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Executive Director of Recreation & Wellbeing

University of Massachusetts Amherst
UMass Amherst

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Executive Administration Jobs
C-Level & Executive Directors
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Job Details

Job no: 520165
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Recreation & Wellbeing
Categories: Student Affairs & Services, Counseling/Health/Wellness

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.

Job Summary

Reporting to the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Campus Life and Wellbeing, located within the Division of Student Affairs and Campus Life, the Executive Director of Recreation and Wellbeing provides visionary leadership, and oversight of the University’s comprehensive Recreation and Wellbeing programs and facilities including Wellbeing Education, Adventure Programs, Fitness, Intramural and Club Sports, and Aquatics, and oversees departmental strategic planning, budget management, and policy development.

Essential Functions

  • Develops creative, state-of-the-art programs and services that animate holistic wellbeing in a comprehensive way among students, faculty, and staff, that support staff and student leadership, and that articulate connections between recreation, wellbeing, and academic success.
  • Develops a funding model and support for expansion of facilities and programs, based upon an ongoing Recreation and Wellbeing (RW) Master Planning project, ensuring that the University of Massachusetts, Amherst is a leader in the emerging intersection of Recreation, Outdoor Adventure, and Wellbeing.
  • As a member of the Campus Life and Wellbeing (CLaW) Leadership Team, the Executive Director has a unique opportunity to collaborate with colleagues from the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health, and Residential Life, and serve as a key leader in developing campus-wide approaches to holistic wellbeing, in particular in the domain of the built environment which aligns with campus commitments to becoming a “Health Promoting University” as part of the Okanagan/Health Promoting Campus Initiative.
  • Leads a team of wellbeing, health education and recreation professionals in order to design, implement, and evaluate a comprehensive high-quality Recreation and Wellbeing program.
  • Manages a diverse portfolio of indoor and outdoor recreation and wellbeing facilities. Plans and executes the development of various facilities. Provides leadership in development and implementation of a campus recreation master plan. Supports the creation of renovation, refreshment, and capital project plans.
  • Directs extensive strategic planning, goal setting, and assessment initiatives; implements best practices related to wellness and campus recreation. Evaluates emerging trends and executes implementation to ensure timely and relevant information and services to the institution. Applies strategies to attract and serve underrepresented groups.
  • Provides leadership for university/division committees and initiatives, and represents the University at appropriate state, regional, and national professional organizations. Maintains relationships with internal and external constituencies, campus and divisional partners. Other areas of responsibilities include investigating and responding to concerns or matters of students, parents, and university administration.
  • Develops and implements a communication strategy that conveys wellness messaging to campus and shares mandated reports with the UMass community.
  • Directs all fiscal, personnel, and operational functions for the Recreation and Wellbeing program. This includes:
  • Directly supervises Associate Director for Facilities and Operations; Associate Director for Wellness Education and Services; Associate Director for Programs and Student Development and Assistant Director Marketing/Member Services. Provides indirect supervision for 18 full-time employees as well as over 400 part-time undergraduate and graduate student employees.
  • Establishes priorities for recruitment selection and training for staff. Evaluates and assesses staffing needs and recommends appropriate appointments for the department to ensure organizational effectiveness. Provides professional and student employees with leadership development, personal learning, team building, and shared goal-oriented opportunities. Provides positive leadership to Recreation and Wellbeing staff and facilitates a healthy work environment for optimal performance.
  • Oversees the development and implementation of all programmatic policies, procedures and guidelines. This includes working with various Athletics Department offices (Business and Facilities) and campus constituencies (Environmental Health & Safety, Risk Management) to ensure comprehensive policies/procedures are in place and as needed to revise these policies/procedures.
  • Responsible for the fiscal management of Recreation and Wellbeing, including the preparation and submission of the Recreation and Wellbeing budget, as well as the oversight of revenue and expenditure activities. Ensures compliance with all Department, University, State and Federal policies surrounding expenditures, and procurement.

Other Functions

  • Performs related duties as assigned or required. Understands responsibilities with respect to Title IX, Clery and other compliance requirements.
  • Demonstrates capacity, skill, and willingness to engage students and contribute to student success.
  • Understands responsibilities with respect to conflicts of interest and behaves in ways consistent both with law and with University policy.
  • Contributes toward creating a positive and respectful workplace. Uses access to sensitive and/or not yet public university related information only in the performance of the responsibilities of position and exercises care to prevent unnecessary disclosure to others.

Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Master’s degree in a related field including but not limited to, recreation management, sport management, kinesiology, student affairs, or higher education.
  • Seven (7) years progressive experience within a recreation, athletics, wellness, or student wellbeing organization, including experience with multiple facilities and programs, staff supervision, and budget management.
  • Experience with staff and student leadership and development.
  • Proven ability in leading organizational transformation, with capacity to effect change in the institutional culture and operations.
  • Demonstrated experience developing and leading campus-wide recreation and/or wellness/wellbeing initiatives.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the importance of health, wellness, recreation, and fitness to a campus community, as well as an understanding of the theories, principles, and practices of student development.
  • Ability to collaborate effectively as part of a goal-oriented team.
  • Strong communication, organizational, fiscal, and relationship-building skills, with the ability to work collaboratively with key campus and community partners, and diverse constituencies.
  • Working knowledge of safety and risk management protocols.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.

Physical Demands/Working Conditions

Typical office environment activity.

Work Schedule

Ability to work a varied schedule, including evenings and weekends as needed.

Salary Information

Level 33

PSU Hiring Ranges

Special Instructions to Applicants

Submit Cover Letter, resume and contact information of three (3) professional references.

UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University. To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans. It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

Advertised: Aug 9 2023 Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close:


The University of Massachusetts Amherst is one of the preeminent public research universities in America. Nestled in idyllic Amherst, Massachusetts—often called “The top college town in North America”—the campus is consistently ranked among the top public research universities in the nation, and offers a rich cultural environment in a rural setting close to major urban centers. 

As one of the nation's top public research universities – as measured by national and international rankings, academic citations, and research funding – the campus spends more than $180 million on research each year, demonstrating its contribution to the nation’s position as a technological and economic leader. The university works in conjunction with academic, government, and private partners to translate new knowledge and scientific discoveries into technical innovations and scholarly works that create opportunities for students, faculty and the public. 

Eight schools and colleges offer more than 85 undergraduate majors, 68 master’s and 48 doctoral degree programs, many counted among the top programs in the nation and world. UMass Amherst is also home to New England's premier honors college.

The 1,159 full-time faculty members are dedicated teachers and world-renowned researchers and the campus has regularly been listed among the top performers in terms of faculty awards. With over 24,000 students from all 50 states and over 70 countries, the student body is the most academically successful in the history of the campus. Students participate in 240 organizations, 21 NCAA Division I athletic teams, extensive intramurals, living-learning residence halls, community service, and internships. With one of the largest residential life systems in the nation, UMass Amherst houses approximately 12,000 students on campus. The university is enjoying a facilities renaissance, including new buildings in the sciences, the arts, and recreation. UMass Amherst is part of the Five College consortium with Smith, Mount Holyoke, Hampshire and Amherst colleges.

As an employer, the University of Massachusetts Amherst is a national leader in developing family-friendly policies, benefits and amenities designed to help faculty members develop both productive careers and satisfying personal lives. The university offers one of the nation’s most generous parental leave policies. The university is also part of the Academic Career Network, a regional consortium formed to serve dual-career couples and encourage greater diversity in the academy.


Company info
Whitmore Administration Building

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