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How to Apply

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 include salary requirements, address your specific interest in the position, and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.

Please note: This is a 5 year term-limited position with the possibility of renewal depending on funding.

Job Summary

The Center for Academic Innovation (CAI) at the University of Michigan is hiring a Strategic Partnerships Lead to identify and explore new opportunities and partnerships to enable our online learning strategy and engage millions of learners around the world and on campus. As a Strategic Partnerships Lead you will work cross-functionally, provide thought leadership to our partners and engage with the learning and academic innovation communities both on and off campus. The ideal candidate will be a creative, enterprising, and detail-oriented individual with business development experience who will help define, build, and champion a holistic and inventive strategy for open online learning experiences embodied within Michigan Online, a digital destination featuring curricular innovations ranging from short form content to online degree programs. The Strategic Partnerships Lead will report to the Director of Open Learning Initiatives.

About Us

The Center for Academic Innovation is a strategic priority for the University of Michigan. Through curricular innovation, tools for learning, and educational data and research, the center aims to shape the future of learning and redefine the role of the public research university by extending academic excellence, expanding public purpose, and ending educational privilege.

Our preferred future includes:

  • An open model for pre-college learning and preparation that broadens access and enhances participation
  • A personalized, rigorous, and inclusive model for residential learning grounded in learning analytics and experimentation
  • A flexible and networked model for global and lifelong learning that embraces the evolution of a more permeable university
  • A participatory and inclusive model for public engagement that accelerates bilateral knowledge construction and sharing

As we reimagine the global public research university and create a culture of innovation in learning, we value:

  • boldness and humility
  • creativity and process
  • risk taking and tradition
  • personalization and scale
  • openness

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Learning and working in environments designed for equity and inclusivity are necessary for the U-M community to make progress on solving the problems that matter most to society. In addition to collaborating with faculty and staff on projects that explicitly focus on DEI, the Center for Academic Innovation uses inclusive design processes in all of our work. All interested applicants, including those from groups historically underrepresented in higher education, are encouraged to apply.


  • Work with AI leadership to refine a vision for the AI’s online learning experience portfolio, as well as Michigan Online and related properties as a destination for top tier learning content and engagement opportunities
  • Identify, develop, and nurture relationships and partnerships with academic and non­academic units across the University, as well as external organizations to foster adoption and adaptation of existing Michigan Online content and surface unmet content needs and goals
  • Work closely with colleagues to research, identify and build on opportunities for new audiences, partnerships, content areas, and learner communities
  • Define metrics and develop external strategies for Michigan Online platform adoption, engagement, and growth; and increase engagement among U­M students, alumni, faculty and staff who might use Michigan Online as a source for lifelong learning, curriculum supplements, and professional development
  • Collaborate with the Research & Development team to gather and develop insights from analytics, surveys, and focus group data to inform platform/product strategy and help develop impactful experiences for multiple audiences.
  • Systematically solicit and prioritize user needs and potential new features to aid in the development of a product roadmap; and Collaborate with the Software & User Experience teams to understand trade­offs,implications, and potential impacts of new features, and participate in the development of a roadmap for the Michigan Online site
  • Manage plans and timelines for pipeline development and maintain documentation to disseminate required information to relevant stakeholders at regular intervals.
  • Build a range of presentation tools to facilitate potential partners’ understanding of our offerings
  • Participates in conversations and communities on campus around digital learning and other topics related to carrying out the vision and mission of the Office of Academic Innovation
  • Work cross-functionally with Marketing, R&D, Course Operations, Design Management, Learning Experience Design, and Media teams to identify and tell stories about the evolution and impact of the portfolio and associated learning communities.

Required Qualifications*

  • 5+ years of business development or account management experience, or 3+ years and related education
  • Knowledge of trends in technology, innovation, and higher education. Familiarity with: Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs), Open Educational Resources (OER), Learning Management Systems (LMS) like edX, Coursera, Canvas, and other educational platforms.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with individuals and groups at all levels within the University and ability to manage collaborative academic partnerships.
  • Demonstrated initiative, independent judgment, diplomacy, and service-oriented attitude
  • Demonstrated organizational, interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills
  • Excellent team and communication skills
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Excellent analytical and problem solving skills
  • Ability to work well in a multicultural and collaborative environment
  • Skill in promoting diversity and inclusion and bringing an equity focus to our work
  • Supervisory experience in the context of digital education, higher education, or equivalent.

Desired Qualifications*

  • MBA and 2-5 years of related experience building successful programs, products, or initiatives

Additional Information

Excellent benefits are available, for details, see

NOTE: This is a five-year, term-limited position with the possibility for renewal depending on funding.

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.

Decision Making Process

Applications will be reviewed as received throughout the posting period and continue until the position is filled.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

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