Director, Residential and New Student Programs

Cornell University
Ithaca, New York
Feb 14, 2018
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Cornell University, a private institution founded in 1865, has an undergraduate enrollment of 14,315. Its rural campus is set on 745 acres. Founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White, Cornell University is the federal land-grant institution of New York State, a private endowed university, a member of the Ivy League/Ancient Eight, and a partner of the State University of New York. It has been described as the first truly American university because of its founders' revolutionarily egalitarian and practical vision of higher education, and is dedicated to its land-grant mission of outreach and public service. Cornell University is located in Ithaca, New York, at the heart of New York's Finger Lakes region. Ithaca has been named one of the top 100 places to live, a top 10 recreation city, a best green place to live, and one of the "foodiest" towns in America.

Reporting to the executive director of Campus and Community Engagement, the Director of Residential and New Student Programs (Director RNSP) leads the unit and directs the work of staff to accomplish an exceptional, integrated living/learning experience for undergraduates in Cornell's North Campus and Collegetown communities. Cornell University is embarking on an exciting new housing masterplan significantly increasing the total number of beds on campus and generating a more community based approach to sophomore living. The Director RNSP will play an integral role in the completion of that vision; often representing the Division of Student and Campus Life in the mission to inspire transformation. The Director RNSP proactively manages a budget of $3.4 million and oversees a department of approximately 25 professional staff members including five direct reports. In Residential Programs, this includes two assistant directors and an associate director who share supervision of 16 residence hall directors. In addition, this position supervises the director of New Student Programs which consists of the director of The Carol Tatkon Center, a program assistant, and a program coordinator. The assistant director of Community Education and Class Pride also reports to this position. RNSP employs approximately 200 student employees working as resident advisors and student staff in the Carol Tatkon Center. Further, the Director RNSP provides leadership for the First-Year Experience including New Student Orientation and programming focused upon health and well-being, public service, and educational opportunities in the Tatkon Center. The Director RNSP is an important member of the leadership team, collaborating in the development of values, mission, and goals. As a vital partner in the Division of Student and Campus Life, the director brings broad vision and a team approach to undertaking work toward priorities. The Director RNSP is ultimately responsible for leading the development of a welcoming, safe, and comfortable residential experience designed to educate, challenge, and develop students. Providing a robust first-year experience is essential, the Director RNSP serves as a partner with others at Cornell to accomplish the University's goals and objectives. The ideal candidate will serve as an advocate for academic inquiry and intellectual development, a proponent of student development theory, and a champion of diversity and inclusion. The Director RNSP works intentionally with other program units to accomplish priorities, especially the Dean of Students Office, Campus Life Enterprise Services, Academic Support Services, Cornell Health, and CUPD among others.

A Master's degree or equivalent education and experience in higher education, human development/services, or related fields is required while a terminal degree is preferred. A minimum of seven years of full-time experience in higher education administration with at least three years as a senior leader or equivalent education/experience is required. Success in the role will come from strong leadership, both in vision and the ability to organize others through implementation. Previous experience in supervising professional staff above the residence hall director level is necessary, with significant experience in organizational and professional development. Written and verbal skills must be polished and professional. Proven success in persuading others, adapting communication to various audiences, and facilitating presentations are required. Solid experience with building and maintaining both broad and deep relationships with key stakeholders that support the health and well-being of students is necessary. Experience working effectively with student governance groups and significant experience working collaboratively and successfully with faculty are essential. A deep understanding of the educational value of a diverse community coupled with a demonstrated record of accomplishment advancing diversity and enhancing inclusiveness are required. Proven skills as a decisive leader and manager; demonstrated ability to mentor, develop, and support staff; and documented success overseeing people, budgets, and space are required. Knowledge of student development theory, social justice, Title IX, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the standards of due process, and student affairs trends in higher education is required.

Review of applications will begin March 16, 2018 and continue until the position is filled. A resume with an accompanying cover letter may be submitted via the Spelman Johnson website at Nominations for this position may be emailed to Jennifer N. Hiatt at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the Cornell University website at

No person shall be denied admission to any educational program or activity or be denied employment on the basis of any legally prohibited discrimination involving, but not limited to, such factors as race, color, creed, religion, national or ethnic origin, marital status, citizenship, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, or protected veteran status. Cornell University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.

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