Colgate University — Area Director of Residential Life

Colgate University

Area Director of Residential Life

Requisition Number: 2023S005Posting
Full Time/Part Time: Full Time
Division: Dean of the College
Department: Residential Life

Department Statement:
The Office of Residential Life furthers the educational mission of Colgate University by extending student learning and growth into our residential community, promoting a purposeful and inclusive environment through shared experience. This is accomplished by promoting healthy, safe, and inclusive communities where individual members are valued and respected; fostering personal growth and success through a purposeful residential experience; and challenging and supporting students in making meaningful and responsible contributions to society.

The Residential Commons is a fundamental, driving force that infuses intellectual engagement and community development into the residential experience at Colgate. All first-year students live in one of four Commons, each with its own unique personality and characteristics, under the direction of faculty directors. Upper-division students maintain an affiliation with their respective Commons for life, whether formally—by continuing to live within the Commons or its social house—or informally. Residential Life and the Commons aim to provide students with a home away from home that reflects the academic rigor and engagement of the University at large.

Learn more about Colgate University and the Dean of the College Division by reviewing A Candidate’s Guide to Colgate. In 2021, the Dean of the College Division was acknowledged by Diverse Issues in Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed as one of the Most Promising Places to Work in Student Affairs.

The Area Director (AD) is a full-time, live-in position, primarily responsible for the effective and efficient execution of strategies and programs that enrich the residential experience at Colgate. The AD works closely the Residential Life Leadership Team and, when assigned to a Commons Area, a Residential Commons Leadership Team to build intellectually-engaging residential communities in which all students feel like they belong and have the opportunity to grow. ADs who oversee areas that fall within Residential Commons also work under the leadership of Commons Directors. The AD supervises live-in student staff in their respective areas, and may provide leadership for a part-time Fellow in a Residential Commons.

Specific Responsibilities:
Community Development & Engagement

  • Provide support in the development and furthering of the departmental philosophy, mission, and programs by translating the mission, vision, and strategic goals in ways that impact and transform residential communities
  • Manage the facilitation of the community development and learning model in their area, which may include one-on-ones, event planning, community meetings, and other strategies
  • Provide accurate advice and guidance that actively supports the growth, maturity, and intellectual development of individual students and groups of students within assigned residential communities
  • Facilitate the administration of protocols and processes to address the needs of students of concern and to connect them with appropriate resources and support systems
  • Participate in the management of student behavior by responding to incidents, meeting with students, and applying appropriate sanctions as detailed in the University student handbook.
  • Resolve student conflict and conduct issues within assigned residential area (or broader when on-call), ensuring proper documentation of conduct issues
  • Ensure the development of a safe, welcoming, accessible, and fair environment that actively includes and engages everyone
  • Actively address issues and concerns that diminish the capacity for all students to feel like they belong and are able to engage in their respective communities
  • Maintain active engagement in your assigned communities by participating in events and programs and having a presence in each area
  • Serve as a role model of healthy engagement in the greater campus community

Intellectual Connection

  • Provide leadership and support within assigned Residential Commons
  • Assist residents with concerns that are barriers to academic success and make appropriate referrals as required
  • Develop effective relationships with faculty, including assigned Residential Commons directors, in active implementation of living and learning objectives
  • Facilitate the development of residential communities that support and encourage intellectual pursuits and academic engagement
  • Advise the Commons Council in support of these goals

Staff Supervision

  • Recruit, hire, train, supervise, and evaluate a team of student staff in accordance with department expectations, goals, and established procedures
  • Participate in and plan on-going staff development and in-service activities for the purpose of continued training and opportunities for personal development for student staff
  • Advise departmental committees for student staff members and students

Facilities & Building Management Duties

  • Coordinate, maintain, and monitor the administrative and operational functions associated with the management of a residence hall (occupancy management, room condition, maintenance, technology, etc.).
  • Exercise judgement in effective day-to-day management of multiple housing facilities
  • Manage residence hall opening and closing procedures for all assigned areas
  • Facilitate regular health and safety inspections in each residential area
  • Ensure that all reported damages and problems with residential facilities are fixed within an appropriate time frame

Crisis Management & Emergency Response

  • Serve as a referral source for student staff during counseling and crisis issues
  • Provide crisis intervention along with necessary follow-up after an incident, working in coordination with other Residential Life staff, as well as professionals from the Counseling Center, Dean’s Office, Campus Safety, and other areas as needed
  • Participate in scheduled professional staff on-call duty rotation
  • Manage the student staff on-call duty for assigned duty areas

Core Departmental Responsibilities

  • Build and maintain collaborative relationships with others in Residential Life, Dean of the College, Facilities, Faculty, and the University community, creating opportunities for them to engage and be involved with students around their areas of expertise
  • Disseminate information regarding policies, conduct, administrative matters, and campus events to staff
  • Become familiar with central department processes and policies in order to accurately promote and communicate with campus partners, students, and families, cover central office on a rotating basis to ensure these constituents are met with a welcome and informative presence
  • Assist in assessment of student learning, student needs, and program effectiveness
  • Manage room assignment changes within assigned residential communities in partnership with the Housing Coordinator
  • Meet regularly with supervisor to review department goals, establish individual goals, assess progress and solve problems
  • Work with students, parents, co-workers, supervisor, department staff, and University staff from diverse backgrounds on a variety of issues
  • Communicate with parents, resolving concerns and addressing questions with care and support
  • Maintain accurate knowledge of occupancy and vacancy records in your residential communities
  • Facilitate weekly staff meetings and 1:1 meetings with assigned student staff
  • Participate in university committees as deemed appropriate by members of the Residential Life Leadership Team, supervisor, or Director
  • Model professional behavior appropriate for living in and among students
  • Other duties as assigned

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

  • Candidates must demonstrate strong written and verbal communication skills and be capable of creating and maintaining productive and collegial working relationships with a diverse group of faculty, staff, students, and visitors
  • Must be available to work evenings, late nights and occasional weekends as required
  • Must be self-motivated and able to manage multiple projects, programs and student challenges simultaneously with an appropriate sense of urgency

Preferred Qualifications

  • A minimum of two years of relevant work experience is preferred
  • Preference will be given to candidates who have college or university experience in crisis management, student conduct, student staff supervision and program design
  • Experience with student activities and event planning preferred
  • Experience working with faculty within the context of a learning community or similar program is highly desired
  • Prior student intern, volunteer and/or professional supervisory experience is required
  • Previous student leadership roles are required


  • A Bachelor’s degree is required
  • A Master’s degree in higher education or related field is preferred

Other Information
Room and partial board are also required and included in the compensation package.

Work Schedule:
Weekdays, with occasional evenings and weekends.

Job Open Date:

Job Close Date:

Open Until Filled

Special Instructions Summary
Colgate has a diverse student, faculty, staff, and alumni population representing a variety of races, gender identities, social economic status, sexual orientations, languages, national origins, etc. Our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Plan presents a framework for continuing the creation of an inclusive campus and engaging the Colgate community in this effort in the years ahead.

Please describe how you would connect and work with a diverse community. The statement can be any length (e.g. paragraph or page). You can upload the statement under the Diversity Statement document heading. For information on how to write a diversity statement, see our Guidance on Crafting Diversity Statements.

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.

Clery Act
The Campus Safety Department will provide upon request a copy of Colgate’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. This report includes statistics as reported to the United States Department of Education for the previous three years concerning reported: 1. crimes that occurred on-campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Colgate University; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus and 2. fires that occurred in student housing facilities. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security and fire safety, such as policies concerning sexual assault, life safety systems, and other related matters. To obtain a copy, contact the Campus Safety Compliance Manager via e-mail at You may also access the report from the Campus Safety web page at:

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