Director of MPP Admissions

Work Arrangement:  On-Site
Requisition Number:  240068
Regular or Temporary:  Regular

Durham, NC, US, 27710

Personnel Area:  UNIVERSITY
Date:  Feb 15, 2024

Duke University:


Duke University was created in 1924 through an indenture of trust by James Buchanan Duke. Today, Duke is regarded as one of America’s leading research universities. Located in Durham, North Carolina, Duke is positioned in the heart of the Research Triangle, which is ranked annually as one of the best places in the country to work and live. Duke has more than 15,000 students who study and conduct research in its 10 undergraduate, graduate and professional schools. With about 40,000 employees, Duke is the third largest private employer in North Carolina, and it now has international programs in more than 150 countries.


Apply by January 8, 2024 for full consideration.




The Sanford School of Public Policy seeks to appoint a Director of Admissions for the Masters of Public Policy (MPP) program. The Director will provide strategic leadership for marketing, recruitment and admissions for the MPP. The Director will also supervise the Assistant Director of MPP Admissions and work collaboratively with the Sanford Director of Financial Aid on scholarships and financial aid packages for admitted students.


The Director reports to the Assistant Dean for Academic and Student Affairs (Assistant Dean) and is responsive to the Director of Graduate Studies of the MPP Program (DGS-MPP). The Director will also coordinate with program staff in academic programs and student services and with finance and data management staff, who backstop and support both admissions and student service functions.




A detailed description of functional areas and tasks follows:


Key responsibilities include: design and implementation of data-driven marketing and recruitment strategies designed to enroll a highly talented, diverse class of 100+ graduate students into the MPP program; operations management and optimization of available technology; representation of Sanford programs to various audiences and groups; supervision of the Assistant Director of Admissions and management of the operational budget for MPP Admissions. Functional areas and tasks include:


Marketing, Recruiting, and Representation:

Design and implement the marketing and recruitment strategies for MPP including;

  • Oversee the design and production of application materials
  • Collaborate with Sanford’s Communication Office in the design and production of marketing materials and other communication efforts
  • Coordinate with MIDP to maximize marketing and recruitment for both programs and to avoid redundancy
  • Promote Sanford programs through formal and informal interactions with prospective students, peer institutions, and other groups
  • Work with MPP DGS to continue to enhance diversity in the MPP program by furthering and enhancing the school’s diversity-focused recruiting strategy
  • Develop strategies for identifying and recruiting new pools of applicants for the MPP program.
  • Plan and travel for recruitment functions for the MPP program, including APSIA, Idealist, and PPIA recruitment fairs
  • Maintain and expand School partnership agreements with the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, etc, working in collaboration with MIDP
  • Coordinate admissions information with various associations, organizations, and programs
  • Collaborate with other Sanford units including the Career Services& Development and Alumni Relations offices to cultivate relationships with alumni and engage them in the ongoing work of the School through active participation in recruitment and yield activities
  • Plan and supervise the annual Open House for admitted candidates to the MPP program



  • Develop admissions strategies in coordination with the DGS-MPP and the Assistant Dean
  • Recommend application fee pricing for the graduate programs
  • Monitor tuition rates and fees from peer public policy and international affair programs; provide direct input into the tuition cost for the MPP to Sanford School administration
  • Work with the Sanford Director of Financial & Institutional Effectiveness to develop and maintain a longitudinal database of admissions statistics and use this database to fine tune a model that projects incoming class size and associated revenues for the MPP
  • Oversee the development and management of admissions systems and databases and the processing of all admissions applications and decisions
  • Manage daily operations and work flow, determining priorities and re-assigning personnel as needed to accomplish goals
  • In collaboration with MPP-DGS and school leadership, manage MPP enrollment—number of students to admit, waiting lists, breakdown of domestic vs. international admitted students
  • Design a communication strategy and oversee communication with applicants throughout the review process including notification of missing or unofficial documents, notification of final decision regarding admission or rejection, following up on admission offers to obtain applicant response
  • Work with the data management and student services functions to track enrollments and process matriculants
  • Provide the deans, other administrators, and faculty with detailed admissions data and reports
  • Document process changes and maintain an updated operations manual
  • Collaborate with the IT group to ensure technology needs of the admissions office are met and that available resources are fully utilized
  • Manage international admissions including foreign credential evaluation, serving as main resource on international education systems and their grading schemes
  • Evaluate needs for permanent, temporary, and work-study admissions staff given existing data management staff
  • Prepare and manage Admissions Office expense budget


Financial Aid & Scholarships

  • Work with the Director of Financial Aid, the Director of Financial & Institutional Effectiveness, and the Assistant Dean to establish and implement strategies and procedures for aid awards
  • Refer student inquiries about their financial aid package to the Director of Financial Aid


General Administration

   Represent the Sanford School on university academic services committees as requested


The above statements describe the general nature and level of work being performed by individuals assigned to this classification.  This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and duties required of personnel so classified.





Work requires communications, analytical and organizational skills generally acquired through completion of a bachelor's degree program. Master's degree preferred.



Work requires the ability to plan and administer programs and direct program activities within a specific functional area, generally acquired through four years of related experience. Preference given to candidates with experience in recruitment and admissions in a professional graduate school or program.




In addition, the successful candidate will possess the following qualities/attributes:


   A vision for, and comprehensive understanding of, a contemporary and effective high tech/high touch admissions and financial aid operation

   A strategic skill set that includes strong organizational, planning, data management, and analytical capabilities

   Knowledge of enrollment management and national best practices of the field

   A willingness to be collaborative and work with partners across Sanford programs and offices and across the university

   Command of current technology and integrated student information systems and an understanding of how to harness available technological resources in the delivery of admissions initiatives

   Self-assurance, resilience, and resourcefulness that engenders the confidence of others

   Adaptability to changing circumstances and the cyclical nature of admissions activity and commitment to continuous assessment and process improvement

   Excellent written and verbal communication skills

   Cross-cultural communication and diplomacy skills

   Commitment to diversity and inclusion





Work requires communications, analytical and organizational skills generally acquired through completion of a bachelor's degree program.



Work requires the ability to plan and administer programs and direct program activities within a specific functional area, generally acquired through four years of related experience.




Duke is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.


Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.


Essential Physical Job Functions: Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System may include essentialjob functions that require specific physical and/or mental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests for reasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department.


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