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Director of Residence Life

Department: Student Life
Location: Abilene, TX

Position: Director of Residence Life, Student Life Division

For the purposes of ACU’s Background Check and Self-Reporting Policy, this position is classified as security sensitive.

Exempt, Full-time

The key principles of this job are to:

  1. Support ACU’s Mission: Educate students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world.
  2. Support ACU’s 21st Century Vision: By 2020, ACU will become the premier university for the education of Christ-centered, global leaders.

Scope: The Director of Residence Life reports directly to the Vice President for Student Life and is responsible for visionary leadership, staff selection, training and development, facilities management, and hall programming including all ACU-owned residence facilities and the professional staff and employees of these facilities. The Director of Residence Life Education and Housing is a full-time, twelve-month, professional staff position.

I. Basic Responsibilities

  1. Leadership – Provide strong and consistent leadership and vision, including annual strategic planning, budgeting, and assessment for the mission of residence life, as well as developing excellent staff and enhancing key campus partnerships with Admissions, the First Year Program, Physical Resources, and WFF.
  2. Management- Supervise and maintain all Residence Life processes, staff, and facilities, including day-to-day and crisis safety and security of all residents and residence facilities.
  3. Training and Mentoring – Develop and implement training and mentoring for all residence life staff, providing supervision, structure, guidance and encouragement with the specific focus of empowering residence directors, assistant directors, resident assistants as frontline workers in student development.
  4. Facility Management – Provide supervision of all ACU residence facilities and partner with Student Life leadership to develop the vision for future facilities.
  5. Education- Promote and lead Residence Life staff to develop positive, proactive programming in residence halls that integrates faith and fosters the creation of living environments that promote student learning in the residence community.
  6. Conflict Resolution – Work with Residence Life staff, students, parents and other stakeholders to resolve housing-related conflicts and establish positive relationships that enhance the campus community. (10%)

II.  Essential Duties include the following.  Other duties may be assigned.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals to perform the essential functions.


1. Leadership

  1. Develop and implement policies and procedures for the Office of Residence Life.
  2. In collaboration with RL staff, develop goals and strategies to accomplish the mission of the Office of Residence Life. Prepare five-year strategic plans to incorporate these goals and strategies, assessing outcomes through the use of various tools and surveys. Provide leadership for using assessment data to inform on-going strategic planning and direction.
  3. Develop and supervise a thorough budgeting process, allocating resources according to specific needs in residence life and housing.
  4. Develop and strengthen the annual processes to recruit, hire, train, and supervise exceptional staff in Residence Life.
  5. Develop and strengthen relationships with campus partners who support the every-day operations of Residence Life facilities (WFF, Physical Resources, University Park Management, etc.)
  6. Post and maintain office hours in the Office of Residence Life Education and Housing.
  7. Regularly attend undergraduate chapel.
  8. Special Responsibilities – Responsibilities may vary in conjunction with various demands for housing throughout the year.

2. Management

  1. Supervise the all RL professional staff which includes: direct supervision, annual and periodic evaluation, accountability, staff morale, and professional development.
  2. Plan and preside over regular residence director staff meetings.
  3. Supervise and manage the operations of the ResLife area, including all RL professional staff, the ongoing care of Residence Life facilities, operating multiple budgets, crisis response and preparedness in a manner that promotes the effective and strategic use of human and fiscal resources.
  4. In partnership with the Director of Judicial Affairs, develop and implement policies, procedures, and documentation for disciplinary responses within the residence halls.
  5. In partnership with the ACU Police and Public Safety Department and the Director of Judicial Affairs, develop, implement and enforce safety and security procedures, facilitating appropriate responses to any type of emergency situation involving residents.
  6. Maintain cell phone availability for emergency issues and regular contact for residence hall staff.
  7. Monitor fire safety compliance, facilitating the planning and conducting of fire drills in coordination with appropriate ACU staff.
  8. Observe hazardous weather conditions and implement safety precautions when warranted.
  9. Assess safety issues for each residence facility and allocate resources accordingly.
  10. Maintain personal certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), as well as that of all RL professional staff.

3. Training and Mentoring

  1. Develop the annual and as-needed processes for training all residence hall staff, including directors, assistant directors and resident assistants with the goal of fostering a strong living-learning community as well as developing and inspiring each person’s greatest potential.
  2. Provide reliable and consistent leadership and vision for every residence life staff member, including assistant directors and resident assistants.
  3. Maintain familiarity with academic and other campus resources for professional growth and development, and refer staff members when necessary.
  4. Develop positive working relationships with residence directors through regular (at least bi-weekly) meetings and personal mentoring in order to develop each individual’s potential in their leadership role.
  5. Assess performance of residence directors, the coordinator of housing and other ResLife professionals both periodically and annually, and keep them informed of strength areas and growth areas.

4. Facility Management

  1. Assess physical and structural needs of residence halls and apartments, and advocate for resources to address these needs.
  2. Inspect major maintenance problems and determine severity, ensuring that appropriate follow-up occurs by necessary campus staff.
  3. Serve as liaison with the physical resources department and housekeeping (WFF).
  4. In partnership with the Vice President of Student Life, research and purchase needed physical and structural items, including furniture, carpeting, etc.
  5. In partnership with the Vice President of Student Life, provide requested resources when necessary for the Resource Management Committee of the ACU Board of Trustees.
  6. In partnership with Student Life leadership and other key stakeholders, monitor current needs and forecast future needs to develop new residence facilities that support the ACU mission.
  7. Serve as resource member for the University Park Management Committee, attending various meetings throughout the school year.

5. Education

  1. Provide leadership and vision in the overall philosophy of education in the residence halls, ensuring living and learning environments conducive to the holistic growth and development of students as well as the promotion student learning.
  2. Work with the Admissions office to consistently and collaboratively communicate about the residence life.
  3. Work with the First Year Program and other faculty and academic departments to create and enhance academic connections through living and learning environments.
  4. Work with the Center for Christian Service and Leadership to partner in ways that influence students’ spiritual formation, leadership development, and a lifestyle of ministry & service.
  5. Work in conjunction with the Medical and Counseling Center to provide for emotional and physical well-being of student residents.

6. Conflict Resolution

  1. In partnership with Residence Life staff, assist residents and residence life staff experiencing crisis situations.
  2. Contact and maintain excellent rapport with parents of residents when necessary.
  3. In partnership with Residence Life staff, ensure that residents are identified and referred when needing professional counseling or medical attention.
  4. In partnership with Residence Life staff, assist in resolving various student conflicts, including roommate and peer conflicts, making appropriate referrals when necessary.
  5. Facilitate appropriate documentation with necessary campus offices and/or departments.

III. Qualifications: The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skills, and/or abilities required to perform this job.


A.    Professional

  1. Minimum of a master’s degree in student development or a closely related field.
  2. Progressively higher levels of administrative and supervisory experience.
  3. Management and administrative organizational abilities, including multiple budgets.
  4. Understanding of the critical development issues facing late adolescence.
  5. Counseling/listening skills.
  6. Ability to speak extemporaneously.
  7. Experience in managing and resolving conflict.
  8. Strong technical and professional writing skills.
  9. Previous Residence Life experience preferred.
  10. Ability to participate in research activity to generate usable and publishable results.

B. Personal

  1. A high level of interpersonal and social skills.
  2. Must be able to relate to a diversity of ages (from adults/ parents to incoming late adolescent students), as well as individuals from a diversity of cultures and economic backgrounds.
  3. Ability to keep calm and cool in heated or otherwise stressful or crisis situations.
  4. Flexibility and ability to handle frequent interruptions.
  5. Ability and willingness to maintain strict confidentiality.

IV. Other Qualifications:

Because of ACU’s affiliation with Churches of Christ, this position must be filled by a professing Christian and fully supportive of the Christian mission and purpose of the University.

V. Physical Demands: These are the physical demands that are regularly required to perform this job.


  1. Must be able to work under extremely stressful conditions.
  2. Must be able to work at a fast pace, sometimes for long hours.
  3. Must be willing and able to work some late hours.
  4. Must be able to climb three flights of stairs.

I understand that our mission at Abilene Christian University is to educate students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world. Because of ACU’s commitment to this principle and my commitment to God, people and learning, my actions will exemplify integrity, service, stewardship, involvement, and excellence.

© 2014 Abilene Christian University

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