Director of PhD Student Services

Fairfax, VA
Commensurate with education and experience.
Sep 17, 2021
Oct 26, 2021
Full Time
Director of PhD Student Services

George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government invites applications for the Director of PhD Student Services position. George Mason University has a strong institutional commitment to the achievement of excellence and diversity among its faculty and staff, and strongly encourages candidates to apply who will enrich Mason's academic and culturally inclusive environment.

About the Schar School of Policy and Government:

The Schar School is based on the Arlington and Fairfax campuses of George Mason University and serves 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students, with approximately 16,000 alumni. The Schar School prepares undergraduate and graduate students to be leaders and managers who solve problems and advance the public good in the private, non-profit, and public sectors, including all levels of government-in the United States and throughout the world.

About the Position:

The Director of PhD Student Services is responsible for the coordination and implementation of all student services for doctoral students within the Schar School of Policy and Government, to include planning, delivering, and assessing career development, advising, and academic success programs. This position is located on the Arlington campus.


  • Provide academic guidance to PhD students in person and online from admissions through graduation; track and enforce compliance with academic policies; provide accurate, up-to-date guidance regarding School and University policies by maintaining relationships with Mason offices (e.g., Registrar, Student Accounts, Provost Office, Office of International Programs and Services). Ensure accurate PhD guidance is available across multiple platforms;
  • Work closely with Schar School faculty and PhD program directors to provide comprehensive student support and to continuously improve advising approaches; evaluate, review, and adapt PhD student offerings in response to changing student needs and academic/career landscapes; coordinate PhD awards, both internal and external; participate in faculty discussions of program administration; implement faculty decisions regarding changes in program administration;
  • Coordinate the planning and implementation of programming that supports the access and retention of students who have been historically denied access to doctoral education; cultivate an inclusive working and learning environment; develop PhD Student Services materials, workshops, advising, and programming that is responsive to a range of student needs, to include the unique experiences, challenges, and opportunities for racially and ethnically diverse, first generation, multilingual, and international students, and students with disabilities; and practice the university's commitment to inclusive excellence by centering diversity, equity, anti-racism, and inclusion in student services;
  • Organize the management and procedures related to student appeal of academic policies; review student requests, including exceptions to standard university policies; organize, process, monitor, and retain student forms and paperwork; resolve issues by processing course substitutions and waivers, applying transfer credits, and piloting academic appeals through the appropriate channels;
  • Design and implement multi-level assessments using data to guide program development; maintain student databases, PhD student Blackboard organizations and courses, and tracking systems for degree requirements, graduation rates, time to degree completion, PhD student webpages, comprehensive exams, proposal and dissertation defenses, handbooks, forms, and annual evaluations of students;
  • Build relationships and collaborate with Schar Master's Student Services and Career Development teams as well as Mason offices (e.g., University Libraries, Writing Center, GradLife, Arlington Life, Stearns Center, Office of Graduate Fellowships) and regional partners to design and implement co-curricular events and programming, including PhD orientation and the Schar School degree celebration;
  • Advise the Schar School's PhD student association (SPSA) and Math Camp instructional team; support the development of emerging PhD student leaders; facilitate connections between PhD students and outside professional and academic organizations (APPAM, NAPAA, APSA, IEA);
  • Build relationships with graduates and cultivate a student-alumni professional network; facilitate connections between PhD alumni, current and prospective students, and other members of the Schar School community;
  • Work with Associate Dean for Research and Grants and faculty to oversee GTA/GRA assignments; provide data to Director of Fiscal Services to track annual graduate assistant expenditure. Supervise one 20-hour/week GTA in coordination with the Political Science Graduate Program Director.

Required Qualifications:

  • Master's degree or equivalent experience;
  • A minimum of four years of experience in higher education/student services or related work;
  • The ability to interpret and apply standards and the ability to communicate complex policies and procedures to students, faculty, staff and other stakeholders;
  • A willingness to work in a dynamic, fast-paced, team-oriented environment;
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, and writing skills; proven leadership ability; and exceptional organizational skills;
  • Experience using technology to support data management and presentations.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience working with college student/adult populations is desired.

For full consideration, applicants must apply at ; complete and submit the online application; and upload a cover letter, resume, and a list of three professional references with contact information.

Great Careers Begin at Mason!

George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with national distinction in both academics and research. Mason holds a top U.S. News and World Report "Up and Coming" spot for national universities and is recognized for its global appeal and excellence in higher education.

Mason is currently the largest and most diverse university in Virginia with students and faculty from all 50 states and over 135 countries studying in over 200 degree programs at campuses in Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William, as well as at learning locations across the commonwealth. Rooted in Mason's diversity is a campus culture that is both rewarding and exciting, work that is meaningful, and opportunities to both collaborate and create.

If you are interested in joining the Mason family take a look at our current opportunities and catch some Mason spirit at!

George Mason University, Where Innovation is Tradition.

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