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Director of Housing and Residence Life - Housing and Residence Life

Apply now Job no: 493055
Work type: EAP - Executive, Administrative, Professional
Location: Allendale
Categories: Student Services

The Director of Housing and Residence Life (HRL) is responsible for planning, directing, and leading self-funded, university-owned and operated residence halls and apartment housing (6,000 beds) on both the Allendale and Pew Campuses.  This senior leadership role is responsible for creating conditions which foster student learning, engagement, and success, while also assuring the department is contributing to overall Division and University objectives.  The Director will provide visionary leadership and essential oversight for a comprehensive, contemporary, professional, innovative, and service-oriented Housing and Residence Life department.  The nature of the role may shift over time and requires adaptability depending on student, Division, and University needs. 

Essential and Functional Job Responsibilities:

  • Design and implement a vibrant residential experience that supports the University’s purpose and values, while assuring meaningful connections with the academic community, high student satisfaction, a strong sense of student community and self-governance, assessment of learning environments, and disciplined focus on safety and security.
  • Provide visionary, strategic, innovative, flexible, and change-oriented leadership for the department, including approximately 6,000 beds in 21 living centers and 18 campus apartments in over 1.9 million gross feet.
  • Recruit, train, and supervise approximately 29 staff, 12 graduate assistants, 114 resident assistants, and over 80 student employees, assuring positive organizational culture, empowerment with accountability, personal and professional growth, and congruence with University and Division values and expectations.
  • Champion current and future student housing needs, assure department offerings are inclusive, and assure that an acceptable educational philosophy supports changes and initiatives.
  • Use data and predictive measures for department planning and decisions; evaluate and supervise programs, services, facilities, and staffing using assessment, best practices, and institutional context to make adjustments as needed.
  • Collaborate and work closely with faculty and staff in supporting the academic, professional, and personal needs of students; and partner for program and idea development.
  • Evaluate, modify, and implement programs and initiatives focused particularly on the first-year experience, using research, best practices, and institutional context; work to improve retention within university housing facilities and at the University overall; augment efforts to develop more comprehensive learning-living and theme communities.
  • Develop protocols to respond to emergency issues on a 24 hour basis, participate in campus emergency planning; ensure compliance with all relevant policies, procedures, standards, and laws, and conduct regular policy reviews to align organization with compliance and other obligations.
  • In partnership with Division and University finance colleagues, take responsibility for business and financial operations; construct, monitor, and adjust budgets; determine financial operating models and other strategies to ensure long-term stability; identify new sources of revenue and cost efficiencies for short and long term success; and formulate fiduciary policies, budgets, contracts, and operating systems for the department.
  • In partnership with University law enforcement, legal, and other colleagues, take responsibility for safety, security and risk management in campus housing facilities.
  • In partnership with Division and University facilities and auxiliary colleagues, take responsibility for assuring high quality spaces, dining, and summer conference operations; identify opportunities to generate additional revenue; work cooperatively with other leadership to share best practices and resources related to staff training and development, programming and services, facility management and improvement, and other areas where synergy and efficiency is possible.
  • In partnership with Division and University facilities and organizational planning colleagues, assure long-term strategic and capital planning occurs for HRL, addressing the physical plant, programs, services and capital funding.
  • Provide vision and leadership for broad-based diversity, inclusion, and equity initiatives for students and staff; support and participate with other colleagues working to create inclusive experiences, learning opportunities, and environment. Provide support in development, implementation, and assessment of inclusive residential education curriculum.
  • Maintain a high level of professionalism, personal integrity and collaborative relationships with students, faculty, staff, alumni, families, and external communities.
  • Maintain confidentiality and respond effectively to sensitive inquiries or concerns; serve on and/or support
  • Behavior Team, Conduct processes, and other processes designed to support vulnerable students.
  • Serve as a leader in and contributor to the profession.
  • Participate in team projects, programs, and committees; perform special projects and other duties as assigned.

Required Education and Experiences: 

  • Master’s degree in higher education, student affairs, counseling, or a related field.
  • Minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible experience in leading university housing.
  • Experience with fiscal, facility, personnel, and program management.
  • Ability to select, train, supervise, lead, and evaluate department staff.
  • Ability to articulate a comprehensive knowledge of the theories, principles, and practices of student development, and of current issues, trends, policies, and laws affecting university housing environments.
  • Experience working with and understanding the needs of diverse populations, and skill in developing culturally inclusive working relationships.
  • Demonstrated skill in interpersonal communication and collaborative relationship building.
  • Demonstrated commitment to social justice and equity.
  • Experience providing both proactive and responsive support for students at risk or in crises.
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule with weekends, evenings, and other hours as required to serve students.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Terminal degree in higher education, student affairs, counseling, or a related field.
  • Experience interacting with faculty, staff, alumni, families, and/or community members.
  • Experience leading a significant facilities improvement and capital renewal initiatives.
  • Experience leading emergency response planning and preparedness.
  • Experience making public presentations to governing boards, peer leaders, or other high ranking individuals.
  • Experience developing and implementing strategic organizational vision, strategy and goals with and for staff and key stakeholders.

Salary: Commensurate with Experience

Location: Allendale Campus

Application Deadline: Consideration of applications will begin immediately and the posting may be closed at any time at the discretion of the University.

How to Apply: Apply online at and select “Apply now”. Please include a cover letter and resume. The online application will allow you to attach these documents electronically. On the Application, you will be required to provide names, phone numbers and e-mail addresses for three professional references. If you have questions or need assistance, call Human Resources at 616-331-2215.

Grand Valley State University is guided by values for inclusiveness and community which are integral to our mission to educate students to shape their lives, their professions, and their societies, and to enrich the community through excellent teaching, active scholarship, and public service. The University is an affirmative action, equal opportunity institution. It encourages diversity and provides equal opportunity in education, employment, all of its programs, and the use of its facilities. Members of the University community, including candidates for employment or admissions, and visitors or guests have the right to be free from acts of harassment and discrimination, including sexual misconduct, which are prohibited if they discriminate or harass on the basis of age, color, disability, familial status, height, marital status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex/gender (including gender identity and expression), sexual orientation, veteran or active duty military status or weight. The University will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities. See TDD Callers: Call Michigan Relay Center at 711 (in State) or 1-800-833-7833 (out of State)

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Must have the physical stamina to work long hours and/or more than 5 days per week. The requirements listed are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The information contained in this job description is for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act as amended by the ADA Amendment Act (2008), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and other applicable federal and state laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. GVSU will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request.

Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
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