 160 students.

In fall 2019, Cornell University launched a Kessler Scholars Program, following the cohort-based support model of the University of Michigan program. Kessler Scholars projects launch in fall 2020 at Syracuse University, Johns Hopkins University, and Queens College, with coordinated program and evaluation support led by the University of Michigan. St. Francis College in Brooklyn, N.Y., operates the McGuire Scholars, a cohort-based scholarship program with common funding support, and also participates in this national project.

Mission Statement

The mission of the University of Michigan is to serve the people of Michigan and the world through preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving and applying knowledge, art, and academic values, and in developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future.


This Project Manager position will oversee a diverse portfolio related to the overall development and management of the national Kessler Scholars Collaborative project. Duties will include, but are not limited to:

Strategy and Design (30%)

  • Lead implementation of project goals, including development of benchmark data, project timelines, and outcomes measures
  • Coordinate data gathering, participate in analysis and presentation, and engage in research team meetings through U-M School of Education to contribute to research aims of the national project
  • Design and implement annual convenings of program leads from participating institutions (beginning spring 2021), including budget oversight
  • Develop and implement opportunities for cross-institution student engagement

Management and Execution (30%)

  • Build a productive and supportive network among program leads at institutions participating in the Kessler Scholars National Collaborative and with U-M program and research team
  • Monitor project status across participating sites to address critical issues and assure completion of key program milestones, advising program leadership of progress and any deviations or complications
  • Establish tracking and review system for program goals and outcomes
  • Develop, implement, and promote student-facing program development at participating institutions
  • Manage data collection and analysis across participating institutions, in concert with School of Education research team

Reporting and Outreach (25%)

  • Design and implement project outcomes measures and tracking systems and evaluate opportunities and challenges as project transitions from launch to operations
  • Produce executive-level reports and presentations related to program development, research, and assessment
  • Promote program initiatives with internal and external stakeholders through development of key marketing components and communications outreach in collaboration with LSA Marketing and Communications

Administrative and Other Duties (15%)

  • Provide primary point of contact for multi-site national project and build consensus across sites on key goals and outcomes
  • Support high-level donor relations and development activities related to project
  • Budget development and oversight for key initiatives in the national project

Required Qualifications*

  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant field
  • 3 to 5 years of experience coordinating multi-faceted programs or projects to include responsibilities requiring confidentiality, prioritization, and troubleshooting
  • Demonstrated research experience including direct experience with IRB-approved data collection, analysis, program assessment, and evaluation
  • Record of top-level performance working in a team environment
  • Direct experience producing program or project reports (print or digital)
  • Well-developed interpersonal skills and excellent oral and written communication, with experience communicating with and presenting to high-level university officials
  • Creative problem-solving skills exercised with sound judgment and ability to independently anticipate emergent issues and needs
  • Independent decision-maker who is highly motivated, and able to show excellent judgment in balancing the interests of multiple stakeholders
  • Sound understanding of higher educational organizational structures, cultures, and values

Desired Qualifications*

  • Graduate degree in higher education, social sciences, or other related field
  • Experience working with multi-institution projects
  • Familiarity with higher education philanthropy, donor relations, and/or stewardship
  • Prior engagement with major gift discussions and high-level institutional donors
  • Working knowledge of university organizational policies, rules, regulations, procurement, and purchasing
  • Passion for promoting success among low-income, first-generation, and under-represented undergraduate student populations

Additional Information

Occasional travel (monthly or bi-monthly basis) is expected for this role.

Some evening and/or weekend work may be required.

The College of Literature, Science, and the Arts seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce as a reflection of our commitment to serve the diverse people of Michigan, fulfill the college’s Guiding Principles, and sustain the excellence of LSA.

To learn more about diversity, equity, and inclusion visit

To learn more about LSA’s Guiding Principles visit

Background Screening

The University of Michigan conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background checks.  Background checks are performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days.  The review and selection process may begin as early as the eighth day after posting. This opening may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

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