Director of Les Aspin Center for Government
Marquette University seeks a visionary leader with expertise in the study and practice of American politics and public policy to serve as the Director for the Les Aspin Center for Government. The Aspin Center, which began operations in 1988, offers academic and internship programming in Washington D.C. through a distinctive semester-long, study-away program. It also administers the Kleczka Internship Program in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, home to Marquette’s main campus. The Aspin Center’s mission is to integrate theoretical and experiential approaches to generating knowledge and to provide students, faculty, and staff with the opportunity to contribute to ethical, substantive, and innovative policymaking work rooted in Catholic Social Teaching.
The Director will be based at the Les Aspin Center campus in Washington D.C., with periodic visits to the main Marquette campus in Milwaukee. The responsibilities of the directorship including administering the Les Aspin program, developing curriculum and high-impact learning practices, and overseeing research and events held at the Center. The director will also teach two courses per academic year (one in the fall semester, and one in the spring semester) at the Aspin Center’s campus. As Marquette University’s “ambassador” in Washington, D.C., the director will establish and strengthen relationships in D.C. and at Marquette to advance the Les Aspin Center for Government’s strategic priorities.
About the Les Aspin Center for Government
The Aspin Center, which is celebrating its 35th year in operation in 2023, consists of both a D.C.-based academic program and a Milwaukee-based Kleczka Internship Program. The D.C. program offers undergraduate students the opportunity to take courses in Washington D.C. during the fall, spring, and summer sessions. In addition to taking courses in political science and the humanities during their time at the Center, Aspin students are matched with a specialized internship for which they earn course credit. Each cohort of approximately 20 to 25 students is part of a living-learning community residing in a Marquette-owned building near Capitol Hill. While a majority of the students attending the program are political science majors, the Aspin Center attracts students from many disciplines and colleges across Marquette University.
The Milwaukee-based Kleczka Internship Program combines hands-on internship experiences in city, county, and state legislative offices, as well as non-profit organizations that address policy issues relevant to Milwaukee. The program includes classroom instruction to maximize students’ learning opportunities.
The Aspin Center also serves as an academic research center focused on issues of politics and public policy. The Aspin Center campus in D.C. includes space for research collaborations with Marquette faculty and visiting scholars. One of the roles of the Director, who will be based in Washington D.C., will be to develop and implement a vision for integrating the future research and teaching activities of the Center. More information about the Les Aspin Center is available here: https://www.marquette.edu/les-aspin/
Why Marquette University
As an institution committed to both teaching and research, Marquette offers undergraduate programs in 164 majors and minors and more than 68 doctoral and master’s programs. The University is organized into 11 colleges and schools: Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences; J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication; College of Education; Opus College of Engineering; College of Business Administration; Graduate School of Management (housed within College of Business); College of Health Sciences; College of Nursing; Graduate School; School of Dentistry; and Law School. Marquette’s 7,660 undergraduate and 3,660 graduate students hail from almost every state in the U.S and from more than 80 countries with 65% of undergraduate students coming from outside of Wisconsin. Of the 1,653 students who matriculated in the Class of 2022, 34% graduated in the top 10% of their high school class. The University’s leadership continues to be committed to creating a diverse student body: 58% of Marquette’s first-year students are women, 34% are students of color, and 24% are first generation students. 88% of first-year students live on-campus. Marquette students are encouraged to “Be the Difference.” Their education within and outside the classroom is guided by Jesuit values including care for the whole person, women and men for and with others, and striving for excellence. The University aims to graduate students who are transformed by their education and who, in turn, will transform the world.
Duties and Responsibilities
The Aspin Center is housed within the Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences and its Department of Political Science. The Director reports to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and regularly communicates with the chair of the Political Science Department and Associate Director of the Center, both of whom are based on Marquette’s main campus in Milwaukee. The Director will be based in Washington, D.C. with responsibility for overseeing the adjunct faculty in the program as well as the Associate Director, the Coordinator of Student Affairs, and the Coordinator of Student Life and Administration.
This role is for a visionary leader whose key opportunities and challenges include:
- Developing and executing a strategy to ensure the Center continues to be a national leader.
- Working to secure resources to advance the Les Aspin Center for Government’s strategic priorities through fundraising and internal program growth.
- Building and strengthening relationships to facilitate connections between the Les Aspin Center’s students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the broader civic and scholarly communities.
- Developing ethically civic-minded individuals centered on the Catholic, Jesuit mission and a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Promoting an inclusive, accessible, student-centered culture and accountability for meeting student success goals.
- Establishing and strengthening relationships in D.C. and at Marquette to bolster research activity at the Center.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
Qualifications and Characteristics
The university seeks a proven leader with a distinctive record of achievement, and values the following professional qualifications, skills, experiences, personal qualities listed below. While no one candidate will embody every quality, the successful candidate will bring many of the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:
- Graduate degree and 10 plus years of related and progressively responsible experience or equivalent years of experience
- A demonstrated commitment to promoting the values and goals of Catholic, Jesuit higher education
- A commitment to providing a relevant and excellent educational and programmatic experience to students from a wide range of backgrounds
- A capacity and demonstrated ability to fundraise in the context of annual, capital, and comprehensive campaigns
- Familiarity with Capitol Hill and the non-governmental organization community in Washington, D.C.
- Ability to lead collaboratively, emphasizing transparent decision making and clear communication with internal and external stakeholders
- A commitment to the university’s requirements as a non-profit 501©(3) non-partisan organization and a ability to work with both major political parties
- Ability to establish a visible and respected presence as the university’s “ambassador” in Washington, D.C. and to continue to position the Les Aspin Center as a nationally recognized leader in educational internships and highly desirable source of graduates for leadership roles
- Ability to travel (mainly to Milwaukee location) several times/year
- A record demonstrating administrative leadership, vision, innovation, collaboration, and experience and responsibilities in an environment characterized by collegial management and mentorship, both to manage staff in Washington, D.C. and at the home campus in Milwaukee
- The ability to represent the Center and communicate effectively with a variety of stakeholders, ranging from students to prospective internship offices to donors
- Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all its forms, and experience supporting, promoting, and implementing the learning opportunities offered by a diverse community
- Management skills exemplified by a record of success in delegation and high levels of responsibility and accountability
- High standard of professional integrity and strong sense of professional ethics
To learn more about the Director of the Les Aspin Center of Government: Visit the Director of Les Aspin search website at: Search for Director of the Les Aspin Center // Klingler College of Arts and Sciences // Marquette University
Opportunity and Challenge Profile: aspin-opportunity-challenge-profile.pdf (marquette.edu)