Assistant Vice President and Dean of Residence Life & Student Housing
February 13, 2018
Full Time - Experienced
Southern Methodist University (SMU) invites applications for the position of Assistant Vice President (AVP) and Dean of Residence Life & Student Housing (RLSH). This position reports to the Vice President of Student Affairs, is a member of the Vice President’s leadership team, and will also have significant interaction with the Provost and other members of the Provost's leadership team. The AVP and Dean of RLSH provides overall leadership for a comprehensive residence life and student housing program, a significant aspect of which is the residential commons model. The residential commons is an integrated living-learning experience that is a close collaboration between Academic Affairs and Student Affairs. This newly created position of Dean of Residence Life and Student Housing will play a key role in advancing the residential commons initiative and developing a comprehensive student residential experience.
Residential Life at SMU consists of the Residential Commons, upperclass, fraternity, and special interest housing. The AVP and Dean will manage a vibrant residential environment that promotes student learning and growth, fostering a living-learning experience that integrates students’ intellectual, social, cultural, and emotional development. The AVP and Dean has significant responsibility for ensuring the success of the residential commons program including outlining a continuing vision and assessment process for the residential commons program; frequent and collaborative interactions with faculty, academic departments (including Academic Advising; the Undergraduate Curriculum; the University Honors Program; the Learning Enhancement Center; and Office of Engaged Learning), Student Affairs departments and staff, and other key campus departments (Enrollment Services; Planning, Design and Construction; Communication and External Relations) in support of the residential commons model and the University's overall goals for the campus and student life experience.
The university presently houses approximately 3,000 students in 11 residential commons, which consists of five residence halls that opened in fall 2014 and six recently renovated residence halls. Each residential commons has a live-in faculty member and programming space to support community building and educational and social activities. SMU’s move to the residential commons model, coupled with the University Curriculum and the Engaged Learning program, are a critical component of SMU’s emphasis on enhancing the connections between students’ inside of, and outside of the classroom learning. The residential commons represents SMU's largest financial investment to date ($146 million dollars).
Given the importance of the residential experience to SMU programmatically and financially, it is imperative the person charged with leading RLSH has, in addition to student affairs knowledge and/or experience, substantial experience working with and interacting with faculty.
Anticipated Start Date: July 01, 2018.
Provide inspirational vision, leadership and oversight for the university’s comprehensive Residence Life & Student Housing program.
Engage and support a diverse campus community and foster a welcoming, supportive, safe, and inclusive environment that promotes a sense of belonging and connection to campus life.
Work collaboratively and effectively with administrative units within the division of student affairs and across campus. Build a strong rapport with members of the SMU community.
Develop and maintain positive working relationships with the Faculty in Residence (FiRs). Work closely with FiRs to strengthen academic programming and intellectual culture within the Residential Commons.
Strengthen the culture of assessment within RLSH. Oversee all assessment activities within the department, ensuring programs, services and systems are assessed regularly. Develop processes for annual reporting of assessment results and progress towards achieving departmental strategic goals to relevant stakeholders.
Ensure financial sustainability. In collaboration with the Vice President for Student Affairs and the division’s financial liaison, develop the annual budget, setting appropriate targets for revenue and expenses, including annual contribution to capital reserves. Regularly analyze local housing market data and establish competitive housing rate structure and contract provisions.
Collaborate with Facilities, the division of Budget and Finance, and other campus stakeholders to develop short and long-term capital investment plans to ensure facilities are properly maintained and enhanced to support strategic priorities.
Lead the ongoing implementation of the residential commons model and ensure its continued success. Toward that goal work collaboratively with academic and student affairs faculty, staff and departments; engage in ongoing visioning, strategic planning, and assessment in support of the residential commons model and the overall residential student experience. Communicate regularly and effectively with RLSH staff and with key campus partners.
Oversee the day-to-day operations of RLSH including supervision of staff, departmental budgets and residential facilities (including residential commons, traditional residence halls, Greek houses, theme houses, and apartments).
Allocate human resources and oversee all aspects of programs and services to students in university-owned housing. Develop and implement an efficient and effective staffing model, ensuring that individuals with the needed knowledge, skills, and abilities are in place to support strategic priorities. Oversee all personnel-related matters within the department in accordance with University policy, including hiring, termination, promotion, professional development and training.
Strengthen the administrative policies and processes of RLSH including but not limited to housing assignments, marketing materials, training programs, enterprise systems, and technology deployment.
Forge connections and regularly dialogue with other universities that have similar residential commons/college models and be involved in professional academic and student affairs related organizations to ensure the residential life and residential commons program remains innovative and relevant to student development and higher education trends.
Promote Residence Life and Student Housing. Provide subject matter expertise and leadership within student affairs and across the campus community on known and emerging issues relevant to promoting student health and success in a residential setting.
Serve as a member of the executive leadership team of the Division of Student Affairs. Perform related duties as assigned to meet department, division, and university goals and objectives.
Earned doctorate in higher education, related field, or an academic discipline is required.
Experience developing and directing academic programs in a residential setting.
A minimum of ten years of relevant experience, with at least five being in a leadership level, in a comprehensive on-campus housing operation within higher education.
Knowledge and experience working collaboratively with faculty, academic, and student affairs staff in support of student learning and development is also required.
Demonstrated excellent management and program development skills including experience with strategic planning and the implementation of new initiatives.
Proven short and long-term planning skills, coupled with the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously.
Candidate must also possess the ability to motivate staff and build an effective team, and exhibit initiative, creativity, and enthusiasm.
Experience managing complex budgets (including revenue and expense forecasts) and housing occupancy projections.
Experience in major elements of residence life programs including facilities operations.
Leadership initiatives or project involvement in related regional, national and/or international professional organizations.
Prior higher education experience at the Dean/Associate/Assistant Dean or Assistant/Associate VP level.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Excellent interpersonal, verbal, written, and listening skills, including the ability to communicate effectively with students, faculty, staff, administrators, and parents.
Candidate must have the demonstrated ability to build relationships and work collaboratively with faculty, staff, administrators and students.
This position requires excellent attention to detail and accountability, including, but not limited to budgets, targets, reporting and assessment of services and systems.
Must have excellent problem solving, analytical and critical thinking skills.
Candidate must have excellent strategic, organizational, project management, and time management skills.
Must have effective leadership and staff development skills.
Must be proficient in Microsoft Office (MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook).
This position must be able to walk for long distances, stand, climb, carry/lift 25 lbs., handle objects (dexterity), and sit for long periods of time.
DEADLINE TO APPLY: This position is open until filled. Review of applications will begin March 01, 2018 and will continue until the position is filled.
Anticipated Start Date: July 01, 2018.
To Apply: Please visit our website www.smu.jobs to access the online application. See Working at SMU.
Click on Staff Careers and apply to: Assistant Vice President & Dean of Residence Life & Student Housing (RES00000009)
SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601, email@example.com.
Additional Salary Information: commensurate with experience & qualifications.
Internal Number: RES00000009
A nationally ranked private university with seven degree-granting schools, SMU is a distinguished center for teaching and research located near the heart of Dallas. SMU's 11,000 students benefit from small classes, research opportunities, leadership development, international study and innovative programs. The University is strengthened by its partnership with the Dallas region, a global center of commerce and culture. SMU students, faculty and alumni are changing the world through their chosen fields, civic engagement and service to society.