Director, Higher Ed Research Advisory Services, Generalist

🇺🇸 Remote - US

🕑 Full-Time


💻 Consulting

🗓️ September 7th, 2023

Higher Ed Research
At EAB, our mission is to make education smarter and our communities stronger. We work with more than 2,500 institutions to drive transformative change through data-driven insights and best-in-class capabilities. From kindergarten to college to career, EAB partners with leaders and practitioners to accelerate progress and drive results across five major areas: enrollment, student success, institutional strategy, data & analytics, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I). We work with each partner differently, tailoring our portfolio of research, technology, and marketing and enrollment solutions to meet the unique needs of every leadership team, as well as the students and employees they serve.

At EAB, we serve not only our partner institutions but each other—that's why we are always working to make sure our employees love their jobs and are invested in their communities. See how we've been recognized for this dedication to our employees by checking out our recent awards.

For more information, visit our Careers page. 

The Role in Brief:
Director, Higher Ed Research Advisory Services, Generalist 
EAB is the leading global provider of research and advice to higher education and K-12 institutions. Our research programs help executives at client organizations educate stakeholders, make research-informed decisions, and speed implementation of industry best practices.

EAB Research Advisory Services (RAS) is a division within our research business, providing consultative support and expert advice to our education clients. RAS staff work directly with boards, presidents, and other senior academic and business leaders to help them make meaningful and strategic progress toward their most pressing financial and mission-consequential issues. Through strong communication and storytelling, RAS provides high-impact, outcome-focused presentations, workshops, and unscripted conversations to help partners understand and implement EAB’s advice.  

We deliver our advice to clients through peer conferences, expert phone consultations, virtual meetings, and onsite at client institutions. In addition to working with current clients, our advisors also support sales efforts in new client development.

This position will spend about 80% of their time in the market. This position is based in Washington, D.C. or remote within the continental United States and requires up to 60% travel.  

Position Responsibilities:
Terrain Mastery: Build, maintain, and curate issue expertise in a broad range of higher education and adjacent research terrains in the education sector. This position is a generalist position. We are looking for someone who can flex across our research areas of expertise, including, but not limited to, academic planning, institutional strategy, financial sustainability, marketing and enrollment, student experience, and DEIJ.

Given the breadth of terrains the candidate would support, we are looking for a self-starter, with a desire to learn and grow. This role requires a leader who is both facile with utilizing data to develop meaningful engagement with executives, as well as skilled at using data gleaned from the market to improve research deliverables.  

The candidate will leverage EAB’s insights, best practices, tools, and data to help clients make decisions and implement best practices and develop a deep understanding of assigned terrains, market trends, and evolving client needs. 

Content Delivery and Facilitation: Work directly with partners to diagnose their problems, challenge their assumptions, guide decisions, and suggest solutions. Deliver EAB’s point of view and advice through phone consultations, virtual meetings, conferences, and on campus presentations to:
  • Modularize content from across terrains to create customized, cross-functional solutions to partner problems.
  • Make EAB insights and data accessible and impactful for our partners, bringing clarity and context to their understanding of their challenges.
  • Present partners with new ideas and potential solutions to those challenges and advocate for adoption.
  • Act as an expert outside voice, building consensus and educating committees and staff. Challenge existing partners and prospects on their current approach to higher education leadership using the EAB point of view and finely-honed facilitation skills.

Directors will lead delivery projects that include hypothesis generation and testing, rigorous analysis of findings from partner conversations and interviews, and design and execution of implementation resources and final presentation of ideas.
Additionally, directors combine functional knowledge with an understanding of higher ed’s unique organizational dynamics, enabling partners to set strategy, lead their institutions, and manage their operations more effectively:
  • By diagnosing and giving voice to dynamics that are often felt, but not addressed.
  • By supporting leaders as they align effort and teams around institutional priorities.
  • By pathing partners through ranges of viable solutions and their pros and cons.
  • By recommending paths for improvement and serving as their guides and accountability partners as they progress.
  • By connecting partner institutions and creating learning experiences.

Customer Success and Commercial Support: Collaborate with the research customer success team to execute on a scalable and impactful client delivery model and deliver high-impact client interactions. Support sales in new client development.

Research Collaboration: Leverage content and market expertise to generate original insight,  content, services and tools (e.g., blog posts, social media posts, briefings, presentations, new service offerings, etc.). Actively participate in ongoing research processes and share market insights with research colleagues to inform future EAB insights and deliverables. Collaboration with research colleagues also includes:
  • Project leadership and effectively managing towards deadlines.
  • Ability to synthesize complex ideas into actional insights for our partners.
  • Collaboration with individual project leads, subject matter experts, and project teams to ensure that new deliverables are built in a way that is easy to execute and deliver to partners in interactive formats.

Basic Qualifications
  • Bachelor’s degree, with an excellent academic record and 7+ years of post-graduate, professional experience.
  • In-depth understanding of the higher education industry and the specific role that senior institution leadership has in setting strategy and decision making in areas such as strategic planning, academic programing, student experience and wellbeing, enrollment, campus assets and operations, people and workplace culture, and DEIJ.
  • Superior verbal, written, facilitation, and consultative presentation skills.
  • Effective use of persuasive writing and graphics to communicate ideas and information.
  • Relationship management (both internal & external); excellent relationship building and collaboration skills; ability to build relationships with, engage, and challenge senior-level executives.
  • Experience with at least two of the following: 
    • Management or strategy consulting
    • University strategy consulting
    • Conducting long-term research (at least 3 months in duration)
    • Conducting primary and secondary research

Ideal Qualifications
  • Advanced degree
  • Experience working with client executives, either at a college or university, as a consultant or advisor
  • Demonstrated ability to distill market and terrain insights, drawing on client interactions.
  • Experience producing written content and deliverables for an executive-level audience (e.g., blogs, social media feeds, reports, briefings).
  • Commitment to valuing diversity, practicing inclusive behaviors, and contributing to an equitable working and continual learning environment in support of EAB’s DE&I Promise

If you’ve reached this section of the job description and are unsure of whether to apply, please do! At EAB, we welcome diversity of background and experience. We would encourage you to submit an application if this is a role you would be passionate about doing every day.

Consistent with our belief that our employees are our most valuable resource, EAB offers a competitive and inclusive benefits package.
  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance; dependents and domestic partners eligible
  • 401(k) retirement plan with company match
  • 20+ days of PTO annually, in addition to paid firm holidays
  • Daytime leave policy for community service or fitness activities (up to 10 hours a month each)
  • Paid parental leave for birthing and non-birthing parents
  • Phase Back to Work program for employees returning from parental leave
  • Infertility treatment coverage and adoption or surrogacy assistance
  • Wellness programs including gym discounts and incentives to promote healthy living
  • Dynamic growth opportunities with merit-based promotion philosophy
  • Benefits kick in day one, see the full details here.
At EAB, we believe that to fulfill our mission to “make education smarter and our communities stronger” we need team members who bring a diversity of perspectives to the table and are committed to fostering a workplace where each team member is valued, respected and heard.

To that end, EAB is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and we make employment decisions on the basis of qualifications, merit and business need. We don’t discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, national origin, veteran status or any other basis covered by appropriate law.