University of California Merced — Executive Director of Campus Life

Executive Director of Campus Life

Job ID


Full/Part Time
Part Time

Job Closing Date

Initial applicant review will begin on or around October 5, 2022. Posting may close any time after that without notice.

About UC Merced

The University of California, Merced, is the newest of the University of California system's 10 campuses and the first American research university built in the 21st century. With more than 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students, UC Merced offers an environment that combines a commitment to diversity, inclusion, collaboration, and professional development. With bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs, strong research and academic partnerships, and community involvement, the UC Merced campus is continually evolving and requires talented, knowledgeable, and dynamic educators, researchers, management and staff.

Ranked among the best public universities in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, UC Merced is uniquely equipped to provide educational opportunities for highly qualified students from the San Joaquin Valley and throughout California. The campus enjoys a special connection with nearby Yosemite National Park, is on the cutting edge of sustainability in construction and design and supports the economic development of Merced and the region.

In Fall 2016, UC Merced broke ground on a $1.3 billion public-private partnership that is unprecedented in higher education. The Merced 2020 Project nearly doubled the physical capacity of the campus, enhancing academic distinction, student success and research excellence. In 2018, UC Merced opened the Downtown Campus Center, a $33 million, three-story administrative building located in the heart of Merced.

To set the course of UC Merced's evolution, in 2021 UC Merced will enact its first-ever 10-year strategic plan. This plan will guide how the values of equity and justice influence our pathway toward earning Carnegie R1 research status, growing enrollment, upholding our identity as a minority-serving institution, and operationalizing how commitments to equity, diversity and inclusion are enacted within each campus unit. UC Merced is expected to engage in sophisticated thinking, planning, and implementation of actions that effectively diversify the professoriate and staff, improve campus climate for all campus constituency groups, and strengthen our equity, diversity, and inclusion infrastructure and capacity.

About the Job

Under the direction of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, the Executive Director of Campus Life manages all aspects of the University's Residence Education, Housing, Residential Dining, and Cat Card, including capital planning, asset management, facilities and business operations, and safety.

The Executive Director provides leadership and vision to carry out the Student Affairs mission in support of campus growth, academic partnerships, and student success through program development, working closely with the Division of Finance, Budget and Administration, the Division of Planning and Development, and the units within Student Affairs, among others, to establish the future direction for student housing and dining.

As the campus continues to grow, this position will be critical to the conversation to increase services for the on campus experience. With the support of the Student Affairs Business Operations group, the Executive Director is responsible for financial analysis and projections to support a nearly $500MM debt portfolio.

Key Responsibilities

  • Through strong management practices, this team collectively delivers on the department mission to provide safe, secure, and inclusive programs and services for more than 4,000 residential students as well as the more than 8,000 daily visitors to campus.
  • Determines and establishes organizational structures and supervisory relationships for Housing, Residence Life, Cat Card, and Dining Services.
  • Provide direct supervision to the Director for Dining Services, Associate Director for Residence Life, Associate Director for Cat Card, Associate Director for Housing Business and Facility Operations.
  • Instills strong management practices among subordinate managers.
  • Ensure all University policies and collective bargaining agreements are adhered.
  • Participate with other higher-level managers to establish campus strategic plans and objectives. Partnerships include Capital Planning and Budgets, Physical Planning Design and Construction Services, Facilities Management, International Programs Enrollment Management, and Institutional Planning and Analysis.
  • Represent, or determine the appropriate representative, for Student Affairs Auxiliary units in campus-wide and system-wide meetings and discussions. Provide financial, occupant accountability, and program delivery reports to the Office of the President.
  • Plan, design, influence and implement campus-wide processes. Establish standards and provide direction for internal and external policies and processes impacting campus growth and success. Areas of influence include but are not limited to; campus capital planning and finance, budget management and controls, facility operations, contract administration, judicial affairs, and conference and event services.
  • Serve as a member of the Emergency Operations Center to establish and implement campus-wide safety and response protocols and lead emergency response efforts, including training staff and residents.
  • Make decisions on administrative or operational matters such as, but not limited to, financial planning, operational and budget process, HR, IT, and space planning to ensure the achievement of the operation's objectives.
  • Provide direction for capital planning and new construction, facility operations, business operations, residence life. Establish strategic long and short term goals and objectives. Conduct assessments and analysis of programs and services and utilize data in decision making.
  • Facilitate safety and security for staff and students through building designs and the implementation of policies and procedures with high standards.
  • Interact with and advise higher-level management on controversial situations, customer negotiations, strategic planning and objective achievement.
  • Advise higher-level management on the impact of campus-wide decisions on student living accommodations on and off campus. Areas of influence include campus long range planning, type and location of future construction, needs of the residential population, financial feasibility, and budgets.
  • Develops, modifies, and executes campus policies which affect immediate operation(s).
  • Manages, prepares, administers, and directs campus-wide programs.


  • Bachelor's Degree from an accredited university or an equivalent combination of education and experience as indicated. (Required)
  • Master's degree in Student Affairs, Higher Education, Business Administration, Communications, Public Administration or related field or equivalent experience/training. (Preferred)

    Diversity Statement

  • Finalistswill be asked to submit a writtenStatement of Contributions to Diversity.Pursuant to UC Merced's vision for cultivating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community, the search committee will be asking that all finalists addresshow their past and/or potential contributions might serve to advance UC Merced's commitment to creating and maintaining a positive environment that promotes and develops others from a variety of personal experiences, values, and worldviews that arise from differences of culture and circumstance.

    Critical Knowledge and Competencies

  • Knowledge of and expertise in leading and the management of operations and auxiliary services, such as student facing residential facilities, residential life and/or retail dining operations.
  • Expert leadership abilities to establish department mission and goals, ability to lead subordinate management to develop goals in alignment.
  • Demonstrated skills in employee supervision and HR administration. Interpersonal skills to effectively lead, coach, mentor, assess, motivate and influence others.
  • A demonstrated ability to lead and direct a complex organization which provides diverse programs and services.
  • Highly sophisticated skills in financial planning, managing large budgets and entrepreneurial strategies, and systems planning; knowledge of real estate, design and construction concepts, relationships, and practices.
  • Demonstrated organizational acumen and effective change facilitation in a complex organization.
  • Advanced decision making and reasoning skills, and advanced ability to develop original ideas to solve problems, conduct operations and quality control analysis , ability to multi-task and ensure effective time management.
  • Proven critical thinking, analytical skills and experience with strategic planning.
  • Advanced verbal and written communication skills, including active listening, dynamic flexibility, and critical thinking skills; must be able to present formally as well as communicate informally across diverse audiences from university executives and academics to front line staff.
  • Commitment to advocating and strategizing for student success.
  • Experience developing programs and services that align with professional best practices and student development theory.
  • Commitment to principles and values of equity and inclusion.
  • Experience with managing in a union environment and dealing with labor relations. (Preferred)

    Background Check

    Background check and fingerprinting will be required.

    Policy Statement

    How to Apply:
    An online application is required for each position to apply.The University of California, Merced is aware that some web-based application processes may be cumbersome for differently abled applicants. Where appropriate, alternative accommodations will be provided. For applicants with disabilities who need additional assistance using TAM, or reasonable accommodations during the interview or search process, please

    Equal Employment Opportunity:
    The University of California, Merced is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer advancing inclusive excellence. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, pregnancy, or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam-era veteran, or other protected categories covered by the UC Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action Policy. UC Merced intentionally promotes and maintains a discrimination- and harassment-free workplace by demonstrating it neither condones nor tolerates employment practices that discriminate against or harass any person or specific group of persons on the basis listed above. We seek candidates who will support our vision to cultivate a vibrant, equity-minded, inclusive excellence university community. When applying to UC Merced, we strongly encourage you to reflect on our Principles of Community and our 2021 strategic plan.

    Vaccination Program Policy:
    As a condition of employment,you will be required to comply with the University of CaliforniaSARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)VaccinationProgram Policy. All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of FullVaccinationor, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, and/or Religious Objection) or Deferral (based on pregnancy) no later than the applicable deadline.For new University of California employees, the applicable deadline is 14 days after their first date of employment.

    Smoke and Tobacco Free Policy:
    The University of California, Merced is a smoke and tobacco free workplace. Information and the Smoke and Tobacco Free policy is available at

    All employers who receive Federal contracts and grants are required to comply with E-Verify, an Internet-based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA). E-Verify electronically verifies employment eligibility by comparing information provided on the I-9 form to records in the DHS and SSA databases. Certain positions funded by federal contracts/subcontracts requires UC Merced to notify job applicants that an E-Verify check will be conducted and the successful candidate must pass the E-Verify check.

    Pay, Benefits & Work Schedule:
    For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University of California visit:

    To Apply, visit: