The Position



Reporting to the vice president for student life, the director of the Erb Memorial Union (EMU) is responsible for the overall vision, direction, and daily administration of the EMU, ensuring that its programs and services are in alignment with its mission, the Division of Student Life strategic plan, and the University of Oregon’s (UO) strategic framework. The director is responsible for ensuring they and their staff meet two overarching and parallel goals: the efficient and financially stable operation of quality student union facilities and services for the university community, and the planning, coordination, and facilitation of student engagement opportunities that meet the co-curricular and student development needs of UO students. The director is expected to demonstrate the highest commitment to cultivating and supporting a culturally rich and diverse community in the EMU through the hiring, retention, and professional development of talented, diverse individuals at all levels of the EMU organization and prioritizing and providing support for collaborative and inclusive relationships with students, faculty, staff, and professional colleagues. The director leads and manages a dynamic full-time team of 80, including seven direct reports, oversees a student staff of 300, and manages an operating budget of $18 million.

Specific Responsibilities

  • Consistent with the university’s and division’s missions, provide overall leadership of the Erb Memorial Union, including establishing and implementing a departmental strategic plan, encompassing short- and long-term organizational goals, objectives, policies, and operating procedures; monitoring and evaluating program effectiveness; and implementing changes required for improvement.
  • Design, establish, and maintain an organizational structure and staffing plan to effectively accomplish the department’s goals and objectives.
  • Oversee the recruitment, training, supervision, and evaluation of staff through direct supervision, as well as through the work of subordinate supervisors.
  • Directly supervise seven officers of administration (activities, operations, administration, retail/service, technology and innovation, and child care) and one classified employee (executive support); responsible for hiring, taking disciplinary action, training, orientation, and annual performance evaluations.
  • Indirectly responsible, through subordinate supervisors, for approximately 73 additional staff and 300 student employees.
  • Work collaboratively with financial services staff to develop an overall annual base budget for facility, program, operational, capital improvement, and debt service requirements, including recommendations for setting a yearly mandatory student fee and revenue generation through food sales, retail sales, event management, and entrepreneurial activity.
  • Establish a climate and infrastructure leading to meaningful assessment and learning outcomes that guide curriculum and program implementation and an educational student experience.
  • Effectively represent the EMU to various on- and off-campus groups through campus collaborations, community events, speaking engagements, and presentations.
  • Promote staff development and training programs designed to enhance communication, teamwork, and job skills.
  • Provide a safe and healthy physical environment for students, employees, and other facility users, emphasizing opportunities for learning and community building.
  • Ensure plans and practices are in place for continuing upgrades and replacement of facilities and equipment that reflect changing needs and interests.
  • Serve as the responsible officer for contracts entered into by the EMU, including agreements with a number of programs and services and the campus-wide student government (ASUO), which do not organizationally report to the EMU.
  • Function as a member of the Student Life Department Directors Group (SLDD) and the Student Life Leadership Team (SLLT) and actively contribute to the overall direction of the Division of Student Life and the implementation of divisional strategic planning efforts.
  • Serve on various committees as appointed and work on cross-divisional and campus-wide projects as assigned.
  • Share responsibility for advising and mentoring student advisory board members.


Required Qualifications

A master’s degree and at least five years of successful full-time administrative experience in a student union or related higher education auxiliary environment are required. Experience must include facilities operation, human resource management, which includes supervision of full-time professional staff, budget administration that incorporates revenue generation and resource allocation, and program management involving student development and assessment. The successful candidate will demonstrate an understanding of current issues, best practices, and emerging trends in the university student union and the importance of and ability to generate revenue that strikes a balance between student and operational needs. Additionally, the ability to work effectively with persons from culturally diverse backgrounds, including students of color, international students, non-traditional students, and returning learners; sensitivity to and demonstrated competency for diverse issues in a university community; and strong organizational skills, including the ability to plan strategically, are expected.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Documented ability to make important and high-profile decisions and provide effective leadership in a complex organization and an atmosphere of periodic ambiguity.
  • Demonstrated ability to work cooperatively and strategically in a team environment with all levels of professionals.
  • Demonstrated experience with assessment and learning outcomes in a university environment.
  • Excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Master’s degree in higher education administration, student affairs, college student personnel, or educational leadership.
  • Ten years of professional experience in a role of comparable responsibility, size, and scope, five of which are in a leadership role in an auxiliary environment.
  • Experience supervising in a collective bargaining environment.
  • Knowledge and experience with large-scale facility design and construction.
  • Involvement/leadership with national professional associations concerned with higher education.

In addition to the minimum academic and experiential requirements indicated above, the following are desired characteristics, skills, actions, strengths, and abilities noted from discussions with campus stakeholders:

  • Demonstrated experience integrating student development principles within a student union environment.
  • Strong leadership and change management skills, with the motivation to cultivate leadership through change processes that improve the student experience.
  • Demonstrated skills as an advocate and champion for diversity, equity, inclusivity, anti-racism, accessibility, and social justice, along with a willingness to stand up for these values. Understand the intersectionality of a diverse student population.
  • A student-centered focus, keeping the priorities and needs of the students at the forefront at all times.
  • Ability to listen carefully, ask knowledgeable questions, learn the culture of the institution and the department, accept input from staff, and then make well-informed decisions that are best for the UO community and the Erb Memorial Union.
  • Energy and enthusiasm for the role, passion for the work, a positive attitude—even in the face of adversity, a personable and approachable demeanor, and the ability to have fun on the job.
  • Solid budget and finance skills, innovation in discovering new revenue sources, and the ability to effectively advocate for scarce resources.
  • Ability to make difficult decisions, when necessary, to conduct difficult conversations when pertinent, to actively listen to all sides of an issue, and to balance the needs of the people with the needs of the organization.
  • Experience in diplomacy, possessing a great measure of political savvy and the ability to develop consensus around issues pertinent to the EMU.
  • A willingness to be highly visible and present throughout the EMU, serving as a positive “face” for the department and the building.
  • Strong organizational development abilities, including emotional intelligence, transparency, and empathy, that inspire and unify staff, provide professional and personal growth opportunities, and promote teamwork throughout the EMU.
  • An innovator with a futuristic orientation and a willingness to try new opportunities, remain informed on recent trends and best practices, and lead significant change processes.


The student union at the University of Oregon has a rich history dating back to 1923. The original building, the Erb Memorial Union, was completed in 1950. The successful candidate will join a long line of campus leaders who have directed the student union, from namesake and former UO President Donald Erb to current director Laurie Woodward, who is retiring this summer after capping off a successful career in union leadership with ten years at the helm of the EMU. During her tenure, Woodward oversaw the successful $95 million renovation and expansion of the student union and the implementation of new programs such as the BE Series, the Student Sustainability Center, and the Esports Program. Woodward is known for being ever-present in the union, sitting at the “O Desk” (information desk) to connect with students, and dropping into offices to greet the staff. For this critical search, UO has partnered with Spelman Johnson to find the next outstanding director of the Erb Memorial Union.


The new director of the Erb Memorial Union must possess a broad and deep understanding of national best practices concerning service and program development for a multi-use student union facility, including fiduciary considerations, daily operations, reservations, staffing models, facilities maintenance, policies and procedures, technology, student organizations, and programmatic integration. The director should be a dynamic and energetic leader who is unwaveringly committed to customer service at the highest level, capable of managing complex situations and staffing, devising strategic initiatives, and administering multiple priorities. Furthermore, the director should possess insight into today’s students and their developmental needs, a deep understanding of the culture that exists in a large, public flagship institution of higher education, and the skill to contribute significantly at both a strategic and operational level to the student experience at the University of Oregon.

For this role, a competent and forward-thinking individual must be identified who can promote and develop the EMU team, set both long- and short-term priorities, and work daily to progressively, innovatively, and comprehensively move the EMU forward. The following were identified as priorities, opportunities, and challenges for which the director can exercise vision and lead change.

  • It will be essential that the new director, acting as a “connector” in all instances, commit to a comprehensive culture of collaboration and partnering within the Erb Memorial Union and across campus for maximum effectiveness. The University of Oregon is wholly committed to building relationships as a foundation of the campus culture, and strong collaboration is an absolute necessity in all endeavors to ensure success. The EMU touches a vast number of entities, including students, faculty, administration, departments, tenants, vendors, and other external partners. It will be crucial that the director quickly reach out across each of these areas, conduct a “listening tour” to garner input, reinforce the relationships already in place, and build solid new relationships that foster ongoing positive interactions. These connections are essential to assess the real needs of constituents, provide exceptional programs and services for the campus community, and ensure that the EMU is known for its customer- and student-centered approach at all times.
  • Diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice are core values of the University of Oregon community, and the EMU director is expected to be a leader in supporting, understanding, embracing, and nurturing these concepts to develop and foster an anti-racist organization. There are many underrepresented populations throughout the institution, and the director and the entire EMU must be a model for maintaining a strong sense of equity and an unbiased, supportive environment. The director will engage with many students who have multiple identities at the University of Oregon. Therefore, the ability to learn about and collaborative with a variety of diverse students is important.
  • The scope of responsibilities for this position is broad, including oversight of remote facilities not directly located within the EMU and oversight of some units not generally directly overseen by a student union administrator. Given this complexity, the ability to multitask will be a great asset. The director must quickly assess the full range of responsibilities, learn the staff, and develop a comprehensive list of priorities. The department and the facility are in great financial and organizational shape, so this is an outstanding opportunity for the successful candidate to quickly begin moving forward upon arrival, put their professional mark on the EMU, and build it to even greater heights. There is tremendous support from the vice president, the EMU staff, and other administration to promote a dynamic and forward-facing program and facility. As priorities are set and plans are initiated, the director should be prepared to identify programs and services that are working well, as well as those areas that are not as efficient or effective, and be willing to enhance, promote, and sunset programs as necessary.
  • The current staff members of the EMU are highly committed to the vision of a solid and supportive team and are dedicated to offering the best service possible to the UO community. The staff works tirelessly to improve the student experience, and the new director should make it a priority to get to know the staff as individuals quickly, learn their particular needs, develop trust and confidence across the board, ascertain and understand the various responsibilities they perform and roles they play, provide comprehensive professional support for all levels of staff, and foster the continued and ongoing development of a strong, cohesive team. With both represented and non-union staff under their purview, the director should be responsive to all, recognizing the differing needs and priorities of each.
  • While the administrative duties of the position may require many meetings and other office-centric responsibilities, it will be essential that the director be visible and accessible throughout the EMU, get involved with students and the community, personally promote programs and services, collaborate with colleagues on projects and committees, and serve as the “face” of the EMU to the campus. To be one of the most service-oriented departments at UO, it will be critical for the director to be known as a problem-solver and a consensus-builder, but also understand the priorities associated with a business model in which both auxiliary- and fee-funded revenues are in place.
  • The fee-funding model for the EMU was recently changed from the student government, ASUO, to a student union fee, and the transition still has some wrinkles to be ironed out in its implementation. The new director should simply be aware when they arrive that this system has changed, and they should bring their budgetary experience to bear in creating maximum efficiency in the future.
  • There was a significant $100 million addition and renovation of the EMU in 2016, which included a great deal of much-needed expanded meeting and event space. Deferred maintenance is relatively low, and the students review the building positively. However, that additional space within the student union facility is highly utilized by the campus community and is already at capacity as the University of Oregon continues to grow. The director should be prepared to bring their assessment and union facility knowledge to bear in the near future to effectively and efficiently maximize the ongoing use of the EMU and look to the future for any additional space needs. Of note is a current potential project to add a cover to the outdoor amphitheater. The director should review the project’s status upon arrival and move it forward as appropriate.
  • The Erb Memorial Union Board, consisting of twelve students, three faculty members, and one EMU staff member, advises the director on general policy decisions, program budget allocations, space for student groups and long-range plans for the operation of the EMU. It is critical for the success of the next director to work closely with the EMU Board to provide ongoing, excellent programs and services for which the EMU is known.
  • Some administrative services, including the business office (recent change) and marketing, are centralized within student life. The director should be aware of this model and that the EMU does not solely manage these services. Conversely, there are other programs and services not usually overseen by a student union in the portfolio of the director, including a comprehensive craft center, student organization sponsorship, a child-care center, club sports, and an outdoor program. The director should quickly get to know these areas of responsibility and appreciate the outstanding opportunities they represent.
  • The University of Oregon’s geographic location, in the western part of the state off Insterstate 5 midway between Portland and Medford, makes it ideal for all walks of life. On-campus stakeholders reiterated that they liked working at the university, are very supportive of each other, enjoy the vibrant environment of the EMU and the UO, feel an excellent sense of collegiality, and believe that there are numerous opportunities for the next director to make a tremendous difference. Additionally, the surrounding communities contain a robust assortment of restaurants and food options, many cultural and arts-related events, opportunities for recreation and sports, and abundant year-round outdoor activities that appeal to a wide array of interests. The city of Portland is only two hours away, making it convenient and relatively easy to access the considerable opportunities and amenities of a major metropolitan area.


At an appropriate interval after joining the University of Oregon, the items listed below will initially define success for the new director of the Erb Memorial Union.

  • The director has conducted a comprehensive listening tour within the EMU and across campus, assessments of various aspects of the facility and the organization have been administered, and strategic and operational plans are being formulated to map out the short- and long-term success of the Erb Memorial Union.
  • The EMU is recognized as an environment that constantly advances the principles of anti-racism, social justice, and inclusion, with a director and staff who actively pursue equity, justice, and belonging in all its forms.
  • The staff of the EMU is working collaboratively as a team, morale and retention within the staff are high, vacancies are being filled, professional and career development opportunities are offered, staff members feel respected and supported, and the EMU continues to maintain an atmosphere of energy, excitement, fun, and innovation.
  • Relationships with administrators and other departments are formed, and the director has created collaborative partnerships across campus.
  • Based on surveys and other assessment tools, student satisfaction with their experience in the EMU is positive, more affinity and underrepresented groups are using the EMU for programs and events, and the building is seen as a destination for student and university activities.
  • The director is recognized on campus as the “face” of the EMU, has a reputation for being approachable and available, attends EMU events and programs regularly, is considered the campus “expert” on student union-related matters, and spends a great deal of time engaged with the student body.
  • The EMU budget continues to be in sound financial shape, and the director is pursuing funds, including alternative forms of revenue, for any current and future EMU-related projects.

Institution & Location


Opening in 1950 and located in the heart of campus, the Erb Memorial Union is the central gathering place for campus activities, community interaction, and socializing at the University of Oregon. The EMU’s mission is to provide an open, inclusive, and resource-rich community where students and staff collaborate to inspire and sustain extraordinary programs and services that promote diversity, social interaction, and growth. At 225,000 square feet, the EMU houses many programs and services under the director’s purview, including the Craft Center, Club Sports, Moss Street Children’s Center, Mills International Center, Outdoor Program, Center for Student Involvement, Student Sustainability Center, KWVA Radio Station, Esports, Scheduling and Event Services, Ticket Office, UO Card Office, and many campus and student government programs and services, including food and retail outlets, a computer lab, copy center, student tech support, and more.

About the EMU


Organizational chart


The Division of Student Life supports the university’s academic mission through comprehensive programs and services that promote and advance student learning and success while fostering an inclusive and vibrant campus community. Student Life includes four departments, the University Career Center, Office of the Dean of Students, the Erb Memorial Union, and the Department of Physical Education & Recreation, plus several key programs, including the Holden Center for Leadership and Community Engagement, Parent and Family Programs, Major Student Events (Commencement, Homecoming, University Day), Student Government Engagement & Success, Student Conduct and Community Standards, and Support for Students in Crisis and Students of Concern.


Kris Winter, Interim Vice President for Student Life

Dr. Kris Winter was appointed interim vice president for the Division of Student Life at the University of Oregon in July 2022. Winter joined the University of Oregon in 2016 and has served in several roles, including associate vice president for student life and dean of students. During her time at the UO, Winter has led countless efforts and programs to support the success, health, and well-being of students at the university. She is committed to improving the employee experience by creating a transparent and affirming work culture. After receiving her undergraduate degree with honors in educational studies from the UO in 1998, Winter earned a M.Ed. in college student services administration from Oregon State University in 2001, and her Ed.D. at Portland State University in educational leadership in 2022. Winter has spent her whole career in student affairs, working at Western Washing University, Oregon State, and now University of Oregon.

Winter has a passion for working with underrepresented student communities, and her dissertation is, “The Effects of Non-Cognitive Variables in the College Admissions Process on Historically Underrepresented Student Populations.” Winter has also served as the co-chair of the university BETA (threat assessment) team as well as being an active member of the Incident Management Team and Demonstration & Protest Response Team. She is a member of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), the National Orientation Directors Association (NODA), and the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP).

Organizational chart



Nestled in the lush Willamette Valley, within an easy drive to the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade Mountains, the University of Oregon is renowned for its research prowess and commitment to teaching. Founded in 1876, UO enrolls 23,202 students from all fifty states and 94 countries. Designated as a Tier 1 national public research university comprised of nine schools and colleges offering more than 300 undergraduate programs, the University of Oregon is one of just two institutions in the Pacific Northwest selected for membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities. U.S. News & World Report ranks the UO among its top 100 National Universities and Oregon’s #1 public university.

Mission, purpose, vision, and values

Strategic framework (strategic plan)


The division of equity and inclusion (DEI) puts equity and inclusion into practice so that the University of Oregon can benefit from the excellence of diversity. By partnering with faculty, students, staff, alums, and community members and groups, the members of DEI work collaboratively to strengthen individual capacity and community bonds to advance the academic mission of the university. DEI’s efforts are facilitated through the IDEAL framework, which is comprised of the following five pillars:

  • Inclusion: Cultivating a more welcoming and respectful environment for all
  • Diversity: Developing and implementing equitable strategies for recruiting, retaining, and advancing a cadre of students, faculty, and staff with a wide variety of backgrounds, talents, perspectives, and experiences
  • Evaluation: Using assessment and measurement strategies to evaluate its processes in meeting the university’s goal of equity and inclusion
  • Achievement: Ensuring that its policies, processes, and practices provide access for all to achieve their personal best
  • Leadership: Develop, nurture, and coach leadership to facilitate inclusive environments and the resources for success


Total enrollment: 23,202

Undergraduate: 19,568

Graduate: 3,634

Oregon residents: 52%

Out-of-state residents: 38%

International students: 10%

Student-to-teacher ratio: 18 to 1


Jamie Moffitt, Interim President

Jamie Moffitt, who will serve as interim president until July 1, 2023, is the university’s senior vice president for finance and administration and chief financial officer.

Before being appointed vice president in January 2012, Moffitt was the executive senior associate athletic director for finance and administration from May 2010 to December 2011. In this role, she managed finances, human resources, contracts, and facilities for the athletic department. She functioned as the primary contact with the Pac-12 conference on all financial issues and served on the bowl committees for the 2011 BCS championship game and the 2012 Rose Bowl game.

From 2003 to 2010, she was the associate dean for finance and operations at the UO School of Law. In this role, she reorganized the school’s financial structure, implemented new systems for annual budgeting, designed new financial reporting practices, and improved human resources practices. While at the law school, she also taught negotiation, accounting, and financial analysis classes.

Before coming to the UO, Moffitt worked in the private sector for seven years. Moffitt received her bachelor of arts in economics from Harvard University, her master of arts in law and diplomacy for international business from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and her juris doctor from Harvard Law School.


Karl Scholz, Incoming President

The University of Oregon Board of Trustees has named John Karl Scholz—a distinguished economist, professor, and current provost at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison)—the university’s 19th president. He will begin his appointment on July 1, 2023.

Scholz has been provost at the University of Wisconsin-Madison since August 2019. He served six years as the dean of the College of Letters & Science. He is also the Nellie June Gray Professor of Economic Policy in the Department of Economics and served as the director of UW–Madison’s Institute for Research on Poverty for four years.

Scholz joined the UW–Madison Economics Department in 1988. From 1990 to 1991, he was a senior staff economist at the Council of Economic Advisors, and from 1997 to 1998, he served as deputy assistant secretary for tax analysis at the US Treasury Department.

A native of Nebraska, Scholz graduated from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, and earned his doctorate from Stanford University.

President’s Cabinet


The UO provides excellent health insurance benefits, as well as dental and vision, with a very small portion paid by the employee; there are also tuition benefits for the employee or eligible dependents, and the UO picks up both the employer and employee’s share of the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) contribution. Other highlights include:

  • Life insurance
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Wellness programs

Below are some helpful links regarding benefits.

For more information:

Application & Nomination

Review of applications will begin June 21, 2023, 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 J. Scott Derrick at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email

Expected Salary Range: $128,000-$140,000; candidates with advanced skills and experience may be considered for a starting salary above this range.

Visit the University of Oregon website at

The University of Oregon is an equal-opportunity, affirmative-action institution committed to cultural diversity and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. This publication will be made available in accessible formats upon request. Accommodations for people with disabilities will be provided if requested in advance.

The term “diversity” can be defined in a number of different ways. The UO looks at it broadly and inclusively, encompassing race, ethnicity, disability, thought, culture, religion, sexual orientation, gender, and economics. The UO seeks to promote further diversity among its faculty, staff, and student body through active recruitment and intentional retention.