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Executive Director, Housing & Residence Life

American University
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Salary Not Specified
Date posted
Apr 19, 2024

American University is a student-centered research institution located in Washington, DC, with highly-ranked schools and colleges, internationally-renowned faculty, and a reputation for creating meaningful change in the world. Learn more about American University


Student Affairs Finance & Administration

Time Type:

Full time

Work Modality:

Hybrid 01 (On Campus 3-4 Days/Week)


Job Description:


Reporting to the Assistant Vice President, Finance and Administration, the Executive Director, Housing and Residence Life provides strategic leadership and oversight for Housing and Residence Life (HRL) including the residential experience, facilities management and construction, technology, and budget. The Executive Director is responsible for establishing the vision and strategic plan for the department, communicating departmental objectives throughout the institution, and supporting and elevating the residential experience at American University. This position oversees operational budgets exceeding $3 million and revenue targets of $48-$50 million and serves in the Senior Administrator On-Call rotation system. At the core of this position is the maintenance of an operation that continues to support and elevate the residential experience at American University.

Essential Functions:

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

1. Department Oversight and Supervision:
  • Provide leadership, direction, and support to the department of Housing and Residence Life, responsible for a community of over 4200 residential students between 12 residence halls and one off-campus apartment building. Provide vision and direction for promoting and maintaining community experience within residential buildings. Oversee all functions of Housing and Residence Life, including community building, behavior management, policy creation, residential education curriculum development, crisis management, housing assignments, facilities management, billing, vendor management, facilities planning, communications, assessment, etc.

  • Align functions of Housing and Residence Life to support residential experience and departmental operations, development, and growth, ensuring a shared vision across the department. Directly supervise the Director of Housing and the Director of Residence Life. Indirectly supervise 30 professional staff and more than 130 student staff. Support and maintain an integrated department, maximizing staff skills and talents, promoting cross-functionality and understanding of roles, policies, and processes, and creating opportunities for development.

2. Strategic Planning:
  • Provide leadership, oversight, implementation, and evaluation of departmental goals, expectations, policies, procedures, practices, and programs. Connect goals and functions to campus-wide initiatives and long-term strategies. Develop a residential experience pipeline and connection to admissions, enrollment, student success, retention, and campus planning efforts. Advise on and execute operational initiatives aligning with University and Division leaders’ strategic plan, including updates and developments to that plan. Examples include creating a live-on requirement, increasing occupancy, gender-housing policy changes, crisis response evaluation, etc. Develop assessment plan and implement within the department, present annual report for department, and provide data-driven recommendations for enhancements to residential experience.

3. Department Representation and Collaboration:
  • Represent department, its operations, and the interests of residential students on various University committees. Coordinate and collaborate with other Student Affairs and University departments, including academic affairs, on program development and implementation, enrollment and retention efforts, planned facilities projects, facilities management, technology enhancements, etc. Communicate HRL’s and residential students’ narrative across the Student Affairs division and the University community. This includes operational successes, infrastructural changes, collaboration opportunities, and updates to departmental goals.

4. Budget:
  • Oversee department operating budgets of over $3 million and revenue of $48-50 million. Complete occupancy and revenue modeling. Collaborate with AVP and University Budget Office in determining housing pricing. Work and negotiate with third-party vendors.

5. On-Call Emergency Response:
  • Participate in the Senior Administrator On-Call rotation system to address student crises outside of business hours. Serves on Student Activism Response Team.

6. Other Duties, as assigned.

  • Building a Customer Focused Organization.

  • Driving Continuous Improvement.

  • Acting Strategically.

  • Thinking Broadly.

  • Collaborative Leadership.

  • Leading and Inspiring People.

Supervisory Responsibility:
  • Directly supervises the Director of Housing and the Director of Residence Life.

  • Indirectly supervises 30 professional staff and more than 130 student staff.

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work:
  • Full-Time. 35 hours/week.

  • Night and weekend hours.

Salary Range:
  • Commensurate with experience.

Required Education and Experience:
  • Master's degree.

  • 10+ years of relevant experience.

Preferred Education and Experience:
  • Master's degree.

  • 10+ years of relevant experience.


AU offers a competitive benefits package including a 200% matching retirement plan, tuition benefits for full-time staff and their families, several leadership development certificates, and has been recognized by the American Heart Association as a fit-friendly worksite. Click here to learn about American University's unique benefit options .

Other Details
  • Hiring offers for this position are contingent on successful completion of a background check.

  • Employees in staff positions at American University must deliver their services to the university from either the District of Columbia, Maryland, or Virginia, or perform work on-site at the university.

  • Please note this job announcement is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

  • American University is an E-Verify employer.

Current American University Employees

American University current employees must apply through their employee Workday account. If you are a current employee at American University, please log into Workday and select the Find Jobs report which will take you to our internal career listings.

Contact Us

For more information or assistance with the American University careers site, email .

American University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution that operates in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, an individual’s genetic information or any other bases under federal or local laws (collectively "Protected Bases") in its programs and activities.

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