The Opportunity

Michigan State University (MSU) is one of the largest universities in the United States, serving more than 50,000 students across more than 200 undergraduate, graduate, and graduate-professional programs. MSU is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), one of the nation’s leading research-intensive, land-grant institutions, and is also a part of the Big Ten Athletic Conference and the Big Ten Academic Alliance. Its commitment to public service matches MSU’s strong emphasis on teaching and research. At MSU, you will find an inclusive academic community known for traditionally strong disciplines with a commensurate commitment to cross- and interdisciplinary programs that connect the sciences, humanities, and professions in practical, sustainable, and innovative ways to address society’s rapidly changing needs. Located in East Lansing, MI, the University’s campus neighbors the state capitol, with proximity to a wide variety of cultural and recreational activities.

The Position

Role of the Director for Residence Education and Housing Services for Michigan State University

Reporting to the assistant vice president, the director oversees the day-to-day operations of residence education and housing services (REHS), provides leadership and strategic vision to four comprehensive units within REHS – facilities management, administrative services (housing assignments, conference services, and desk operations), residence education, and training/on-boarding, and the position serves as the department lead in the absence of the assistant vice president. The director assists the assistant vice president with establishing and accomplishing short-term and long-range objectives to achieve financial, customer service, and staff development goals. Among a broad range of responsibilities, the director monitors customer feedback and manages needed changes over a wide variety of services and processes; supervises a large and diverse staff, and coordinates professional development plans for direct reports and other staff; engages staff in conversations about industry standards and leads staff in implementing best practices in facilities management, administrative services, residence education, and training/on-boarding; maintains and updates the department’s standard operations procedures manuals; manages all major move-in and move-out processes and winter break housing; develops facilities management plans and provides direction for maintenance and custodial staff; and increases departmental revenues by collaboratively working to grow conference business. The position oversees 350 full- and part-time staff, 1,500 student staff, and 5 direct reports. This position manages an annual operating budget of over $52.5 million. In support of the institution’s academic mission, the department houses 14,400 single students in 27 residence halls and provides 1,300 apartments for both single students and family housing.

History of the Position

This director position was formerly under the title of senior associate director. Karen Corley served in the senior associate director capacity before her retirement in 2021 and worked at Michigan State for over 40 years. The former position has since been renamed to emphasize the scope of the position for the Residence Education and Housing Services department.

Opportunities and Challenges of the Role

Residence Education and Housing Services (REHS) focuses on a variety of areas that impact students’ overall on-campus living experience. REHS manages 27 residence halls and three apartment communities and focuses on student engagement and development, intercultural learning and inclusion, the safety and security of residents, and sustainable practices.

The director for residence education and housing services is a leader within the Residence Education and Housing Services department in the Division of Student Life and Engagement. The director is expected to execute the required duties of the office to the best of their ability while maintaining the highest ethical standards.

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


These include:

  • oversight of the day-to-day operations of Residence Education and Housing Services, which provides leadership and strategic vision to three comprehensive units with REHS: facilities management, residence education, and housing/operations administration;
  • development of training and professional development plans for all employees to enhance their personal growth and performance;
  • working closely with the assistant vice president to develop strategic goals to achieve assigned financial, customer service, and staff development targets;
  • conducting a thorough audit of departmental data and reviewing processes related to compliance and regulations;
  • being politically astute and understanding the value of collaborations and partnerships;
  • understanding the complexity and breadth of services provided by the department;
  • working to improve the morale of staff and students and making sure they feel supported as they are returning to post COVID operations;
  • incorporating the perspectives of multiple diverse communities, including communities of color, in the consideration of impacts and outcomes of a decision-making process;
  • collaborating with key colleagues across the department and the campus to support and develop a long-range plan to fully serve and accommodate all residents through a lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion;
  • managing both short- and long-term strategic planning and program development, working with capital projects and management systems, and utilizing resources effectively.

Measures of Success

At an appropriate interval after joining Michigan State University, the following will initially define success for the new director for residence education and housing services.

  • The director has built a collaborative and high-functioning team, and individual roles and expectations are clarified and understood.
  • The director has a defined budget plan with goals for initiatives to be implemented.
  • The director has worked with their counterparts to build trusting relationships with other university offices successfully.
  • The director is a visible and present team member with staff providing internal and external communication throughout the unit that is centralized, consistent, and transparent.
  • The director has listened, analyzed, and contributed to the best plans for the department moving forward.


Qualifications and Characteristics

A master’s degree in higher education administration or similar field and seven years of related and progressively responsible work experience in residence hall administration, facilities management, housing operations, or conferences/guest housing is required. Successful candidates will also demonstrate exceptional business, fiscal planning, and budget management skills; the ability to recruit, train, support, and retain a large and diverse staff; excellent oral and written communication skills and an engaging public presence; the ability to manage conflicts and crisis situations; an active commitment to diversity and inclusion; a well-developed sense of responsibility; commitment to students and an understanding of how to promote student learning and academic success; an understanding of appropriate and progressive use of technology; and the ability to work collaboratively with students, university staff and faculty, vendors, community members, and other stakeholders. An understanding of labor relations issues, working effectively with union staff, and a basic understanding of legal issues and risk management are also desirable skills.

The successful candidate will ideally possess, in no particular order, the ability to:

  • provide visionary, strategic, innovative, flexible, and change-oriented leadership for the department;
  • champion current and future university housing needs; assure department offerings are inclusive and that an acceptable educational philosophy supports changes and initiatives;
  • use data and predictive measures to evaluate and supervise programs, services, facilities, and staffing through assessment, best practices, and institutional context to make adjustments as needed;
  • ensure compliance with all relevant policies, procedures, standards, and laws, and conduct regular policy reviews to align the department with compliance and other obligations;
  • in partnership with the division and administration and finance colleagues, be accountable for business and financial operations of the department;
  • in partnership with university law enforcement, legal, and other colleagues, be accountable for safety, security, and risk management in campus housing facilities;
  • provide vision and leadership for broad-based diversity, inclusion, and equity initiatives for students and staff.

Institution & Location

Overview of Residence Education and Housing Services

MSU has 27 residence halls grouped into five neighborhoods. 99% of the first-year class lives on campus, and a second-year on-campus requirement was also recently reinstated.

National research shows that students who live on campus are more academically successful and more connected to the campus community.

Living on campus, students are at the center of all that MSU has to offer: academic support, health resources, renovated residence halls, award-winning dining facilities, recreational activities, student organizations, leadership opportunities, friends, and fun.

With MSU Neighborhoods, students have an opportunity to realize their full potential through a wide range of programs, activities, and support services:


North Neighborhood is filled with classic ivy-covered halls, beautiful woodwork, and surprising amounts of storage space. Sculpture and art are tucked away in surprising spaces.

  • LIVING LEARNING COMMUNITIES: The Residential College in Arts and Humanities


Brody Neighborhood is located on the west side of campus just north of the Red Cedar River. Brody is comprised of six residence halls that surround Brody Hall, where many of the neighborhood’s common services, including Brody Square dining hall, are located.

  • LIVING LEARNING COMMUNITIES: Charles Drew Scholars and Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment


River Trail Neighborhood is located in the heart of campus with beautiful views of the Red Cedar River and close proximity to academic buildings.

  • LIVING LEARNING COMMUNITIES: Residential Business Community


East Neighborhood is located on the northeast side of campus near the intersection of Hagadorn and Shaw roads.



South Neighborhood is located southwest of Spartan Stadium between West Shaw Lane and Trowbridge Road. It is near the Breslin Center, Munn Ice Arena, IM Sports West, and outdoor tennis facilities. South Neighborhood is made up of four residence halls (Case, Wonders, Holden, and Wilson halls), which all feature coed floors and suite-style rooms.

  • LIVING LEARNING COMMUNITIES: James Madison College and CORE Engineering Residential Program


The apartments are perfect for students searching for a little more independence while staying connected to the perks of living on campus. The apartments at University Village and the newly developed apartments and townhouses at 1855 Place are steps away from the action of campus life while offering numerous on-site amenities.

Leadership of the Division

Ray Gasser, Assistant Vice President for Residence Education and Housing Services

Ray Gasser is the assistant vice president for residence education and housing services at Michigan State University. Previously, he was director of university housing at the University of Idaho. He has worked in housing since 1997 at six different institutions. He earned his doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Arizona.



Vennie Gore, Senior Vice President for Student Life and Engagement

Vennie Gore is the Senior Vice President for Student Life and Engagement at Michigan State University. Gore administers a residence hall system, including apartments, with a capacity for 17,500 students, and the Culinary Services program, which serves more than 50,000 meals daily. In his role, Gore also oversees various units within Diversity, Equity and Belonging; Student Involvement and Leadership; the Career Center; Registered Student Organizations; Transition; Experiential Learning; and Health, Wellness and Safety. He also provides oversight for the Dean of Students’ office.

Student Life & Engagement also includes the MSU Union, MSU Bakers, University Concessions, MSU dining halls and food courts, Sparty’s markets, coffee shops, Food Stores, Spartan Linen Services, Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center and the State Room Restaurant, Kellogg Catering, University Conference Services, the Breslin Center, Forest Akers Golf Courses, the MSU Tennis Center and the MSU Alumni Chapel.

Gore served as co-chair of MSU’s Strategic Planning Steering Committee and currently serves as a member of the project steering committee for MSU’s new multicultural center. Among other notable accomplishments, Vennie earned the 2016 Elizabeth A. Greenleaf Alumni Award from Indiana University and recently completed Harvard’s Institute for Educational Management.

Institutional Overview

Michigan State University was established in 1855, and by 1862, it stood as the nation’s premier land-grant university. Over the decades, the University has continued to be a model of what a land-grant university can and should do. As a university of, for, and by the people, Michigan State University began a long tradition of empowering people through educational opportunity.

The nation’s pioneer land-grant university, MSU is one of the top research universities in the world. Home to nationally ranked and recognized academic, residential college, and service-learning programs, MSU is a diverse community of dedicated students and scholars, athletes and artists, scientists, and leaders.

Michigan State University is a public research university in East Lansing, Michigan. MSU was founded in 1855 and became the nation’s first land-grant institution under the Morrill Act of 1862, serving as a model for future land-grant universities. The university was founded as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan, one of the country’s first institutions of higher education to teach scientific agriculture. After the introduction of the Morrill Act, the college became co-educational and expanded its curriculum beyond agriculture. Today, MSU is the eighth-largest university in the United States (in terms of enrollment) and has more than 500,000 living alumni worldwide.

MSU pioneered the studies of packaging, hospitality business, botany, supply chain management, music therapy, and communication sciences. Michigan State frequently ranks among the top 40 public universities in the United States and the top 100 research universities in the world. U.S. News & World Report ranks many of its graduate programs among the best in the nation, including African history, criminology, industrial and organizational psychology, educational psychology, elementary and secondary education, nuclear physics, rehabilitation counseling, supply chain/logistics, and biosystems/agricultural engineering. MSU is a member of the Association of American Universities, an organization of 65 leading research universities in North America. The university’s campus houses the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, W. J. Beal Botanical Garden, Abrams Planetarium, Wharton Center for Performing Arts, Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, and one of the country’s largest university residence hall systems.

The Michigan State Spartans sports teams compete in the Big Ten Conference of NCAA Division I. Spartan football won the Rose Bowl tournament in 1954, 1956, 1988, and 2014, and the team has won six national championships. Spartan men’s basketball won the NCAA National Championship in 1979 and 2000 and enjoyed 22 straight NCAA appearances, including 10 Final Fours. Spartan ice hockey won NCAA national titles in 1966, 1986, and 2007. The women’s cross country team was named Big Ten champions in 2019.

About East Lansing, MI

Michigan State is located in East Lansing, a vibrant college town just three miles from Michigan’s capital, Lansing, the hard-working heart of Michigan.

The area offers countless things to do, see and experience — from art galleries, concerts, and restaurants to gardens, parks, and trails. Nearby are Michigan’s sandy beaches, ski slopes, and metropolitan life.

East Lansing was an important junction of two major Native American groups: the Potawatomi and Fox. By 1850, the Lansing and Howell Plank Road Co. was established to connect a toll road to the Detroit and Howell Plank Road, improving travel between Detroit and Lansing, which cut right through what is now East Lansing. The toll road was finished in 1853 and included seven tollhouses between Lansing and Howell.

In 1898, the College Delta subdivision (including what is now Delta Street) had the support of the college itself, which provided utilities. Several professors built homes there (one of which survives today at 243 W. Grand River Ave.). Other subdivisions followed.

At that time, the post office address was “Agricultural College, Michigan.” A school district encompassing the nascent community was created in 1900. In 1907, incorporation as a city was proposed under the name “College Park”; the legislature approved the charter but changed the name to “East Lansing.” The first seven mayors, starting with Clinton D. Smith in 1907 and Warren Babcock in 1908, were professors or employees of the college.

The city’s downtown area is centered on Grand River Avenue, a wide, tree-lined boulevard that evolved out of the 19th-century plank road that connected Lansing to Detroit. Grand River Avenue and Michigan Avenue serve as a dividing line between the Michigan State University campus and the rest of the city. The street is lined with many college-oriented businesses, such as bars, tanning salons, coffee shops, head shops, restaurants, and bookstores. Immediately north of downtown is predominantly student neighborhoods. Further north is the residential part of the city. In the northernmost tier of the city are several new housing subdivisions and student-oriented apartment complexes. These new developments are far from the University, but their lower property tax rates offer students more amenities.

East Lansing has more than 25 neighborhoods, many of which have neighborhood associations that sponsor social events, attend to neighborhood issues, and often advocate for neighborhood interests in meetings of the City Council and city commissions.

A section of the city has been designated a Historic District, and the City Council has established a Historic District Commission. In addition, many landmark structures in the older neighborhoods have been identified within a Landmark Structures Historic District of the Historic Preservation Code.

Mission Statement

Michigan State University is a member of the Association of American Universities and one of the top 100 research universities in the world. It is an inclusive, academic community known for traditionally strong academic disciplines and professional programs, and its liberal arts foundation. The cross- and interdisciplinary enterprises connect the sciences, humanities, and professions in practical, sustainable, and innovative ways to address society’s rapidly changing needs.

As a public, research-intensive, land-grant university funded in part by the state of Michigan, its mission is to advance knowledge and transform lives by:

  • providing outstanding undergraduate, graduate, and professional education to promising, qualified students in order to prepare them to contribute fully to society as globally engaged citizen leaders;
  • conducting research of the highest caliber that seeks to answer questions and create solutions in order to expand human understanding and make a positive difference, both locally and globally;
  • advancing outreach, engagement, and economic development activities that are innovative, research-driven, and lead to a better quality of life for individuals and communities, at home and around the world.

Strategic Plan

Building on the momentum of Michigan State University’s successes to chart a course toward a brighter future requires collective thought and action. For that reason, MSU is undertaking an inclusive and comprehensive strategic planning process. While many of the plans have been adjusted or placed on hold due to the pandemic, the work being done around strategic planning is too important not to move forward.

The planning committee has adopted the following guiding principles and goals for the strategic planning process:

  • create a shared vision for the future of Michigan State University; a high-level directional guide with a common set of principles and values;
  • foster an open and inclusive process—many voices and perspectives will inform the strategic plan;
  • engage the campus community and external stakeholders (e.g., alumni, community leaders) on the University’s vision, values, and strategic direction;
  • connect the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategic planning process to the institutional strategic planning process;
  • seek opportunities to work together, leverage collective resources, and establish cross-institutional priorities and initiatives;
  • look both inward and outward. Inward to examine the current state, identify themes, strengths, and trends across campus. Outward to understand the changing dynamics of higher education.

For more information on the strategic planning process, please visit


Samuel Stanley, President

Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., was selected by the Michigan State University Board of Trustees as MSU’s 21st president, effective August 1, 2019. Since he arrived at MSU, Dr. Stanley has moved decisively to ensure the University is a safe, respectful, and welcoming place for all. His top priorities are student success and well-being and continuing to grow MSU’s extraordinary regional and global impact.

His infectious disease research background has informed MSU’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic as he leads the University’s work to safely advance its mission of education, research, and outreach.

Stanley launched a comprehensive strategic planning process for the University, created a diversity, equity, and inclusion planning committee, and appointed two relationship violence and sexual misconduct expert advisers. He has overseen several changes in the institution’s administration, organization, and programs to improve services, operations, and accountability.

Continuing to expand the University’s research enterprise is another priority. MSU’s research portfolio totaled $725 million in 2019 expenditures. MSU’s $730 million Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) is planned to begin scientific user operations ahead of schedule and on budget in 2022. Operating at the frontiers of nuclear science, it will yield insights into the nature of the universe and practical discoveries to enhance everyday life. FRIB reached a milestone in 2020 when the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) designated it a DOE Office of Science user facility.

A researcher, patent holder, and former technology transfer executive, Stanley supports academic and industry collaborations to leverage both their economic impact and the potentially enormous contributions they can make to society.

Stanley also reorganized oversight of the University’s three medical colleges and its clinical services into a health sciences entity. And in January 2021, MSU signed a 30-year agreement with the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit to foster groundbreaking research, best-in-class cancer care, and health care professional diversity while improving access in traditionally underserved communities. In another collaborative relationship, MSU and Apple Inc. agreed to partner on a Developer Academy in Detroit, the company’s first such skills development facility in the United States.

Active in higher education organizations, Stanley sits on the boards of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, the University Innovation Alliance, and the Michigan Association of State Universities. He is an engaged member of Michigan’s University Research Corridor, Business Leaders for Michigan, and the Association of American Universities (AAU), having served previously on the AAU board. Stanley holds appointments to the Michigan Employment Relations Commission’s Health Care Advisory Committee and the McKinsey & Company Taskforce on Higher Education and Opportunity. He also is a past member of the NCAA Board of Directors and NCAA Board of Governors.

Born in Seattle, Stanley earned a Bachelor of Arts in biological sciences (Phi Beta Kappa) from the University of Chicago. After earning his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, he completed resident-physician training at Massachusetts General Hospital and then went to Washington University in St. Louis for a School of Medicine fellowship in infectious diseases. There, he became a professor in the departments of medicine and molecular microbiology, recognizing the collaborative nature of his research.

A distinguished biomedical researcher, Stanley was one of the nation’s top recipients of support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for his research focusing on enhanced defense against emerging infectious diseases. He is an expert in the biological mechanisms that cells employ when responding to infectious agents.

Stanley has served as chair of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity, which advises the U.S. government on issues related to sensitive biological research’s communication, dissemination, and performance. He was a member of the National Advisory Allergy and Infectious Diseases Council at the NIH and a member of the NIH director’s Blue Ribbon Panel on the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories. He also served as an ambassador for the Paul G. Rogers Society for Global Health Research and has received an honorary doctorate in science from Konkuk University in South Korea.

Before becoming MSU’s president, Stanley served as president of Stony Brook University on Long Island in New York. At Stony Brook, he focused on improving campus diversity and student success and elevated the University’s research profile by supporting a new institute for artificial intelligence. He chaired the board of Brookhaven Science Associates, which manages Brookhaven National Laboratory on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy.

The Academic Program

The student-faculty ratio at Michigan State University is 16:1, and the school has 24 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Michigan State University include Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs; Engineering; and Social Sciences.

  • More than 200 programs of undergraduate, graduate, and professional study across 17 degree-granting colleges
  • Thirty-eight undergraduate and graduate programs ranked in the top 25 nationally by U.S. News & World Report
  • Outstanding record of students earning prestigious national and international scholarships
  • Freshman class profile (middle 50 percent of fall 2020 entering class): high school GPA, 3.5-4.0; total SAT combined score 1110-1280; ACT composite score, 23-29
  • More than 275 education abroad programs in more than 60 countries on all continents
  • Ranked in the top 10 nationally by U.S. News & World Report for learning communities, study abroad, and service-learning offerings

Degree-granting colleges

  • College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Residential College in Arts and Humanities
  • College of Arts and Letters
  • Eli Broad College of Business and Eli Broad Graduate School of Management
  • College of Communication Arts and Sciences
  • College of Education
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Human Medicine
  • James Madison College
  • College of Law
  • Lyman Briggs College
  • College of Music
  • College of Natural Science
  • College of Nursing
  • College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • College of Social Science
  • College of Veterinary Medicine


The Student Body

  • Total students: 49,809 students from all 83 counties in Michigan, all 50 states in the United States and Washington, D.C., and 133 other countries.
  • 39,176 undergraduate students, 10,633 graduate and professional students.
  • 51 percent women, 49 percent men.
  • 25.3 percent students of color, 9.1 percent international students.
  • More than 900 registered student groups.
  • 39 percent of students live on campus.
  • Greek-letter community is comprised of more than 60 nationally affiliated organizations.
  • Athletics: 23 varsity squads, with 11 intercollegiate sports for men and 12 intercollegiate sports for women.
  • In spring 2020, 132 student-athletes earned Academic All-Big Ten Honors. Twelve Spartan athletes earned a perfect 4.0 GPA, the most of any Big Ten university.
  • 20 straight NCAA appearances by the men’s basketball team, including nine Final Four appearances.
  • One of the largest intramural sports programs in the nation.

Benefits Overview

Benefits Overview

  • Health insurance
  • Dental coverage
  • Retirement plan
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Life/accident insurance
  • Long term disability
  • Prescription drug plan
  • Several voluntary, employee-paid benefits programs

For a detailed look at MSU benefits for Executive Managers, visit:

Application & Nomination

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 Laura Puckett-Boler at  Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the Michigan State University website at

Michigan State University is committed to the principles of equal opportunity, nondiscrimination and, in the context of employment, affirmative action. University programs, activities, and facilities are available to all without regard to race, color, gender, gender identity, religion, national origin, political persuasion, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, height, weight, veteran status, age, or familial status. The university is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. In carrying out this commitment, the university is guided by the applicable federal and state laws and regulations and policies adopted by the Board of Trustees.

The university has a comprehensive employment Affirmative Action Plan that includes placement goals for academic and support staff employment and an affirmative action policy for the employment of veterans and persons with disabilities. The Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives oversees the Plan by reviewing individual academic and support staff hiring recommendations, and advises the President and other university administrators on equal opportunity, diversity and inclusion matters.

MSU is committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity. The university actively encourages applications and/or nominations of women, persons of color, veterans and persons with disabilities.