Director of Residential Life and Housing

Wellesley College
Wellesley, Massachusetts
Oct 10, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Founded in 1870, Wellesley College, the nation’s premier women’s liberal arts college, is known for the excellence of its education, the beauty of its setting, its gifted faculty, and the uniqueness of its campus culture. But most of all, Wellesley is known for the thousands of accomplished, thoughtful women it has sent out into the world for over 100 years—women who are committed to making a difference. Of its 2,400 current undergraduates, 99 percent reside on campus in primarily traditional residence halls and small houses organized into three residential neighborhoods. The student body is both diverse and highly engaged in rigorous coursework and a wide range of extracurricular initiatives that include membership on major College committees, internships throughout the Greater Boston area and beyond, and involvement in numerous advocacy projects enhancing the lives of others. Everything about Wellesley College bespeaks its commitment to women, and to providing them with an unequaled educational experience that honors and cultivates not only what is best about each of them, and their own potential, but about what women offer the world.

Reporting to the Vice President and Dean of Students, the Director of Residential Life and Housing is a vital member of the division’s leadership cabinet. The Director will provide leadership for a comprehensive residential program at a highly-selective, national women’s liberal arts college where a strong residential program is an important element in student learning and development. Leading a department of eight professional staff and 75 student staff, the Director will play a key role in developing a residential vision from a programmatic perspective, encompassing inclusive development, social, and wellness components.

The Director will join Wellesley at a time when the college is embarking upon a multi-year residential capital improvement program and will advise the Vice President and Dean of Students on major construction and campus renewal projects that impact housing operations and residential facilities (improving building conditions and achieving greater equity across campus, including “right-sizing rooms;” and creating nested, thematic communities of various scales—floor, building, neighborhood, etc.). Furthermore, working with staff and campus colleagues to reinvigorate a mission driven, high impact residential experience that meets the needs of students across all class years and sustains a robust student-led residential governance structure are key priorities for the Director.

Collaborative working relationships with the Associate Dean of Students, Dean’s Cabinet, faculty, Student Life, Facilities, Dining, and Campus Police colleagues to ensure a safe and positive living experience for all students are essential for success. As a member of the Dean’s Advisory Committee, the Director will team with colleagues to address students of concern issues and will oversee and improve the student conduct system which consists of an honor code council and a drug and alcohol policy adjudication process. Additional responsibilities include: crisis management leadership; oversight of housing operations, including management of the room assignment policies and processes; strategic allocation and monitoring of department budgets of approximately $.5M (excluding salaries); review and implementation of comprehensive policies, procedures, and protocols in line with national best practices; design of continuous improvement and assessment practices focused on both student learning/development and department effectiveness; active engagement in the life of the campus—supporting student events, serving on college-wide committees including enrollment management and diversity related committees, and maintaining high visibility at varied campus programs; management of the on-call rotation system; ongoing commitment to professional development for self and staff; mediation and resolution of conflicts within the 24/7 residential communities; and maintaining an unwavering commitment to developing and sustaining an inclusive living, learning, and working environment.

Minimum qualifications include a master’s degree and significant, progressive leadership experience in residential life, including some experience in housing operations and/or the development of new housing options. Experience training, supervising, and professionally developing a diverse professional and student staff is required. Additional capabilities and experience that will be important considerations in the selection of the Director of Residential Life and Housing include: facility with student case management software, preferably Maxient and Banner; strong interpersonal and communication skills including demonstrated excellence with oral, written, and electronic communication, as well as effective use of social media; understanding of student development theory and a genuine interest in the development of undergraduate women; demonstrated use of assessment strategies to improve the student residential experience; budget management experience; and an understanding of the goals of a liberal arts education, coupled with the ability to create a seamless living and learning environment within the residential program. 

Review of applications will begin November 6, 2017 and continue until the position is filled. A resume with an accompanying cover letter must be submitted via the Spelman Johnson website at Nominations for this position may be emailed to Valerie B. Szymkowicz at or Quincy Martin III at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Spelman Johnson

Wellesley College – Director of Residential Life and Housing

Valerie B. Szymkowicz, Senior Associate

Quincy Martin III, Search Associate

Visit the Wellesley College website at

Wellesley College is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to increasing the diversity of the college community and the curriculum.

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