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Area Director of Residential Life

Colgate University
Hamilton, NY

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Administrative Jobs
Student Affairs, Residence Life
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
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Job Details

Job Category:


Position Title:

Area Director of Residential Life

Full Time/Part Time:

Full Time


Dean of the College


Residential Life

Department Statement:

The Office of Residential Life furthers the educational mission of Colgate University by extending student learning and growth into our residential community, promoting a purposeful and inclusive environment through shared experience. This is accomplished by promoting healthy, safe, and inclusive communities where individual members are valued and respected; fostering personal growth and success through a purposeful residential experience; and challenging and supporting students in making meaningful and responsible contributions to society.

The Residential Commons is a fundamental, driving force that infuses intellectual engagement and community development into the residential experience at Colgate. All first-year students live in one of four Commons, each with its own unique personality and characteristics, under the direction of faculty directors. Upper-division students maintain an affiliation with their respective Commons for life, whether formally—by continuing to live within the Commons or its social house—or informally. Residential Life and the Commons aim to provide students with a home away from home that reflects the academic rigor and engagement of the University at large.

Learn more about Colgate University and the Dean of the College Division by reviewing A Candidate’s Guide to Colgate. In 2021, the Dean of the College Division was acknowledged by Diverse Issues in Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed as one of the Most Promising Places to Work in Student Affairs.


The Area Director (AD) is a full-time, live-in position, primarily responsible for the effective and efficient execution of strategies and programs that enrich the residential experience at Colgate. The AD works closely the Residential Life Leadership Team and, when assigned to a Commons Area, a Residential Commons Leadership Team to build intellectually-engaging residential communities in which all students feel like they belong and have the opportunity to grow. ADs who oversee areas that fall within Residential Commons also work under the leadership of Commons Directors. The AD supervises live-in student staff in their respective areas, and may provide leadership for a part-time Fellow in a Residential Commons.

Specific Responsibilities

Community Development & Engagement

  • Provide support in the development and furthering of the departmental philosophy, mission, and programs by translating the mission, vision, and strategic goals in ways that impact and transform residential communities
  • Manage the facilitation of the community development and learning model in their area, which may include one-on-ones, event planning, community meetings, and other strategies
  • Provide accurate advice and guidance that actively supports the growth, maturity, and intellectual development of individual students and groups of students within assigned residential communities
  • Facilitate the administration of protocols and processes to address the needs of students of concern and to connect them with appropriate resources and support systems
  • Participate in the management of student behavior by responding to incidents, meeting with students, and applying appropriate sanctions as detailed in the University student handbook.
  • Resolve student conflict and conduct issues within assigned residential area (or broader when on-call), ensuring proper documentation of conduct issues
  • Ensure the development of a safe, welcoming, accessible, and fair environment that actively includes and engages everyone
  • Actively address issues and concerns that diminish the capacity for all students to feel like they belong and are able to engage in their respective communities
  • Maintain active engagement in your assigned communities by participating in events and programs and having a presence in each area
  • Serve as a role model of healthy engagement in the greater campus community

Intellectual Connection
  • Provide leadership and support within assigned Residential Commons
  • Assist residents with concerns that are barriers to academic success and make appropriate referrals as required
  • Develop effective relationships with faculty, including assigned Residential Commons directors, in active implementation of living and learning objectives
  • Facilitate the development of residential communities that support and encourage intellectual pursuits and academic engagement
  • Advise the Commons Council in support of these goals

Staff Supervision
  • Recruit, hire, train, supervise, and evaluate a team of student staff in accordance with department expectations, goals, and established procedures
  • Participate in and plan on-going staff development and in-service activities for the purpose of continued training and opportunities for personal development for student staff
  • Advise departmental committees for student staff members and students

Facilities & Building Management Duties
  • Coordinate, maintain, and monitor the administrative and operational functions associated with the management of a residence hall (occupancy management, room condition, maintenance, technology, etc.).
  • Exercise judgement in effective day-to-day management of multiple housing facilities
  • Manage residence hall opening and closing procedures for all assigned areas
  • Facilitate regular health and safety inspections in each residential area
  • Ensure that all reported damages and problems with residential facilities are fixed within an appropriate time frame

Crisis Management & Emergency Response
  • Serve as a referral source for student staff during counseling and crisis issues
  • Provide crisis intervention along with necessary follow-up after an incident, working in coordination with other Residential Life staff, as well as professionals from the Counseling Center, Dean’s Office, Campus Safety, and other areas as needed
  • Participate in scheduled professional staff on-call duty rotation
  • Manage the student staff on-call duty for assigned duty areas

Core Departmental Responsibilities
  • Build and maintain collaborative relationships with others in Residential Life, Dean of the College, Facilities, Faculty, and the University community, creating opportunities for them to engage and be involved with students around their areas of expertise
  • Disseminate information regarding policies, conduct, administrative matters, and campus events to staff
  • Become familiar with central department processes and policies in order to accurately promote and communicate with campus partners, students, and families, cover central office on a rotating basis to ensure these constituents are met with a welcome and informative presence
  • Assist in assessment of student learning, student needs, and program effectiveness
  • Manage room assignment changes within assigned residential communities in partnership with the Housing Coordinator
  • Meet regularly with supervisor to review department goals, establish individual goals, assess progress and solve problems
  • Work with students, parents, co-workers, supervisor, department staff, and University staff from diverse backgrounds on a variety of issues
  • Communicate with parents, resolving concerns and addressing questions with care and support
  • Maintain accurate knowledge of occupancy and vacancy records in your residential communities
  • Facilitate weekly staff meetings and 1:1 meetings with assigned student staff
  • Participate in university committees as deemed appropriate by members of the Residential Life Leadership Team, supervisor, or Director
  • Model professional behavior appropriate for living in and among students
  • Other duties as assigned

This position has been designated as a Campus Security Authority (CSA), in accordance with the federal statutory requirements of the Jeanne Clery Act. CSAs are required to and responsible for reporting allegations of crimes they receive from students and employees to the Campus Safety Department.


Residential Facilities


Demonstrated expertise in building management sufficient to avoid material consequences across multiple facilities.


Student Development


Demonstrated knowledge of and ability to consistently apply student development theory in the creation and development of programs as well as in advising responsibilities. Knowledge of best practices and ability to consistently apply these practices in advising responsibilities. Demonstrated ability to consistently identify and recognize legal and ethical principles of the profession. Demonstrated ability to consistently follow departmental protocol regarding legal and ethical issues




Demonstrated ability to consistently apply culturally appropriate advising, helping and coaching techniques while also recognizing the uniqueness of every individual. Demonstrated ability to accurately and consistently maintain confidentiality. Demonstrated ability to consistently follow crises response protocol and consistently make appropriate decisions to initiate crisis intervention responses.




Demonstrated ability to effectively and consistently apply time management, problem solving, and planning skills in the implementation of processes or programs. Demonstrated ability to effectively use technical solutions to assist in the collection/maintenance of key data and records and within university, division and department guidelines. Demonstrated ability to consistently meet functional accountabilities while staying within assigned budget constraints.


Personal Accountability for Results


Takes responsibility for decisions, performance, and outcomes; behaves in a responsible manner with a positive attitude; shows self-awareness and openness to feedback.


Effective Communication


Demonstrates effective written and oral communication skills; shares information and seeks input from others; adapts communication to diverse audiences; protects private and confidential information.


Problem Solving and Decision Making


Analyzes and prioritizes situations to identify and solve problems; generates solutions to improve efficiency and quality; involves others in solving problems and making decisions; factors organizational goals into decisions; makes clear, transparent, and timely decisions.


Change Management


Responds positively to changing university initiatives and readily adapts behavior to maintain effective performance; understands the long-term direction of the university and can relate this to departmental area; adapts to new methodologies; identifies and acts on areas where change is appropriate.


Leadership and Teamwork


Applies skills and knowledge to provide a climate to achieve departmental and organizational success; balances individual and department goals; helps others perform at their best; builds productive relationships to enhance individual and organizational effectiveness; treats others with respect; resolves conflicts among team members.


Creativity and Innovation


Generates, explores, encourages, and implements innovative ways of creating strategic value for the university, division, department, and individual level; critically assesses the effectiveness of new initiatives.


Diversity and Inclusion


Demonstrates respect for people and their differences; understands the benefits of a diverse workforce; earns the trust and respect of others; includes and welcomes others; works to understand the perspective of others; promotes opportunities to experience diversity within our community.




Understands the impact of decision making and personal behavior in achieving the university’s commitment to a sustainable and carbon-neutral campus; supports and advances the university’s sustainability initiatives; influences others to use sustainable practices.

Professional Experience/ Qualifications:

  • Candidates must demonstrate strong written and verbal communication skills and be capable of creating and maintaining productive and collegial working relationships with a diverse group of faculty, staff, students, and visitors
  • Must be available to work evenings, late nights and occasional weekends as required
  • Must be self-motivated and able to manage multiple projects, programs and student challenges simultaneously with an appropriate sense of urgency

Preferred Qualifications:

  • A minimum of two years of relevant work experience is preferred
  • Preference will be given to candidates who have college or university experience in crisis management, student conduct, student staff supervision and program design
  • Experience with student activities and event planning preferred
  • Experience working with faculty within the context of a learning community or similar program is highly desired
  • Prior student intern, volunteer and/or professional supervisory experience is required
  • Previous student leadership roles are required


  • A Bachelor’s degree is required
  • A Master’s degree in higher education or related field is preferred

Other Information:

Room and partial board are also required and included in the compensation package.

Requisition Number:




Work Schedule:

Weekdays, with occasional evenings and weekends.

Job Open Date:


Open Until Filled:


Special Instructions Summary:

Colgate has a diverse student, faculty, staff, and alumni population representing a variety of races, gender identities, social economic status, sexual orientations, languages, national origins, etc. Our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Plan presents a framework for continuing the creation of an inclusive campus and engaging the Colgate community in this effort in the years ahead.

Please describe how you would connect and work with a diverse community. The statement can be any length (e.g. paragraph or page). You can upload the statement under the Diversity Statement document heading. For information on how to write a diversity statement, see our Guidance on Crafting Diversity Statements.

EEO Statement:

It is the policy of Colgate University not to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of their race, color, creed, religion, age, sex, pregnancy, national origin, marital status, disability, protected Veterans status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, being or having been victims of domestic violence or stalking, familial status, or any other categories covered by law. Colgate is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. Candidates from historically underrepresented groups, women, persons with disabilities, and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.

Clery Act:

The Campus Safety Department will provide upon request a copy of Colgate’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. This report includes statistics as reported to the United States Department of Education for the previous three years concerning reported: 1. crimes that occurred on-campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Colgate University; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus and 2. fires that occurred in student housing facilities. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security and fire safety, such as policies concerning sexual assault, life safety systems, and other related matters. To obtain a copy, contact the Campus Safety Compliance Manager via e-mail at [email protected]. You may also access the report from the Campus Safety web page at:


Colgate is a nationally recognized liberal arts college set on a beautiful campus in central New York.

Some 2,900 undergraduates are enrolled in 54 programs, taking advantage of the university's award-winning curriculumoff-campus study program, and numerous research opportunities.

Students enjoy small class sizes taught by expert faculty members -- not teaching assistants.

The university’s strategic plan offers a blueprint for turning today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders, joining the scores of alumni already playing major roles in a variety of fields. The Center for Career Services is a key player as students make this transition.

Colgate hums with activity. It is a place where the arts thrive. Student-athletes compete at the very highest level of NCAA Division I sports. There are dozens of club and intramural sports programs, and the college’s outdoor education program is second to none.

Above all, Colgate is about academic excellence. It is a tradition forged in 1819 and honed through the years by each class of select students.

Colgate University is a highly selective residential liberal arts institution distinguished by academic excellence and interdisciplinary inquiry. Located on a beautiful campus in upstate New York, Colgate takes pride in the active engagement of its students, staff, and faculty in local, national, and global communities. At Colgate, we feel that a diverse and inclusive community is a cornerstone of educational excellence.

Colgate University is a highly selective residential liberal arts institution distinguished by academic excellence and interdisciplinary inquiry. Located on a beautiful campus in upstate New York, Colgate takes pride in the active engagement of its students, staff, and faculty in local, national, and global communities. At Colgate, we feel that a diverse and inclusive community is a cornerstone of educational excellence.

The Office of Equity and Diversity at Colgate is charged with fostering a diverse and collaborative community by increasing understanding, respect and inclusion. It is the mission of the office to support campus diversity initiatives with the goal of increasing understanding, respect and inclusion, and to ensure compliance with policies relating to affirmative action, discrimination, and harassment.  The university’s strong commitment to equal opportunity and inclusivity is clearly articulated in the diversity mission statement found here.  The university strives to provide an environment where everyone in our community can learn about, appreciate, and celebrate our diverse cultures and gain understanding, knowledge and skills to be engaged citizens locally as well as globally.

Colgate University fully subscribes to all federal and state civil rights laws banning discrimination in private institutions of higher education. Colgate will not discriminate against any student, employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, pregnancy, religion, creed, national origin (including ancestry), citizenship status, physical or mental disability, age, marital status, sexual orientation, veteran or military status (including special disabled veteran, Vietnam-era veteran, or recently separated veteran), predisposing genetic characteristics, domestic violence victim status, or any other protected category under applicable local, state or federal law, including protections for those opposing discrimination or participating in any complaint process at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or other human rights agencies. This nondiscrimination policy covers both employment and access to educational opportunities.  It is the policy of the university to provide equal opportunity in employment and not to discriminate against any individuals with disabilities who are qualified for employment in the positions for which they apply. Reasonable accommodations will be provided in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

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