Director of Industry Partnerships - 21900BR

Director of Industry Partnerships

Economic Development
University of Kansas Lawrence Campus
Work Location Assignment: 
Employee Class: 
U-Unclassified Professional Staff

Position Overview

The Director of Industry Partnerships at the University of Kansas will be responsible for identifying, developing, and executing mutually beneficial research partnerships with high level corporate partners and other entities as appropriate. The Director will work closely with the Vice Chancellor for Research and the Deans of the School of Engineering and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and their respective faculty members in engineering and the physical sciences to uncover key ideas (including patented technologies) and research projects that may then be marketed effectively to corporations and other entities furthering the development of these partnerships. The Director will be a conduit between KU research and industry developing industry sponsored research programs that leverage university expertise while solving industry challenges. The Director will also be responsible for developing strategic research programs that interface with industry and other federal, state and/or community partners.

Reporting directly to the AVC for Economic Development, the Director will be expected to develop a robust portfolio of new and ongoing corporate partners by engaging appropriate strategies to grow these relationships in a mutually beneficial manner. The Director will interact with a broad array of KU faculty and staff, organizational units, and key external stakeholders. This individual will also be expected to work independently and to be self- motivated in initiating contacts with both internal and external partners.

Position Goals:
  • Increase the number of new corporate partners working with the School of Engineering and the Physical Sciences as defined by a company engaging the university across multiple levels (e.g., sponsored research, capstone projects, career services, seminars series, equipment use and other engagement strategies).
  • Support new and existing partnerships by supporting programs within engineering and physical sciences that interface with industry.
  • Hold an in-depth knowledge of faculty research expertise in engineering and the physical sciences that promotes mutually beneficial partnerships targeted at increasing industry sponsored research.
  • Liaison with KU Innovation Park, the Office of Technology Transfer, KU Endowment Association, Career Services, and Jayhawk Community Partnerships to identify and build new partnerships while leveraging ongoing activity to expand existing partnerships.
  • Develop and manage corporate partners while interfacing with campus units to maximize KU offering to the company by both broadening and deepening the relationship.
  • Foster university research programs that have direct intersection with industry.

Job Description

45% Program Development
  • Identify, develop, and execute corporate partnerships that integrate a portfolio of approaches that provide the opportunity to develop the breadth and depth of the relationships from student talent to research to lifelong and professional education in a mutually beneficial manner.
  • Plan, develop and implement effective corporate partnership methods and identify new operational models and approaches that will further facilitate the relationship.
  • Provide effective coordination and facilitation of corporate visits to the KU campus as well as KU visits to corporate sites.
  • Develop marketing tools focused on KU capabilities and research expertise that can be shared with industry.

25% Collaboration

  • Enhance collaborative relationships with other units, schools, departments, and faculty to promote the breadth of KU expertise in support of industry needs.
  • Work collaboratively with the Vice Chancellor for Research and the Deans to effectively develop and manage high level strategic partnerships for KU.
  • Work with the Faculty, KU Endowment Association, the Office of Technology Transfer, KU Innovation Park, Jayhawk Community Partners, and others to develop engagement strategies that broaden and deepen our industry partnerships.
  • Represent the industry partners needs and interests to the KU Office of Research personnel and support communication between the different Office units to ensure the companies interests and KU’s strategy for working with them are understood.

25% Strategic Development

  • Leverage federal opportunities and programs to enhance industry/academic partnerships.
  • Support faculty through training and one-on-one guidance to assist them in developing and maintaining industry partnerships.
  • Foster the development of new engagement strategies, stay abreast of, and incorporate best practices in the broad domain of academic-industry partnerships. Actively participate in national organizations that have as their mission the development of industry partners for the translation of research (e.g., AUTM, UIDP).
  • In partnership with KU Innovation Park, develop programming and engagement strategies to facilitate retention, recruitment and growth of industry sectors.

5% Other Duties

  • Other duties as assigned by the AVC for Economic Development.

Position Requirements

  • This position requires working on-site at the Lawrence, KS campus.

Required Qualifications

  1. Master’s Degree plus five (5) years of related experience OR Bachelor’s Degree and seven (7) years of related experience.
  2. Five (5) years of relevant experience in a business development, research commercialization, external innovation and/or partnership management role.
  3. Effective written communication skills as demonstrated by application materials.
  4. Experience working with individuals from varying organizational levels.
  5. Experience providing customer service to internal and external stakeholders.

Preferred Qualifications

  1. Master’s degree in engineering or physical sciences preferred.
  2. Experience working with federal and/or state agencies and their respective programs in tandem with industry partners.
  3. Proven experience bridging academic and industry cultures.
  4. Awareness of intellectual property (IP) attributes in a research environment.
  5. Prior work experience developing effective, collaborative relationships in a large, complex environment.
  6. Strong interpersonal skills as demonstrated by application materials and interview process.

Additional Candidate Instructions

A complete application includes:
  1. A cover letter addressing how required qualifications are met.
  2. Resume.
  3. Names and Contact Information for three (3) Professional References.
  4. Completion of the online application.
Application review begins Monday, May 23, 2022 and continues until a pool of qualified applicants is identified.

Contact Information to Applicants

Patricia Bergman,

Advertised Salary Range

$100,013, commensurate with experience

Work Schedule

Monday-Friday, 8 am to 5 pm

Application Review Begins


Anticipated Start Date


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Posting Information
Posting ID:
Economic Development
Primary Campus:
University of Kansas Lawrence Campus
Work Location Assignment:
Employee Class:
U-Unclassified Professional Staff
Application Review Begins: