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CUR Opens Search for New Executive Officer

Applications and nominations are invited for the position of executive officer (EO) of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of research, scholarship, and creative activity by undergraduates in collaboration with faculty. The selected candidate will succeed retiring executive officer Elizabeth L. Ambos.

This opening offers an opportunity to the selected candidate to lead a thriving organization dedicated to the support and advancement of undergraduate research. The new EO will be expected to continue the expansion and development of the organization that has been achieved over the past few years, which includes a doubling in membership and significant growth in new member opportunities and services, partnerships, and grant funding. CUR’s current strategic plan focuses on raising the organization’s profile, engaging members more deeply, and supporting undergraduate research assessment. A broad commitment to diversity and inclusion is recognized as increasingly important to each of these foci.

Higher education currently faces challenges in reducing the cost of a degree, demonstrating degree value, and increasing institutional and faculty productivity; the new EO will work with the Executive Board, Councilors, and membership to respond to these challenges in ways that will enhance, expand, and increase participation of all in undergraduate research. Specifically, the EO will work to strengthen CUR’s advocacy with federal agencies, state agencies, and Congress; maintain and expand relationships with educational societies and associations, including international partners; and increase revenue opportunities. The incoming EO will play a key role in building the organization’s fund-raising capacity, including an annual campaign. As CUR embarks on developing its next strategic plan, the EO will work with the presidents’ group and the Executive Board of the organization to steer CUR through the next phase of its development.

The EO reports to CUR’s president and Executive Board, and is reviewed on an annual basis. Primary responsibilities of this position include the following:

•    Managing the National Office and its staff, implementing the direction set by the Executive Board with imagination and creativity.

•    Working successfully with the president and Executive Board, and engaging the membership.

•    Serving as the official representative and spokesperson for CUR.

•    Managing CUR’s budget and investments, and administering and supporting CUR programs to ensure their quality and usefulness to members.

•    Leading fund-raising and participating in the writing and managing of grant proposals.

•    Building relationships with foundations, federal agencies, and professional organizations.

•    Maintaining deep and broad familiarity with issues in higher education and/or nonprofit leadership and management.

The position is located in Washington, DC. The anticipated starting date is late summer 2019.

How to Apply
•    The ideal candidate will have an advanced degree (terminal degree preferred), extensive experience with undergraduate research, and significant experience in higher education as a faculty member and/or senior administrator at a college or university. Experience working with a nonprofit higher-education organization is desirable. He or she will possess good organizational skills; extensive experience with personnel management; technical proficiency with a variety of standard office software; broad knowledge of legal matters that affect nonprofits; excellent oral and written communication skills; extensive experience with budgeting and budget oversight; familiarity with investment management; and experience raising funds, including grant acquisition and management. In addition, creativity, a commitment to transparency, tolerance for ambiguity, and a healthy sense of humor will be valuable in this position.

•    Electronic applications are required. Applicants should submit a cover letter summarizing their qualifications, curriculum vitae or resumé, statement on the role and value of student research and scholarship in undergraduate education, and three names of references with addresses and contact information. To submit an application, visit the application portal (users will need to create an account).

Review of applications will begin February 11, 2019, and will continue until the position is filled. All applications will be kept confidential until otherwise notified.

Questions may be directed to the search committee co-chairs, CUR President-Elect Janice DeCosmo and CUR Immediate Past President Anne Boettcher.

More About CUR
CUR represents a wide range of higher education institutions and is governed by elected divisional Councilors and an Executive Board, which works in collaboration with the EO. CUR’s membership includes more than 700 institutions (including those in the United States and other countries) and 13,000 individual members. Incorporated in 1980, CUR encompasses 13 divisions covering arts and humanities, education, engineering, health sciences, mathematics and computer sciences, the natural and social sciences, an at-large division for administrators, and a division for undergraduate research program staff. The EO, with the president, the president-elect, and immediate past-president, form the organization’s leadership team. The organization has a national office in Washington, DC, that includes an outstanding staff of eight full-time employees, is financially stable, and has a strong investment portfolio managed by Merrill Lynch.

CUR’s activities serve faculty, institutions, and students in a variety of ways. It holds a biennial conference on undergraduate research, pedagogy, and assessment; a conference focusing on the professional development needs of undergraduate research programs staff; and annual meetings that include a CUR Dialogues event with granting agencies; Posters on the Hill in Washington, DC, featuring work by undergraduates; and celebrations of Undergraduate Research Week. CUR offers institutes for faculty and administrators, and a variety of webinars, mentorship award programs, annual institutional awards, program review, and other services. As assessment of undergraduate research’s impact continues to grow in importance, CUR has developed assessment training and tools for its members, and has embarked on longitudinal studies of the impact of undergraduate research. Undergraduate students are served directly through several targeted programs, including the annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research that draws 4,000 student presenters each year and the NSF-based Research Experiences for Undergraduates Symposium. CUR worked with international partner organizations to offer the first World Congress on Undergraduate Research (WorldCUR) at Qatar University in Doha; the second WorldCUR will be held in Germany in 2019. CUR publishes the peer-reviewed quarterly journal Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research, books, and newsletters; it also offers online discussion platforms for members. CUR engages legislators and agencies in discussions about higher education policy connected to undergraduate research.

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