Residence Director

Apply now Job no: 507635
Work type: Staff Full Time
Campus: UMass Amherst
Department: Residence Education
Pay Grade: 26
Categories: Student Affairs & Services, Residence Life & Housing, Professional Staff Union (PSU)

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

Residential Life at the University of Massachusetts Amherst educates and serves approximately 13,500 diverse domestic and international undergraduate and graduate students in residence hall and apartment communities.  We utilize a defined set of learning goals and outcomes as outlined by the UMass Amherst Residential Curriculum.  The Residence Director has overall responsibility for leading the development of safe, inclusive, and learner-centered residential communities of approximately 350 to 600 undergraduate students.  This position requires frequent and meaningful interaction with residential students.  This position has responsibility for community development, student learning, staff supervision, student conduct and incident response, administrative and project management tasks, and other general responsibilities both for the students within assigned communities and in greater service to Residential Life and Student Affairs and Campus Life and their shared commitment to student success.   The Residence Director is a live-in position and reports directly to an Assistant Director of Residence Education.

Note:  The Primary Responsibilities section of this position description addresses Residence Director Responsibilities during the "academic year."  As such, it applies to all 43-week and 52-week Residence Director Positions. Residence Directors in 52-week positions will be assigned responsibilities during the summer months that serve department needs, including providing On Call coverage as assigned and assuming one or more priority assignment(s). Assignments may include but are not limited to the following functions: supervising Summer Session housing (includes staff supervision); supervising Summer Pre-College and/or residential programs hosting minors (includes staff supervision); participating in and supporting the New Student Orientation Program as directed; developing/implementing staff welcome/orientation/training initiatives; leading projects as assigned (e.g., projects related to Residential Curriculum, Community Standards, Incident Response, or Student leadership); participating in planning for Move-In and student transition initiatives; and/or, performing related administrative duties as assigned.


Essential Functions

Community Development and Student Learning

  • Provide leadership for student learning within assigned residential communities using the Residential Curriculum framework and four associated learning goals: Community Engagement, Academic Preparedness, Cultural Competence and Personal Responsibility.  Develop an understanding of the needs of students in assigned residential communities (First-year, Multi-year, Transfer, SophoMORE, Honors, International, Defined Residential Community, break housing, etc.).  Engage in lesson plan design, assessment design and analysis, evidence-based improvement and report authorship for assigned communities. Contribute to University student success goals by developing a culture of student engagement and learning in the residence halls and on-campus that is inclusive and supports the community needs of all residential students.  Develop connections with residents, create caring personal and community relationships, be present and available in the halls as the leader of the community, and serve as a positive role model.  Work effectively with campus partners engaged with the residential community such as course instructors, academic school/college staff, and SACL partners. Support and promote student leadership opportunities, advise at least one volunteer leadership group (typically House Council), and contribute to the effectiveness of the Residence Hall Association and National Residence Hall Honorary by attending meetings and programs, submitting award nominations, and encouraging student involvement.   Attain knowledge of campus data that informs these efforts.

Staff Leadership and Supervision

  • Supervise a team of undergraduate Resident Assistants (RAs) to implement residential curriculum strategies, build relationships with residents, respond to incidents, and fulfill all RA position expectations.  May directly supervise an Assistant Residence Director (graduate assistant). Hire and supervise an undergraduate student administrative assistant. In first-year communities, provide on-site support to a staff of live-in academic Peer Mentors and work closely with their graduate assistant supervisor.  Serve as lead instructor for EDUC 391R: CORE – Community of Residential Educators, a one-credit course for Resident Assistant and Peer Mentor candidates. Participate in selection and search processes for Residential Life full-time, graduate and undergraduate student positions. Facilitate and participate in staff meetings and training programs and provide on-going training for Resident Assistants and Peer Mentors. Facilitate and participate in diversity and inclusion workshops and trainings. Attain working knowledge of applicable collective bargaining unit agreements (CBA) for graduate and undergraduate staff.

Community Standards and Incident Response 

  • Coordinate on-site and front-line response to incidents, including those that are highly complex in nature; e.g., sexual misconduct, alcohol and drug related behavior, mental health concerns, bias incidents, health and safety concerns, and community conflict.  Identify critical issues, assess student behavior, and communicate effectively with supervisor and on-call staff to formulate appropriate responses for individual students and the residential community.  Follow up with students as outlined by established campus case management, make appropriate referrals, and maintain accurate case management records.  Perform on-call responsibilities for the residential system on a regularly scheduled rotation during the year, including all University break periods and holidays; including, being accessible by department issued cell phone 24 hours per day and remaining within required radius of campus during periods of on-call responsibility.  Educate staff and students about University and residence hall policies. Communicate and support residence hall safety and security protocols and systems.  Help residents understand their rights and responsibilities as members of the residential community by enforcing policies, conducting educational conduct conferences, facilitating educational sanctions, and maintaining accurate conduct records. Understand university emergency preparedness practices and respond effectively and in collaboration with emergency responders. This position is designated as a Title IX Responsible Employee and as a Clery Act Campus Security Authority.

Administrative and Project Management

  • Effectively plan work to ensure all responsibilities and projects are completed in a thorough and timely manner including thorough, timely and accurate completion of reports, documentation and other administrative tasks, per departmental standard operating procedures.  Utilize electronic systems and databases as expected in completion of work tasks.  Support Residential Life Operations by reporting maintenance issues, developing working relationships with hall maintenance staff and service desk staff, monitoring and administering resident occupancy processes, participating in residence hall opening and closing processes, supporting health and safety inspections, managing assigned community budget, following all university purchasing policies and procedures, participating in broader Residential Life initiatives, and adhering to Student Affairs and Campus Life Human Resources requirements regarding time reporting, training, etc.

General Responsibilities

  • Serve on department and university committees and work groups in member or chair role and lead department initiatives designed to promote and enhance student learning and development.  Participate in university initiatives that support student recruitment, student transition, and student success. Actively engage in staff meetings and required staff training and development initiatives.  Complete all training requirements, including on-line training modules as scheduled. Abide by University expectations regarding employee conduct, use of technology and social media, and maintenance of records. Maintain effective working relationships with supervisor, co-workers, and other Residential Life, Dean of Students Office, and University staff members, including assigned University of Massachusetts Police Department Liaison Officer.   Work effectively with stakeholders, including parents of students.   Demonstrate excellent oral and written communication skills, quality decision-making and evaluative skills. Take responsibility for actions and decisions, and maintain appropriate levels of privacy and confidentiality with sensitive information. Engage in a range of opportunities to develop as a professional, including campus training opportunities, campus collateral assignments, and professional conferences approved by supervisor.  Develop professional goals annually.  UMass Amherst designates Residence Director staff as essential personnel who may be expected to work in the event of a university closure.  On a flexible schedule, Residence Directors generally work Monday through Friday including a minimum of two evenings per week.  Residence Directors are also expected to be on campus for evenings and weekends for significant campus events such as staff training, residence hall move-in, Halloween, Super Bowl, other major campus events, and high activity spring weekends.


Other Functions

  • Performs related duties as assigned or required to meet Department, Executive Area/Division, and University goals and objectives.
  • Understands responsibilities with respect to Title IX, FERPA, Clery and other compliance requirements
  • Demonstrates capacity, skill and willingness to engage students and contribute to student success.
  • Works collaboratively with other campus stakeholders to fulfill the mission of Student Affairs and Campus Life
  • 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 defined by personal and professional competence, integrity, and collaboration.
  • Understands and contributes to implementation of departmental and institutional goals for achieving non-discrimination and creating a respectful, inclusive environment that is supportive of diversity.
  • 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 any field at time of hire.
  • 1 year post-baccalaureate experience as a live-in residence hall staff member.
  • Demonstrated experience supervising undergraduate student staff in a residential environment.
  • Demonstrated experience with incident response, follow-up with students of concern, and/or on-call experience.
  • Ability to work independently, effectively managing routine work and assigned projects (balancing multiple priorities, completing administrative tasks, and meeting deadlines), reporting workplace concerns to supervisor, and engaging in solution focused practices.
  • Demonstrated experience working with diverse student populations and developing inclusive communities.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills; including, strong ability to relate effectively with highly diverse work force, ability to establish and maintain positive, effective working relationships, commitment to team success, customer service orientation, and superior communication (oral and written) and active listening skills.
  • Established skills in typical office suite software such as Microsoft Office applications.


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

  • Master’s degree in higher education administration or related field at time of hire.
  • Massachusetts Class D Driver’s License required upon hire.
  • Working knowledge of student learning outcomes, learning strategy design, and outcomes assessment. 
  • Demonstrated experience with web-based student information data management systems.


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

  • Typical office environment activity.


Work Schedule

  • 37.5 hour work week.
  • Flexible hours within a Monday- Friday 8:30am-5:00pm work environment. 
  • Required to work some nights.
  • Required to work some weekends.
  • This position is designated as essential personnel by Residential Life.


Salary Information

  • Professional Staff Salary Administration Program Position Level 26
  • Hiring Salaries: $39,702.52 annualized salary for 43-week position which includes on-call compensation of $1,349.92.  $45,905.60 annualized salary for 52-week position which includes on-call compensation of $1,799.98.  Staff member is provided a furnished on-campus apartment in which they are expected to reside.  Standard University benefits including tuition waiver options.  The Residence Director position is a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) exempt position.
  • Salary Chart


Special Instructions to Applicants

In order to ensure consideration, please submit a cover letter, resume, and contact information for 3 professional references prior to the priority deadline of April 16, 2021. The position may remain open until filled.


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.

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The University of Massachusetts is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action, Title IX employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age over 40, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, marital status, or other protected class.