Portland, OR
June 15, 2023

Portland State University: Director, Higher Education in Prison Program

Candidates with lived experience in the criminal legal system are encouraged to apply.

Position Summary

Reporting to the University Studies Executive Director, the HEP Director is responsible for leading the Higher Education in Prison (HEP) program. The HEP program provides a Bachelor’s Degree pathway for people experiencing incarceration, and post-release support at PSU. The Director implements strategies to effectively offer rigorous high quality higher education to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated students. Primary responsibilities include:

  • Strategy, planning, and leadership for PSU HEP
  • Academic program management
  • Supervision of HEP employees, staff and interns
  • Development and fundraising
  • Coordination of and participation in prison education advisory groups and communities of practice: local, statewide and national
  • Administrative and operational oversight
  • Collaboration with PSU Advising and Career Services, including Pathway Directors, as well as support services in GDI, Student Affairs, and Financial Aid

The Higher Education in Prison program is housed in University Studies, the largest general education program for Portland State. It is required of all undergraduates with the exception of students in the honors program and certain pre-professional health programs. University Studies collaborates widely across academic units at Portland State University, working with 40 academic departments and programs to deliver over 150 UNST-specific and almost 200 affiliated courses per term. As our mission statement explains, University Studies’ inclusive, interdisciplinary, and inquiry-based pedagogy:

  • provokes students to build self-efficacy through relational learning across difference.
  • encourages a community of educators to practice engaged teaching for transformative learning.
  • advances civic engagement, reflective practice, and the scholarship of teaching and learning.

The mission of Portland State University’s Higher Education in Prison (HEP) program is to expand rigorous, quality higher education at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility and to support justice-impacted students post-release.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Successful leadership experience with project/program.
  • Facility with building and maintaining relationships with a range of diverse stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated ability to work well with people from academically, culturally, and socioeconomically diverse backgrounds.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s Degree.
  • Previous experience/ training / coursework in the field of higher education in prison (HEP).
  • Previous experience with academic and/or financial aid planning and coordination in higher education.
  • Experience with data collection and management.
  • Record of success in the cultivation, stewardship, and closing of gifts from donors and foundations.
  • Experience with preparing budgets, approving and monitoring expenditures.
  • Ability to advocate on the local, state, and national level.
  • Eligibility for clearance at DOC facilities.

Key Cultural Competencies

  • Create an environment that acknowledges, encourages, and celebrates differences.
  • Function and communicate effectively and respectfully within the context of varying beliefs, behaviors, orientations, identities, and cultural backgrounds.
  • Seek opportunities to gain experience working and collaborating in diverse, multicultural, and inclusive settings with a willingness to change for continual improvement.
  • Adhere to all of PSU’s policies including the policies on Prohibited Discrimination & Harassment and the Professional Standards of Conduct.

Environmental Stewardship

Contributes to a culture of environmental stewardship, practices resource conservation, and actively works toward achieving long-term sustainability goals.

Work Days/HoursTotal Compensation Range & Benefits Statement

Salary is dependent on several factors, and new employees will typically start around the Q1 level to allow for later growth within the salary band. PSU has a structured process for determining starting compensation, taking into account years of related experience, applicable skills, knowledge and abilities, market parity, and internal equity. The starting annual salary for this position will be $78,708, but may be negotiated above this rate dependent upon the factors above, the budget of the hiring department, and approval from HR.

An excellent benefits package includes 95% premium paid healthcare; a generous retirement and vacation package; and reduced tuition rates for employee, spouse or dependent at any of the Oregon University System schools. Please visit our total compensation calculator to see the full value of our benefits package.

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