Director of Residence Life

Director of Residence Life
Search #: S21-062

Southern Connecticut State University is a diverse and student-centered university dedicated to academic excellence, access, and service for the public good. Southern provides a supportive and welcoming environment for all members of its community through a campus wide commitment to social justice.  Founded as a teacher’s college in 1893, Southern has evolved over the past century into a comprehensive public university of more than 10,000 students, offering graduate and undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and professional disciplines. It is one of four universities in the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System. The University is located in New Haven, a city rich with arts and culture, and less than 90 miles from New York City and 140 miles from Boston.

The Director of Residence Life provides visionary and strategic leadership for the Office of Residence Life. The Director provides oversight for a comprehensive student housing program, including focus on community building, engagement and belonging; student development and learning; operational effectiveness and efficiency; fiscal responsibility; law and policy compliance; and, crisis and emergency response. The Director of Residence Life develops a strong departmental team prepared to build engaged residential communities that reflect diverse, equitable and welcoming living environments; responds to individual and community issues to develop a climate of personal and shared responsibility; promotes academic learning and success helping students persist to graduation; fosters the health and well-being of each student; and, provides leadership opportunities for students through their residential experience.

Required Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in student affairs, higher education, business administration, or closely related field
  • Minimum of seven years of progressively responsible professional experience in a university residential life/housing program
  • Student-centered, self-initiated, innovative, and results-driven
  • Strong leadership and organizational skills with the ability to solve problems, think critically, explain decision rationale, manage multiple tasks, and be an effective communicator, both orally and in writing, with students, faculty, staff, parents, and other stakeholders.
  • Success working collaboratively across a college campus, building a strong team, supervising professional and student staff, and leading incrisis response.
  • Cultural awareness and competency and an ability to contribute to a campus committed to diversity, inclusion, and social justice.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Working knowledge of best practices in on-campus housing
  • Experience developing living/learning residential communities
  • Experience developing co-curricular programs, grounded in student development theory, to promote student success, satisfaction, and retention
  • Experience in managing and operating a large administrative unit
  • Experience in planning and managing a large, comprehensive budget
  • Knowledge of standard business practices pertaining to student housing
  • Experience formulating, communicating, and enforcing policy
  • Knowledge of relevant federal and state regulations, practices, and procedures
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office programs with proficiency in Word and Excel.

These qualifications may be waived for individuals with an equivalent combination of education, training and experience.

Essential Functions

Provides leadership for the development of a positive living environment that integrates with a holistic approach to student engagement, development, and success across campus and supports the missions of the university and Division of Student Affairs.

Provides leadership and oversight for the recruitment, selection, development, training, supervision, and evaluation of professional staff, support staff, graduate interns, and student staff across the department.

Ensures a departmental commitment to strategic planning, evaluation, and assessment to focus on the overall residential climate, program delivery and impact, process improvement, and delivery of effective, quality, and student-friendly services. Works with departmental team to collect, analyze and report data regarding the performance, activities, and outcomes of the residential experience.

Oversees the development and delivery of educational, cultural, social, and recreational programs for resident students to enhance knowledge, develop community, promote well-being, and create a welcoming and inclusive environment. Implements residential learning communities, including themed housing and living-learning communities, to help achieve these goals.

Serves as a university expert on the residential experience. Reviews and keeps abreast of national trends related to living on campus. Remains familiar with best practices on campuses across the country.

Assumes full scope of responsibility for ensuring compliance with federal, state, CSCU system, and campus policies and procedures as they relate to the residential experience. Coordinates with the Accessibility Services and food service provider to provide reasonable housing and dining accommodations to students with documented needs including remaining current with ADA and FHA policies and rules impacting housing accommodations. Works closely with the Office of Diversity and Equity to ensure compliance with Title IX.

Ensures currency of all policies and procedures of and related to the Office of Residence Life to assure that they are current, are consistent with the University’s mission and strategic plan, and reflect contemporary, best practices in higher education. Recommends policy changes, as appropriate.

Prepares, administers, analyzes, and tracks an annual, auxiliary expense plan and operating budget of approximately seventeen million dollars.

Directs the management of the daily and strategic operations of the housing program; strategizes to maximize occupancy; oversees housing assignments and billing-related data; assures student access to and administrative use of state-of-the-art technologies; ensures effective marketing and communication strategies.

Ensures a safe and healthy living environment in partnership with Facilities Management and Capital Planning. Prioritizes and coordinates residence hall maintenance work, including minor capital improvements, projects, and work performed by outside contractors. Conducts short- and long-range facility evaluation and planning. Assists in the planning and designing of renovated and new residential facilities as well as the procurement of off-campus housing agreements including the selection and requisitioning of equipment.

Oversees the management of the residential judicial process, ensuring full coordination with the institutional judicial system, CSCU Code of Student Conduct and related policies, and relevant case law regarding students’ conduct. Serves “on call” after hours to render decisions on interim actions to include interim residence hall separations.

Shares oversight of the food service contract, in partnership with the Executive Director of Student Affairs Auxiliary Services,. Participates in the SCSU/provider partnership meetings, Food Service Advisory Committee, contract negotiations, etc.

Partners with Student Affairs Auxiliary Services to maximize external use of residential facilities (e.g., camps, conferences, institutes) for revenue generation.

Manages departmental responses to crises and emergencies, student and parent concerns, media inquiries, facility issues, etc. Assures appropriate and timely problem-solving of all student issues. Ensures Residence Life representation on the student support team(s), sexual assault response team, emergency preparedness team, and other related entities.

Serves as the primary “on call” person after hours for residence hall Title IX concerns, including ensuring appropriate initial response by Residence Life staff to complaints pursuant to antidiscrimination laws and policies, including sexual harassment and sexual misconduct.

Serves as a member of the divisional leadership team, collaborating with senior management and other department heads to provide vision and direction for the Division of Student Affairs. Serves on division and campus-wide committees as requested or interested.

Performs other duties and responsibilities related to those enumerated above which do not alter the basic level of responsibility of the position.

Application

For full consideration, please submit a letter of application, resume, and contact information for three professional references to Maria Vasquez at vasquezm3@southernct.edu by April 25, 2022. The position will remain open until filled.

 

Southern Connecticut State University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Employer. The University seeks to enhance the diversity of its faculty and staff. People of color, women, veterans, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.