October 2, 2017 | Position Opening at BTtoP: Director

Position Opening: Director, Bringing Theory to Practice Project
In partnership with the Association of American College and Universities

POSITION: Director, Bringing Theory to Practice
NOMINATIONS DUE: December 1, 2017
APPLICATIONS DUE: January 15, 2018


Bringing Theory to Practice (BTtoP) is an independent Project established in 2003 in partnership with the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). The Project was co-founded by Sally Engelhard Pingree, (President of the S. Engelhard Center), and Donald W. Harward (President Emeritus, Bates College, and Senior Scholar, AAC&U); Harward has served as its only Director.

BTtoP’s mission is to encourage and support colleges and universities in developing sustainable campus cultures that support the greater purposes of higher education: engaged learning and discovery, civic purpose, well-being, and preparation for a meaningful life.

BTtoP is the only national independent initiative focused on attending to the connections and explorations of each of these integral pieces of the mission of higher education together. BTtoP aims to be a supportive ally and resource as institutions foster their own deepened campus culture for engaged learning—one that expects and delivers a context in which students can have a truly liberating and transforming experience, preparing them to be flourishing members of the global landscape. To date, BTtoP has funded over 300 unique institutions through over 500 grant awards, published several volumes, and regularly participates in and holds conferences.

For more information on BTtoP's mission and work, please see the executive summary.


Leadership and Strategic Planning

  • Primary visionary determining the Project’s strategic approach to achieving the mission.
  • Maintain welcomed and active participation in national and international dialogues regarding higher education’s greater purposes.
  • Provide intellectual leadership on innovative ways to support institutions of higher education in responding to current challenges, and in realizing their own missions and priorities.
  • Build BTtoP’s network of colleagues and foster partnership opportunities.


  • The Director’s leading responsibility will be to cultivate significant and ongoing external relationships and funding to support the Project’s mission through the sustaining of the excellence and effectiveness of its work, programs, and administration.

Management and Communications

  • Serve as BTtoP’s principal executive officer, leading the Project’s educational activities, professional staff, development efforts, and as primary agent responsible for the structure of the Project, its ongoing financial stability, and the maintenance of its earned reputation of excellence.
  • Collaborate with BTtoP staff and consultants to initiate the direction of the BTtoP’s programmatic work.
  • Effectively communicate with and support the engagement of an Advisory Board.
  • Serve as BTtoP’s primary spokesperson, comfortable with frequent public communications and presentations.
  • Collaborate with and promote the successes of an experienced professional staff and consultants.


Qualified candidates will be at least mid-career, with significant responsibilities and experience, demonstrating their commitment to common values they share with the Project and AAC&U; must have proven experience in successful relationship-building, fundraising, and navigating partnerships; and will be active academic professionals and visionaries committed to the core purposes of higher education, and eager to lead the development of the BTtoP Project. 


BTtoP is physically located in Washington, DC, occupying space within AAC&U (1818 R Street, NW Washington DC, 20009); the office of the director is located there. However, the full-time presence of the director may be negotiated before an appointment is made.


Please review the BTtoP website for details regarding the work of the Project and its accomplishments, including citation of its publications, conferences and grant initiatives.

All applications and supporting materials are to be submitted on or prior to January 15, 2018 electronically to recruitment@bttop.org with the subject line: Director Application.

Applications must include: a letter describing interest, qualifications, and salary requirements; a complete professional vita, including best contact information; a one-page essay interpreting BTtoP's mission and a vision for BTtoP's future; and a list of references with their contact information. References will not be contacted prior to notifying applicant. Relevant, but not extensive, additional materials can be included, but are not required. 

Should you be selected as a finalist, in-person interviews will be held during the first two weeks of April 2018. BTtoP anticipates filling the position by May 2018, with a start date of July 1, 2018.

We also welcome nominations, which will be kept confidential. Nominations should be sent via email to Caitlin Salins (salins@bttop.org) and include the nominee's name, title, and contact information. The deadline for nominations is December 1, 2017.

Questions or general related correspondence can be sent via email to Caitlin Salins (salins@bttop.org).

The deadline for applications is January 15, 2018.

BTtoP believes that a broadly diverse staff is critical to achieving excellence as a national higher education association. We seek to recruit, develop and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool. We are fully committed to equal employment opportunity and compliance with the full range of fair employment practices and non-discrimination laws.