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Director, Residential Communities

Apply now Job no: 500971
College / VP Area: Vice President for Student Life
Work type: Staff
Location: Newark
Categories: Student Affairs & Services, Full Time



Under the limited direction of the Executive Director of Residence Life & Housing (ED), the Director of Residential Communities serves as the senior member of a department of over 42 residence halls housing 7200 undergraduate students with over $60 million in annual transactions. Engages in all aspects of the on-campus living environment and intersects with all levels of personnel to achieve department goals through a cross-functional team approach.

Has responsibility for the strategic and day-to-day leadership of a large, dynamic, complex, and student-centered residence hall operation; promotes student recruitment, student retention, and student learning. Represents the department to a variety of constituents. Acts decisively and diplomatically to advance and protect department and University relations in resolving situations that are unique, controversial, or not fully resolved by subordinates.

Position duties are fulfilled within a 24-hour, 7 day per week operation and require periodic evening and weekend time commitments.


Administrative Leadership

  • Champion the residence hall student experience focused on student learning and development, equity and inclusion, and student engagement. Lead the residential communities staff in developing the day to day operations, program plan initiatives, and issue response. Support the aims of enrollment management, the Division of Student Life, and General Education Objectives. Actively collaborate with multiple sectors of UD and Division of Student Life units on residence hall student concerns and various initiatives toward residence hall student engagement.
  • Lead and directly supervise four (4) Assistant Directors and one (1) Administrative Specialist and indirectly Residence Hall Coordinators, graduate assistant staff, and Resident Assistant staff in the residence halls toward a continual enhancement of student academic success and retention, student engagement, and resident satisfaction. Seek to continuously enhance the performance of the 250 undergraduate and 20 professional staff and develop interventions for performance concerns.
  • As a member of the senior leadership team, work to formulate and draft departmental policy and practices. Engage fully in strategic planning and implementation.
  • Lead the development of crisis management protocols and procedures. Direct department emergency on-call structure and protocols for staff response to campus-wide weekday and weekend serious crisis situations including those that are life-threatening. Develop department protocol and direct responses to incidents of sexual assault attending to victims needs and ensuring adherence to Federal and State of Delaware laws. Lead department responses to high-level crisis situations such as student death, major health and safety issues, or contagious illness concerns. Directly oversee response to issues of sexual misconduct and Non-Discrimination reports. Submit timely and appropriate documentation to the Office of Equity and Inclusion. Serve as primary liaison with the Office of Student Conduct and Dean of Students response teams.
  • Formulate response to a wide variety of residence hall concerns ensuring that student and family needs are appropriately met and that appropriate coordination with UD units such as the Dean of Students/AVP, Office of Legal Counsel, Facilities, and the Office of Equity and Inclusion has occurred. Work with units to develop effective protocols to respond to complex student needs.
  • Direct Residence Life & Housing response to critical incidents or residence hall emergencies. Serve on the Student Behavior Consultation Team and The Office of Equity & Inclusion Title IX and Non-Discrimination policy response team.
  • Oversee and direct the response to residence hall student behavior, including training and directing live-in staff efforts responding to Code of Conduct violations, timely and appropriate processing of incidents, victim response, psychological concerns, and interpersonal concerns.
  • Integrate Residential Communities staff efforts with RLH Housing Operations. Directly partner with the Director of Housing Operations to develop highly collaborative approaches that benefit current residents, applicants, and prospective new UD students. Appropriately direct and maintain hall team accountability to major system infrastructure and administrative procedures. 
  • Direct the creation and execution of the Residence Life student staff selection, training, and development portfolio in collaboration with Student Life Divisional Human Resources and campus partners, including Resident Assistants, promotional Resident Assistants, and Graduate Assistants, from recruitment and selection through training and ongoing development. Serve as oversight for the comprehensive package representing university, divisional, and departmental values and outcomes.
  • Direct the development of the annual residential program plan. Confirm its integration with the RLH educational priority and Division of Student Life Strategic Plan and represent the learning gains and in classroom integration to the faculty senate.
  • Design and implement comprehensive and integrative professional training and development plans for new and returning exempt full-time staff and graduate assistants that reflects and supports university, divisional, and departmental mission, values, and outcomes. Create mechanisms for ongoing feedback and continuity from year to year for all employees.
  • Collaborate with Student Life Assessment, Data Analytics, and Research team to design and update RLH ongoing assessment plans and calendars. Educate staff on assessment in such a way that good data remains paramount in decision making and resource justification.
  • Direct the departmental project, committee, and opportunity assignment structure in alignment with professional development goals and aspirations.
  • Oversee or chair groups designated to create and implement the department’s next strategic direction. Work closely with divisional partners to ensure congruence in RLH strategic pursuits and support of university and divisional values and strategic objectives.
  • Represent the unit through academic year Admissions events and summer student orientation programs.
  • Play significant decision-making role in all departmental recruitment and selection decisions.
  • In collaboration the Division of Student Life Business Officer (DBO), business administrator, and RLH leadership, develop, manage, and oversee annual administrative, programmatic and training budget.
  • Work collaboratively with the DBO and Student Life Business Operations Portfolio team for Divisional strategic and operational planning and decision making and to ensure budget, procurement and financial operations of residential life communities align with those of the department, Division, and institution.
  • Direct the residence hall student leadership and student governance development, community engagement, civic engagement, and student engagement initiatives.
  • Direct residence hall equity and inclusion efforts.
  • Oversee the residential functioning and expansion of special programs such as Freshmen Honors, living learning communities, and thematic housing to ensure successful program implementation.
  • Collaborate with academic departments and University Honors Program staff to ensure effectiveness of residential programs.
  • Serve as a senior advisor to the Executive Director.
  • Serve in the Divisional Senior Staff on-call rotation (monthly).


  • Master’s degree and seven years of professional experience working with college students. 
  • Comprehensive knowledge of residence life and student personnel administration; organizational and group dynamics; student development issues and theory; cultural competency and equity/inclusion issues; and customer service standards and procedures.
    • Ability to create and sustain an organizational culture focused on residence hall student success.
    • Ability to convert learning theory to practice in a residential environment.
    • Demonstrated skills in supervision, effective employee development, training design and facilitation, and performance management.
    • Ability to effectively resolve family and student concerns and complaints.
    • Ability to achieve goals developed by the unit and Division of Student Life.
    • Ability to direct crisis management activities and facilitate procedures for distressed students; direct and uphold policies and regulations that pertain to residence life and to student development; and resolve student and parent complaints and concerns.
    • Advanced knowledge of Title IX, Clery Act, and ADA directives and guidance.
    • Working understanding of state and federal laws and guidelines and areas of civil liability pertinent to residential campuses.
    • Understanding of Risk Management mitigation and response
    • Ability to analyze problems and strategically develop and communicate creative solutions to complex issues.
  • Ability to work effectively with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse community and rapidly changing technical environment.
  • Commitment to fostering a workplace culture of belonging, where diversity is celebrated, and equity is a core value.

Notice of Non-Discrimination, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
The University of Delaware does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, genetic information, marital status, disability, religion, age, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by applicable law in its employment, educational programs and activities, admissions policies, and scholarship and loan programs as required by Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other applicable statutes and University policies. The University of Delaware also prohibits unlawful harassment including sexual harassment and sexual violence.

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