University Life was created to develop and enhance the student experience at Columbia. Working in collaboration with students, faculty, and staff, University Life strengthens resources, policies, and conversations, and builds community outside of the classroom. Our efforts all connect to core values for the Columbia community:
Inclusion and belonging
Health and well-being
University Life is a central division focused on enhancing the student experience across Columbia’s 17 schools and colleges. We serve as a student life hub for the University and are committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive campus culture where students can thrive in all dimensions of their lives. In University Life, we focus on connecting students to each other, to the broader University and surrounding community, and to opportunities beyond their schools.
We work to educate students about Columbia’s values and policies and share essential and timely information with students from the University. Through our programs, services, and partnerships, we support students’ educational enrichment during their time at Columbia.
The Director of Student Engagement reports to University Life’s Senior Associate Vice President for the Center for Student Inclusion and Engagement. The Director is responsible for providing leadership and administrative direction to a comprehensive and vibrant student engagement program that complements and supports the mission of the University and core values of University Life. This leadership position partners with Columbia's 17 schools and affiliate institutions; central units; and students, faculty, staff and alumni to provide student engagement programs that promote our core values The Director of Student Engagement will lead the areas of student activities, first-year programs, student organizations and leadership, and in collaboration with ISSO, supports international student transition into the University community. The position also manages the University’s delegate program in support of free speech and student activism and provides high-level administrative support to the Senior Vice President for Students Affairs, specific to the Student Affairs Network.
The Director cultivates a dynamic, experiential and student-centered environment that provides a model of excellence for student engagement and community building at Columbia.
Provide oversight and guidance for financial and human resources for the University Life Student Engagement team.
Supervise professional staff
Implement and coordinate policies, procedures, budgets, and programming.
Student organizations, student leadership, and event planning:
Oversee the implementation of student organization data management systems, which includes creating a virtual community space for student organizations.
Responsible for the direction and leadership of student leadership conferences and recognition programs, including the collaboration of professionals throughout the University.
Develop and manage the student organization resources website.
Develop, implement and assess a training program for recognized student organizations focused on self-governance, effective fiscal management, collaborative learning, ethical leadership, exploration of diversity, and service to the University community and ultimately, society at large.
Serve as liaison to the University Senate regarding all matters related to the Interschool Governing Board (IGB) - advising of the executive board, allocation process, communication with IGB recognized student organizations, etc.
Oversee and monitor the onboarding and advising of Interschool Governing Boarding (IGB) recognized student organization.
In collaboration with the University Life communications team, develop and implement a marketing program strategy and student recognition strategy that promotes student engagement and sense of belonging at Columbia.
Serves as a consultant and thought partner for the schools to support their recognized student organization recognition procedures, event planning processes, and navigate University policies and resources.
Lead and implement a training program for all officers of recognized student organizations reviewing and enforcing University-wide policies and procedures.
Support the embedding of diversity, equity and inclusion within all student engagement opportunities.
Convene student activities and new student orientation professionals across the schools to share resources, best practices and coordinate efforts.
Student Affairs Network coordination and support:
Supports Senior Vice President in strategic planning for the Student Affairs Network and the student experience at Columbia
Oversees the training-related and community building operations for the Student Affairs Network and Student Affairs Staff Experience Program; including the identification, development, delivery and evaluation of training, in collaboration with University and regional content area experts, to ensure alignment with the Student Affairs Network’s mission, vision, and goals.
Student activism and protest response:
Implements the delegate on-call system. Supports the delegate training process and manages all delegate training materials. Manages all reimbursements for the delegate system.
Supports the Rules of Conduct process at the University in coordination with the Rules Administrator including supporting investigations, coordinating meetings with students, taking notes at meetings and hearings, and ensuring compliance with the Rules throughout the process.
Chairs the Special Events Advisory Team (SEAT) to best support student organizations in hosting events, student activism, and free speech
Develop and implement a process for assessing learning outcomes associated with training, events and leadership activities.
Maintain and track program participation data and other important data sources.
This position will require some evening hours during the semester, and very occasional (i.e. 2-3 times per year) weekend work.
Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience, 5-7 years related experience.
Experience leading and managing a wide variety of student-centered programs and events.
Experience working in a higher education setting with a diverse student body and knowledge of issues related to the student experience.
Experience working with/advising student organizations and leading student leadership development initiatives.
Experience with supporting student activism and free speech on a college campus
Highly skilled in building and maintaining relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders
Requires flexibility, creativity, and enthusiasm with a strong desire to effect change and positively impact student development, engagement and sense of belonging.
Strong project management skills with demonstrated ability to coordinate, manage, and implement in a fast-paced environment with careful attention to detail.
Experience planning and hosting student events, building upon campus traditions
Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
Demonstrated ability to be calm and personable under pressure.
Experience in supervision and management of personnel.
Ability to reflect and to give and receive feedback. Ability to respond to guidance and to follow directions.
The ability to work independently.
Excellent interpersonal, collaboration, conflict management, leadership and team-building skills, including proactive problem-solving skills.
A culturally responsive professional who demonstrates the ability to communicate across differences and interpersonally with a wide range of stakeholders and can grasp differing viewpoints with humility.
Proven ability to work as part of a team.
A desire to contribute to an organizational process of continuous improvement and innovation.
Proficient with MS Office, Google Suite.
Proficiency with Canva, Adobe Creative Cloud (in particular, Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop) is a plus.
Columbia University is one of the world's most important centers of research and at the same time a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields. The University recognizes the importance of its location in New York City and seeks to link its research and teaching to the vast resources of a great metropolis. It seeks to attract a diverse and international faculty and student body, to support research and teaching on global issues, and to create academic relationships with many countries and regions. It expects all areas of the University to advance knowledge and learning at the highest level and to convey the products of its efforts to the world.