Position Description

The director of sorority and fraternity life currently reports to the senior director for off-campus student life and community engagement. Sorority and fraternity life (SFL) is part of the student engagement and leadership (SEL) collaborative within student affairs and campus life (SACL). The director leads the overall strategic vision, mission, and operational functions to deepen student learning, engagement, and impact for the SFL community comprised of four governing councils: interfraternity council (14 chapters), multicultural Greek council (seven chapters), national Pan-Hellenic council (four chapters), and Panhellenic council (eight chapters).

The director serves as an energetic and integral member of the student life team and champion of the SFL community, providing leadership, guidance, and support to SFL program development and initiatives. The director supervises two full-time professional and graduate staff, provides direct and indirect advising, designs and delivers educational programs, establishes risk management initiatives, and furnishes administrative oversight of the governing councils and fraternity/sorority chapters. The director is responsible for cultivating collaborative relationships to develop a data-driven and relationship-forward SFL strategic plan to enhance the administrative framework, communication, trust, and partnerships among the SFL community and its stakeholders. The director must be an innovative and creative problem-solver who will advance SFL leadership and service programs, influence chapter operations on campus and in the town of Amherst, and address conduct issues to improve the SFL student experience. Also, the director will construct a comprehensive public relations and marketing strategy to elevate the SFL brand on campus and in the community.

Additionally, as assigned, the director develops and implements related student engagement and leadership and student affairs and campus life strategic goals and objectives to promote student success and other priorities.

The Position

Qualifications

The successful candidate will hold a master’s degree in higher education or related field plus a minimum of five years post master’s degree experience working with student organization support, student activities, advising, leadership development, and program implementation. A commitment to experiential learning, developing strong connections, and student development of a driven and diverse undergraduate population is essential. Additionally, candidates must have demonstrated experience supervising professional, graduate, and undergraduate employees and the ability to lead risk management and harm reduction policy development and implementation. Candidates must also have group facilitation and curriculum/learning design experience; knowledge and understanding of trends, best practices, challenges, and opportunities regarding an SFL community; effective management of multiple concurrent priorities; and the ability to establish positive and effective working relationships with diverse student populations and stakeholder groups. Candidates who have direct experience leading transformational change with student organizations, experience advising national fraternities and sororities, experience establishing restorative justice practices, and the ability to build a dynamic and high-performing team are preferred.

 

History of the Position

The previous director was in place for 25+ years until his retirement in August 2020. A consultant has been working with the SFL coordinator and a graduate assistant to manage sorority and fraternity life until a new director is named. The position reports to Sally Linowski, Senior Director for Off-Campus Student Life and Community Engagement, a veteran University of Massachusetts (UMass Amherst) administrator with a stellar campus and community reputation.

 

Likely Opportunities, Priorities, and Challenges of the Position

The director must possess a broad and deep understanding of fraternity and sorority issues, challenges and opportunities, and be a visionary who is able to appreciate the opportunity to advance Greek letter organizations at UMass Amherst. Therefore, the new director of sorority and fraternity life must be:

  • An experienced supervisor, skilled team player, and focused on student development.
  • Innovative, creative, and a persistent problem solver, capable of proactively managing crises and complex situations and equipped to contribute at both a strategic and operational level at a large institution.
  • Compassionate, agile, and a highly collaborative community builder—able and willing to learn the culture and establish credibility with all constituencies through excellent skills in relationship-building, political savvy, communication, and adaptability.
  • Able to work closely with many departments and leaders across campus and advocate for and influence others to endorse their strategic vision.
  • Responsive, build consensus, convey transparency, inspire trust, and navigate complex organizational dynamics.
  • Attentive of and invested in the diverse fraternity and sorority community at UMass Amherst, knowledgeable regarding diversity, equity, inclusion, and intersectionality in the fraternity and sorority environment at a large public institution located in a rural northeastern town.
  • Experienced in sourcing, designing, and delivering integral educational, leadership development, and prevention training opportunities.
  • Proficient in designing and conducting program assessments to build a data-driven strategy.
  • Skilled in advocating on behalf of Greek letter organizations to amplify visibility and a holistic narrative about the sorority and fraternity community at UMass Amherst.
  • Influential and have a proven ability to build support networks to strengthen and enhance sorority and fraternity student experience and outcomes.

Institution & Location

Institutional Background

 The University of Massachusetts Amherst is a public research and land-grant university in Amherst, Massachusetts, and the flagship of the University of Massachusetts system. With over 6,000 faculty and staff members and more than 30,000 students, UMass Amherst is the largest public University in New England and is ranked among the top 30 public universities in the nation.

The university offers bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctoral degrees in 110 undergraduate and 127 graduate programs offered on campus and online. UMass Amherst is ranked 29th among the nation’s top public universities, moving up 11 spots in the past two years in U.S. News & World Report’s annual college guide.

Other recent accolades include the following.

  • UMass Amherst is rated the 25th most efficient among top-rated national universities in a new U.S. News & World Report ranking category.
  • UMass Amherst is among the 100 Best Values in Public Colleges compiled by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine for a ninth consecutive year.
  • The Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is the highest-ranking public undergraduate business school in the Northeast, according to Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2016 Undergraduate Business School Rankings. Climbing three places since the 2014 ranking, Isenberg now ranks 11th among public undergraduate business school programs in the United States.
  • Money magazine ranks UMass Amherst among the nation’s best colleges based on “most bang for the tuition buck.”
  • The university is ranked among the top 200 programs worldwide in 21 academic disciplines, according to the 2017 QS World University Subject Ratings.
  • UMass Amherst is ranked among the top research universities nationwide for its commitment to leadership in sustainability by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

UMass Amherst faculty and staff are top performers in terms of the number of awards and recognitions they receive. UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth’s flagship public research university, is one of the nation’s top universities for research as measured by national and international rankings, academic citations, and research funding. The campus spends more than $200 million on research each year, demonstrating its contribution to the nation’s position as a technological and economic leader. The university has consistently been named a top producer of Fulbright award winners. Additionally, UMass Amherst engages the community with 359 programs, partnering with 499 organizations in 21 states and involving 86 different campus units. Other notable accomplishments include recognition as a leader in social justice and being one of the first campuses to announce a policy to divest investments in South Africa. UMass Amherst is ranked among the top 10 research universities nationwide for its commitment to leadership in sustainability. The university is also distinguished by its W. E. B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies; the Stonewall Center, one of the longest established centers supporting the LGBTQIA community (over 40 years); the Center for Women and Community, supporting victims of violence; and the Office of Disability Services, supporting students with disabilities in maximizing the quality of their university experience.

For a more comprehensive introduction to the university, visit https://www.umass.edu/.

Institutional Leadership

Kumble R. Subbaswamy, PhD, Chancellor

Kumble R. Subbaswamy became the 30th leader of UMass Amherst on July 1, 2012. He has emerged as a popular and well-regarded chancellor for his pursuit of academic excellence, promotion of research and outreach, and initiatives addressing campus climate, diversity, and culture.

Subbaswamy has overseen the opening of new cutting-edge academic and athletic facilities, including commonwealth honors college residential community, the integrative learning center, the life science laboratories, and the football performance center. He has made sustainability a campus priority and focuses on strengthening community relationships, supporting area communities, and increasing access to the university’s rich academic and research resources.

Championing an open and transparent leadership style, Subbaswamy enacted a comprehensive campus-wide strategic planning process to continue to build on the successes of UMass Amherst in the coming years. As part of fortifying the future, Subbaswamy has played a key role in UMass Rising, a $300 million fundraising campaign, and the most significant campus history.

Subbaswamy has instituted plans to improve the UMass educational experience by introducing more opportunities for undergraduate research experiences and integrative and team-based learning and to increase enrollment of students from diverse backgrounds.

Before coming to UMass Amherst, Subbaswamy served since 2006 as provost at the University of Kentucky. A physicist, he joined Kentucky’s faculty in 1978 after serving as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, Irvine. During his first 18 years at the University of Kentucky, he served as associate dean of arts and sciences and as chair of the department of physics and astronomy.

In other administrative positions, Subbaswamy was dean of the college of arts and sciences at the University of Miami from 1997 to 2000. Then he left to become dean of arts and sciences at Indiana University Bloomington, serving until 2006, when he moved to Kentucky. He holds a bachelor of science from Bangalore University, a master of physics from Delhi University, and a PhD in physics from Indiana University. He was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society in 1989. His primary research area is the optical properties of novel materials and nonlinear excitations. He has published more than 60 articles and co-authored a book on the local density theory of polarizability.

Application & Nomination

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until 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. Email nominations for this position to Kara Kravetz Cupoli at kkc@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email info@spelmanjohnson.com.

Visit the University of Massachusetts Amherst website at https://www.umass.edu/

The University of Massachusetts Amherst prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, sex, age, marital status, national origin, mental or physical disability, political belief or affiliation, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination under state or federal law in any aspect of the access to, admission, or treatment of students in its programs and activities, or in employment and application for employment.

 The University of Massachusetts Amherst, as a public land-grant institution, has a responsibility to provide access and opportunities for all people, while demonstrating our commitment to inclusion of historically underrepresented groups. We believe that a culturally diverse campus is integral to academic excellence and that our students, faculty, and staff should reflect the diverse world in which we live. The university recognizes and values the wide range of voices and perspectives in all spheres of the academic enterprise. The University of Massachusetts Amherst is committed to policies that promote inclusiveness, social justice and respect for all, regardless of race, color, religion, creed, gender, sexual orientation, age, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, political belief or affiliation, marital status, veteran status, immigration status, gender identity and expression, genetic information or any other characteristic or status protected by state or federal laws.