Director of International Support Services

The University of Kansas is searching for a Director of International Support Services (ISS), who will be part of the leadership team within the division of International Affairs at the University of Kansas (KU). The Director is responsible for delivering vision, innovation, advocacy, and guidance related to the services provided to KU’s diverse international community. The other offices of the division include the Applied English Center, Study Abroad and Global Engagement, International Short Programs, and the central administrative office for KU International Affairs (KUIA).
The Director of ISS oversees International Enrollment Management functions of the university, including international student recruitment, international undergraduate admissions, transfer credit articulation for credit earned by KU students abroad, orientation, the implementation of immigration-related policies and procedures, emergency fund management and scholarship administration, sponsored and visiting student services, the ongoing development of systems and practices in line with regulatory requirements, and institutional programming and support related to the success of KU’s international community. Reporting directly to the Associate Vice Provost for International Affairs, the Director collaborates frequently with campus partners within the division and across the university, as well as with external agencies. This position also serves on KUIA’s Administrative Leadership Council.

The Director is responsible for the daily management and strategic direction of International Support Services, leading a professional staff of approximately 30 full-time employees, as well as a number of student employees. The office supports approximately 2,000 international students and over 200 international scholars on campus at any given time. This position will evaluate, create, and provide counsel on processes and best practices designed to enhance the experience of our international community and will develop, implement, and maintain university policies and processes related to this work.
The University of Kansas is a major educational and research institution with approximately 29,000 students on five campuses, and 10,000 employees. The main campus is in Lawrence, a vibrant, thriving community of more than 90,000 that is just 40 miles west of Greater Kansas City and 20 miles from the state capital. In a continuing effort to enrich the campus environment and provide equal educational and employment opportunities, the university actively encourages applications from members of underrepresented groups in higher education.

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Job Description

Leadership & Management (50%)

  • Develop and implement a strategic operating plan; offer vision, leadership, guidance, and oversight for a forward-looking, service-oriented office which provides a comprehensive program of support for international students, employees and scholars.
  • Develop innovative strategies to deliver international support services and programming that enhance the academic and overall experience for KU’s diverse international populations.
  • Ensure international recruitment and marketing efforts are well coordinated, transparent, and uphold KU’s standards and brand integrity.  
  • Supervise and mentor staff; provide clear performance expectations, effective training and feedback, and professional development opportunities.
  • Ensure professional orientation and advising support is provided to prospective and currently enrolled students, employees and scholars on complex immigration and institutional requirements, options, benefits, and permissions.
  • Advocate for international students, scholars and employees on campus through policy development and administration and by partnering with campus entities that serve KU’s international populations.

Immigration & Advocacy (30%)

  • Serve as Primary Designated School Official (PDSO) for the F-1 visa program and Responsible Officer (RO) for the J-1 visa program, as authorized by U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of State, respectively.
  • Engage federal, state, and local offices and bureaus regarding immigration, insurance, visa, and labor matters.
  • Monitor SEVIS alerts.
  • Ensure KU is meeting its reporting, document retention, and compliance obligations, especially with regards to the J-1 Annual Report, Open Doors report for Students and Open Doors report for Scholars, SEVIS/FSA Reconciliation, orientation, H-1B public inspection files, and other employment and permanent residency related services.
  • Oversee the provision of immigration services for employment and permanent residency cases that require institutional sponsorship and support.
  • Keep current with changes in immigration regulations and upgrades in SEVIS and Sunapsis in order to ensure that local, state, and federal guidelines and objectives are met and appropriate data is retained and reported.
  • Liaise with outside agencies, universities, non-profit organizations, federal program offices, and other programs and governments to promote KU academic programs. Domestic and international travel are integral to this work.

Campus Leadership, Engagement, & Service to the Profession (20%)

  • Serve as a primary source of information and expertise to deans, administrators, faculty members, and staff professionals to address issues and concerns related to international students, scholars and employees.
  • Build consensus around the university’s positions on key emerging issues related to international enrollment and talent management.
  • Provide expert policy interpretation and analysis to campus stakeholders; collaborate with and counsel university administrators on the interpretation of regulations within the context of university, state, and federal policies.
  • Work on collaborative programming with and serve as liaison to campus and local partners; guide the integration of international services into the broader university community.
  • Represent ISS and International Affairs on university committees.
  • Ensure ISS remains a strong and active part of the campus referral network, connecting the international community with the broad range of supports and resources for addressing personal, social, academic, cultural, financial, and other service needs.
  • Serve on boards and committees of professional associations.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications

  • Master’s degree or higher in a field related to higher education administration, public administration or international education or a terminal degree related to international education, such as a Doctor of Jurisprudence.
  • Five years’ experience as a Designated School Official (DSO) or Principal Designated School Official (PDSO) in a university F-1 student program.
  • Five years’ experience as an Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO) or Responsible Officer (RO) in a university J-1 student program.
  • Five years of progressive leadership responsibility.  
  • Seven years’ experience supervising staff.
  • At least six months experience living, studying, or working overseas.
  • One year of service in a regional or national leadership role with an international education professional association such as NAFSA or AIEA.
  • Excellent written communication skills as evidenced by application materials.
  • Experience planning and managing office and/or program budgets as evidenced by application materials.
  • Current understanding of international education trends and issues as evidenced by cover letter and references.

Position Requirements

  • Travel in the U.S. and abroad.
  • U.S. citizenship or U.S. permanent resident status (in order to serve as PDSO/RO).

Preferred Qualifications

  • Strong personnel management and interpersonal communication skills as evidenced by application materials and references.
  • Experience designing and developing campus programs for international students.
  • Experience in international recruitment and admissions activities with international students.
  • Experience in programming specifically targeted toward international student retention.
  • Experience with international employment and permanent residency sponsorship in a higher education setting.
  • Foreign language skills or experience teaching English as a Second Language.


Interested candidates should use the “Apply to Job” button on the official job posting.

Please attach a cover letter, resume, and three (3) professional references and use your cover letter to address how you meet the required and preferred qualifications. An online University of Kansas application must be completed to be considered for this position.  

Application review begins Monday, May 18, 2020 and continues until a qualified pool of applicants is identified.

Contact Information for Applicants

Billie Archer,

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University’s programs and activities.


Campus Community

With a diverse population, beautiful campus and vibrant downtown, the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas is a place many find easy to live in and hard to leave.

Because of COVID-19, candidates will conduct interviews remotely and will be unable to visit campus. So, we wanted to share a few resources that highlights the community’s energetic and welcoming personality.


KU International Community

International Support Services

International Admissions

International Students at KU

International Jayhawk Festival

Follow Jayhawks Research Abroad

Office of Multicultural Affairs


University of Kansas

Virtual Campus Tour

Experience the Four Seasons at KU

KU Research

Resources for New Employees


KU Traditions

History of the Jayhawk

Alma Mater

“I’m a Jayhawk” fight song and clap

“Rock Chalk” chant

Waving the Wheat

Walking the Hill


Lawrence, Kansas

About Lawrence

Explore Lawrence

Housing and Schools

Visitor Guide

Connect with us


International Events

Home to 50+ departments, centers, and programs, the School of the Arts, and the School of Public Affairs and Administration
KU offers courses in 40 languages
No. 1 ranking in city management and urban policy —U.S. News and World Report
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times