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Assistant Director of Outdoor Education

Colgate University
New York, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted Date
Jul 21, 2022

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Business & Management, Management, Other Business & Management, Social & Behavioral Sciences, Recreation & Leisure Studies, Administrative, Academic Affairs, Adult & Continuing Education Programs, Student Affairs, Other Student Affairs
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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Department Statement
With over 100 years of history, Colgate Outdoor Education is a highly successful program known nationally for its focus on leadership, teaching, and skill development.

Colgate Outdoor Education provides Colgate students with leadership, wellness, personal growth, a sense of place, and community-building opportunities through outdoor and experiential programs. In addition, our community values sustainability, diversity and inclusion, safety, and improvement. We support Colgate’s mission to help students:
  • Prepare for lives of leadership and productive citizenship
  • Develop the skills to participate in a lifetime of healthy activity
  • Develop personal potential and experience the cohesion of shared purpose
The Assistant Director of Outdoor Education collaborates with the director in the oversight of sixty student staff and providing year-round outdoor and experiential programming to the Colgate community. The position is 10 months, with benefits year round. Typical months off are June and July.

Outdoor Education is housed in Basecamp, formerly the Colgate ski haus, now a rustic office space on the edge of campus, complete with kitchen, fireplace, and equipment rental center. Right next door, in the Huntington Gymnasium, the Angert Family Climbing Wall provides a teaching and training space and a home for the local climbing community. We also make good use of the Glendening Boathouse, located on Lake Moraine, for canoe, sea kayak, and SUP practice, and the Beattie Reserve, an 80-acre wilderness area, located four miles from campus, that includes a yurt and our high and low ropes course. Right out the back door, on the old ski hill, are miles of running, mountain biking, and cross country skiing trails across the 575-acre Colgate campus. The rolling hills and country roads of the Chenango Valley make for stellar road biking. Several local crags and ski areas also offer great teaching and learning destinations for our programs.

Just an hour from campus, the six-million-acre Adirondack Park provides world-class outdoor recreation opportunities. For whitewater kayaking, upstate New York’s intensive hydrologic development lends itself to regular releases on classic runs such as the Moose, Beaver, and Raquette rivers. The Adirondack anorthosite is a high quality granite-like rock, perfect for both sport and traditional climbing, with over 1,600 recorded routes. In the winter, the park freezes over to create many destinations for skiing and ice climbing. The legendary Shawangunks Ridge, or “the Gunks,” is just three hours away with some of the world’s best multi-pitch traditional climbing and bouldering. Other renowned destinations for climbing and skiing, such as Rumney, North Conway, Mt. Washington, Killington, Stowe, Lake Willoughby, and Smuggler’s Notch are all within a 4-6 hour drive. Accountabilities
The Assistant Director of Outdoor Education is responsible for effective management of the 25-40 outdoor education physical education courses, 10-20 advanced skills seminars, 40+ backyard adventure day trips, and academic break trips (fall, winter, and spring) including:
  • Budget planning
  • Marketing of all programs
  • Planning the semester-long schedule of programs
  • Assigning the appropriate staff to each program
  • Administrative oversights of all travel logistics
  • Supervision and evaluation of student leaders
  • Instruction of physical education courses
Exercises independent judgment and unchallengeable authority in decision-making while leading all outdoor education programs and trips. Responsible for the safety and welfare of all participants and has unchallengeable decision-making ability regarding participant activities.

Complete, independent, and unchallengeable decision-making authority regarding all weather related activities.

Assistant Director is accountable for the effective development, instruction and evaluation of student participants in advanced seminar courses. To include:
  • Development of course outline and learning outcomes
  • Instruction of courses
  • Supervision and risk management of participant safety
  • Administrative oversight of all course logistics (i.e. travel planning, budget development, promotion, etc)
Responsible for effective management of the Angert Family Climbing wall to include:
  • Budget management
  • Hiring, training and evaluating all student staff year-round
  • Facilitating route setting
  • Creating and enforcing safety policies for the facility and its users
  • Purchasing essential equipment
  • Oversight of facility maintenance
Accountable for the organization and planning of the annual Colgate Climbing Competition. This includes ensuring effective:
  • Budget management
  • Ordering of items needed for the tournament
  • Securing sponsorship for the event
  • Promotion and marketing for the event
  • Creation and monitoring of tournament rules and instructions
  • Scheduling of appropriate number of qualified staff to work the event
  • Management of the event, including contestant registration and safety
Responsible for the overall management and full oversight of the Outdoor Education Rental Center. This includes effective:
  • Organization of the rental center
  • Regular inventory and equipment inspections
  • Ordering equipment as needed
  • Hiring, training, and evaluation of student staff
  • Rental and return of equipment in accordance with rental center policies
  • Scheduling of hours of operation and staffing
  • Promotion of the rental center to the campus community
Responsible for weekly student staff meeting agenda and outcomes to ensure student staff members receive the appropriate information, training, and development.

Responsible for effective development, teaching, instruction, and ongoing management of assigned PHED programming areas – primarily whitewater paddling, rock and ice climbing, and/or team building as well as other areas as assigned.

Accountable for the organization and planning for the annual Banff Film Festival. This includes ensuring effective:
  • Contracting with the Banff Film Festival World Tour
  • Contracting with a theatre for film screening
  • Creation, printing, distribution, and sale of tickets for the event
  • Marketing and promoting the event
  • Securing sponsorship for the event
  • Management of the event day
Responsible for adherence to assigned OE budgets. Exercises independent discretion on all purchases and budgetary decisions for assigned areas.

Assists with the student staff training program and the Wilderness Adventure pre-orientation program, as needed.

Accountable for maintaining professional relationships with key internal and external stakeholders.

Responsible for role modeling behaviors, leadership, teaching, and excellence for students.

Responsible for adhering to the division’s mission: to be an inclusive community of competitive excellence.

Responsible for following the department values:
Thoughtful – Careful, reasoned, inclusive thinking
Driven – Relentless, energetic, focused pursuit of courageous goal
Enthusiastic – Passionate, positive, fun presence
Cohesive – Close—knit, collaborative, consistent teamwork
Bold – Creative, resourceful, fearless winners

This position has been designated as a Campus Security Authority ( CSA ), in accordance with the federal statutory requirements of the Jeanne Clery Act. CSAs are required to and responsible for reporting allegations of crimes they receive from students and employees to the Campus Safety Department. Professional Experience/ Qualifications
  • One (1) year of professional trip-leading experience.
  • Familiarity with climbing wall management and operations.
  • Personal climbing ability at an intermediate or higher level (rock and ice), whitewater kayaking, and/or sea kayaking ability in water up to grade III /IV, both strongly preferred.
  • Experience with institutional rock/ice climbing and/or white water kayaking, both strongly preferred.
  • Outstanding leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills, including the ability to work effectively with a diverse group of students, faculty, and staff.
  • Excellent organizational skills and the ability to plan, prioritize, and delegate across multiple projects.
  • A clear commitment to the university’s academic mission and appreciation of its liberal arts curriculum.
  • Solid familiarity with technology including the Google Apps suite as well as Microsoft Word, Excel, etc.
  • Must be able to mentor college students in leadership, teaching, risk management, and technical skill development.
Preferred Qualifications
  • Three (3) or more years of professional trip-leading experience.
  • Knowledge of experiential education theories and methods.
  • Experience running an indoor climbing gym and/or route setting.
  • Personal sport/traditional lead climbing/multi-pitch ability at an intermediate or higher level (rock and ice) and/or whitewater kayaking ability in water up to grade IV/V, both strongly preferred.
  • Experience working professionally with collegiate outdoor programs, outdoor pre-orientation programs, and/or outdoor education programs such as Outward Bound, NOLS, or High Mountain Institute.
  • Experience in additional outdoor pursuits is desirable, including, but not limited to: cross country or telemark skiing, mountain biking, sea kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, challenge course facilitation, lightweight backpacking, geocaching, fly fishing, etc.
  • Bachelor’s degree is required
  • Master’s degree in a related field (Outdoor Education, Recreation, Parks/Tourism, etc.) is preferred.
Job Open Date 07/21/2022 Job Close Date Open Until Filled Yes Special Instructions Summary EEO Statement
It is the policy of Colgate University not to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of their race, color, creed, religion, age, sex, pregnancy, national origin, marital status, disability, protected Veterans status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, being or having been victims of domestic violence or stalking, familial status, or any other categories covered by law. Colgate is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. Candidates from historically underrepresented groups, women, persons with disabilities, and protected veterans are encouraged to apply. For more information, click the "How to Apply" button.
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