Senior Project Manager, University Development

Job Description

The University Development team, under the leadership of the Senior Vice President, University Development leads new strategic operational and organizational initiatives. The individual in this role manages team projects from inception through completion to optimize the performance of the team in executing major initiatives. These often complex, strategic projects frequently include stakeholders and contributors from external organizations and across multiple internal departments and levels. The senior project manager stays informed on projects within the team and ensures project management best practices are selected, adapted, or created; used consistently; and improved continuously. The senior project manager monitors and reports project status—including risks, issues affecting project schedules, and milestone achievements—to stakeholders and departmental leadership. The individual develops project plans and schedules and ensures projects meet departmental requirements, standards, policies, and deadlines. The senior project manager is expected to keep fully informed of departmental strategies and priorities and effectively influence the work of project team members in line with those priorities.

This individual—a thought leader in the organization—is a go-to person at the team, function, and organizational level and is well networked in the organization. She or he may contribute to the development of company practices, methods, designs, and/or future internal products or technologies in project management.

The senior project manager exemplifies our leadership principles of being student obsessed, fostering innovation, constantly learning, inspiring and developing others, taking ownership, delivering results, and acting with urgency, managerial courage, and integrity.

Job Responsibilities

  • Manages all phases of assigned projects (i.e., initiating, planning, executing, monitoring/controlling, and closing)
  • Keeps stakeholders and departmental leadership informed of project statuses, including, but not limited to, milestone achievements, toll gate progress, risks, and any issues that may adversely affect project schedules
  • Keeps project management records and systems accurate and up to date
  • Produces timely and accurate reports as directed
  • Develops realistic project plans and schedules by analyzing organizational process assets, enterprise environmental factors, task dependencies, resource requirements, work breakdown, and departmental strategy and priorities
  • Ensures projects meet organizational standards and are managed in accordance with applicable policies, processes, and procedures
  • Documents project deliverables, outputs, and notes that capture why key project decisions were made
  • Understands departmental strategic priorities and influences the actions and work efforts of team members in line those priorities
  • Develops and refines project management procedures and processes for the purpose of improving efficiency
  • Provides thought leadership, mentorship, and training support in project management to team leaders and members and others across the organization

Required Skills

  • Project management
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office
  • Ability to evaluate, use, customize, and support/train others on project management systems and tools
  • Project Management Professional (PMP) certification preferred


Problem Solving Skills: Investigates appropriate resources and involves partners when appropriate; future-oriented; assesses what will help/hinder achieving goals; focuses on what is important.

Collaborates: Works cooperatively with others across the organization to achieve shared objectives. Represents own interests while being fair to others and their areas. Partners with others to get work done.

Accuracy: Draws on factual information garnered from careful cultivation of a broad knowledge of WGU’s goals and processes; investigates beyond assumptions.

Manages Ambiguity: Deals comfortable with uncertainty or change. Effectively handles risk. Can decide to act without knowing all the details. Is calm and productive, even when things are uncertain. Deals constructively with problems that do not have clear solutions or outcomes.

Reliability: Accountable to others; does what it takes to get the job done; actions are consistent with words; follows through on commitments; exhibits exceptional integrity.

Attitude: Displays commitment to the organization and to personal growth; self-motivated and able to motivate and inspire others; asserts self appropriately to champion ideas; tells the truth in a direct and constructive manner.

Initiative: Self-directs with a strong bias for action; leads the way in improvement of performance or processes; displays keen interest in students and organization.

Required Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree (master’s degree preferred)
  • Experience as the assigned project manager of executive-sponsored projects, with sole responsibility for project initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and closure
  • Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification
  • Experience in higher education, business development, or research and development is helpful but not required.

Job Location

Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

Position Type


Diversity Statement

A diverse faculty is pivotal to the success of Western Governors University’s mission to improve the quality and expand access to post-secondary educational opportunities by providing a means for individuals to learn independent of time or place and to earn competency-based degrees and other credentials that are credible to both academic institutions and employers.

We maintain that achieving diversity requires an enduring commitment to inclusion that must find full expression in our organizational culture, values, norms and behaviors.

Throughout our work, we will support diversity in all of its forms, encompassing age, disability status, economic circumstance, ethnicity, gender, race and religion.

Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity Policies

Western Governors University “WGU" does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic or national origin, gender, religion, sex, disability, age, military or veteran status as required by applicable laws and regulations. WGU's commitment to equal opportunity includes nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. This policy of nondiscrimination applies (without limitation) to student recruitment, admissions, academic programs and services, student discipline, grading, and student access to WGU sponsored forums.

WGU also complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. If you have a disability and need accommodations, please notify us at as soon as possible so that necessary arrangements can be made.

Any student or applicant who wishes to discuss possible discrimination is welcome to contact:

WGU Student Services

Responsibility for coordination of compliance efforts and receipt of inquiries concerning Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 has been delegated to:

Anika Webb - Title IX Coordinator
Western Governors University
4001 South 700 East, Suite 700
Salt Lake City, UT 84107-2533
Direct: 801-993-2321
Toll Free: 877-435-7948, ext. 1321

WGU encourages students to use the WGU Grievance and Complaint Procedure to resolve discrimination concerns. However, students also have a right to file discrimination complaints directly with the United States Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights.

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