Executive Director of Residential Life

Louisiana State University
Louisiana, United States
Competitive Salary
Oct 08, 2020
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
Louisiana State University invites applications for the position of Executive Director of Residential Life. Reporting to the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Executive Director of Residential Life provides strategic leadership for programs, services, operations, and spaces that enhance the LSU residential student experience. The position leads a residential life team of 280 full-time staff and 500 part-time student staff; manages a housing inventory of 8,800 beds across 22 residence halls, four apartment complexes, and three fraternity/sorority houses, comprising a total of 3.2 million square feet; is responsible for an annual operating budget of approximately $70 million; and serves as a key member of the Student Affairs leadership team that also includes the AVP and Dean of Students, the Executive Director of the Student Health Center, the Executive Director of University Recreation, the Director of the Olinde Career Center, the Chief Administrative Officer for the division, and the Vice President for Student Affairs.



  • Serves as LSU's senior residential life and housing officer.
  • Facilitates short-term and long-term planning, organizational development, and change management.
  • Provides leadership and strategic management for a large, multifaceted organization.
  • Ensures the quality of all residential facilities, programs, processes, and key relationships.
  • Provides strategic direction and oversight for an annual operating budget of approximately $70 million.
  • Develops, reviews, revises, and/or clarifies policies related to residential life.
  • Works collaboratively with cross-campus teams to address emerging student issues and solve problems related to the residential student experience.
  • Serves as a key member of the Student Affairs Leadership Team, advances the Division of Student Affairs priorities and LSU, and aligns Residential Life with LSU's objectives.

Empower an experienced and talented leadership team

The Executive Director will inherit an experienced team of directors who are ready, willing, and able to lead the department forward. The ability to leverage this leadership capacity, build cohesion between intra-departmental functional areas, eliminate structural barriers, and align more purposefully with divisional priorities and institutional objectives will be key indicators of success.  

Steward resources effectively

Like many university housing units across the country, the COVID-19 crisis erased years of progress toward financial sustainability for LSU Residential Life. Now, more than ever, we must make the difficult decisions necessary to buttress the financial health of the unit. Doing so requires an honest assessment of programs, services, staffing models, and longstanding practices, with an eye toward ensuring quality and relevance, reducing duplication of effort, and aligning with divisional priorities and institutional objectives.

Bolster LSU's ability to respond to uncertainty

The Executive Director will exercise thought leadership related to the shifting economic, demographic, and cultural realities affecting higher education. Working with cross-campus teams, they will design systems, protocols, and contingencies to position the LSU residential experience to thrive through an extended period of uncertainty and change.

Advance residential master planning

The Executive Director will work closely with campus leadership to assess trends and to provide a world-class, sustainable residential infrastructure to support the needs of a growing and rapidly-changing student population.

Re-invigorate residential colleges

As a high-impact practice, living-learning programs are central to the well-rounded experience a large flagship, land-grant research institution can provide. The Executive Director will have an opportunity to work in partnership with faculty and academic affairs colleagues to ensure a sustainable and value-added path forward for LSU's Residential College program.

To learn more about Residential Life and to view the administrative staff, please visit https://lsu.edu/reslife/.


Collegial team-player who actively builds authentic and mutually-beneficial relationships, who is able to influence others without positional authority, who puts institutional priorities before their own interests, and who is not overly concerned with how or where credit is assigned for shared success.

Track record of effective leadership and management that includes the professional development of staff, the ability to articulate clear expectations and provide timely feedback and the willingness to redirect behaviors, practices, or attitudes that are misaligned with divisional priorities or institutional objectives or that are inconsistent with the maintenance of a positive work environment. 

Active problem-solver who views limitations, constraints, and competing demands as opportunities to exercise creativity, build relationships, and challenge existing mental models and longstanding practices.

Deeply appreciates the educational and social value of a diverse community and demonstrates a commitment to inclusive and accessible processes, services, and spaces.

Does not begin with no, but is willing and able to say it with kindness when appropriate and necessary. 

Philosophically and ethically grounded, but not bound by conventional wisdom. An understanding that the best practice is one that is most relevant to LSU students at this moment in time – a reality that is ever-changing. 


Three priorities guide our work in the Division of Student Affairs: mattering & belonging, inclusion & access and quality. We believe creating a sense of mattering & belonging requires us to ensure every space, place, and interaction communicates to a student that they are home. Being inclusive and accessible in our work means that as our student body begins to more closely reflect the diversity of our state, it is our duty to design programs, services, events, and experiences with everyone in mind. Finally, a commitment to quality is rooted in the belief that LSU students deserve our best effort. Every interaction we have with them should communicate care, relevance, polish, and attention to detail.


  • Master’s Degree from an accredited institution of higher education.
  • Progressive leadership experience, including at least 7 years of direct supervision.
  • Experience working cooperatively on cross-institutional teams to solve complex challenges.

  • Terminal degree from an accredited institution of higher education.
  • 5+ years leadership experience at or above the director level (or equivalent).
  • Demonstrated experience negotiating and/or actively managing a public-private partnership.
  • Demonstrated experience managing a large and complex auxiliary budget.
  • Demonstrated program design, curriculum design, and/or group facilitation experience.
  • Demonstrated research, assessment, and/or data-driven decision-making experience.
  • Demonstrated student retention planning experience.


Special Instructions: Please direct all nominations and inquiries for the position to Abby Simpson, Talent Acquisition Partner, at asimpson1@lsu.edu. Applications will be accepted online on the LSU Careers website. The search committee will begin reviewing applications immediately and continue to accept applications and nominations until the position is filled. However, in order to assure the fullest consideration, candidates are encouraged to have complete applications submitted by October 22, 2020. Requested application materials include a letter of interest; resume or curriculum vitae; and the names, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses of at least five (5) professional references. All applications, nominations, and inquiries will remain confidential. Salary will be competitive and commensurate with qualifications. An offer of employment is contingent on a satisfactory pre-employment background check.


Additional Position Information: Background Check - An offer of employment is contingent on a satisfactory pre-employment background check.

Benefits - LSU offers outstanding benefits to eligible employees and their dependents including health, life, dental, and vision insurance; flexible spending accounts; retirement options; various leave options; paid holidays; wellness benefits; tuition exemption for qualified positions; training and development opportunities; employee discounts; and more!


LSU is committed to diversity and is an equal opportunity / equal access employer.


Questions or concerns can be directed to the LSU Human Resources Management Office at 225-578-8200 or emailed HR@lsu.edu