Vanderbilt University Assistant Director of the Writing Studio and Tutoring Services in Nashville, Tennessee

Assistant Director of the Writing Studio and Tutoring Services (Job Number: 1801772)


Position Summary :

The Assistant Director of the Writing Studio and Tutoring Services is a key member of the team that oversees both of the aforementioned programs at Vanderbilt University. Reporting to and working closely with the Director of the Writing Studio and Tutoring Services, the Assistant Director has responsibility for day-to-day operations of the Writing Studio and otherwise contributes leadership and support for both programs—particularly in terms of outreach, assessment, and development initiatives—as well as for the full-time and hourly staff, whom the Assistant Director helps to recruit, train, and mentor.

About the WorkUnit :

The Writing Studio offers all members of the Vanderbilt scholarly community—undergraduate and graduate students, as well as postdoctoral fellows, faculty and staff—the opportunity to meet individually with skilled writing consultants (undergraduate, graduate, and professional staff) to talk about any writing project or concern. With a talented staff of undergraduate and graduate tutors, Tutoring Services supports student academic achievement through one-on-one tutoring and a group study program in many introductory and intermediate level courses in Biological Sciences, Chemistry (General & Organic), Economics, Mathematics, and Physics. The team that oversees both aims to provideeach program’s clients with the highest quality of support, which requiressupporting the undergraduate and graduate students employed as tutors andwriting consultants with a rich extracurricular learning andprofessionalization experience of their own.

Key Functions andExpected Performance:

Oversees daily operations for the Writing Studio

  • Helps troubleshoot issues that arise duringthe course of daily operations and to maintain high-quality, reliable servicesand a positive and productive academic support environment for our clients.

  • Helps maintain both the Writing Studioand Tutoring websites.

  • Plays a centralrole in the recruitment and hiring of Writing Studio and Tutoring staff.

  • Leads recruitment and hiring effortsfor one or more of the following subdivisions of the student staff:Undergraduate writing consultants, graduate writing consultants, undergraduatetutors, and graduate tutors.

  • Contributes to recruitment and hiringefforts for all remaining student staff.

Plays a central role in the planning and execution of orientation, training, and ongoing professional development efforts for Writing Studio and Tutoring Services staff.

  • Helps develop and carry out high-qualitytraining modules and regular staff meeting activities for the undergraduate andgraduate writing consultants and tutoring staff.

  • Helps monitor the writing consultantand tutoring staff and provides regular recognition and coaching for individualwriting consultant’s and tutor’s performance.

  • Helps coordinate the contributions ofother full-time members of the Writing Studio and Tutoring Services team tothose efforts.

Plays a central role in the reporting and assessment activities for both the Writing Studio and Tutoring Services

  • Helps to plan program assessments, to coordinatethe collection of relevant data, and to draft assessment and report documents.

  • Helps determine and implementassessment-related improvements for both programs, as needed.

Promotes awareness of the Writing Studio and Tutoring Services as valuable campus resources and partners

  • Conducts program outreach duringorientation events and through writing workshops offered in collaboration withcampus partners and at the request of course instructors.

  • Supports the teaching of writing oncampus through availability for consultations with individual writinginstructors and through workshops on writing pedagogy.

  • Plays a key role in developing andfostering campus partnerships for both programs.

  • Helps implement effectivecommunication and publicity efforts for both programs.

Contributes to program administration and academic support.

  • Participates in relevant VU, TutoringServices, and Writing Studio meetings and functions, including staff andmanagerial meetings, workshops and programs.

  • Conducts a limited number ofone-on-one writing consultation hours per week, with a particular focus onsupporting writers referred to Writing Studio services by faculty and othercampus partners.

  • Oversees specific Writing Studio andTutoring Services programming or initiatives as assigned.

  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Occasional course instruction may be possible, depending on interest and opportunity

SupervisoryRelationships :

This position does not have supervisory responsibility; this position reports administratively and functionally to the Director of the Writing Studio and Tutoring Services.

Education andCertifications:

  • Ph.D. in a relevant discipline from anaccredited institution of higher education is necessary.

Experience and Skills :

  • At least two years ofexperience teaching writing in college-level courses is necessary.

  • At least two years oftutoring writing in a writing center or other similar context is necessary.

  • At least one year ofexperience in writing center or tutoring program administration is necessary.

  • Familiarity withwriting center theory and practice is necessary.

  • Experience supportingWriting across the Curriculum or Writing in the Disciplines initiatives is preferred.

  • Experience helping to manage studentemployees is preferred.

  • Experience developing writingconsultant or tutor training materials and with mentoring or providingprofessional development for new and returning writing consultants or tutors is necessary.

  • Excellentinterpersonal skills and organizational skills, including ability to workcooperatively with culturally and linguistically diverse students, staff, andfaculty is necessary.

GeneralCharacteristics of a Successful Vanderbilt University Staff Member :

ACCOUNTABILITY : Owns decisions, outcomes, work products,etc. that are within the scope of one’s role.

  • Worksthrough Issues – Recognizes that the work is aboutsuccessful outcomes, if things aren’t going well, outcomes suffer; is willingto have crucial conversations if things aren’t going well; doesn’t justcomplain to management… does everything possible to remedy the situationdirectly first

  • Reliable – Does what they say they will do, when they say they will do it; shows up forwork when expected; doesn’t push the burden of work volume or deadlines toothers

  • Integrity – Holds oneself accountable; takes responsibility for failures as well assuccesses, recognizes that trust is required to hold a team together

  • Acceptanceof Feedback – Takes constructive criticism with grace,and makes improvements without taking it personally or holding grudges; whenwrong, owns it – freely admits mistakes

COLLABORATION : Works inclusively to build trust andaccomplish tasks, goals, and initiatives. Understands, anticipates, andappropriately responds to internal and/or external customers’ needs.

  • Optimism – Is friendly, tirelessly cordial, polite, and genial; comes in to work with agood attitude and doesn’t bring their own personal “little black clouds” intothe work environment

  • Teamwork – Genuinely values teamwork and co-workers, makes them feel valuable andimportant by acknowledging what they do well; doesn’t expect from others effortthat one is unwilling to do themselves, finds ways to acknowledge other’sstrong suits

  • Honestand Transparent – Doesn’t have hidden agendas,doesn’t play people against each other; is authentic and forthright

  • HelpfulNature – Offers to help lighten the load for othersin times of need; volunteers rather than waiting to be asked; understands thatalmost no one works in a silo and needs the help of others to do their jobwell; recognizes that by helping others first, others will likely reciprocate

COMMUNICATION: Provides information clearly andaccurately in various settings, ensuring understanding and participation.Understands how best to present information to different audiences andunderstands how information may be perceived.

  • Shares – Shares information. Communicates proactively. Transmits knowledge; recognizesthat “knowledge is power” is less effective than “sharing knowledge is power.”Asks for advice, and considers it thoughtfully

  • IsNice – Asks caring, interested questions and is agood listener -- smiles and is grateful; sends appropriate notes of thanks toothers who have helped; avoids gossip or saying negative things aboutco-workers; patient and generous; makes suggestions rather than stating hardand fast opinions. Avoids being negative, sarcastic, and cynical

  • PraisesPublicly; Criticizes Privately – When dealingwith a difficult co-workers or customers, “pretend your children are watching”how the situation is handled; good manners help keep a cool head; gives creditwhere credit is due

  • RespondsPromptly – Recognizes that when emails and phonemessages aren’t returned in a timely way, it sends the message that the otherparty is not important; responds even if just to acknowledge receipt andprovide a timeframe by which the requester can expect a full response

    DRIVE & GRIT : Is focused on professional excellence andstrives to facilitate and support the same for colleagues in and outside theirteam, effectively manages through challenges and opportunities while seeking tounderstand and learn from professional experiences.

  • Perspective – Maintains a sense of humor and perspective; can laugh first and foremost atoneself

  • Raisesthe Bar – Expects and delivers excellence; is acreative problem solver; is proactive; welcomes input on making things better --places a high value on learning and getting better

  • Resilience – Is resilient in the face of daunting challenges and setbacks; bounces backreadily.

  • Adaptability – Reads cues and adapt accordingly; adjusts style and approach to accommodatethe styles and needs of others; can anticipate and effectively de-escalatepotential conflicts

    ENGAGED : Appreciates the values and mission of theorganization, works to contribute to the university, and understands how theirwork affects the university and university community.

  • Eager – Enthusiastic, wanting to learn, wanting to continue one’s personal andprofessional development and expertise

  • Hard-Working – Is industrious as well as efficient (busy isn’t the same as productive); canjuggle multiple competing priorities simultaneously without becomingoverwhelmed

  • Believes – Believes in the work being done and in the importance of the organization’smission

  • CreativeThinking – Goes beyond the boundaries of the jobdescription, willingly takes on new challenges, and finds creative solutionsrather than always awaiting direct instructions

    JUDGMENT & PROFESSIONAL ACUMEN : Makes appropriate decisions and evaluatesrisk and uncertainty to create ideal outcomes, exhibits an eye for the macroand the micro, and works to ensure others are able to do the same.

  • Autonomous – Self-managing; self-motivated; manages time, activities and outcomes well sothat progress stays on track; cleans up after themselves

  • Maturity -- Exhibits professional maturity; doesn’t pass the buck to dodgeaccountability; doesn’t engage in petty office politics or inappropriate socialconduct

  • Detail-Oriented – Even small mistakes can create big issues; attention to detail work indicatescare about the outcomes

Additional Characteristicsof a Successful Vanderbilt University Leader :

ACCOUNTABILITY& EXECUTION : Owns decisions,outcomes, work products, etc. that are within the scope of one’s role.

  • Holdseveryone in the workgroup accountable for accomplishing the outcomes of the unit.

  • Letsthe buck stop with them; owns the outcomes for the work unit and doesn’t throwsubordinates under the bus if things go wrong

  • Practiceswhat they preach; doesn’t set expectations of others that they don’t live up tothemselves

  • Pitchesin to help the team when it really needs help

  • Communicatesearly and often, even as information is evolving

  • Iswilling to learn from their direct reports

  • Welcomesinquiry and recognizes mistakes as learning opportunities

  • Thinkscreatively when tackling a challenge; questions the status quo in search ofbetter ways. Looks for insights, assesses risks

COACHING,DEVELOPMENT & TEAM FOCU S : Leads by example,works to ensure that members of the team have the necessary tools, resources,and knowledge to be successful.

  • Ensuresthat team members have the tools and resources to do the job

  • Praisespublicly; is genuinely appreciative of the accomplishments of members of theteam

  • Criticizesprivately; focuses more on how to do it better next time than how it went wrongthis time

  • Willinglyshares expertise with team members; actively coaches

  • Isclear with the deliverables and outcomes needed, but allows members of the teamto tackle the problems in the way they see fit, without micromanaging everyprocess

  • Caresabout their employees as people, not just as “resources”

  • Makesthis a fun place to work; Enhances comradery, builds trust, and invites membersof the work group to be their authentic selves

  • Addressesproblems among the workgroup when they arise, rather than letting them fester

DECISIONMAKING & DIRECTION SETTING : Takesresponsibility for and make effective decisions through understanding the needsof the institution, collaborating and communicating, and identifying thestrategic and operational imperatives of the university.

  • Makesdecisions, even in the face of incomplete information, rather than avoidingmaking decisions

  • Seeksfirst to understand before making decisions

  • Sharesa clear vision for the work of the unit, and is clear about what outcomes areexpected

  • Providesclear guidance and direction, doesn’t change direction with the wind;communicates in ways that are clear and succinct, rather than confusing orambiguous

  • Communicatesearly and often, even as information is evolving

  • Iswilling to course-correct if things aren’t going as planned, even afterdecisions have been made and communicated

  • Iswilling to learn from their direct reports

Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.

Primary Location: United States-Tennessee-Nashville

Organization: 28100 - Student Academic Support Services

Job: Academic Affairs Professionals

Vanderbilt University is committed to principles of equal opportunity and affirmative action