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Assistant/Associate Director for Student Programs

Sewanee: The University of the South
Sewanee, TN, TN

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Administrative Jobs
Institutional & Business Affairs, Program Administration
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Job Details

Position Overview

Primary Function:

Reporting to the Assistant Dean for Student Involvement, this position is tasked with facilitating a comprehensive student activities program designed to develop a sense of community within the student body. This person will initiate inclusive programming on behalf of the Division of Student Life as well as oversee the operations of the new Biehl Commons to prioritize and support student engagement. The ideal candidate will have outstanding organizational and social skills that make Biehl a welcoming space for all who enter while centering the student experience.

The position will be responsible for hiring, training, and advising the Tiger’s Entertainment Board student worker positions as they implement and continually assess inclusive student programming, including late night, weekend, and signature University events that are grounded in best practices and reflective of the Student Life mission and vision. In addition, the position will be responsible for the hiring, training, and supervision of student workers for the Biehl Commons to ensure efficient and equitable operations for Sewanee students.

The Assistant/Associate Director will act in a leadership capacity within Student Life and engage in critical incident responses as the designated on-call staff member for late-night events. Outside of Student Life, this position will serve on University committees, as needed, and will work with stakeholders to develop a collaborative approach to student programming and support.

This position works with considerable independence and self-direction. Only the general direction and scope of the work to be accomplished are discussed with the supervisor.

Career Band: 2C / 2DPosition Description

Typical Duties & Responsibilities:

Departmental Management

Manages the daily operations of the Biehl Commons to support and prioritize student engagement and community

Selects, trains, and supervises the Tigers Entertainment Board

Advises the Tigers Entertainment Board on all programs and events, from planning to implementation to assessment and evaluation

Selects, trains, and supervises Biehl Commons, student workers

Develops and implement an ongoing assessment plan that contributes to program growth and improvement

Responsible for implementing effective strategies for continual facility maintenance, housekeeping, after-hours management, and risk mitigation response for the Biehl Commons

Writes and maintains policy associated with the Biehl Commons operations and event program management

Responsible for budgetary oversight of multiple budget units and adherence to strong financial practices

Collaborates with the Assistant Dean for Student Involvement with contracts and agreements from outside vendors, bands, entertainers, etc.

Performs other duties as assigned

Student Life Responsibilities

Assists the Student Life Leadership Team in planning, organizing, and evaluating the mission, goals, programs, and services of the Student Life division

Oversees signature programming for all students including large-scale programs during New Student Orientation, tradition-oriented programming like the Vice-Chancellor’s Late Night Breakfast and Homecoming Court, and supports programming efforts of the Division of Student Life

Assists with student organization programming support, ideas, or technical assistance

Serves on call to respond to emergencies related to the Biehl Commons operations or late-night student programming

University Collaborations

Collaborates with Sewanee Dining to ensure effective operations are occurring within the Biehl Commons for both regular operations and Catering

Serves on University committees or initiatives as assigned or requested

Develops partnerships with key stakeholders to encourage collaborative efforts in student programming

Judgment Required:
Judgment and discretion as to the use of established policies are required to perform the essential duties of this position.

Machines & Equipment Used:

Must be able to drive university vans; lift up to 100 lbs, and move equipment with care and caution for event setup.

Budgetary Responsibility:
Directly prepares the budget for the program and has full responsibility for planning, forecasting, approval, and balancing the budget.

Personal Interaction/Communication:
  • Student Contact: Daily: Activities include student leaders and organizations, student organization events and programs, supervision of student workers
  • Internal: Frequent: providing information and support, interacting with Biehl Commons customers, participating on committees
  • External: Some: involvement with visitors and community members
  • Attributes of a Successful Candidate

    Minimum Bachelor’s degree in higher education, counseling, recreation, or a similar field. Master’s degree preferred.


    For an Assistant Director: Minimum two years of experience working with young adults, and undergraduate students, either in student life, student activities, student union/community center operations, or a related activity.

    For an Associate Director: In addition to the experience noted above, a minimum of five years of relevant professional-level experience managing people and/or facilities.

    Job-Related Skills:
    Strong, demonstrated leadership skills.

    Ability to communicate effectively in writing and orally, including public speaking.

    Facility with web-based communication and social media.

    Proven ability to design, develop, implement, and assess context-appropriate programs based on current research.

    Licenses & Certifications:
    Class D Driver’s License TN (or the ability to acquire a TN license)Supplemental Information

    Confidential Information:

    Confidential Student problems/issues; organizational plans; student records; budgetary information.

    Working Environment:Normal office environment, frequent evening & weekend work, 24-hour on-call for crisis situations. Given the varying nature of student programming and the extended hours of operation of the Biehl Commons, the Associate/Director may have a flexible schedule as needed.

    Physical Requirements:Must be able to lift between 51-100 pounds (Heavy work)

    The University of the South, commonly known as Sewanee, comprises a nationally ranked residential College of Arts and Sciences and a School of Theology. The University is strongly committed to the values of intellectual inquiry, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and living and serving in community. Situated on 13,000 acres atop Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau, Sewanee is known for its stunning natural beauty while providing easy access to Chattanooga, Nashville, and Huntsville. The University is affiliated with the Episcopal Church and seeks to help employees of all backgrounds and identities flourish.

    DEI Institutional Statement:

    At the University of the South, our commitment to inclusion and belonging is grounded in our core values of community, courage, flourishing, and inquiry. We seek to build a community enriched by our diversity and centered on equity, justice, mutual respect, and shared responsibility.

    Equal Employment Opportunity:

    The University of the South is an equal-opportunity educational institution that is committed to creating and maintaining a diverse and inclusive campus environment.


    Working at Sewanee: The University of the South

    Known familiarly as “Sewanee” by its students, faculty, staff and friends, The University of the South offers an unmatched educational experience. The university remains purposefully small and dedicated to building a sense of community. All classes are taught by professors, not graduate teaching assistants, and close faculty-student interaction ensures that each student enjoys a rich and personal educational experience. It is not unusual for students and faculty members to work shoulder to shoulder on research projects and journal articles, to meet for coffee at a local eatery, or to serve together as members of the university orchestra, volunteer fire department, and other civic groups.

    The result of such individualized education is clear in the academic success of Sewanee students and alumni. The university has had 26 Rhodes Scholars—a number that puts Sewanee in the top four nationally among American liberal arts colleges—as well as 27 NCAA Postgraduate Fellows, 43 Watson Fellows, and dozens of Fulbright Scholars, and has an acceptance rate to graduate and professional schools that far outpaces its peers. The School of Theology has added to its alumni ranks countless bishops, including three of the last four presiding bishops of the Episcopal Church.

    Sewanee offers 36 majors, 32 minors, and 15 special programs, along with pre-medicine, pre-nursing, pre-law, and pre-business. More than 40 percent of students participate in study-abroad programs, and a comprehensive endowed program that provides financial support for summer internships has greatly strengthened career development for undergraduates. See more about Sewanee in the "Sewanee Snapshot" here.

    In an era of specialization, Sewanee upholds the broad-based ideals of liberal education as a surer means to success. At the University of the South, the adherence to outstanding liberal arts education and enduring traditions of honor, community, and respect have transformed many generations of students, and have earned the abiding loyalty and support of alumni who are enjoying lives of integrity, leadership, and service.

    The University is located atop the Cumberland Plateau between Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennessee. Sewanee’s physical environment, which includes the 13,000–acre Domain (as the campus and surrounding area is known), provides a remarkable academic and recreational resource, and an unparalleled place in which to study and reflect. It invites students to engage in both a multitude of outdoor activities and careful study of the natural environment.

    As the University celebrated the 150th anniversary of its founding in 2007–2008, it looked back on a rich history and forward to new opportunities for the next generations. “The essence of Sewanee is consistent from generation to generation,” said Vice Chancellor emeritus Joel Cunningham. “We are a university dedicated to liberal education, to time-honored traditions, and to our commitment to serve our students and this nation. We have been successful in advancing our mission, and I believe we have the resources and the will to ensure that Sewanee’s best years are still to come.”

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