Job Listings

Director of Student Life

Maine College of Art & Design
Job Location:
Portland, Maine
Student Affairs and Services
Maine College of Art & Design (MECA&D) seeks an experienced higher education professional to join its staff as Director of Student Life. The Director of Student Life develops, implements and directs student service activities, programs, policies and procedures. They play a leadership role in meeting the retention and student development goals of the College by managing and supervising the areas of Residential Education and Housing, Counseling and Wellness, Student Involvement, and Disability Services and Accomodations. The Director of Student Life enforces the Student Code of Conduct, facilitates student crisis intervention, and maintains compliance with campus crime notifications. The Director of Student Life also helps facilitate access to external services that enhance students’ well being. Maine College of Art and Design recognizes that diversity is integral to the academic experience and strives to foster an inclusive culture defined by respect, equity and social responsibility. All employees are expected to actively support these values.

The Successful Candidate

 To achieve success in this role, it will require:
  • Managing all Student Life procedures and operations to ensure high quality of program delivery to the student body and other campus partners;
  • Overseeing campus-wide efforts to create various pathways for student development through co-curricular programming;
  • Developing, implementing, and overseeing a comprehensive First Year experience in conjunction with Academic Affairs;
  • Developing, training, and advising the creation and ongoing management of College Sponsored Organizations to build sustainable student organizations that align with the mission of the College.
  • Recruiting, training, and supervising Student Life staff; 
  • Managing departmental budgetary expenses;
  • Coordinating the facilities management of residence halls;
  • Overseeing and participating in the rotation of the staff “On Call” and ensure those serving have training and accountability measures enforced;
  • Developing, maintaining, assessing, and adjusting the operational calendar for all Student Life departments including MFA, MAT, SALT, and BFA Orientation, residence hall openings and closings, programming, the Counseling & Wellness Center, and Disability Services;
  • Acting as second-tier judicial hearing officer for on-campus student conduct cases, as appeals dictate; act as first-tier judicial hearing officer for all off-campus commuting student conduct cases.
Qualifications, Experience, Abilities
The ideal candidate will have previous managerial experience and significant experience in one or more of the following areas: residence life, student activities, academic advising, counseling, student conduct, disability services, and/or student advocacy. They must have the highest professional and ethical standards, be responsive to student needs, and understand MECA&D’s mission as a student-centered institution with a focus on art and design. The candidate must demonstrate clear and effective leadership and a passion for enhancing student resources and services, and must be able to properly balance student advocacy with student conduct and the broader mission of the College.

The Director of Student Life supervises two Assistant Directors of Student Life, the Counseling & Wellness Coordinator, and the ADA Coordinator, and works closely with the Dean’s office to maintain an integrated student life area. The successful candidate must have the ability to work collaboratively with a team of student service professionals, faculty, staff, and other administrative directors and external partners. The Director of Student Life reports to the Vice President of Academic Affairs/Dean of the College.

A bachelor’s degree is required and a master’s degree is strongly preferred.
The Institution
Maine College of Art & Design is an independent college of art and design located in the center of the thriving arts district of Portland, Maine. Established in 1882, the College currently enrolls approximately 550 students, the majority of whom are in the undergraduate program. About 1,000 students take classes through MECA&D’s Continuing Studies Program annually. MECA&D’s Joanne Waxman Library is an important resource of art­ and design ­oriented books and periodicals for the region. The Institute of Contemporary Art at MECA&D is a vibrant site for the exhibition of contemporary art.

MECA&D is characterized by its intimate learning community, its interdisciplinary nature and the breadth of its programs. It confers the degrees of Bachelor of Fine Arts in eleven majors, Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art, Master of Arts in Teaching, and the Salt Graduate Certificate in Documentary Studies. Our goal at MECA&D is to teach each student how to transform aspirations and values into a creative practice that serves as the foundation for a lifelong pursuit of personal and professional goals.

Maine College of Art & Design is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). The College’s accreditation status with both agencies was renewed in 2016.
Strategic Direction
MECA&D’s seven-year strategic (2020-2027) plan builds on our historic positioning in Portland’s arts district, a shared strategic vision, and proven ability to embrace change. 

Strategic Plan Priorities

1. Broaden Our Reach: Online and Distance Learning

Charge: MECA&D will develop a strategy to effectively enter the online and distance learning marketplace in order to expand our audience of learners and generate additional revenue streams.

2. Develop a Culture of Social Change, Racial Justice, and Equity

Charge: MECA&D’s commitment to Social Change, Racial Justice, and Inclusion will inform all aspects of the College. We believe placing these values at the forefront of our work cultivates artists who are true agents of change and connects our community to the world in meaningful ways.

3. Academic Excellence

Charge: MECA&D will cultivate the highest standards in teaching and learning in art, design, and media, and will be recognized for its students’ cultural contributions. The College will be known as an educational leader in the programs it offers, creating and continually improving a relevant, culturally inclusive, and distinctive curriculum that enables students to reach their potential in an ever-changing world.

Recognizing a rapidly evolving and increasingly challenging higher education landscape, the College will create additional programs and educational pathways to attract learners beyond its traditional region and age group: this includes professional, mid-career and continuing learners.

4. Create a Living and Learning Center

Charge: MECA&D will develop a new Living and Learning Center that reflects the College’s mission to provide students with the resources and support necessary to pursue their education successfully. Building on MECA&D’s historic role as the creative anchor of Portland, the new Center will expand MECA&D’s footprint and identity within Portland and will provide a destination and hub for community activity and engagement.

5. Financial Sustainability

Charge: An essential principle of our Strategic Plan is to ensure MECA&D’s long-term financial sustainability. As informed by data and other qualitative metrics, we will identify a financial framework and a series of revenue-focused strategic priorities in support of sustainable results and MECA&D’s overall fiscal plan.

Compensation & Benefits

This is a year round, full time, exempt position. Compensation ranges from $62,000 to $68,000, based on experience. A comprehensive benefits package is offered, including health, dental, vacation, sick time, and retirement benefits

To Apply

Applications will be reviewed beginning immediately and will be accepted until a hire is made. Application materials must be sent digitally in a single PDF, not to exceed a 25MB file size. Please email the document to Place “Director of Student Life [Last Name, First Name]” in the subject line. 

The PDF must include:

An application/cover letter which describes how the candidate’s experience, accomplishments and qualifications intersect with the listed position description; 

A resumé/curriculum vitae; 

A diversity statement; 

A list of four references with contact information, one of which should be a prior supervisor and/or professor.
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