RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE POSITION

Reporting to the dean of the college, the associate dean of residential life oversees, develops, administers, and manages all aspects of the comprehensive residential life program for undergraduates living in campus residence halls and living-learning communities. This includes oversight of all professional staff in the units that comprise Residential Life: House Communities, Undergraduate Housing, Residential Education, and Greek Life. As such, this position must work closely with the dean of the college and other senior divisional leadership while collaborating with student affairs colleagues, faculty, students, and others to create and maintain a residential community that fosters integrative student academic, social, and emotional growth. As an active Student Affairs management team member, the associate dean oversees a staff of 16 with an additional six house professors with a dual report to the dean of the college and a $5M budget.

Key accountabilities include:

Programs and Services

  • Serves as the primary divisional resource regarding undergraduate Residential Life and envisions, develops, and implements Residential Life goals, programs, policies, and systems in order to promote student success, wellness, and learning.
  • Works collaboratively with academic colleagues and Student Affairs to imagine and further implement an integrative, residential life model to successfully bolster the academic excellence that a Dartmouth education embodies, including oversight, development, implementation, and ongoing management of living-learning and house communities and associated programs.
  • Develops and advances diversity, equity, and inclusivity in the residential experience.
  • Partners with other senior leadership to advance divisional strategic priorities.
  • Partners with the Office of Community Standards & Accountability to ensure consistent and appropriate management of disciplinary issues in residential communities.
  • Serves as senior staff in charge, oversees the residence life on-call system, and works closely with the director of Residential Operations in responding to facilities crises, and assists in the management of student and community crisis response.
  • Informs programmatic and design discussions regarding the development, construction, and renovation of campus residential facilities.
  • Serves as representative on departmental, divisional, and institutional working groups and committees as assigned.

Administration

  • Oversees hiring, orientation, ongoing training, and evaluation of all staff in the offices that comprise Residential Life: Residential Education, Undergraduate Housing, and Greek Life.
  • Sustains systems of communication, information sharing, and teamwork among leadership in Residential Life offices to promote the highest quality programs and living experience possible.
  • Responds to family & supporter questions and concerns about Residential Life programs and services.
  • Develops and administers Residential Life budgets, including collaboration with the director of fiscal management and human resources to identify financial resources and conduct strategic planning.
  • Designs and implements assessment to evaluate the effectiveness of Residential Life programs and services.
  • Serves as a member of the Student Affairs senior management team and acts on behalf of the dean of the college in their absence.

The Position

HISTORY OF THE POSITION

Over the past 20 years, two individuals have lead Dartmouth’s residential life program. The most recent associate dean left Dartmouth at the end of September after leading the department for ten years.

The Division of Student Affairs and the department look forward to an innovative, transformative leader to help move Residential Life forward.

OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES OF THE ROLE

Residential Life is a complex entity with wide-ranging stakeholders and responsibilities. It is imperative that the new associate dean fully comprehends, embraces, and fosters a collaborative operation (Residential Education, Housing, and Greek Life) that relies heavily on shared relationships and mutual partnerships. This is an exciting time for this associate dean to come to Dartmouth, as Residential Life is ripe for positive transformation and growth.

Within this context, there are several challenges and opportunities within the associate dean role. The successful candidate must be prepared to lead after acclimatization and relationship building.

  • Residential Life needs to better integrate with the whole campus, serving as a vital partner with other offices and departments, including Community Standards and Accountability, Student Wellness Center, Student Life, and Safety and Security to enhance the student experience through innovative services and programming.
  • Dartmouth is a highly residential campus providing this associate dean with a level of influence that must be paired with a strong vision for the housing communities.
  • Engage in a renewed focus on mental health issues and how Residential Life can contribute to the campus efforts to facilitate these issues.
  • Infuse assessment and use of data to guide informed decisions for the department.
  • Dartmouth has a new president beginning this summer who has shown a strong interest in the student experience and the work of Student Affairs.
  • Enhance the undergraduate advisor’s (UGA) role to include responsibilities that better align with the work and values of Residential Life and Student Affairs.
  • Create an approach to recruit and retain staff members while providing professional development, inspired training, and growth opportunities for students and professional staff.
  • The role of Greek Life in campus culture is a complicated conversation at Dartmouth. This new associate dean should work to engage the Greek system and further integrate this community into the residential experience in healthy, inclusive, and positive ways.
  • Dartmouth is currently undertaking a multi-year housing facility renewal resulting in beds being offline at various times throughout the year.
  • Dartmouth house system is at a critical point. Starting in 2015, it is now time for this associate dean to fully evaluate the system and develop an overarching vision, goals, and successful narrative.
  • Dartmouth is seriously considering a new residential facility about a mile from campus, which will change the culture of Residential Life as students cannot simply walk to campus.
  • The fast-paced quarter system at Dartmouth proves to be challenging for housing, with many students moving in and out of facilities several times a year.

MEASURES OF SUCCESS

 At an appropriate interval after joining Dartmouth, the following will define initial success for the associate dean.

  • Strong, valued, and trusted working relationships are established among members of the Student Affairs management team and the Dartmouth community.
  • The connection with Student Affairs and campus partners is further strengthened, with enhanced opportunities and intentional collaboration supporting campus-wide student success initiatives.
  • The associate dean is a visible and present leader providing centralized, consistent, and transparent internal and external communication throughout the department.
  • Residential Life has taken a more proactive approach to mental health concerns and has become a valued campus partner.
  • All three components of Residential Life are effectively integrated, and all feel equally and fairly treated with their unique contributions both appreciated and respected.
  • An understanding of each staff member’s role and how they contribute to the larger organization has been developed; the staff feel valued and supported.
  • Students know and feel comfortable communicating with the associate dean and the leadership team.
  • The associate dean has been through every facility and understands the issues associated with each building.
  • A compelling vision for the future of campus housing is established in partnership with institutional leadership and key campus stakeholder groups.
  • The associate dean has a solid understanding of the Greek community at Dartmouth, and those students feel supported.
  • High levels of occupancy are maintained through innovative programming, the maintenance of desirable residential accommodations, and comprehensive marketing strategies that are responsive to enrollment and housing trends.
  • An understanding of and commitment to diversity is shown through value-based decision-making that creates thriving student communities.
  • The associate dean has worked closely with all the House professors to further their efforts to contribute to an elevated student experience.
  • The associate dean has successfully worked with their counterparts to bridge the gaps with other Dartmouth offices, and traditional tensions are beginning to resolve.
  • The associate dean has listened, analyzed, and contributed to plans that are best for the division and department moving forward.
  • A spirit of collaboration, transparency, and open dialogue is built within the Residential Life staff, and other departments recognize their efforts.

Qualifications

QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS

A master’s degree in student affairs or a counseling-related discipline, or the equivalent, is required, with a minimum of eight years of progressively responsible and relevant student affairs experience, preferably in residential life. The successful candidate will have demonstrated experience working both independently and collaboratively, with outstanding proficiency in teamwork, collaboration, flexibility, and organizational problem-solving; demonstrated effectiveness in project management, including facilitating the development of project goals and implementation strategies; and solid skills in financial and budget management with the ability to interpret and prepare departmental budgets and other financial reports. The associate dean will have a solid foundation in student developmental theory and its application to professional practice in higher education and demonstrated ability and commitment to fostering the development of and building strong relationships with students; interpersonal skills to effectively work with students, faculty, and staff; and cultural competence and proven effectiveness in serving the needs of a diverse undergraduate student population. In addition, the associate dean will have a proven record of successful management and supervisory experience; a track record of setting and achieving professional and departmental goals; and demonstrated ability to utilize data for decision-making, accountability, and continuous improvement. The ability to communicate and relate effectively to all constituent groups within the College community, a proven record of successful experience responding to individual and community issues and crises, and a commitment to address challenges collaboratively and creatively are all required attributes of the next associate dean. Finally, a proven record of success and effectiveness in the oversight and management of residential life programs within a selective liberal arts undergraduate community is preferred.

In addition to the stated qualifications and characteristics, Dartmouth stakeholders identified the following characteristics as important for the associate dean of residential life (in no particular order):

  • Ability to provide a vibrant residential environment that supports the College’s mission and values while assuring meaningful connections with the academic community, high resident satisfaction, a strong sense of community and self-governance, supportive learning environments, and focus on access, equity, and safety.
  • Demonstrated record of using data and predictive measures to evaluate and manage programs, services, facilities, and staffing through assessment, best practices, and institutional context to allow for informed decisions.
  • An understanding of and deep commitment to social justice and demonstrated cultural competence with a firm belief in the value of diversity in enriching the learning experience and the quality of life on campus.
  • A compassionate, accessible, transparent, and ethical leader with excellent communication skills to clearly articulate vision, direction, and purpose to the department and the broader campus community and earn the respect and confidence of the faculty, staff, students, and community.
  • A proven record of implementing change, establishing a vision and direction for an office/department, motivating staff and students to embrace change, and successfully creating new programs and initiatives to enhance the quality of life for all residents.
  • Credible, engaging, supportive, empathetic, and approachable supervisor with knowledge of each staff member’s responsibilities, respect for their work and contributions, and adept at advocating for staff and students, their programs, and their needs.
  • Experience with and/or an appreciation for Greek Life and the value fraternal organizations can provide Dartmouth.
  • A strong systems thinker who can assist Residential Life and Student Affairs in a proactive approach to upcoming trends, issues, and needs.
  • Solid supervisory experience with a proven ability to engage in active supervision, mediate conflicts, and make tough decisions when necessary.
  • Strong community builder and collaborator, capable of building bridges to various departments, faculty, staff, students, and the broader Dartmouth community.
  • Highly energetic and accessible individual with a strong sense of self and the ability to make difficult and/or unpopular decisions for the betterment of the department.
  • Demonstrated leadership ability with excellent management skills, the ability to manage feedback with constructive action, and to build a solid framework to effectively develop and manage a complex, student-centered department.
  • Strong crisis management skills and demonstrated experience successfully working through crisis situations, with knowledge of risk management, mental health issues, and policies and laws impacting campus professionals and students.
  • Embodies a positive energy, solid sense of creativity, purpose, and accountability that can be infused throughout the department.
  • Profound interest in student development with a broad knowledge of residential life, best practices, and the profession, and a commitment to encourage and support professional development experiences at all levels within the department.
  • Ability to genuinely connect with, support, and relate to a highly engaged and intelligent student body by being visible and accessible to all students, attending student events of all kinds, and serving as a strong resource.
  • Committed to establishing a student-centered approach to learning and engagement throughout the department’s programs and services.

Institution & Location

OVERVIEW OF RESIDENTIAL LIFE

 Residential Life is responsible for maintaining student residences and providing a variety of learning opportunities that promote students’ academic endeavors and encourage growth and development. Residential Life includes Residential Education, Housing, and Greek Life.

Mission and values

Philosophy

The House System

Overview of Greek Life

Since 1842, fraternity and sorority life has been an exciting and important part of the Dartmouth College experience.

The Greek-letter community is diverse, with both local and nationally affiliated organizations representing the National Panhellenic Conference, the North American Interfraternity Conference, National Pan-Hellenic Council, and the Multicultural Greek Council.

The Office of Greek Life is responsible for leadership development, organizational management, and general administration for all Greek-letter organizations, Greek honor societies, undergraduate societies, and senior societies at Dartmouth College.

About Greek Life

Overview of Housing

The Housing Office offers on-campus housing within communities designed to enhance students’ opportunities to learn from each other, while also supporting the goals they have established for their academic careers at Dartmouth.

Foundations of the Community

OVERVIEW OF THE DIVISION OF STUDENT AFFAIRS

Mission

Dartmouth College exists to prepare the most promising students for a lifetime of learning and of responsible leadership launched by a focus on intellectual and personal growth in a residential liberal arts community. Thus, Student Affairs fosters the integration of learning and student life, with a view toward students’ contributions to the world beyond Dartmouth. At Dartmouth, our goal is that the ways that students live, learn, and lead seamlessly intersect to create a community of learners and doers.

Whether through co-curricular innovations, advising and academic enhancement programs, student organizations, residential education, health, and wellness programming, faith and cultural identity support, service and professional development, or traditional college celebrations, Student Affairs seeks to empower all students to reach their full potential as critical thinkers who live, work, and serve in complex communities.

In partnership with students, faculty, staff, and alumni, we foster a learning environment that:

  • Integrates intellectual, personal, and professional development into all students’ experiences.
  • Constructively engages and strengthens our community.
  • Critically examines values, beliefs, systems, and structures.
  • Expects and assists students in holding themselves and each other accountable for a community that is welcoming, inclusive, and equitable.
  • Embraces challenge as opportunities for growth and celebrates achievements.

https://student-affairs.dartmouth.edu/

Leadership of the Division of Student Affairs

Scott C. Brown – Dean of the College

Dean of the College Scott Brown is the senior officer responsible for academic and co-curricular life at Dartmouth. He oversees the division of Student Affairs, including Student Support Services, Health and Wellness, Community Life and Inclusivity, Student Life, and Residential Life.

Prior to coming to Dartmouth, Dean Brown served as interim associate vice president and dean of students at Northern Arizona University, vice president and dean of students at The College of Wooster, associate vice president and dean of students at Colgate University, director of the Daniel L. Jones Career Development Center at Mount Holyoke College, and as an area director in Residential Life at Dartmouth.

Dean Brown has been active in higher education through leadership involvement in state associations and national conventions, publications, and presentations on a wide range of topics such as creating powerful learning environments, understanding complex issues of identity, and examining student affairs as a profession. His work has appeared in the American Journal of Sexuality Education, the International Journal of Aging and Human Development, the Journal of College Student Development, and the Journal of Colleges and Employers. A first-generation college student, he received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Irvine, his master’s degree in education from Indiana University, and his doctorate from the University of Maryland.

https://student-affairs.dartmouth.edu/about/dean-college

INSTITUTIONAL OVERVIEW

Institutional History

Dartmouth’s root system weaves through many pivotal moments in the history of the United States. Founded in 1769, the College has shaped the education landscape and prepared generations of leaders to advance industries, societies, and cultures. Dartmouth’s founder, Eleazar Wheelock, a Congregational minister from Connecticut, established the College “for the education and instruction of youth of the Indian tribes in this land… English Youth, and any others.” Samson Occom, a Mohegan Indian and one of Wheelock’s first students, was instrumental in raising the funds necessary to found the College.

New Hampshire Governor John Wentworth provided the land on the banks of the Connecticut River that would become Dartmouth’s picturesque 269-acre campus. The setting gives Dartmouth a profound sense of place that has become one of its hallmarks. Its profound natural beauty was not lost on President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who remarked, “This is what a college should look like,” when he visited in 1953.

Dartmouth was the subject of a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case in 1819 (Dartmouth College v. Woodward), in which the College prevailed against the State of New Hampshire, which sought to amend Dartmouth’s charter. The case is one of the most important and formative documents in United States constitutional history, paving the way for American private institutions to conduct their affairs in accordance with their charters without interference from the state. Politician, statesman, and Dartmouth alumnus Daniel Webster, Class of 1801, passionately argued for the original charter to be preserved. “It is … a small college,” he said, “and yet there are those who love it.”

During its first 200 years, Dartmouth did little to actualize its founding commitment to Native students. In 1970, Dartmouth reaffirmed its founding mission and two years later established one of the first Native American programs in the country. Today, 200 Indigenous students—representing more than 70 different tribal nations & communities—attend the College. Dartmouth counts over 1,200 Native graduates among its alumni.

With a celebrated liberal arts curriculum and pioneering professional schools, Dartmouth has forged a singular identity, combining its deep commitment to outstanding undergraduate liberal arts and graduate education with distinguished research and scholarship. The College has been at the forefront of educational invention, continually identifying new methods of enhancing the impact of higher education such as the Rassias Method® for foreign language instruction. Now a worldwide phenomenon, the method was invented by Dartmouth Professor John Rassias in the 1960s.

Dartmouth’s groundbreaker DNA is also borne out in its professional schools: the Geisel School of Medicine, the nation’s fourth-oldest medical school; Thayer School of Engineering, one of the nation’s first professional schools of engineering; and the Tuck School of Business, the world’s first graduate school of management. Dartmouth is also the first school in the world to offer a graduate degree in health care delivery science.

In 2017, Dartmouth topped the Ivy League in Nature’s innovation index, awarded for the greatest number of scientific papers that lead to patents. And the College has been rated in the top 10 of all schools for undergraduate teaching by U.S. News & World Report for the entire lifetime of the rankings-including several years at #1.

When a school is imbued with such a profound sense of place and such a powerful sense of community, it stands to reason that after two and a half centuries, it will have built a number of beloved traditions. Here is just a sampling.

Presidential Debates

Dartmouth is a frequent stop on the campaign trail, giving students the chance to experience New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary. For more than a quarter of a century, the College has hosted debates featuring key presidential candidates. This up-front-and-personal exposure to the election process has inspired many Dartmouth graduates to pursue prominent careers in government and journalism.

Dartmouth Night and Homecoming

During Dartmouth Night and Homecoming, alumni return to join students in an iconic celebration of the glories of autumn. Together, they march in the colorful annual parade and celebrate in the glow of a dramatic bonfire on the Green—a tradition that dates back to 1888.

Winter Carnival

The annual Winter Carnival began more than 100 years ago as a way to showcase Dartmouth’s celebrated winter athletes. Since 1924, 147 Dartmouth-affiliated athletes have competed in the winter Olympics—the most in the Ivy League. In the 2018 Winter Olympics, the College added a tenth silver medal to add to its 13 gold and six bronze medals. If Dartmouth were a country, its haul would place the College 21st in the all-time medal count, just behind Great Britain.

First-Year Trips

This outdoor transition-to-Dartmouth program for incoming students is led and organized by upper-level students alongside staff in the Outdoor Programs Office. First-year students begin to get to know Dartmouth and each other while exploring the region’s remarkably beautiful natural environment. Students can opt for local experiences—including the Appalachian Trail, which passes through downtown Hanover—or venture as far as Dartmouth’s Second College Grant, a 27,000-acre wilderness 140 miles northeast of Hanover rich in recreational and research opportunities. This wealth of possibilities is supported by one of the nation’s finest outdoor infrastructures, including the newly renovated Moosilauke Lodge and its student crew, the Dartmouth Skiway, and Ledyard Canoe Club.

Dartmouth Powwow

For more than four decades, the Native community at Dartmouth has hosted the annual Dartmouth Powwow. Honoring Dartmouth’s long-standing mission of educating Native students, the event draws hundreds of competitors and participants from across the country who gather on the Green to welcome the spring and celebrate Native cultures and history.

https://admissions.dartmouth.edu/about/history-traditions

Mission and core values

Strategic plan

Diversity Statement

Diversity at all levels is critical to Dartmouth’s mission of providing an environment that combines rigorous study with the excitement of discovery. As an institution of higher education, Dartmouth is defined by the belief that a multiplicity of values and beliefs, interests and experiences, intellectual and cultural viewpoints enrich learning and inform scholarship.

Respect for the cultures that make Dartmouth a dynamic teaching, research, and service environment is a bedrock institutional value. Dartmouth’s Office of Institutional Diversity & Equity provides resources across the Institution to promote access, respect, inclusiveness, and community in all of Dartmouth’s working and learning environments.

The Student Body

Total Enrollment: 6,292

Undergraduate: 4,170

Graduate: 2,122

Retention Rate: 98%

Institutional Leadership

Philip J. Hanlon – President

Philip J. Hanlon ’77 became Dartmouth’s 18th president on June 10, 2013. He is the 10th Dartmouth alumnus to serve as its president.

As president, Hanlon has championed academic excellence and encouraged innovation in scholarship and teaching. He has launched initiatives to build interdisciplinary strength around global challenges, expanded opportunities for experiential learning, and initiated new seed funding programs to support cutting-edge research and creative endeavors.

Committed to reining in the costs of higher education, Hanlon has maintained fiscal rigor and established an annual institution-wide reallocation process while holding tuition increases to the lowest levels since the 1970s. At the same time, he has overseen record levels of giving.

Sian Leah Beilock – President-Elect 2023-2024

Sian Leah Beilock is the president-elect of Dartmouth. She is the first woman to be elected president of Dartmouth by the board of trustees and will begin her tenure in the 2023-24 academic year.

Beilock currently serves as the eighth president of Barnard College at Columbia University. One of the most selective academic institutions in the world, Barnard is devoted to empowering exceptional women to change the world and the way we think about it.

Beilock is one of the world’s leading experts on the brain science behind “choking under pressure” in business, education, and sports. In the last several years, her research has focused specifically on success in math and science for women and girls and on how performance anxiety can either be exacerbated or alleviated by teachers, parents, and peers.

Application & Nomination

BENEFITS OVERVIEW

To read about the full benefits offered at Dartmouth College, please see here.

APPLICATION AND NOMINATION

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Heather J. Larabee at hjl@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email info@spelmanjohnson.com.

New Hampshire is a state that does not require public salary disclosure. For more information, please contact Heather J. Larabee.

RELATED LINKS

About Dartmouth

https://home.dartmouth.edu/

About Hanover, NH

https://www.hanovernh.org/