Assistant Director of Residential Life

Virginia, United States
Salary Not specified
Nov 20, 2020
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) invites applications for the position of Assistant Director of Residential Life. The Department of Residential Life & Housing (RLH) at Virginia Commonwealth University is committed to providing a safe and secure living and learning environment that encourages the pursuit of academic success, cultivates an appreciation for diversity, contributes to personal growth, and fosters responsibility to the community.  



Virginia Commonwealth University is a premier urban, public research university focused on academic success. Established in 1838 and located on 144 acres in downtown Richmond, VA, we currently enroll approximately 31,288 students. VCU takes pride in its nationally ranked academic programs and academic medical center, research and scholarly productivity, and engagement with the communities it serves and changes. 



The Assistant Director of Residential Life works within the Residential Life Team to foster a residential environment that fulfills the goals and vision of the Department of Residential Life & Housing Mission to provide: safe, inclusive, and well-maintained facilities that build intentional communities to empower residents in their academic excellence, citizenship and personal growth. The Assistant Director of Residential Life is a Masters Level, full-time, experienced professional who will serve as part of the Residential Life Assistant Director team responsible for the education and daily management of over 6,000 on-campus students. The position will report to the Associate Director of Residential Life (FAF100). The role of the Assistant Director of Residential Life is to enhance the living-learning experience by providing a holistic approach to working with staff and residents. The Assistant Director will assist with all areas of residential and student staff oversight. Principle responsibilities include oversight of an on-campus residential area, directly supervising hall directors and administrative assistants, on-call crisis response, providing a sense of community, and an environment for personal growth. This person will also provide leadership for new residential programs and initiatives within the department.

Program and Department Initiatives

A. Staff Supervision and Development

  • Supervision – Motivate, direct, and supervise two to eight Masters level Hall Directors and full time Administrative Assistants, and indirectly supervise and approximately 150 Resident Assistants; potentially provide supervision or indirect supervision to Assistant Hall Directors.
  • Performance Management – Provide formal annual evaluations of staff members; conduct individual meetings to develop and review goals/outcomes achieved; conduct periodic performance evaluations as appropriate and create plans for staff development.
  • Instruction and Training – Develop and implement on-boarding training for new staff; assist with annual full time and student staff residential life trainings and assist in the development of RA area in-services conducted throughout the year; including emphasis on topics diversity, equity and inclusion, professional development, academic enhancement, leadership, and day to day duties of residential staff.
  • Recruitment and Selection – Assist with recruitment and selection for all residence life staff full time and student staff positions levels; lead full time res life position searches (Hall Director, Assistant Hall Director and Administrative Assistant); collaborate with marketing staff for recruitment efforts; and potentially travel to recruit at national level recruitment conferences to interview candidates.

B. Community Management

  • Customer Service – Investigate and respond to concerns of students, parents, university staff members, and others in a manner that provides accurate information, fosters student development and maintains good public relations.
  • Conduct & Conflict Resolution – Enforce and support all university and departmental policies and regulations in cooperation with the Department of Residential Life and Housing and the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity, and assist in the administration of the university’s student conduct process for students living in residence halls. Provide appropriate mediation, counseling and referrals for individual students and staff as needed.
  • Crisis – Work closely with university staff in crisis situations; respond to emergencies to support students and housing operations during weather related or scheduled university closures, campus-wide disruptions, campus wide health concerns or pandemics, etc.
  • On-Call Duty – Assist with on-call responsibilities; develop a schedule with building staff to ensure coverage; assign rotating on-call coverage for professional live-in staff; serve as part of Assistant Director on-call rotation.
  • Safety and Security – Maintain relationships and good communication with residential information desk operations staff and VCU Police. Support departmental safety and security initiatives for the residential community.
  • Programming and Advising – Assist in the implementation of VCU’s residential program model goals (connections, inclusion and diversity, scholarship and wellbeing); ensure that student staff understand programmatic learning outcomes and successfully reach them via hall programming and initiatives.
  • Academic Support – Actively implement academic initiatives designed to further facilitate student success including working with students as a result of any mid-term grade alerts, bringing academic resources into the halls, and working with departmental academic initiatives.
  • Living Learning Communities – Assist with the three levels of Living Learning Communities: Living Learning Programs, Programs in Residence, and Theme Communities.
  • Administration – Maintain proper records, file any needed weekly reports, file annual reports, and meet all area and departmental deadlines.
  • Budget – Provide budget oversight for area office supply, programming, community council, staff development, and other special programs.
  • Assignments – Work closely with administrative services staff on assignment processes that impact the residential community.
  • Facilities & Housing Operations – Collaborate with the facilities team to follow-up on residential concerns to ensure they are addressed and resolved appropriately for resident satisfaction; assist with assessing residence hall damages, billing and appeals; support annual opening and closing procedures of residence halls.

C . Departmental Initiatives

  • Assist in implementing a variety of assessment activities and retention initiatives to improve the residential experience and student success.
  • Serve on a variety of department and division-wide work teams, committees, and initiatives as needed to support the mission of the department and the university.
  • Work to build relationships with the Central Housing Office, Division of Student Affairs, and other University constituents to best support students and staff.
  • Represent VCU at professional conferences, on campus, and in the community.
  • Assist with the development/oversight of new and reoccurring residence life initiatives, trainings, or programs throughout the year.
  • Work with Opening, Closings, Orientation, Open Houses, Preview Days, Conferences, Admissions, or other assigned areas to successfully integrate residential life initiatives and information sessions throughout the academic year and summer.
  • Other duties as assigned.

D. Student Development and Involvement

  • Community Development – Foster a sense of positive community in the residence halls/complex; use creative and innovative methods to personally connect to residential life staff and students.
  • Program Development – Work with other Assistant Directors to implement training programs for the residential life program, including student and professional staff development programs.
  • Education – Ensure that area, hall, and building programs are designed to connect targeted outcomes to the needs of the department. Provide oversight to staff on ensuring that the residential programming model goals (connections, inclusion and diversity, scholarship, and wellbeing) are followed and utilized for developing programs for the community.
  • Advising –Assist Hall Directors with support of advising. Identify, encourage, and provide developmental and training opportunities for all student staff. Serve as a resource for student staff, Hall Director staff, and central office.
  • Availability – Be available and visible to residents and staff; serve as a positive role model; maintain office hours; understand the nature of work may require some night and weekend hours; attend departmental events and functions.


Master’s degree required in Student Personnel, Higher Education, Counseling, or a related field.



  • Four (4+) years of professional experience in residence life/housing.
  • Effective communication skills (oral and written).
  • Crisis management experience
  • Ability to build teams and work collaboratively.
  • Strong organizational skills with attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Ability to work well under pressure with multiple and changing deadlines.
  • Demonstrated proficiency utilizing technology such as web applications, online systems, database software, and standard office packages (word processing, spreadsheet, electronic mail).
  • Ability to work, multi-task, and manage projects independently and as part of a team.
  • Manage several responsibilities at the same time, resolve problems using initiative and sound judgment.
  • Ability to collect, interpret, and report data and to write informational materials and reports.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Knowledge of student learning theory and developmental outcomes, and experience in its application.
  • Previous supervision experience.
  • Demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment; and commitment to do so as a staff member at VCU.


  • Previous Residence Life live-in experience.
  • Demonstrated commitment to residential community building and academic success (i.e. working with residential learning communities, faculty members, and academic focus programs/initiatives).
  • Student conduct and crisis response experience.
  • Budget experience; and involvement with student leadership/advising.
  • Experience collaborating with administrative services, operations, and facilities.


COMPENSATION & ANTICIPATED START DATE: $55,000.00 and a competitive benefits package. The anticipated start date is February 10, 2021.



Please visit to apply. For additional information please contact Shonda Pulley at (804) 828-7666 or visit our website The position will be open until filled. Only electronic applications submitted through  will be accepted.


Virginia Commonwealth University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action university providing access to education and employment without regard to age, race, color, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, veteran’s status, political affiliation or disability.

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