RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE DIRECTOR OF FRATERNITY & SORORITY LIFE
Reporting to the associate vice president for community building, the director of fraternity & sorority life (FSL) advocates for and oversees the activities of the Interfraternity (IFC) fraternities and Panhellenic (PHC) sororities at Kansas State University (K-State.) The director works with students to develop, implement, and assess programs and policies supporting and facilitating leadership development, academic excellence, civic engagement, and social justice. The director provides fiscal management for the FSL office, advises the IFC and PHC council budgets, and is the primary contact for any concerns and/or issues involving FSL life with students, parents, advisors, alumni, university administration, faculty, staff, and the campus community. The director serves as a visionary leader, driving the creation of a productive relationship with fraternities and sororities and cultivating an innovative culture, particularly in educational programming, recruitment and retention, and risk management.
The director has a unique opportunity to rebuild K-State’s FSL office, develop a new staffing structure, and establish roles and responsibilities for three full-time staff and two graduate students over the next three years. They partner with alumni councils and senior administrators to develop and implement a strategy to establish a sustainable funding model, including collecting FSL fees and providing stewardship of the $250,000 FSL budget.
The director of fraternity and sorority life:
- Serves as the community organizer and strategic leader for FSL by building leadership capacity and developing partnerships across campus and with alumni stakeholders, house corporation board members, chapter leaders, and (inter)national partners.
- Advises IFC, PHC, and their officers regarding their initiatives—specifically, the planning and execution of educational and leadership programs and recruitment efforts. Provides leaders with direction, including establishing objectives, measuring results, and ensuring accountability and development.
- Participates with the office of recruitment and admissions and the office of student success in efforts and initiatives developed to improve student recruitment, retention, persistence, progression, and graduation.
- Serves as a member of the university investigator team for student organization conduct reviews.
- Promotes the value of fraternity and sorority life to prospective and current students by managing FSL ambassadors, marketing materials, special events, FSL website, and social media content.
- Develops, implements, and revises strategic priorities for the FSL community and office; conducts assessments for programs and student learning outcomes to evaluate strategy effectiveness and gather stakeholder feedback.
- Collaborates with student leaders to recognize student leaders and chapters in fraternity and sorority life.
- Creates and sustains partnerships to assist in developing a positive fraternity and sorority life community alongside K-State’s goals.
- Represents FSL at chapter functions and university and community events.
- Provides regular and ongoing communications to all chapters’ regional and (inter)national staff and volunteers.
QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATE
Candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree and five years of relevant experience or a combination of a master’s degree in a related field and work experience. Highly preferred qualifications include experience with or demonstrated understanding of fraternity and sorority recruitment, retention, and marketing; advising a large sorority and fraternity community; guiding risk management and organizational judicial procedures; overseeing assessment and strategic planning; and professional staff supervision.
K-State stakeholders identified the following characteristics and strengths as important for the director of fraternity & sorority life:
- Invested and committed to developing young adults in a higher education environment; exhibits educational mindset and philosophy to mentor and coach; can engage students and help create buy-in and trust.
- Able to effectively and efficiently manage crises and proficient in navigating, mediating, and resolving conflict.
- Demonstrates excellent verbal and written communication skills and understanding of organizational and interpersonal dynamics; delivers highly effective presentations with significant experience presenting before large or small groups.
- Exhibits well-developed administrative skills, including detail orientation, initiative, resourcefulness, and teamwork.
- Highly collaborative, responsive, approachable, accessible, excited to partner with myriad stakeholders and serve as FSL subject matter expert.
- “Working” director who will be highly engaged at all levels, ready to step in and support/assist in any situation.
- Experienced in developing strategy and vision, energized by the opportunity to build; is relationship-oriented, exhibits empathy, patience, and compassion, recognizing that the community has been on its own for six years and is going through a significant transition and eager to build partnerships.
HISTORY OF THE POSITION
In 2016, the previous president, vice president of student life, and general counsel of K-State severed ties with student organizations. They disbanded the fraternity and sorority life (FSL) staff; the director remained the only full-time staff member and reported to the alumni councils. That individual remained in the position until 2021 when the alumni council hired an interim director. By 2022, a new president, vice president of student life, and general counsel were in place at K-State. This new leadership determined it was essential to reestablish a formal relationship with student organizations, including fraternities and sororities. In 2023, K-State, IFC, PHC, and alumni councils collaborated to create this position reporting through the division of student life and funded by the students.
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES OF THE ROLE
The fraternity and sorority community is established and involved on campus, comprised of energetic, intelligent, and invested students and alumni. There are relatively minimal risk management concerns, and their chapters are consistently recognized as top in the nation; faculty, staff, and alumni tout the outstanding leadership capabilities of the students. Influential alumni remain involved and committed to the K-State fraternity and sorority chapters. K-State is firmly committed to embracing the fraternity and sorority life community and ensuring an outstanding FSL experience. The new director must build solid relationships and trust among the institution, students, and alumni, reestablish a functioning fraternity and sorority life staff, and develop a strategy to address issues arising from the separation.
K-State is invested in the success of FSL. They will rely on the new director as a subject matter expert to guide the process, establish the working relationship between the university and chapters, and rebuild a cohesive FSL culture. Students and alumni were surprised and disappointed when the university severed ties with fraternities and sororities, as there had been a history of positive relationships between the community and the directors of FSL. Students and alumni have held the community together during this challenging time, and are proud of what they have accomplished; nevertheless, the fatigued alumni are excited about reestablishing a relationship with the university and willing to assist the new director wherever needed. The students are somewhat skeptical and concerned with what the new relationship will mean. However, they are cautiously optimistic that a “reunion” will benefit recruitment, and they have been impressed with university leaders guiding the process.
One of the hallmarks of Kansas State University is a culture of highly empowered and strong student leadership of fraternity and sorority chapters and governing councils. K-State students and alumni are proud of the tradition and legacy of many high-performing and nationally recognized chapters. The ability of the students and organizations to flourish to the extent they have is impressive, and the student leaders exhibit remarkable maturity, perspective, and self-awareness. The legacy of leadership is also evident throughout the alumni; collectively, they recognize that one of the key opportunities will be to reestablish a spirit of unification among fraternities and sororities. The absence of sustained university advising has resulted in a lack of collaboration between the chapters and a waning ability to consider the community as a “whole.” Stakeholders realize the resilience resulting from shared programming, consistent advisor/house corporation/house director training and communication, integrated processes, procedures, collection of data, etc.; the new director will therefore need to build a culture around cohesion and collaboration.
To maximize this opportunity, the new director must develop cohesive messaging about the benefits of fraternity/sorority life, living in chapter houses, and associated costs. Additionally, the new director has an opportunity to work with house corporations to create more transparency and consistency with lease agreements to improve parents’ confidence and support for living in chapter houses. When the university severed ties with the fraternities and sororities, these organizations lost the opportunity to promote involvement through official university channels and with prospective and incoming students. Most attribute declining membership numbers to the loss of visibility. K-State is committed to including fraternities and sororities in the university’s student recruitment and new student orientation; chapters are excited by recent investments from K-State to strengthen undergraduate student enrollment and the prospect that increased visibility will bolster membership.
The new director must partner with students, alumni, and campus partners to finalize, implement, and educate the community about policies, procedures, and accountability systems. Alumni value, support, and foster chapter accountability; alumni and students work closely to address poor behavior and celebrate their success. Alumni and students recognize the need for university oversight of specific issues (e.g., Title IX allegations and threats to student safety); the new director must partner closely to integrate their role in current processes and ensure compliance with federal requirements. Additionally, collecting, aggregating, and disseminating chapter data became cumbersome during the separation, and stakeholders shared concerns regarding the lack of information and data validity. The students and alumni are eager for the new director to streamline collecting and sharing chapter data (e.g., contact information and grades).
Diversity and multicultural affairs staff have advised the chapters belonging to the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) and typically affiliated with the Multicultural Greek Council (MGC). The relationships fluctuated over time, depending on the capacity of staff and advisors. For example, there have been multi-council homecoming groupings, but such efforts have not been sustained. It is vital that the director proactively builds and maintains supportive relationships with the NPHC/MGC chapters and advisors and leverages their expertise to positively impact these communities.
The new director joins the university and the FSL community during a significant transition. Transferring financial responsibility from the student and alumni governing councils to the university is in progress. The director will work in concert with campus partners to develop and implement a sustainable funding model. The student and alumni councils oversee an off-campus bank account with approximately $900,000 and collect roughly $220,000 per year from fraternity and sorority dues. By the end of the academic year, K-State and the councils plan to transfer the funds to an unrestricted foundation account that initially funds professional and administrative staff salaries. The university sponsors two graduate students annually. Ultimately, the university recognizes the benefit of transitioning to an FSL fee collected by the institution in tandem with other student fees (e.g., recreation, etc.). However, due to the timing, the FSL staff will assume responsibility from the alumni councils for collecting the dues from the chapters in the short term.
MEASURES OF SUCCESS
At an appropriate interval after joining K-State, the following will define the initial success of the director:
- The director of FSL successfully recruits for open staff positions, makes progress in securing additional positions, has developed and communicated roles and responsibilities, and demonstrates a commitment to staff development and retention.
- Stakeholders understand the relationship between chapters and the university and recognize how to collaborate and partner to strengthen the community.
- A comprehensive strategy, including a 1-, 3-, and 5-year implementation plan, has been drafted and socialized among stakeholders addressing top priorities, e.g., effective marketing of FSL and improving membership statistics and financial stability, accountability and self-governance, and implementing reliable and valid processes for collecting and reporting data.
- The director is well-known, visible, and recognized for cultivating positive relationships with campus partners, alumni, and student leaders.
- FSL staff have improved connections to existing university resources, including mental health resources.
- A clear, cohesive narrative about the benefits of membership, housing, and associated costs is crafted and shared with incoming students.
OVERVIEW OF FRATERNITY & SORORITY LIFE
Fraternity and sorority organizations at K-State have a 100+-year history of defying stereotypes, exceeding standards, and maximizing the potential of their undergraduate members. Each of the 35 chapters strives to build a connected community, bonded over shared values of academic excellence, service to the community, and fellowship with others.
Over 3,000 students are actively involved, approximately 20 percent of the K-State undergraduate student body. For over 30 years, the fraternity and sorority GPA has been higher than the all-university GPA. Fraternity and sorority life offers hundreds of leadership opportunities through the organizations and many community service opportunities in and around Manhattan, Kansas.
Fraternities and sororities are governed by the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council, comprised of nine members each. For more information about each council and member organization, please review the following links:
Fraternity and sorority life at Kansas State University
Fraternity and sorority life mission statement
OVERVIEW OF THE DIVISION OF STUDENT LIFE
The division of student life is dedicated to students and committed to their collective and individual pursuit of educational excellence, personal well-being, and life-long learning. The division of student life connects students with various programs and resources that promote success inside and outside the classroom.
Division of student life homepage
STUDENT LIFE LEADERSHIP
Thomas Lane, vice president and dean of students
Bringing more than 25 years of student life administration experience, Thomas Lane became vice president for student life and dean of students at K-State in July 2019.
Lane provides executive-level leadership, strategic planning, oversight, and coordination of all units in the division of student life. He also guides the development and implementation of high-quality and student-centered approaches to support student success in non-academic dimensions of student university experiences. He responds to student crises, issues, and concerns, among many other duties.
Derek Jackson, associate vice president for community building
Derek Jackson is the associate vice president for community building at K-State. He oversees the center for student involvement, fraternity and sorority life, housing and dining services, the K-State student union, and the parents and family program.
Jackson began his career in residence life while completing his undergraduate and graduate degrees. He served as area coordinator at the University of Georgia from 1993 to 1997 and returned to K-State in 1997 to assume the position of assistant director for residence life. In 2005, Jackson became the associate director for administrative services and residence life and accepted the director role in 2011. Before becoming the associate vice president for student life, Jackson’s role consistently expanded and grew throughout his K-State career, overseeing the center for childhood development, counseling services, Lafene health center, and recreational services.
Founded in 1863 as the nation’s first operational land-grant university, Kansas State University has grown into a tier 1 research university with more than 20,000 students, 1,300 faculty members, 2,900 staff members, and four campuses: the main campus in Manhattan; K-State Salina, home to aviation and technology programs; K-State Olathe, which serves the industry and workforce needs of Greater Kansas City; and K-State Online, which offers distance education programs to students around the world. K-State has nine colleges and a graduate school, offering more than 400 degrees and options, from bachelor’s to doctoral degrees. K-State research and extension also serves the citizenry with a presence in every county throughout Kansas and supports research in more than 20 K-State departments. K-State has an annual budget of more than $900 million.
“Next-Gen K-State” is Kansas State University’s strategic plan building upon its success and shaping the future as they strive to become the next-generation land-grant university. Centered on connection, courage, impact, learner-focus, people, and stewardship, K-State is committed to “setting the standard for inspiring learning, creativity, discovery, and engagement that positively impacts society and transforms lives…” Read more here.
THE STUDENT BODY
Total enrollment: 19,722
Retention rate: 86%
“At Kansas State University, diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging, in the broadest sense, reflect the idea that all community members are welcomed, valued, and free to be their authentic selves. KSU strives to empower all members and remove barriers throughout the campus caused by social injustice and inequity to provide access to all, regardless of identities. KSU commits to engaging the voices of the community to promote equity and empathy for a more inclusive campus.”
Dr. Richard H. Linton, president
Dr. Richard H. Linton serves as the 15th president of Kansas State University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology, a master’s degree in food science, and a doctorate in food science, all from Virginia Tech University. He participated in the Food Systems Leadership Institute from 2009-2011 and completed the Harvard Graduate School’s institutional educational management program in 2018.
Before assuming the presidency at K-State in February 2022, Linton served as dean of the college of agriculture and life sciences at North Carolina State University from 2012-2022, as department chair of food science and technology at The Ohio State University from 2011-2012, and as a faculty member of the department of food science at Purdue University from 1994-2011. While at Purdue, Linton also served as the founder and director of the center for food safety engineering and as the associate director of agricultural research programs.
See here for information on the benefits offered at Kansas State University.
Review of applications will begin April 10, 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 Kara Kravetz Cupoli at email@example.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.
The public salary range for this position is: $70,000 to $80,000.
Visit the Kansas State University website at: www.k-state.edu
Kansas State University is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran.