Open Positions

Application Accommodations:

If you are unable or limited in your ability to access our career website as a result of a physical or mental impairment, please contact Human Resources at (616) 331-2215 or to request a reasonable accommodation. You may also access this resource to request accommodations prior to or during the interview process. Your privacy is important to us, therefore, we will only share information regarding accommodations on a need to know basis.

Director of Housing and Residence Life

Job no: 493365
Work type: EAP - Executive, Administrative, Professional
Location: Allendale
Categories: Student Services

Grand Valley State University is a primarily residential, comprehensive university with eight degree-granting colleges. The original and primary campus is based in Allendale, Michigan, a town of twenty thousand, 12 miles outside Grand Rapids and 13 miles from Lake Michigan. Its high-quality programs and state-of-the-art facilities attract about 24,000 students from across Michigan, dozens of other states, and foreign countries. It offers 94 undergraduate and 42 graduate degree programs, and has additional campuses Grand Rapids, as well as education centers in Holland, Traverse City, and Detroit. The Annis Water Resources Institute and the Muskegon Innovation Hub are both located in Muskegon. The university strives to go beyond the traditional classroom experience, offering numerous research opportunities and business partnerships.

Since its founding in 1960, Grand Valley has been deeply committed to the liberal arts and professional education. It has a reputation for being a large university with a small-college feel, where students receive personalized attention in small classes and customized, convenient, academic and career services. U.S. News and World Report has called it the third-best public regional university in the Midwest, and in 2010 the Princeton Review named it its “Best Midwestern College.”

The Position

Reporting to the associate vice provost for Student Affairs, the director of Housing and Residence Life (HRL) is responsible for planning and leading self-funded, university-owned-and-operated residence halls and apartment housing. This includes about 6,000 beds in 21 living centers and 18 campus apartments, occupying over 1.9 million gross feet on the Allendale and Grand Rapids campuses. This role is a senior one for the Division of Student Affairs and highly visible and important to University leadership.  As such, it is responsible for creating conditions which foster student learning, engagement, and success, while also assuring that the department is contributing to overall division and university objectives. The director will provide for a comprehensive, contemporary, professional, innovative, and service-oriented Housing and Residence Life department. The successful candidate arranges, directs, reviews, and monitors personnel activities for the University Housing department, including staffing projections, compensation, staff development, and evaluation for 40 professional staff, 115 resident assistants, and 80 student staff. They provide financial-management oversight, including development and implementation of an approximately $56 million operational budget.

The director also develops academic partnerships with various colleges; engages student residents in Living Learning Programs (LLP’s); takes a leading role in divisional diversity and inclusion efforts; and provides oversight for Housing’s emerging restorative justice (student conduct) efforts. The director ensures that residents experience a student-centered community focused on student development that is safe and secure, and addresses the facilities’ concerns and needs by working closely with staff in Housing Facilities Planning, and Facilities Management. The director is responsible for developing the departmental strategic plan and implementing the relevant divisional strategic plan; engaging in the development of a University Housing facilities master plan; and collaborating with Student Life (SL) Budget and Finance, Human Resources (HR), Marketing, and Technology Solutions to initiate and implement best fiduciary and operational practices.


A master’s degree in student personnel, higher education or a related field, and at least ten years of full-time experience with progressively responsible supervisory and management experience in housing and residence life are required. It is preferred that the candidate have a doctoral degree and extensive knowledge and experience with: leading significant facilities improvement and capital renewal initiatives; leading emergency response planning and preparedness; making public presentations to governing boards, peer leaders, or other high ranking individuals; and developing and implementing strategic organizational vision and goals with and for staff and key stakeholders.

The candidate must have demonstrated management experience with budget oversight, personnel supervision, and program development, as well as skill in interpersonal communication and collaborative relationship building. The next director will have demonstrated personal and professional commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence. In addition, the successful candidate will have experience providing both proactive and responsive support for students at risk or in crisis; demonstrated ability to create a strategic vision and motivate others; and experience in the hiring, training, and management of professional and student staff.

Application and Nomination

Review of applications will begin April 14, 2020 and continue until the position is filled. Applications, including a position-specific cover letter and resume, may be submitted online at Nominations for this position may be emailed to Anne-Marie Kenney at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Advertised: Eastern Standard Time
Applications close:

Back to search results

Share this:

| More

Applicant Login

Login to check status of existing applications

Applicant Login

Filter Results

Work type