Assistant Director for User Services

Special Notice for COVID-19

The UMN has suspended hiring for most positions. However, we will continue hiring for positions critical to the University's mission and operations at this time. Applications are being accepted for this position and you are encouraged to apply. In-person interviews are suspended indefinitely and will be replaced by interviews in a virtual format. Thank you for your continued interest in working at the University of Minnesota.

About the Department

The Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (MSI) is a core research facility of the University of Minnesota (U of M), part of the Research Computing umbrella within the Office of the Vice President for Research. MSI provides advanced research computing infrastructure and expertise to the University's research and scholarly community and the State of Minnesota in order to advance and accelerate research and foster innovation and discoveries through advanced computing technologies, scientific computing and informatics, application development, and services. The Institute currently supports over 800 different groups with over 4,500 active users spanning the sciences, engineering, life sciences, medicine, and social sciences.

About the Position

MSI seeks to hire an Assistant Director for User Services. This person will be responsible for managing the User Gateway Group, which is responsible for the development and management of services that connect users with MSI. The successful applicant collaborates well within a high-tech research environment, and can communicate technical information to a diverse user base. This person takes a proactive, user-centered approach to promote and facilitate the Institute's mission to provide advanced research computing services to the University of Minnesota research and scholarly community and to help catalyze and support meaningful public-private collaborations, in order to advance and accelerate research and to foster innovation and discoveries.

Position Responsibilities:


Manage MSI’s User Gateway Group (35%):

  • Hire, train, support, supervise, and mentor 4-5 full-time employees and 6-10 undergraduate student employees who focus on providing user-facing services including user support, onboarding, outreach, communication, training, and general administrative functions for Research Computing.
  • Modify practices and procedures to improve efficiency and quality; search for better ways to effectively achieve end results by, for example, scheduling work steps, arranging/ re-arranging the way work is generally performed, and adding or deleting elements of processes as necessary.
  • Train and assess research staff adherence to good practice guidelines and related protocols.

Maintain end-user support services for MSI users and staff (25%):

  • Coordinate across MSI staff domain experts the development and maintenance of end-user documentation and training materials. A special focus will be placed on electronic materials related to the use of MSI resources.
  • Develop integrative solutions, such as how technologies, processes, resources, and people all fit together in order to sustain productivity.

Maintain and update MSI’s end-user support strategy (15%):

  • Develop, execute, and maintain a comprehensive user support strategy for a complex computing environment that meets the needs of the research faculty, staff, and students at the University.
  • Conduct evaluations of technology processes and recommend solutions where problems exist, including purchasing vendor packages.
  • Analyze performance metrics, and recommend and lead the implementation of changes to processes, procedures, or training.

Serve as a liaison with internal and external contacts (15%):

  • Manage all internal and external sales, including initial sales and renewals. 

Engage with other University-based and national IT groups and communities (10%):

  • Represent the voices of the MSI user community. Work closely with members of the Systems Operations team to maintain a balance between end-user support needs and necessity of periodic systems maintenance. 
  • Work with the Research Computing leadership team to help organize staff development events for all Research Computing staff.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications

  • BA/BS degree with six years of experience in related areas required. Advanced degree with 4 years of experience.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Demonstrated experience with research life cycles and an understanding of the operational components common to academic research computing environments.
  • Participated in research in an academic field represented by our user community.
  • Experience working successfully in a team-oriented environment.
  • Experience prioritizing, organizing and performing multiple work assignments simultaneously.
  • Ability to identify and define strategic priorities, deliverables, and associated timelines for multiple initiatives within a project.
  • Experience developing and implementing policies, procedures, goals, and objectives.
  • Experience in creating and implementing communication strategies for diverse audiences.
  • Experience in instructional delivery in an academic setting.
  • At least two years of supervisory experience.

To Apply

Applications must be submitted online. The Job ID for this position is 337154.

Visit the University of Minnesota Employment site for complete instructions.

Link for external (to University of Minnesota) applicants

Link for internal (to University of Minnesota) applicants