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20 May 2022

Full-Time Research Technical Services Director

WCER – Posted by WCER Madison, Wisconsin, United States

Job Description

The Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER) is one of the largest university-based education research and development centers in the world. A proud unit within the School of Education, WCER houses researchers and staff who improve educational outcomes for diverse student populations, impact education practice positively, and foster productive collaborations among academic disciplines and practitioners. WCER generates approximately $70 million of revenue in awards and services annually and employs approximately 500 employees, including academic staff, university staff, research associates, graduate assistants, and undergraduates.

At WCER, all employees share fundamental organizational values that guide the purpose and quality of our work:
* Innovation and excellence to advance education outcomes through high-quality research and development
* Equitable education that reverses imbalances and injustices in education
* Affirming and increasing diversity to inspire creative and equitable outcomes
* Healthy workplace based on mutual respect and transparency
* Partnering across differences to strengthen research and development outcomes.

The Research Technical Services Director will manage core research IT support for WCER and the School, with a budget of $1.2M. Reporting to the WCER Director and working in tandem with the center’s Chief Operating Officer, the Research Technical Services Director will inspire a team of 12 technical professionals to develop strategies for implementing technology designs and infrastructure that supports diverse research needs. Skilled technologies the director will oversee include research-focused programming, website, multimedia, and graphics design, network administration, and computer services. The director will lead and develop a unit responsible for application development, hardware and software purchasing, setup, ongoing support, server administration, data security, and training. Critically, the director will ensure the security of the network environment in which end-users collaborate across the world.

The Research Technical Services Director will be a member of WCER’s senior leadership team and will provide strategic research technology direction for the center. They will spearhead efforts to reimagine technology services and functions to raise the standard of support for the center’s research projects and service units. The director also will be a vital member of a schoolwide three-person, IT leadership team comprising a colleague responsible for administrative IT and another responsible for instructional IT in the school. This will involve providing guidance and leadership on technology issues regarding research across the school. The director will develop social networks across campus to be knowledgeable about and personally connected to other research IT services, including DoIT and social sciences IT colleagues. Finally, the director will make strategic decisions regarding practical tensions in IT leadership – for example, balances between off-the-shelf v. self-built solutions, innovation v. data security, efficiency v. quality.

The successful candidate will have a customer service, solution-oriented mindset and will offer innovative IT solutions for research projects and service staff in WCER. The successful candidate will have a broad set of technical skills while also being an excellent communicator, leader, and collaborator. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core principals at WCER and therefore the successful candidate will have a strong record of leading and implementing organizational and culture change that engenders a culture of belonging for diverse colleagues. The ideal candidate will support the work and professional growth of technical services staff while building and maintaining collaborative relationships with center leadership, WCER principal investigators, research teams, and service units. The director will be skilled at juggling competing priorities and technical issues such as data security, privacy, and innovation. All work of the successful candidate will be in service to WCER’s values and strategic goals.

RESPONSIBILITIES: Develops and directs the implementation of strategic plans for the division’s information technology (IT) function to ensure that resources are utilized to provide effective information technology services. Typically manages IT services through subordinate managers.
30% Directs strategic information technology planning initiatives and establishes divisional objectives to ensure appropriate use of financial, administrative, staffing resources, and alignment with the strategic plan
10% Develops operating policies and procedures to comply with regulations, institutional policies, and divisional objectives
10% Exercises supervisory authority, including hiring, transferring, suspending, promoting, managing conduct and performance, discharging, assigning, rewarding, disciplining, and/or approving hours worked of at least 2.0 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees
5% Develops and audits the budget
15% Serves as the divisional IT liaison representing the division’s interests to internal and external stakeholders
15% Advises institutional or divisional leadership on information technology operations and business models
5% May perform manager functions through subordinate managers
10% Lead research IT for the SoE IT team together with the MERIT Director (Academic Technology) and the SoE IT Director of (Administrative Technology), including collaborating with SoE departments and units to provide school wide research IT services

Diversity is a source of strength, creativity, and innovation for UW-Madison. We value the contributions of each person and respect the profound ways their identity, culture, background, experience, status, abilities, and opinion enrich the university community. We commit ourselves to the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research, outreach, and diversity as inextricably linked goals.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison fulfills its public mission by creating a welcoming and inclusive community for people from every background – people who as students, faculty, and staff serve Wisconsin and the world.

Bachelor’s Degree

Master’s Degree
MA or MBA degree in business, information science, computer science, or related field.

Required experience and competencies:
* A minimum of five years of increasing responsibility in information technology, including direct management and supervision of staff
* Provides excellent customer service and has a solution-oriented mindset
* Demonstrated commitment to the values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility
* Provision of high quality and responsive IT customer service
* History of finding innovative solutions to challenges raised by a range of research and administrative staff
* Promotes the sharing of information and provides consistent messaging across all parties

Required technical skills:
* Assessment and evaluation skills
* Knowledge and experience with business applications of technology
* Knowledge and understanding of full software development life cycle
* Information systems design
* Implementation and maintenance of relational databases
* Security and communications pertaining to networks
* Technical and user-related aspects of a personal computer environment
* Knowledge management systems
* Data reporting and dissemination

* Experience in a K-12 or higher education environment
* Knowledge of research practices in large research centers and the technology required to support those practices
* Knowledge of data de-identification processes and the maintenance of de-identified longitudinal databases to support education research
* Advanced skill in financial, budgeting and other statistical applications
*Experience developing colleagues – technology skills, customer service skills, and solution-oriented mindsets
*Knowledge of and experience with managing risk associated with protecting intellectual property and personally identifiable data
*Knowledge of acceptable human subjects practices
*Experience collaborating with colleagues to bring new products and services to the public

Full Time: 100%

This position may require some work to be performed in-person, onsite, at a designated campus work location. Some work may be performed remotely, at an offsite, non-campus work location.


Minimum $115,000 ANNUAL (12 months)
Depending on Qualifications

WCER at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s highly ranked public School of Education is one of the world’s first and most productive education research centers. Our center has helped scholars and practitioners develop, submit, conduct, and share grant-funded education research for more than 50 years.

WCER is an incubator for advances in education policy and practice. It provides services and resources for UW-Madison researchers, graduate students, collaborators, educators, funders, and communities locally and worldwide.

WCER’s mission is to improve educational outcomes for diverse student populations, impact education practice positively and foster collaborations among academic disciplines and practitioners.

WCER’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion:
Diversity is a source of strength, creativity, and innovation for UW-Madison and The Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER). Individual differences and group diversity inspire creative and equitable outcomes. WCER actively affirms values and seeks to increase diversity in our everyday interactions, practices, and policies.

Our center is conscious of inequities in the field of education and how these disproportionately harm the most marginalized members of our society – including BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color) individuals, people from poor and working-class backgrounds, people with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ people. We firmly believe that these communities must be centered in the work we do. Hence, we strongly encourage applications from people with these identities or members of other marginalized groups.

For more information and news about our center, please go to

How to Apply

To apply for this position go to , click on the "Apply Now" button to start the application process. As part of the application process, you will be required to upload a cover letter addressed to Dr. Courtney Bell, a current resume, and a list with the contact information of at least three professional references.  

Job Categories: Equal Opportunities. Job Types: Full-Time. Salaries: 100,000 and above.

Job expires in 51 days.

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