Drexel University is seeking an experienced and creative university housing and dining leader to serve as its inaugural executive director of housing and dining. The expected start date is January 2022.
Founded in 1891, Drexel University (Drexel) is an academically comprehensive and globally engaged urban research university, dedicated to advancing knowledge and society and to providing every student with a valuable, rigorous, experiential, technology-infused education, enriched by the nation's premier cooperative education program. It fulfills its founder's vision of preparing each new generation of students for productive professional and civic lives, while also focusing its collective expertise on solving society's greatest problems. Through its 15 schools and colleges that offer over 200 degree programs, Drexel serves 14,555 undergraduate and 9,034 graduate and professional students, approximately 6,000 of whom live in university-managed or affiliated housing.
Drexel is one of Philadelphia's top ten private employers, and a major engine for economic development in the region. It is committed to being the nation’s most civically engaged university, with community partnerships integrated into every aspect of service and academics.
Reporting to the associate vice president for Drexel Business Services and serving as a key member of the division’s management team, the executive director of housing and dining (executive director) provides leadership and vision for the residential housing and conference occupancy program, as well as dining services for Drexel’s nine university-managed residence halls, three university-affiliated residential buildings, 3,000 students served through the campus dining program, and 12 Greek letter organization houses. The position has primary and direct responsibility for maintaining strategic relationships and management of third-party auxiliary contracts for food service (campus dining and catering), on-campus residential housing, and the University bookstores, and oversees the fiscal operation of outsourced services to ensure contract compliance. Further, the successful candidate will be expected to play a critical role in implementing the University’s Housing & Auxiliary Initiative Team for the strategic plan.
The executive director cultivates, nurtures, and sustains relationships and partnerships within the Student Success division and across the Drexel community that ensure an outstanding living-learning experience and support student success; effectively develops, manages, utilizes and ensures accountability for all departmental budgets; collaborates with the divisional management team to strengthen existing and identify new revenue streams; and champions the vision and goals of the associate vice president for Drexel Business Services. The executive director proactively provides students with a variety of services and educational opportunities that enhance their out-of-class experiences and strives to make constant improvement in satisfaction with the on-campus experience of stakeholders, including students, faculty, and guests. The executive director will contribute to the development and management of Drexel Business Service’s annual revenue budget of approximately $40 million and is responsible for the recruitment and development of a diverse team comprising seven full-time staff, including two direct reports, two part-time staff, 250+ indirect reports, and 20 student staff.
This position is an exceptional opportunity for a forward-looking and collaborative leader with a strong knowledge of occupancy management, management of complex contracts, and a history of operational and fiscal success. The successful candidate will possess outstanding communication skills; an appreciation and vision for the unique role of housing and dining services at a fast-paced, urban, residential campus; and a well-developed organizational agility in navigating complex environments/systems inherent in a large, private, entrepreneurial university structure.
A bachelor’s degree or equivalent is required (master’s preferred), along with a minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in leading college or university housing, dining, and/or other auxiliary services. Strongly preferred qualifications include a record of success in establishing and/or managing P3 partnerships, experience with third-party dining services’ vendor contract and relationship management, and evidence of engagement with broad-based diversity, inclusion, and equity initiatives in the context of university auxiliary services.
The search committee particularly invites applications from candidates with extensive experience in understanding and addressing the interests and needs of broadly diverse populations, including a demonstrated ability to establish trust and maintain positive, effective working relationships with students, faculty, staff, customers, and individuals from diverse backgrounds.
Drexel has retained the services of Spelman Johnson, a leading national executive search firm, to assist with leading this search. Review of applications will begin Monday, October 25, 2021, and continue until the position is filled. A resume with an accompanying cover letter that addresses the responsibilities and requirements described in the position specification must be submitted via the Spelman Johnson website at https://www.spelmanandjohnson.com/position/executive-director-of-housing-and-dining/. Nominations for this position may be forwarded to Michel Frendian at [email protected]. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.
Drexel University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer, welcomes individuals from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, and believes that an inclusive and respectful environment enriches the University community and the educational and employment experience of its members. The University prohibits discrimination against individuals on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, status as a veteran or special disabled veteran, gender identity or expression, genetic information, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions and any other prohibited characteristic.