Updated: about 2 months ago
Location: Seattle, WASHINGTON
Deadline: Open Until Filled

As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.

UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty. 

At the University of Washington School of Social Work, we commit ourselves to promoting social and economic justice for poor and oppressed populations and enhancing the quality of life for all. Recently ranked No. 1 in the world among social work schools for its influential scholarship and broad impact, we strive to maximize human welfare through education, research, and public service.  As a top-ranked School of Social Work, we serve over 600 students in our Master of Social Work and BASW programs and 30 students in the PhD program.  We embrace our position of leadership in the field of social work and join in partnership with others in society committed to solving human problems in the twenty-first century.

UW faculty and staff are also provided outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty. All of which has allowed the UW to be nationally recognized as a “Great College to Work For” for four consecutive years.

At the UW and the School of Social Work, we promote diversity and inclusivity among our staff, faculty and students. We seek applicants for this position who aim to advance the University’s interest in creating accessibility for talented students from all social identities, who are committed to these principles and helping to remove barriers to the recruitment of talented underrepresented student populations, and whose experiences have prepared them to support our commitment to equity and inclusion.  The successful candidate will have the confidence to fully engage with a wide spectrum of student populations and communities.

The UW School of Social Work (SSW) has an outstanding opportunity for the Assistant Director for the PhD Program.

Under the guidance and supervision of the Director of the PhD program, this position leads strategy and implementation of advising, program direction, and program implementation.  The Assistant Director is responsible for a wide range of advising activities, such as tracking milestones, registration, career development, and grant applications. For program direction, the position focuses on strategy and implementation of admissions and recruitment and operation. And for program implementation, the position leads communication efforts, website update, and event planning.

The position requires someone who is experienced with cloud based platforms, such as Google Suite and Microsoft 365, skillful in supporting and communicating with a diverse array of people, including students, faculty, staff, University colleagues, external clients and partners. The successful candidate will be able to independently lead initiatives and projects with delegated authority, a high degree of autonomy, and with a high expectation of strategic thinking, a problem-solving orientation, and a deep commitment to equity and excellence.


Program Operations

• Creation and maintenance of spreadsheets and databases relevant to various aspects of the PhD program.
• Coordinate, attend and take meeting notes for PhD Program Committee meetings.
• Draft policies, evaluation and procedural forms for various aspects of the program with information obtained from the Program Director, Program Committee meetings or special ad hoc working groups.
• Provide monthly reconciliation of PhD Operations Budget with reports given to Program Director and coordinated with SSW financial staff.
• Maintain PhD ProCard for program-related expenses
• Supervise student employees to implement work determined in consultation with the Program Director.
• Represent Program at campus-wide meetings as assigned by Program Director.
• Work with the Program Director and Dean's office to coordinate and update  RA/TA procedures and assignments.


• Lead and implement all aspects of internal Admissions process, including preliminary screening of applications, ensuring adequate review, and coordinating interviews with potential candidates.
• Maintain documentation of all aspects of Admissions process
• Advise PhD Program Committee and other SSW faculty on Admissions-related processes
• Write applications for internal UW funding for first year doctoral students, including Top Scholar applications, GO-MAP, McNair and other programs.


• Provide the first point-of-contact for students calling or emailing for information on the doctoral program.
• Assist Program Director and faculty in efforts to recruit a diverse pool of applicants for the program.
• Coordinate recruitment efforts for Program and coordinate with SSW Admissions department, Graduate School and GO-MAP recruitment efforts.
• Create webinars that provide accurate and helpful information to potential students in terms of the social work field, research expectations of the program, and the application process.
• Serve on ad hoc committees to develop and implement strategies for program recruitment.
• Maintain documentation of recruitment efforts, particularly as these relate to recruiting under-represented minorities into the program.

Liaison between program and UW Grad School

• Work closely with PhD Program Director to identify emerging concerns and ensure that existing policies are implemented.
• Serve as primary program contact with the Graduate School and other University personnel in order to advise Program Director and PhD Program Committee on UW and Graduate School policies.
• Communicate information within SSW about changes in Grad School policies that affect doctoral education
• Attend UW Grad School meetings as relevant
• Research potential problems and conflicts between Department and University policies. Monitor program compliance with University policies and alert Program Director as needed.

Advise Students


• Advise students and faculty on SSW and Graduate School policies and practices related to timely matriculation through the doctoral program.
• Provide face-to-face, phone, and online advising to students on academic, personal and other issues related to success in the program.
• Problem solve issues with funding, tuition, health insurance and visas for students enrolled in the program.

Tracking Milestones

• Monitor student progress throughout time in program and inform Program Director, students and faculty mentors of timeframes for successful completion.
• Review quarterly grade reports for all first year students within 2 weeks of end of quarter and notify director promptly of any grades < 3.0.
• Maintain e-folders for each student that contain documentation related to milestones (i.e., IDP, QP outline, etc.)
• Create and update documentation (annual and final quarter) that provides concrete guidance for planning for QP and dissertation processes.


• Create quarterly email templates to notify students of registration opening which provide specific guidance on registration expectations based on year in program.
• Monitor that all students in ASE or fellowship status are registered for appropriate number of credits in first week of the quarter.
• Troubleshoot all student registration issues with appropriate administrative team members.
• Serve as primary liaison for registration-related issues between PhD program and STAR (departmental tracking system) committee, including STAR program managers meetings.

Career Development

• Oversee writing and submission of necessary nomination materials from the SSW for student awards.
• Disseminate information about potential UW awards, national awards and grants to students.
• Attend to issues of the social and emotional learning environment, particularly as these affect URM and other marginalized students and identify potential strategies to improve student experiences.
• Work with Grad School and SSW to solicit and approve student requests for travel funds to conferences.
• Work with appropriate faculty to help students develop job market documents.

Help with Grant & Fellowship Applications

• Guide students through processes for career development and grant opportunities within the University and with external agencies.
• Act as primary monitor and problem solve issues with grant or fellowship applications
• In award phase of grant, develop monitoring plan with student and appropriate administrative personnel to ensure compliance with grant requirements.
• In conjunction with the School's grant officer, provide appropriate data and support to students submitting fellowship, scholarship and grant applications.

Program Implementation

Communication Efforts

• Assist Program Director in developing a coordinated internal and external annual communications plan.
• Maintain and moderate sswphd (current & former students, faculty and interested others), phdfaculty (current social welfare faculty) and phdstudents (current students) listservs.
• Assist students with coordination and preparation for student body events.
• Produce flyers, newsletters and blogs to communicate with students, faculty and external UW partners with current media tools

Website & Canvas Updates

• Create ongoing systems that ensure that program website provides accurate current information.
• Work with various SSW and UW units to update website on a routine basis.
• Manage all annual changes needed for the PhD Program Manual via Canvas interface and ensure that the website manual is updated during the summer.
• Coordinate with students to gather information to maintain and update the student-related sections of the School's website.

Event planning

• Coordinate all efforts required to successfully host annual PhD beginning of year event, PhD Visit Day for potential students, Orientation, and other student-oriented events during the year.
• Lead Awards Committee in conjunction with faculty and selected students.
• Provide logistic and planning support for additional events as determined by the Program Director.
Other duties as assigned


• Master’s degree in Social Work, Public Administration, Higher Education, Student Services or related field.
• At least three years of experience in project or program management, higher education administration, advising or student support.

Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.


• Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work well with individuals at all organizational levels.
• Strong information management skills including use of databases, spreadsheets and cloud-based tools and electronic communications systems
• Demonstrated commitment to the UW’s and School’s values on equity and inclusion.Excellent organizational, oral, and written communication skills for working with students, faculty, staff, and external clients and partners.
• Proven ability to handle confidential information appropriately, with an exceptionally high degree of discretion, professionalism, maturity and tact.
• Able to work proactively, both independently and as an effective member of a team.
• Attentive to detail but able to relate details to larger program activities and goals.


• Five years or more of experience in project or program management, higher education administration, advising or student support.
• Demonstrated success in advising or supporting doctoral students in their professional development related to research and teaching.
• Experience using Canvas or other learning management system programs, with a high aptitude for learning new programs and systems quickly.
• Familiarity with holistic admissions processes.
• Familiarity with UW graduate education systems, policies and processes.
• Familiarity with general structure and goals of doctoral education.

Working Environment/Conditions

The ideal candidate will enjoy a position which provides face-to-face and online support to approximately 30 doctoral students each year, in a School that is a national leader in research and scholarship.  The person selected for this position will work daily with the faculty Doctoral Program Director to manage all administrative activities required for the Doctoral Program.  The position requires coordination of and attendance at selected evening and weekend school events as a regular part of the job duties.

Application Process:

You will be asked to submit a cover letter AND your response (in a separate “Cover Letter Assessment”) to the following (limited to 7900 characters):

As part of your cover letter, please address the following prompt. Provide a brief description of how you have demonstrated a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and identify strategies you've employed to successfully work with BIPOC students; highlight any work you have done to increase accessibility or to remove barriers for diverse populations and communities.

The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process.  These assessments may include Workforce Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others.  Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.

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