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Director of Residential Communities

Below you will find the details for the position including any supplementary documentation and questions you should review before applying for the opening.  To apply for the position, please click the Apply for this Job link/button.

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Please see Special Instructions for more details.

We are seeking a leader with an innovative approach for Residential Communities that breaks the mold of the traditional model of residential life. In Other Document 1, please share your personal philosophy for a Department of Residential Communities, along with key strategies to cultivate and sustain strong peer-to-peer relationships and advance our goal of fostering vibrant, inclusive, resilient and healthy communities.

Posting Details

Job Posting Information

Position Type Administrative Staff
Classification Title Administrative Staff
Position Title Director of Residential Communities
Position Number
Pay Grade Level
Salary Competitive
Department Residential Education and Housing
Posting Number S 121300379
Full or Part Time Full Time
Number of Months 12
Position End Date
Work Schedule

Exempt position. Monday through Friday, 40 hours per week plus evening and weekend activities.

Basic Function

Lead a team of professional staff, supportive operating staff and student staff to support and facilitate the development of welcoming and engaging residential communities. Cultivate a uniquely Denison vision for the department and develop a new, vibrant model for residential living at Denison that builds on the marquee strengths of the college: leadership development, creative problem solving, civic engagement, and a commitment to diversity.

Essential Job Functions

Serve as the leader of a team-oriented Residential Communities department. Provide formative supervision and support to three professional and one supportive operating staff.

Evaluate and assess current residential model to design a new, uniquely Denison structure, model, vision and mission for Residential Communities.

Collaborate with campus colleagues and students in developing an engaging, effective community development model rooted in Denison’s mission, principles of leadership and civic engagement, creative problem solving, and elements of individual and community well-being.

Evaluate and assess programs and services to match the mission of the college, the vision of the department and learning objectives.

Maintain high visibility and engagement with the student body and campus community by attending university events and providing leadership on committees, task forces and working groups.

Work effectively with a culturally diverse population of students to coach, mentor and support dynamic needs.

Contribute thorough understanding of the current best practices in the field of student development and an awareness of emerging issues in higher education, community building, civic engagement, and student learning.

Employ appreciative advising and positive psychology practices in communication and interactions with students, colleagues and other constituencies.

Participate with the professional on-call rotation for the University. Manage crisis situations; provide on-call response and report concerns. Facilitate educational meetings with students, including those related to violations of the Code of Student Conduct; encourage conflict resolution through mediation meetings and counsel and refer students as appropriate.
Employ exceptional interpersonal skills and exercise a high degree of diplomacy and discretion.

Oversee and evaluate Residential Communities budget and processes.

Perform other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

An earned Master’s degree in College Student Personnel, Higher Education Administration, Social Work or other related advanced degree. Minimum of five years professional experience. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, both written and verbal.

Integrity, sound judgment, and the ability to make difficult decisions. Exercise problem-solving abilities, especially in cases requiring quick action and resolution.

Experience in providing effective guidance to other professional, support, and student staff, and building collaborative relationships with students, colleagues, and college partners.

Commitment to inclusion and desire to work with diverse groups of people. A propensity for innovation and creative problem-solving.
Experience in supervising professional staff, team development, a thorough understanding of and passion for working with college students are critical to the success of the Director of Residential Communities.

Must have a current, valid driver’s license and must be insurable under Denison’s liability insurance policy.

Preferred Qualifications

Experience supervising professional staff. Experience with leadership development, civic engagement and community organizing in the residence halls context.


• Exceptional interpersonal skills.
• Ability to manage multiple projects and initiatives at once; ability to take direction and take initiative.
• Background in working with small teams to accomplish tasks and meet stated goals and objectives.
• An understanding and appreciation for the liberal arts and residential colleges. 
• Experience working with a culturally diverse population.

Physical Demands


Contact(s) Erik S. Farley
Contact Phone/Extension
Contact Email
Open Date 01/12/2018
Close Date
Open Until Filled Yes
Special Instructions to Applicants

We are seeking a leader with an innovative approach for Residential Communities that breaks the mold of the traditional model of residential life. In Other Document 1, please share your personal philosophy for a Department of Residential Communities, along with key strategies to cultivate and sustain strong peer-to-peer relationships and advance our goal of fostering vibrant, inclusive, resilient and healthy communities.

Additional Information

Please visit – Position Announcement – Director of Residential Communities. Confidential nominations and inquiries should be directed to Jim Terhune at:

Candidates applying by March 23, 2018 will be assured full consideration. The position is open until filled.


The Division of Student Development is a highly collaborative organization and we are keenly aware of the impact our internal culture has on our ability to fulfill our mission and strategic goals. In order for us to support effectively the Division’s commitment to preparing students for lives of personal, professional, and civic success—while in college and afterwards—each member of the Division is expected to fulfill assigned job responsibilities and to bring generous support to the work of colleagues in Student Development as well as faculty and staff across the college. In addition to collegiality, we actively strive to create a culture characterized by creativity and innovation in problem-solving, optimism, individual initiative, a shared sense of responsibility, the intentional cultivation of trust, and attention to clear and timely communication.

In this position, it will be especially important to sustain collegial relationships with the entire Residential Communities team, the Director of Student Housing Operations and Planning, the Dean of Students, the Dean of First Year Students, the Director of Student Conduct & Campus Values, the Dean of Student Leadership and Community Engagement, the Director of Alford Community Leadership & Involvement Center and the Director of the Office of Gender & Sexuality.

Denison University Background Check Statement

The final candidate will undergo a background check, including a driver’s check, as a conditional offer of employment.

Denison University EEO Statement

To achieve our mission as a liberal arts college, we continually strive to foster a diverse campus community, which recognizes the value of all persons regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or socio-economic background. For additional information and resources about diversity at Denison, please see our Diversity Guide.  Denison University is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Posting Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * Do you have at least an earned Master's degree in College Student Personnel, Higher Education Administration, or other related area?
    • No Response
    • Yes
    • No
  2. * Do you have a minimum of five years professional experience in Higher Education/Student Affairs?
    • Yes
    • No

Applicant Documents

Required Documents
  1. Resume
  2. Cover Letter/Letter of Application
  3. List of 3 Professional References and Contact Information
  4. Other Document 1 (Refer to Special Instructions to Applicant)
Optional Documents