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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.

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

Job Summary

The Center for Academic Innovation at the University of Michigan is seeking a qualified Partnerships Manager to identify and facilitate new opportunities and partnerships to enhance our open, online, and hybrid learning strategy and engage millions of learners around the world as well as on campus. As a member of the Partnership Development team, the Partnerships Manager will have an opportunity to build and manage sustainable partnerships with industry, government and nonprofit organizations that align their strategic priorities with learning innovation, and to facilitate strategic partnerships with academic units and faculty within the University of Michigan to advance lifelong learning. The Partnerships Manager will report to the Strategic Partnerships Lead.

Who We Are

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. 

 For more information, please visit our website: Academic Innovation.


Growing Adoption of Open Content, Hybrid Programs, and Online Degrees

  • Identify, develop, and maintain relationships with prospective external partners including industry, nonprofit and governmental organizations to facilitate adoption of Michigan Online content, in alignment with their organizations’ learning and development goals
  • Support and contribute to business development strategies for Michigan Online content and platform adoption, engagement, and growth by external industry, nonprofit and governmental partners
  • Collaborate with other members of the Partnership Development team to identify areas of U-M expertise that could contribute to the future of workforce skills and provide solutions for the shift in global demand
  • Facilitate collaborative relationships with key external partners to create and offer courses that meet this growing demand for workforce skills development
  • Support the development of an external onboarding process to courses and other learning opportunities on Michigan Online
  • Pursue and support innovative initiatives, partnerships and content to increase engagement among U-M students, alumni, faculty and staff who might use Michigan Online as a source for lifelong learning, curriculum supplements, and professional development
  • Build and maintain a range of presentation tools to facilitate potential partners’ understanding of our offerings
  • Work cross-functionally with CAI’s Marketing, R&D, Course Operations, Design Management, Learning Experience Design, and Media teams to identify and tell stories about the evolution of the portfolio and associated learning communities, including the publication of an impact report
  • Co-create storytelling resources (presentation slide decks, email templates, blog posts, case studies, etc.) to generate partner interest and support positive relationships

Expanding the Open Learning Portfolio on Michigan Online

  • Work closely with colleagues to research, identify and build on opportunities for new audiences, partnerships, content areas, and learner communities
  • Based on faculty interest and/or external partner opportunities, conduct and coordinate pipeline conversations with faculty members and potential collaborators from exploratory to mobilization phases, providing information and support to faculty to align their goals, content and target audiences with external interest and market demand
  • Scope and assist in the development of new open learning initiative proposals with faculty and internal teams for short form content, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), and MOOC series
  • Work with external industry, nonprofit and governmental partners to identify, develop and as appropriate, co-create content for open learning initiatives
  • Collaborate with Open Learning Initiatives (OLI) and wider Academic Innovation teams to implement and utilize processes, protocols, and resources to track and support pre-proposal conversations, as well as track and evaluate metrics for the sourcing process
  • Collaborate with the Research & Development team as needed to gather and develop insights from analytics, surveys, and focus group data to inform faculty and external partner conversations and to help develop impactful experiences for multiple audiences
  • Apply process management skills for the tracking and documentation of pre-proposal and pipeline conversations

Required Qualifications*

  • 2+ years of business development, account management, or consultative experience, or 3+ years of related education
  • Understanding of trends and pedagogical practices in technology, innovation, and higher education; familiarity with: Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs), Open Educational Resources (OER), Learning Management Systems (LMS) like edX, Coursera, and Canvas, and other educational platforms
  • Demonstrated ability to facilitate and manage collaborative partnerships effectively.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with individuals and groups at all levels within the University using independent judgment, diplomacy, and a service-oriented approach
  • Demonstrated organizational skills related to process and program management
  • Demonstrated oral and written communication skills
  • Excellent analytical and problem solving skills
  • Ability to synthesize complex observations and frameworks into actionable insights
  • Ability to work well in a multicultural and collaborative environment
  • Ability to promote diversity and inclusion by bringing an equity focus to CAI’s work

Desired Qualifications*

  • Experience managing collaborative academic partnerships and/or academic-industry partnerships
  • Experience prospecting and pitching new business leads
  • Familiarity or interest in market research, and willingness to work with internal Research and Development team as appropriate
  • Experience supervising students or other employees in the context of digital education, higher education, or equivalent

Additional Information

Must have legal authorization to work in the United States.

This is not a remote position and any adjustments to a standard in-person schedule will be discussed during the hiring process.

The salary for this position will be based upon the selected candidate’s education and experience.

Excellent benefits are available, for details, see

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 will be performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days. This job 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.