Executive Director of Online Learning Operations

Job Type

Full Time


Details: Commensurate with experience




2970 Broadway
New York
New York
United States


The Executive Director of Online Learning Operations will partner with academic leadership to establish a unified vision for SPS's online education initiatives and be the voice of that vision at Columbia. S/he will inspire, lead, grow, and scale SPS's innovative, and academically rigorous online learning initiatives and programming capabilities, build coalitions, and establish productive working relationships across a wide variety of individuals and groups, both internally and externally. The ED holds the primary responsibility for collaborating with units across the school on the launch and execution of high-quality online programs, including ensuring shared understanding across enrollment and marketing, academic policy, programs, faculty affairs, and academic assessment. 

The ED works with SPS leadership to develop and align the goals, strategy, and implementation plan for the school's online programming with the cross-disciplinary and professional mission of the School. S/he represents the SPS mission as a key voice within the University and beyond; manages existing and builds new relationships and partnerships related to the online mission; establishes and supports an outcomes-oriented educational research agenda; partners with the Executive Director for Academic Administration to oversee institutional, state, and national online regulatory matters; partners with the Executive Director for Academic Programs and the Academic Program Directors to define a course and program pipeline for new online and hybrid development; and continues to build the internal online development unit, which currently consists of the Instructional Design, Media Production, Online Support, and Innovation and Technology teams. This is an ideal opportunity for an entrepreneurial, charismatic, results-oriented leader who is passionate about growing and scaling an organization and who is committed to the mission of innovative and academically rigorous online education.  


Responsibilities include, but are not limited to: 

1. Online Leadership 

- As a thought leader in online learning, collaborate with the Executive Director for Academic Programs to provide a unified mission and vision for best in class SPS online learning design, production, and research 

- Partner with leadership in Academic Affairs to identify criteria for offering online programs; identify programs that can benefit from online development 

- Lead cross-functional discussions about online operations at SPS, including coordination with other SPS teams (marketing, enrollment, finance, faculty recruitment and development) 

- Monitor and understand the broader educational and technological landscape and changes within higher education and the education industry; apply this understanding to organizational priorities and programmatic offerings 

- Establish and support a research agenda around technology enhanced educational outcomes 

- Establish protocols for external relationships with vendors, agencies, consultants, and others in partnership and support roles to extend and/or accelerate internal resources and capabilities 

- Continuously advance the quality and sufficiency of SPS platforms, and lead the integration of applications and services to ensure that they meet the needs of our target learning outcomes and consistently generate stakeholder support as well as new programming/revenue opportunities. 

2. Course Development Management 

- Establish implementation strategies and operational plans to build out the online course development pipeline; collaborate with the Executive Director for Academic Programs to define a pipeline for online program development 

- Ensure the production and delivery of academically rigorous, creative, high-quality products and services in support of the school's mission. 

- Work with the Director of Instructional Design in the implementation of Quality Matters for assessing the quality of online courses and programs 

- Work with the Director of Innovation and Academic Technology to realize the vision of a modular course development platform that will assist the school in promoting quality at scale 

3. Team Management 

- Provide a unified strategic vision to the Online Curriculum and Instruction (OCI) team. 

- Manage relationships with design partners across Columbia University. 

- Oversee the work of the OCI team, including the Director of Instructional Design, the Director of Media Production, the Director of Innovation and Technology, and the Director of Offering Support. 

- Work with team leadership to augment business models and define new partnership opportunities. 

- Lead discussions of scalability, including those involving team composition, design, and workflows. 

- Develop the online learning team to lead and manage the function's growth, balancing expansion and quality control interests, and embrace open-mindedly the challenges of the fast-paced, ever-changing educational technology landscape and online learning marketplace to meet SPS goals 

- Attract and retain the talent necessary to achieve SPS objectives and see that resources are being used effectively.  

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

Master's degree

How To Apply