Ole Miss International – Academic Director

Oxford, Mississippi


About Us

One hundred seventy years after opening its doors as the state’s flagship university, the University of Mississippi (UM) is a growing, vibrant research institution that offers nationally ranked academic and research programs. The state’s first public university to shelter a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the university attracts promising young scholars with a litany of outstanding programs, including the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College. Ranked among the nation’s top public research universities by several measures, the University of Mississippi is home to more than 30 research centers and is designated an R1: Research Universities (highest research activity) in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.  For eight consecutive years, UM has been recognized as one of the best colleges in the nation to work for by the Chronicle of Higher Education. UM is committed to increasing the diversity of the university. UM was named the state’s healthiest workplace among all Mississippi colleges and universities and offers wellness programs. UM’s main campus is located in Oxford, in the rolling hills of north Mississippi 70 miles south of Memphis, Tennessee. A city of approximately 23,000 residents, Oxford is a vibrant university town with unique shops and galleries, eclectic restaurants, and historic landmarks. 

Job Overview

The Academic Director implements and manages an International Accelerator Program (IAP) curriculum and support services for international students. This individual primarily ensures the delivery of a high-quality academic experience for all students in the program. This program combines English language instruction and support with academic instruction and acculturation. Reporting to the Managing Director, the Academic Director ensures the quality of this specialized academic program, organizing effective student support and guidance in areas of English for academic purposes, tutorials, and progression through the program.

In cooperation with university academic units and university administrators, the Academic Director works collegially with students, faculty members, and administrators. The Academic Director is a strong team player who participates in both academic and student services initiatives, providing a high level of customer service to all stakeholders.

Essential Functions

Academic Program Management

  • Manage academic operations, including implementing and overseeing systems and procedures; maintaining accurate records and reports on the program; and meeting academic program quality standards, ensuring continuous evaluation and improvement of the program
  • Work closely with the Managing Director, Academic Chair, and Shorelight Education to supervise and manage all academics of the program, including curriculum delivery, mentoring of faculty and staff, and overall student experience
  • Collaborate with academic units to develop a program that meets the university’s objectives; further strengthens the university’s mission, international reach, and outstanding reputation; and maximizes student success and progression
  • Partner with the Academic Chair, Student Services Director, and university personnel to ensure a holistic program encompassing academic success, integration into the university environment, acculturation, student service support, and student success
  • Oversee academic program planning
  • Represent the program through participation in academic events, on familiarization tours, and through memberships and affiliations as appropriate
  • Adhere to university policies regarding academic integrity and related university academic policies

Student Progression and Retention

  • In partnership with the Academic Chair and the Director of Admissions, implement and monitor student retention processes and policies for the program
  • Analyze reports on the progress and satisfaction of the students’ achievement of objectives, including progression through the program and degree completion

Relationship Management

  • Liaise with appropriate committees and other partners related to the matriculation and onboarding of new students initially, through the IAP, and into university degree programs
  • Work with academic departments to ensure appropriate scheduling of courses and assignment of instructional staff for the program

People Management

  • Recruit, develop, and retain team members to ensure productivity and engagement
  • Engage in talent management activities such as goal setting, performance evaluations, stay interviews, development planning, and ongoing feedback to develop team members and achieve organization goals
  • Provide coaching, counseling, and corrective action (when necessary) to team members
  • Foster a culture that reflects Shorelight’s values

Minimum Qualifications

  • Doctorate degree with 3+ years’ experience in higher education, language school management, or related field or master’s degree with 5+ years of experience in higher education, language school management, TEFL/TESOL, or related field
  • 3+ years of teaching experience at the university level
  • Experience working with international students in a higher education setting
  • Record of exceptional interpersonal, communication, presentation, and negotiation skills
  • Demonstrated tact, patience, and diplomacy, particularly with non-native English speakers
  • Hands-on approach to academic delivery, student service, and business growth
  • Demonstrated understanding of class management tools, including databases, Microsoft Office programs, course management systems, and forms of media to support an interactive and student-centered classroom instruction
  • Eligibility to work and travel in the United States without sponsorship

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience working within an educational collaboration and/or a complex organization
  • Experience living or working overseas
  • Academic advising experience

Application Process
To apply for this position, please visit the Shorelight Careers page to submit an application with a resume and cover letter.

Ole Miss International is an Equal Opportunity Employer.