California State University, Northridge (CSUN) is an urban, comprehensive university that delivers award-winning undergraduate and graduate programs to nearly 40,000 students and with a community of 330,000 alumni. One of the largest and most diverse universities in the country, nearly two-thirds of CSUN’s students are first-generation students. CSUN ranks 13th in awarding bachelor’s degrees to under-represented minority students and seventh in bachelor’s degrees to Latino students, serves the 13th largest Jewish student population, and enrolls the largest number of students who are deaf and hard-of-hearing of any U.S. state university.

Originally founded in 1958 as San Fernando Valley State College, then renamed in 1972 to California State University, Northridge, the campus has seen its share of growth and development. Beginning with a 165-acre site purchased for $6,000 an acre, the campus has grown to 353 acres with 91 facilities on-site. A unique highlight of the campus landscape is the CSUN Orange Grove and Pond. The Orange Grove is actively used for research (studying bee populations and pond turtles) and is the site for stellar and solar observatories. It is also home to the CSUN Pond which features rock waterfalls, a meandering stream bed, a bridge, and shallow pools.

The Position


Under the supervision of the director of student housing and residential life, the associate director for housing facility operations oversees all activities of the Student Housing Facility Operations unit, including maintenance, custodial, and grounds functions. This position directly supervises two full-time employees and indirectly oversees 45 full-time employees and a varying number of seasonal staff. The associate director manages a $4.6 million annual operating budget and oversees the student housing long-range major maintenance program with a budget of $7 – 10 million per year. The unit maintains 44 acres of grounds and approximately 1.1 million square feet of facilities space in 34 buildings which house 3,200 single students and 120 students and staff with families.

Further, the associate director:

  • serves as a critical member of the Student Housing and Residential Life management team;
  • collaborates with the director to develop and implement a long-range plan that anticipates and responds to facilities needs;
  • collaborates with the Residential Computing Resources team to develop technology solutions for facilities operations functions; and
  • serves as the departmental lead on a wide variety of major maintenance projects.

The associate director serves as a member of the Student Housing emergency team and works closely and collaboratively with various campus departments, notably Capital Projects, Physical Plant Management, Risk Management, Human Resources, and Purchasing.


The former associate director left the position in January 2015 and Tim Trevan, the director of student housing and conference services at the time, chose to initially keep the position open and assume the responsibilities of the associate director.

Trevan left CSU Northridge for UC Irvine in early 2018, and Spelman Johnson was subsequently selected as the university’s search partner. Claire Davis assumed the role of director of student housing and residential life in July 2019 and has quickly established her leadership and vision for the department in this time. With a new director and a clear sense of the priorities for the position, this is an exciting time for a new associate director to join the department’s leadership team.


The Student Housing and Residential Life department is a complex entity with wide-ranging stakeholders and responsibilities. The department has its own facilities operations plant, as well as a dedicated custodial, trades and grounds staff. It is imperative that the new associate director of housing facilities operations is prepared to lead a comprehensive housing facilities program within a growing and dynamic public university. The next associate director will need to take the time to build an understanding of the department, its diverse culture and resident population, as well as the services, operations, use of technology, and importantly, the personnel that comprise the current facilities operations team.

Within this context, there are several aspects of the role of associate director in which the successful candidate will need to be prepared to lead after a period of onboarding, acclimatization and relationship building. These include:

  1. Building a cohesive facilities operations team, including a thorough assessment of the current staffing model and the operational structure of the department’s decentralized maintenance shops;
  2. Developing a new five-year and ten-year residential facilities strategic plan
  3. Continuing to build strong, collaborative relationships with key stakeholders, particularly Capital Projects, Physical Plant Management, Risk Management, Human Resources, and Purchasing;
  4. Integrating the work of the facilities operations team into the broader department; and
  5. Developing departmental facilities operations standards using ACUHO-I/APPA and CSU standards/benchmarks.


A bachelor’s degree is required. The successful candidate must possess strong supervisory skills; a general understanding of building maintenance trades and custodial and grounds operations; experience developing and managing operating and major maintenance budgets; and the ability to effectively establish and maintain cooperative working relationships within a diverse environment.

Additional knowledge, capabilities and experiences needed for success in the position include:

  • experience working in a union environment;
  • experience planning, scheduling and coordinating work in a fast paced facilities management environment; and
  • knowledge of construction administration methods, practices and procedures.

Familiarity with college housing programs is preferred.

In order to succeed in this critical position, campus stakeholders indicated the new associate director of housing facilities operations should be:

  • one who has strong managerial and administrative skills;
  • one who is a great collaborator across departments and external colleagues, and can build on key relationships;
  • one who will be a champion for the facilities operations team;
  • one with a demonstrated commitment to customer service as a key professional priority;
  • one who is an excellent communicator with the ability to reach all levels of the University, especially in advocating for the needs of the facilities operations team and the broader department;
  • one who can bring a balance of trades, personnel and business acumen;
  • one who is adept at supporting and managing change and can improve upon existing operations and practices;
  • one who is an excellent mentor, coach and trainer for staff at all levels;
  • one who has knowledge of, and experience working with, collective bargaining units;
  • one who has experience developing and managing operational and major maintenance budgets and appreciates the boundaries of the state budgeting system;
  • one who can effectively establish and maintain cooperative working relationships within a diverse, multicultural environment;
  • one who has a sense of humor and can build an enjoyable working environment;
  • one who is fair and open-minded;
  • one who has an ability to develop and support high-functioning teams;
  • one who has an ability to interpret technical procedures or regulations;
  • one who has the ability to listen carefully, ask knowledgeable questions, learn the department and its intricacies, accept input from staff, and then make well-informed decisions; and
  • one who will take time to learn and champion CSU Northridge’s culture, strengths, and unique value propositions.


An Overview of the Department

The Office of Student Housing and Residential Life at California State University, Northridge exists to promote individual development, academic success, and conscientious citizenship among residents by providing facilities, services, and programs that foster respectful and responsible living in a learning environment.

The Student Housing and Residential Life staff is focused on student success and dedicated to creating and maintaining a safe and education-focused community through collaboration and teamwork. In an effort to better serve students and community, the program offers a variety of housing options:

  • The Suites at University Park
  • The Apartments at University Park;
  • The Apartments at University Village.

The goal of the office is to cater to the needs of diverse residents that include first year, returning students, graduates, and students with dependent children or spouses. Additionally, Student Housing currently offers living learning communities (LLCs) and themed living communities (TLCs) aimed at bringing together students with similar academic interests, personal passions and life experiences in a supportive, on-campus environment. Members of LLCs and TLCs enjoy many benefits, including special group activities, specialized facilities, extra academic support, and dedicated advisors.

Student Housing and Residential Life Departmental Profile

Student Housing:

  • 3 Residential Communities
  • 3,320 student beds
  • 644 apartment units
  • 440 suite style units
  • 114 family housing units

Residential Life:

  • 7 Living Learning Communities
  • 4 Themed Living Communities
  • Academic Mentor Program
  • Residence Hall Association
  • Strong social justice orientation

Facilities Operations:

  • Custodial Services
  • Grounds Keeping
  • Maintenance Trades
  • 3 Swimming Pools
  • Sand Volleyball and Basketball Courts

Administrative Services:

  • Assignments and Contracts
  • Conference Services
  • Mail Services
  • Marketing and Communications

Business and Financial Services:

  • Budget and Financial Reporting
  • Housing Management System (StarRez)
  • In-house Residential Computing Resources (IT)
  • Accounts Payable and Receivable

Conference & Event Services:

  • 32 conference groups annually
  • 2982 attendees

Approved Budget FY 19/20




$     28,349,382

Salaries and Benefits  $     8,521,633
Operating Expenses  $     7,761,299
Debt Services  $     4,195,245
Capital Projects  $     9,319,667
Capital Reserve Allocation  $     9,433,316


Organizational Chart for Student Housing and Residential Life

Student Housing and Residential Life Leadership


Claire Davis, Director for Student Housing and Residential Life

Claire Davis has served CSUN in progressive roles for over 25 years. She became director of student housing and residential life in June of 2019. Davis provides leadership and guidance to the department while working collaboratively with the three associate directors who oversee the residential life, facilities operations, and administrative services functions of the department. Her focus is on offering supportive, efficient and timely services to students, parents and clients affiliated with Student Housing and Residential Life. The success of CSUN’s highly diverse, primarily first-generation student population is a critical component of Davis’ vision for the department.

In addition to serving as director, Davis also dedicates her time being a mentor to foster youth attending CSUN and is honored to participate on the advisory committee for the EOP Resilient Scholar program. She received her master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from California Baptist University.

Shelley Ruelas-Bischoff, Associate Vice President for Student Life

Shelley Ruelas-Bischoff provides leadership and strategic direction for programs and services that support successful student transition, engagement, personal development and learning. She holds administrative oversight for the Office of Student Development, the International and Exchange Student Center, Student Housing and Residential Life, Associated Students, and the University Student Union. Dr. Ruelas-Bischoff has been dedicated to issues of access and equity for students throughout her career, with a strong focus on initiatives aimed at improving the educational, personal and social outcomes of traditionally underserved and diverse student populations.

Dr. Ruelas-Bischoff is a licensed psychologist and earned her doctorate in counseling, clinical and school psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Organizational Chart for Division of Student Affairs

Institution & Location


Institutional History

Founded in 1958, California State University, Northridge is a vibrant, diverse university community of 38,310 students and more than 4,000 faculty and staff, sited on a 353-acre campus in the heart of Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley.

It was founded first as the Valley satellite campus of Cal State Los Angeles. It then became an independent college in 1958 as San Fernando Valley State College and underwent major campus master planning and construction. The University adopted its current name of California State University, Northridge in 1972.

CSUN offers a variety of programs including bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, doctoral degrees, and teaching credentials. CSUN ranks 10th in the U.S. in bachelor’s degrees awarded to underrepresented minority students. The University has over 330,000 alumni. CSUN is home to the National Center on Deafness, and the University hosts the International Conference on Technology and Persons with Disabilities (more commonly known as the CSUN Conference), which is held each year in San Diego. CSUN’s Chicana and Chicano Studies Department is the largest in California.


California State University, Northridge exists to enable students to realize their educational goals. The University’s first priority is to promote the welfare and intellectual progress of students. To fulfill this mission, we design programs and activities to help students develop the academic competencies, professional skills, critical and creative abilities, and ethical values of learned persons who live in a democratic society, an interdependent world, and a technological age; we seek to foster a rigorous and contemporary understanding of the liberal arts, sciences, and professional disciplines, and we believe in the following values:

  • Commitment to Teaching, Scholarship, and Active Learning. We demonstrate excellence in teaching. We honor and reward high performance in learning, teaching, scholarship, research, service, and creative activity. Because the quality of our academic programs is central to our mission, we encourage intellectual curiosity and protect the multiple expressions of academic freedom.
  • Commitment to Excellence. We set the highest standards for ourselves in all of our actions and activities and support the professional development of faculty, staff, and administrators. We assess our performance so that every area of University life will be continually improved and renewed. We recognize and reward our efforts of greatest distinction and through them provide state and national leadership.
  • Respect for All People. We aspire to behave as an inclusive, cooperative community. Our behaviors, policies, and programs affirm the worth and personal dignity of every member of the University community and contribute to a campus climate of civility, collegiality, tolerance, and reasoned debate.
  • Alliances with the Community. We seek partnerships with local schools, community colleges, businesses, government, and social agencies to advance the educational, intellectual, artistic, civic, cultural, and economic aspirations of our surrounding communities.
  • Encouragement of Innovation, Experimentation, and Creativity. We seek to provide an environment conducive to innovation, experimentation, and creativity. We encourage all members of our community to take intellectual and creative risks and to embrace changes that will enhance the fulfillment of the University’s mission.


California State University, Northridge is inspired by the belief that our commitment to educational opportunity, inclusion, and excellence will extend the promise of America to succeeding generations. Our graduates will be the vanguard of leaders—committed to sustaining a democracy in which diverse people share in the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, proficient in applying technology to wise purposes, and dedicated to securing a humane world community and sustaining the bounty of the Earth.

As an institution of higher learning:

  • we will create a community of shared values in which faculty, students, staff, administrators and alumni will experience personal satisfaction and pride in our collective achievements;
  • we will be the first choice for university applicants who seek a rigorous, collaborative teaching/learning experience in a technologically rich environment;
  • we will be the leader in enhancing the educational, cultural and economic resources of our region, and;
  • we will receive local and national recognition for our distinctive achievements in teaching, learning, scholarship, and service.

Strategic Plan

Grounded in the Mission, Values and Vision of California State University, Northridge, this document summarizes the CSUN planning priorities, identified through formal and informal campus discussions and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accreditation process, and utilized in the University’s divisional and college planning.

The priorities are interdependent and together create the dynamic environment and educational conditions that nurture and sustain student success—our overarching, primary priority. Student success depends on an engaged and supportive faculty and staff. Both student and employee success are facilitated and sustained through embracing the power of diversity, growing CSUN’s visibility and reputation, increasing financial strength to pursue the University’s mission and planning priorities, increasing research and sponsored programs, fostering responsible stewardship of the environment, and using athletics as a tool for engagement. As an economic and social leader throughout the region, these priorities all power CSUN’s elevation of the communities we serve.

For a more detailed look at the strategic plan visit the website at


Dianne Harrison, President

Dr. Dianne F. Harrison is the fifth president of California State University, Northridge and began her appointment in June of 2012. Before her appointment, she served as president of California State University, Monterey Bay, a position she had held since 2006. Prior to CSU Monterey Bay, she worked at Florida State University, where she served for nearly 30 years in various capacities starting as a faculty member, then as dean of social work, associate vice president for academic affairs, dean of graduate studies, and vice president for academic quality and external programs. Dr. Harrison has announced that she will step away from the presidency at CSUN effective June 30, 2020.

Known for her commitment to students, academic excellence, and strategic leadership, President Harrison has a reputation for building strong partnerships with public and private organizations, enabling students, faculty, and staff to cross institutional boundaries and engage in innovative instruction.

Since her appointment, Dr. Harrison has identified eight key priorities for CSUN:

1) an unrelenting focus on student success;

2) focus on employees for success;

3) the visibility and reputation of the University;

4) planning for a future less dependent on state funding;

5) increasing research activity and sponsored programs;

6) sustainability;

7) using athletics as a tool for engagement; and

8) diversity and inclusive excellence.

She holds a Ph.D. in social work from Washington University in St. Louis and a master’s of social work and a bachelor’s in American Studies, both from the University of Alabama. Her academic and research areas of expertise include HIV prevention among women and minority populations and higher education issues related to university leadership. A prolific researcher and writer, Dr. Harrison has published dozens of articles and two books.

Dr. Harrison was awarded a Trailblazer Award by Leadership California in April of 2015. She is the recipient of “A Tree of Life Award” from the Parent Institute for Quality Education for her contributions to the education of all children and was inducted into the Monterey Business Hall of Fame by the Junior Achievement of Silicon Valley and Monterey Bay. In January of 2012, she was invited by the U.S. Department of Education to a national convening of “For Democracy’s Future: Education Reclaims Our Civic Mission” at the White House. Among the University’s achievements since Dr. Harrison’s arrival, CSUN was inducted into the San Fernando Valley Business Hall of Fame by the Valley Industry and Commerce Association (VICA) in June of 2013.

Since Dr. Harrison’s arrival, the University has also received several significant recognitions, including: being ranked among the top 25 in Nature magazine’s 2016 index of Rising Stars in science; two national awards in 2016 for sustainability, including the Excellence and Innovation Award from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and a Solution Generation’s Climate Leadership Award from the Hispanic Association of Universities and Colleges; the Eddy Award for Educational Leadership from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation in 2015; and induction into the San Fernando Valley Business Hall of Fame by the Valley Industry and Commerce Association in June  of 2013, and the Excellence in Community Service Award from Valley Presbyterian Hospital.

Information on the President’s Cabinet

The Academic Program

Nine colleges offer 68 baccalaureate degrees, 58 master’s degrees, 14 teaching credential programs in the field of education, and various opportunities in extended learning and other special programs. The student-faculty ratio at California State University, Northridge is 27:1, and the institution has 13.3 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The average first year retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 78 percent.

CSUN Colleges

  • Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, & Communication
  • David Nazarian College of Business and Economics
  • Michael D. Eisner, College of Education
  • Engineering & Computer Science
  • Health & Human Development
  • Humanities
  • Oviatt Library
  • Science & Mathematics
  • Social & Behavioral Sciences
  • The Tseng College

The Student Body

California State University, Northridge had a total fall 2019 undergraduate enrollment of 38,391, and awarded 10,460 degrees in 2017-18. The journal, Nature, recently named CSUN a Rising Star for scientific research, and the National Science Foundation ranks CSUN in the top five nationally among similar institutions for graduates who go on to earn doctorates in the sciences.

Academic Level    FTES  Headcount Percent
Freshman 6,039.27 6,338 16.5%
Sophomore 4,288.53 4,655 12.1%
Junior 9,334.00 11,142 29.0%
Senior 10,170.53 12,498 32.6%
Undergraduate 29,832.33 34,633 90.2%
Graduate 2,638.48 3,758 9.8%


Men 14,212.70 16,968 44.2%
Women 18,235.92 21,397 55.7%
Nonbinary 22.20 26 0.1%

CSUN student activities include over 300 clubs and organizations, community service programs, leadership opportunities, and many ways to get involved in recreation and entertainment activities.

For a detailed look at the 2019 CSUN Profile of students, visit

About Northridge, CA

Once called North Los Angeles, the neighborhood known as Northridge is a jewel of the San Fernando Valley. Near the northwest edge of the San Fernando Valley, nestled between Chatsworth, Porter Ranch, the Granada Hills, and Reseda, Northridge combines urban living with access to the natural beauty of the surrounding countryside, including the nearby Chatsworth Reservoir and Lake Balboa.

The region that became Northridge was originally settled by the native Gabrielino or Tongva people, who built their dome-shaped houses in the area where Northridge is now located. When Spanish explorers came to the region in the 1700s, it was called Zelzah, and was home to fresh water fed by underground streams that still run beneath the neighborhood. Renamed North Los Angeles in 1929, the name was later changed to Northridge in 1938 to avoid confusion with nearby North Hollywood.

With a population of more than 60,000 people according to L.A. Department of City Planning estimates, Northridge is still one of the least densely populated areas of Los Angeles. The neighborhood is also considered highly diverse for the area. The median household income is around $68,000, and over the years Northridge has been home to its share of celebrities, including Barbara Stanwyck, Brian Grazer, and several professional athletes. ranks Northridge among the best neighborhoods in Los Angeles County, where Northridge receives an A or A+ grade in housing, weather, and amenities, and has a total livability score of 80, putting it eight percent above the national average. Alongside some of the best public and private schools in the region, Northridge is also home to the Northridge Fashion Center, the largest shopping mall in the area, and one of only two hospitals in the San Fernando Valley certified for treating life-threatening injuries.

California State University, Northridge is home to the CSUN Botanic Garden, as well as the Donald E. Bianchi Planetarium. Residents of Northridge can also enjoy the local Recreation Center – complete with and outdoor heated pool on the grounds – as well as easy access to nearby parks and protected natural areas such as the Chatsworth Reservoir or the Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park to the north and Lake Balboa to the south.

The neighborhood is home to dozens of restaurants, many of them concentrated along Reseda Boulevard, and there are plenty of coffee shops near the CSUN campus, including half-a-dozen locations of the Freudian Sip coffee house on the University campus itself. The recently opened Gen Korean BBQ House is ranked by Yelp as one of the best places to eat in Northridge, with more than 500 five-star reviews.

Benefits Overview

CSUN offers a comprehensive benefits package including health plans, retirement plans, tuition reduction, and other employee programs.

Benefits include

  • Paid Time Off
  • Health Care Plans
  • Retirement and Savings Plans
  • Disability and Life Insurance
  • Leave of Absence Plans, including parental and family medical leave
  • Tuition and Fee Waiver/Reduction Program
  • Flexible and Voluntary Benefits
  • Employee Assistance Program

For a more detailed look at benefits, visit the web page at

Application & 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 Michel Frendian, Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the CSUN Office of Student Housing and Residential Life website at Visit the CSUN website at

As an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer, CSUN strives to create a community in which a diverse population can work, teach, and learn in an atmosphere of civility and respect for the rights of each individual. We consider qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, genetic information, medical information, marital status, or veteran status.