Senior Director of Academic Innovation

Academic Leadership
11999 Requisition #
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Capella University is an accredited online academic institution of higher education known for its rigorous curricula which combine strong academic content, authentic assessment, and real-world practicality presented in a flexible, asynchronous, online format geared towards adult learners. It currently offers 53 undergraduate and graduate degree programs with 143 specializations and over 2,100 courses. Over 38,000 learners are currently enrolled, representing all 50 states and 54 countries. Encompassing a wide age range, the majority are working adults of which approximately 70 percent are pursuing master or doctoral degrees. All academic programs are delivered through Capella University. 
Capella University is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Strategic Education, Inc. (SEI).
Strategic Education, Inc. (NASDAQ: STRA) is dedicated to enabling economic mobility with education. Through a suite of innovative programs and services, SEI helps working adult students advance their careers and improve their lives.
With a focus on improving college affordability, student engagement and workforce readiness, SEI supports the growing majority of non-traditional students and ensuring that its graduates have the skills required to succeed in today’s jobs.
About Academic Affairs
The vision of Academic Affairs is to represent and actualize a culture of academic quality that drives learner and institutional success.  It does this through its mission of partnering across the university to cultivate and ensure academic equity, integrity, quality, and innovation, using a strategy which aligns academic resources and services to maximize the synergy between academic quality, educational innovation, & fidelity to higher education values in a manner that supports the University's goals and Statement of Educational Philosophy. These are achieved through curricular innovation, leadership in learning analytics and the development of models and tools that enable personalization and impact at scale.
Academic Affairs is a cross-disciplinary team of relentlessly optimistic, ambitiously creative, solution-oriented problem solvers who collaborate to uncover and develop new scalable ways to enable our school partners to consistently drive learner impact.
Position Summary
The Sr. Director, Academic Innovation applies research, design, development and implementation expertise in the creation and iteration of cutting edge education strategies and techniques to enable innovative curriculum design, learning practices and personalization in scalable and replicable across a wide variety of diverse contexts. This role will help develop and fostering a culture of innovation across the organization.
Initially in partnership with the Chief Academic Officer (CAO) the Director, Academic Innovation will play a critical leadership role within Academic Affairs - with the longer term vision of influencing across the university and SEI as a whole. This role provides a unique opportunity for a highly entrepreneurial instructional innovator to help design and realize new models that meet every learner where they are and helps them to realize their full potential.
REPORTING RELATIONSHIP:  The Sr. Director, Academic Innovation will report to the VP, Academic Affairs/Chief Academic Officer



The successful candidate will: lead the effort to design new pedagogical and curricular strategies; partner with various institutional stakeholder to create and pilot new features and design inquiries that deepen our knowledge of what strategies impact what outcomes for learners; actively engage with industry counterparts to stay up with the very latest developments and to contribute to relevant partnerships and conversations; represent the university with external organization; and develop and evolve social, emotional and other non-academic student success metrics.


  •  A master’s degree from a regionally-accredited university.
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience demonstrating significant, progressively-increasing responsibility in a higher education and/or corporate setting, with an emphasis on technology, including direct supervisory experience.
  • A track record and broad portfolio of demonstrated successes in innovation.
  • Intellectual curiosity, keeping abreast of new and promising practices/technology in learning that could be applied to programs focused on working adults.
  • Ability to operate independently (leading, collaborating and executing) in a highly ambiguous, matrixed environment with high interdependencies.
  • Able to use data to inform insights and evaluate outcomes and impacts, constantly learning and obsessing over a better way.
Preferred Qualifications:
  • A doctorate from a regionally-accredited university.
  • Previous experience in online education or with a proprietary organization.
  • The ability to go from blue sky thinking to consistent, practical application, and scale-able implementation.
  • Able to think impractically before layering in constraints.
  • Be a doer, focused not just on thought partnership but on getting things done and executing both independently and with others.
  • Lead by listening, be highly collaborative, and productively contribute opinions to critical decision making processes.


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) act applies to work performed by an employee in any workplace within the United States, including a workspace located in an employee’s home. All employees are responsible for complying with the OSHA act and with safety and health standards.

About Capella

Capella University is an online university built on graduate degrees, with more than 36,000 students throughout the U.S. and in other countries. Founded in 1993 to provide advanced educational opportunities for working professionals, Capella has become a national leader in online education, offering bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs. The university's success is built upon a culture that promotes human potential, achievement, innovation, integrity, collaboration, and teamwork. Capella Education Company (CPLA), parent company of Capella University, is publicly traded on the NASDAQ. Capella Education Company was named to the Inc. 500 Hall of Fame for being listed as one of the nation's fastest-growing companies for 7 consecutive years. Capella University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. The Higher Learning Commission is among the 6 regional accrediting bodies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Regional bodies accredit colleges and universities; national bodies accredit trade and vocational schools.

Higher Learning Commission contact information:, 800.621.7440

Equal Employment Opportunity

Capella is committed to the development of a multicultural environment. We seek greater diversity in our faculty and staff to broaden our academic experience and to reflect the diversity within our learner community. We value the input of multiple viewpoints and perspectives across the university and our corporate offices. Our goal is to create academic and business communities that are rich with cultural, social and intellectual diversity. Capella is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Disabled and Protected Veteran employer.  Visit the link below to access the EEO is the Law poster.


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📁 Academic Leadership