University of Massachusetts Amherst — Executive Director of Student Engagement and Leadership

The University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) is a public research and land-grant university in Amherst, Massachusetts, and the flagship of the University of Massachusetts system. With 1,300 faculty members and more than 30,000 students, UMass Amherst is the largest public university in New England and is ranked among the top 30 public universities in the nation. The campus, located on nearly 1,450 acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley in Western Massachusetts, 90 miles from Boston and 175 miles from New York City, provides a rich cultural environment in a rural setting close to major urban centers.

Reporting to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Campus Life with a dotted-line reporting relationship to the Dean of Students, the Executive Director of Student Engagement and Leadership’s principal focus, informed by University values and goals for an inclusive campus climate, is ensuring Student Engagement and Leadership cluster resources, programs, services, and training are aligned with division and university strategic goals and initiatives supporting student success. The Executive Director leads the Student Engagement and Leadership cluster of departments and programs in providing a wide range of opportunities for students to shape their student experience by actively engaging students in group/community formation; experiential learning; leadership development; and student-led media and innovations (including student run businesses). In addition, the Executive Director and cluster staff members work collaboratively and positively with student government leadership bodies (undergraduate and graduate) in a shared governance structure that includes, in part, significant expectations for student consultation regarding issues impacting the student population. Primary areas of responsibility include strategic engagement with campus efforts to enhance the student experience and student success; building a collaborative, mentoring-based cluster leadership model; creating high impact engagement efforts and skills translation in support of students’ graduation and lifelong success; and, implementing assessment strategies for evaluating cluster efforts and informing future decisions. Success in this role will be demonstrated in part by the Executive Director’s ability to effectively set cluster priorities, identify corresponding required resources, and marshal resources to achieve these priorities effectively and efficiently. While the Executive Director will focus primarily on undergraduate students, the role will also include related support for graduate students as identified within strategic goals.

An earned master’s degree in Higher Education Administration or a related field and a record of seven or more years of progressively increasing responsibilities in leading programs designed to support inclusive and diverse student engagement and student-centered learning opportunities are required. An earned doctorate or terminal degree in a related field and five years related experience are preferred. Contemporary knowledge of college student development, leadership development and organizational development theories and applications, as well as superior cultural competency, a demonstrated ability to work effectively with diverse populations, and high commitment to creating and sustaining an inclusive campus are also essential. The successful candidate must have superior interpersonal communication skills; a highly developed skill in effective use of social media in the context of student affairs, student life work, and as a platform for advancing programmatic goals; and a contemporary understanding of related compliance requirements (including, but not limited to, Title IX, Clery Act, and FERPA). Knowledge of current trends and related best practices as well as a demonstrated ability to conceptualize vision and move it to action will also be important considerations in the selection of the Executive Director.

Review of applications will begin March 15, 2017 and will continue until the position is filled. A resume with an accompanying cover letter may be submitted via the Spelman Johnson website at Nominations for this position may be emailed to Heather J. Larabee at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Spelman Johnson
University of Massachusetts, Amherst– Executive Director of Student Engagement and Leadership
Heather J. Larabee, Search Associate

Visit the UMass Amherst website at

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer of women, minorities, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities and encourages applications from these and other protected group members.