Job Listings

Resident Director

Western Washington University
Job Location:
Bellingham, 98225-9195
Residence Life and Housing

Western Washington University, with over 15,000 students in seven colleges and the graduate school, is nationally recognized for its educational programs, students and faculty. The campus is located in Bellingham, Washington, a coastal community of 90,000 overlooking Bellingham Bay, the San Juan Islands and the North Cascades Mountain range. The city lies 90 miles north of Seattle and 60 miles south of Vancouver, British Columbia. Western has additional sites in Anacortes, Bremerton, Everett, Port Angeles, and Poulsbo. Western is recognized nationally for its successes, such as being named one of the top public master's-granting institutions in the Pacific Northwest for 25 years in a row by U.S. News & World Report. Western Washington University is committed to achieving excellence through advancing inclusive success, increasing our Washington impact, and focusing on transformational education grounded in the liberal arts and sciences and based on innovative scholarship, research, and creative activity. Western's greatest strength is the outstanding students, faculty, staff, and alumni/ae who make up its community. Western supports an inclusive governance structure for all and provides a learning and working environment in which everyone can thrive. In pursuit of this excellence, individual employees are expected to establish and maintain productive and effective inclusive working relationships amongst diverse populations including staff, faculty, administration, student, and external constituents. Further, individual employees are expected to have the ability to operationalize sustainability concepts (economic, societal, environmental) into all aspects of performing their job duties.

University Residences supports Western's mission, which states that together with our students, staff, and faculty, we are committed to making a positive impact in the state and the world with a shared focus on academic excellence and inclusive achievement. We encourage applications from women, people of color, people with disabilities, veterans, and other candidates from underrepresented backgrounds and with diverse experiences interested in this opportunity.

About the Position: The resident director (RD) is a full-time overtime eligible, 12-month appointment , live-in position within University Residences reporting to an assistant director of residence life. RDs coordinate the management of a residential community of 250 - 600 students in the tasks of: developing diverse and inclusive communities; enhancing student learning; developing consciousness regarding principles of equity, respect, and individual and collective responsibility; providing conduct adjudication and Residential Programming Board (RPB or hall council) advisement; and supervising and training paraprofessional staff. Over the summer, RDs may work on various University Residences committees and initiatives.

Resident directors must demonstrate the ability to work with diverse populations to create inclusive communities. RDs are educators who develop and implement a residence life program centered on engaging students through intentionally designed lesson plans to reach specific learning outcomes guided by theory and effective educational strategies. RDs - supervise resident advisors/apartment advisors (RA/AA), inclusion assistants (IA), residential office assistants (ROA), and student leaders in the implementation of the University Residences Initiative for Student Engagement (URISE), a residential curriculum grounded in Dr. Tara Yosso’s Community Cultural Wealth Theory.

Position Responsibilities: The resident director is responsible for the coordination of all aspects of student life in a residence hall/apartment area of 300-550 students; provides leadership and education in developing educational strategies to enhance student learning; engages in dialogue, education, and action focused on promoting the values of equity and inclusion; provides conduct adjudication and residential programming board (RPB) ; performs administrative duties in support of each area of responsibility; supervises and provides training for student staff, and participates in departmental committees and assessment efforts.

Position Assignment: The academic year and summer building assignments are based upon the needs of the entire University Residences program and are subject to change. Resident directors will be given a 1-2 bedroom, furnished apartment. In the period between mid-June and mid-August, RDs are assigned to a variety of ancillary projects and tasks in preparation for the upcoming academic year.

Remuneration: A 12-month, full-time overtime-eligible position including salary, furnished apartment, staff meal plan, professional development opportunities, and a full University benefits package.

Position Duties and Responsibilities

35% - Student Development and Residence Education:

  • Provide leadership and guidance in the implementation of Residence Life’s residential curriculum.
  • Plan and work with students and staff to coordinate efforts and dialogue promoting inclusive communities and ensuring the creation of a safe, welcoming environment.
  • Maintain knowledge and educate self in areas of multicultural competence and apply knowledge to create actionable practices that work to promote a welcoming and inclusive environment for students and staff of underrepresented identities.
  • Support initiatives and programs designed to serve underrepresented student populations living in the residence halls
    • Serve as the primary advisor to RPB during the academic year with responsibilities including Meet weekly with council Chair(s) and/or executive board(s) 
    • Provide leadership development opportunities to achieve specified learning outcomes 
    • Attend all RPB meetings 
    • Participate in RPB-sponsored activities, particularly those occurring off campus 
    • Ensure RPB follows university policies and procedures 
    • Oversee financial procedures to ensure RPB follows university policies and procedures 
  • Serve as a visible and accessible resource in the residence hall community for student interaction.
  • Provide one-on-one intervention to students placed on academic probation, financial aid probation, or students who are academically at-risk.
  • Provide academic resources and referrals in collaboration with campus partners.
  • Support and implement assessment to measure student progress toward learning outcomes, and the effectiveness of training and other processes.
  • Communicate, educate, and follow up with residents on Residential Community Standards violations and responsible decision making through the student conduct process.
    • Utilize URISE learning outcomes to facilitate and evaluate student learning and reflection
    • Assign educational sanctions, up to and including eviction from University Residences.
  • Consult with the Counseling and Wellness Center, Student Health Center, and other departments to make appropriate referrals.
  • Provide crisis management, conflict management, and mediation assistance for students.

35% - Staff Selection, Training, Supervision and Performance Evaluation:

  • Directly supervise, train, and evaluate 6 to 12 resident advisors/apartment advisors, 1 inclusion assistant, and 1 residential office assistant.
  • Participate in the recruitment and selection of all paraprofessional staff
  • Direct and support resident advisor/apartment advisor and inclusion assistant staff in the implementation of educational strategies to meet the learning goals of URISE.
  • Communicate and hold staff accountable for job expectations as outlined by Residence Life in the position agreement.
    • Execute all forms of job action, up to and including termination.
  • Conduct performance evaluations twice per year for paraprofessional staff members.
  • Facilitate one-on-ones, weekly staff meetings, and continuous training for paraprofessional staff in residential community.
  • Engage in dialogue and coordinate training focusing on accessibility, diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and actionable strategies to work toward creating equitable, safe, welcoming, and engaged communities.

25% - Administration

  • Participate on departmental committees including, but not limited to: Student Staff Selection, Student Staff Training, Professional Staff Selection, Professional Staff Training and Development, Ethics and Conduct, Affinity Group Initiatives, and URISE.
  • Manage tracking, assessment, and evaluation of URISE.
  • Liaise with UR Assignments and UR Facilities in oversight of occupancy management and desk operations in the residential communities.
  • Oversee building programming supplies and equipment by maintaining appropriate records and procedures.
  • Collaborate and communicate with UR Facilities regarding maintenance requests and managing physical assets; assist with key control to optimize building security and resident safety.
  • Facilitate fire drills, emergency procedures, and general health and safety protocols for the residential community.
  • Manage Residential Programming Board and staff programming budgets of approximately $5,000-$10,000.
  • Apprise supervisors and department leadership of significant circumstances and impact to student health and well-being, work environment, efficient organization operation, and appropriate risk mitigation. Effectively train and supervise staff to this standard.
  • Perform other functions and assume responsibilities related to hall and unit management as assigned.

5% - Campus-Wide, 24-Hour “On-Call” Responsibilities:

  • Participate in a rotating departmental 24-hour on-call system as the emergency responder for the entire residential system of approximately 4,300 students.
    • These duties, in collaboration with Care Specialists, respond to student staff needing direction or support, students in significant medical or psychological crisis, facility issues, and communicating/following up with appropriate staff (supervisors, police, fire, medical, counseling, facilities, etc.), parents/guardians, and students in a timely manner.

By Date of Hire

Required Qualifications

    • Master's degree, at time of hire in student affairs, higher education leadership, college student development, or similar field from an accredited college or university
    • Demonstrated commitment to equity and inclusion in addition to the ability to create an inclusive residence hall community (see information below regarding equity and inclusion statement, which must be submitted as part of the online application)
    • One-year professional, full-time experience in higher education at the time of hire, or two years graduate-level experience at the time of hire, working in a higher education setting
    • Experience in the supervision of paraprofessional student staff (Resident Advisor, Apartment Advisor, etc.)
    • Experience in the selection and training of paraprofessional staff

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with emergency response and crisis management
  • Ability to innovate and implement new initiatives
  • Experience advising student leadership organizations
  • Experience in the development of student learning initiatives, living learning programs, and/or experience working with a residential curriculum model
  • Graduate or professional experience working in housing or residence life

For more information and to apply online:

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