Northwestern University is looking for a visionary leader to direct the on-campus residential living and learning environment. The executive director oversees a thriving undergraduate and graduate community of over 5,000 students living in 31 residence halls, 2 apartment buildings, and 28 fraternity and sorority houses. The executive director provides strategic direction for the administrative, budgetary, facilities, co-curricular, and programmatic aspirations of the department, works collaboratively to set and realize strategic goals for growth, equips and supports students in meaningful community living, and develops and implements new programs that enhance services for all students, faculty, and guests of Northwestern University. The executive director must have a strong understanding of, and commitment to, diversity, social justice, and the creation of inclusive work and living environments. The position requires close collaboration with numerous stakeholder groups including other student affairs units, academic affairs, facilities management, budget planning, risk management, and university police.
The position reports to the Vice President and is a key member of the student affairs leadership team. The executive director will play a strategic role in assisting Northwestern to make its campus life exemplary and among the best in the country.
Please Note: Some nights and weekends required.
Provide leadership, oversight and strategic planning for a comprehensive residential experience, including three Residential Services units—Residential Life, Residential Academic Initiatives, and Housing Operations and Services (Facilities, Assignments, Conferences and Operations) —and manages an annual operating budget of approximately $70 million, a staff of 75 full time staff, 250 students and contract employees.
Oversee the development, implementation, evaluation, and evolution of the full campus residential program, including elements affiliated with the Undergraduate Residential Experience report and recommendations. Continue to evolve the program to meet and exceed the needs of the student residential community.
Collaborate closely with other student affairs units, academic affairs, facilities management, budget planning and forecasting, risk management, and university police regarding residential services.
Provide leadership and direction, in conjunction with both Facilities and the Budget Office, for construction and project planning affiliated with the Northwestern University Housing Master Plan and the Northwestern 7-year Capital Plan.
Oversee the communication and marketing of the residential experience to students, parents, and other stakeholders to meet business objectives.
Define key performance indicators and develop appropriate assessment procedures to evaluate the program through satisfaction, performance, needs, and learning outcomes based assessment in order to drive continuous improvement.
Provide timely and accurate reports, including occupancy, facilities condition, and financial reports that clearly reflect the program’s performance.
Master’s degree required in related area plus eight to ten years’ experience in a senior management position in housing and residence life.
Significant experience as an innovative leader managing personnel, programs, and services; success in enhancing student learning through residential living.
Experience supervising senior residence life and housing staff.
Demonstrated knowledge of housing and residential life functions including budgeting and finance, facility maintenance and housekeeping, room assignments/ billing, marketing, summer conferences, construction/renovation processes, staff supervision and professional development, student conduct, and the creation of environments that enhance students’ academic and personal success.
Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)
Demonstrated record of building teams and partnerships with colleagues and key stakeholder groups;
Experience designing programs for and with diverse student and employee populations, and a demonstrated commitment to equity and social justice;
Strong communication and interpersonal competencies that demonstrate intelligence and integrity; and a commitment to exemplary customer service and sustainability.
Preferred Qualifications: (Education and experience)
PhD, EdD, or other terminal degree in higher education, business, student affairs administration, or other related field.
An understanding of the regulatory parameters of contemporary residential life and university housing practices;
Direct project management experience, with a Project Management certificate preferred.
Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)
Direct experience with labor relations and how to work effectively with union staff; and knowledge of legal issues and risk management.
Previous experience leading and implementing a campus housing facilities master plan.
Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.
Internal Number: 35997
About Northwestern University
Northwestern University is a major private research university with 12 academic divisions located on three campuses in Evanston, Chicago, and Education City in Doha, Qatar. We have approximately 2,500 full-time faculty members, 17,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and over 5,700 full and part-time staff. Northwestern University combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highly collaborative environment. It provides students and faculty exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal and professional growth.