The Opportunity

Located in Salt Lake City, the University of Utah is a public, four-year institution committed to providing an exceptional academic and co-curricular experience for students and the University community. The “U” is a PAC-12 institution with more than 33,000 students.  Housing and Residential Education (HRE) actively works to be innovative in support of the University goals of promoting students success, generating knowledge, sustaining engaging communities, and ensuring vitality.  This is done through a strong team approach that focuses on daily work and practices in alignment with the department values of staff excellence, integrity, team, service, social justice/inclusion, and positive attitudes.

Housing and Residential Education is the largest department in the Division of Student Affairs with approximately 150 benefitted staff and more than 180 student leaders.  The department houses more than 4,200 residents and is responsible for 39 buildings totaling more than 1.1million square feet. HRE includes the following teams: residential education, facilities, housing, occupancy, information technology, resident services, communications and assessment, budget & finance, and dining contract management. The University Strategy 2025 calls for increased enrollment and an increase in beds to support the demand.

The Position

Role of the Executive Director for Housing and Residential Education for The University of Utah

Reporting to the Associate Vice President for Finance and Operations, the Executive Director of Housing and Residential Education (EDHRE) administers visionary leadership and direction for the department with both long-range development opportunities, including capital projects, and short-term departmental decisions while overseeing a departmental budget of $44 million. The EDHRE administers and manages the single student housing program for the University. The EDHRE will establish learning outcomes and implementation strategies for the department. The EDHRE directs departmental operations to ensure department resources align with University and division priorities. The director will also set departmental values and goals, articulating a shared vision that is operationalized through a strategic plan; advance the department value of social justice/inclusion in support of University priorities; facilitate partnerships with campus individuals and offices across the University in support of University-wide initiatives; and proactively engage in planning and collaboration for crisis and emergencies at the University level. This position is considered to be an essential personnel position and as such, the EDHRE must be accessible and available in the event of emergencies or when needed to meet the ongoing operations of the University.

Further responsibilities include:

The Executive Director has decision-making authority for all aspects of HRE personnel, budget and finance, purchasing, programmatic and service administration/delivery, facility operations, construction projects, equipment repair/replacement, risk management/safety, and setting or approving policies governing these functions within the department.  The EDHRE approves operating budgets for the following departments: housing, residential education, HRE facilities; dining services; communications & sustainability; technology services; and administrative support.  The Executive Director engages in complex problem solving, routinely interacting with multiple campus offices including the 0ffice of general council, environmental health & safety, human resources, public relations, and facility management on matters specific to HRE programs, services or facilities, and/or resolution of issues originating within HRE that impact individual(s) from the general student population or other members of the campus community.  The EDHRE selects, hires, evaluates, and ensures professional development opportunities for direct reports.

History of the Position

Barbara Remsburg served the University of Utah as the executive director of housing and residential education (HRE) for the past 13 years and left this fall to relocate to another area of the country. Remsburg came into HRE in a middle management position and was able to move up within the organization. She was a well-respected and valuable member of the leadership team.

Opportunities and Challenges of the Role

The University of Utah’s Housing and Residential Education department enjoys a rich history of strong leadership. Strong emphasis is placed upon building dynamic programs to help students be successful. A genuine interest in building strong relationships with faculty and staff is of utmost importance to success. Many of the U’s key stakeholders outside of HRE rely upon this position to access students. This expectation of collaboration is critically important to the department’s success.

Over the past 22 years, the demand for housing on campus has grown from just over 1,000 students to more than 4,000 students. In 2021, HRE had a significant shortfall of rooms available for students. Historically housing first-year students has been the priority for HRE and there has been minimal housing available for upper-division students. Because of current high housing demand, and the low vacancy rate of apartments in the Salt Lake valley, HRE is in the midst of building one new wing on the newest residential hall, Kahlert Village, scheduled to open in fall 2023, and is in the planning phase of an additional building being built in cooperation with the Eccles School of Business.

The new Executive Director must have a comprehensive knowledge of financial systems and a strong understanding of budgets. The vast majority of the U’s community expects the successful candidate to be able to show strong financial acumen balanced with a strong operational, administrative, programmatic, and student success philosophy. Because the University of Utah is a large, public, state institution, the new Executive Director will need to not only have a strong financial orientation but also be able to explain difficult budgetary decisions to students, families, and staff members.

In leading the University of Utah, the next director will be expected to:

  • invest in learning the University and Utah culture;
  • coordinate a plan to manage the high demand for on-campus housing;
  • develop a team that communicates critical information clearly and one that cultivates relationships across campus;
  • bring experience in capital projects, expansion, and renovations;
  • lead from a framework that embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion;
  • engage staff and campus stakeholders in strategic thinking and planning aimed at defining housing and residential life at the University of Utah;
  • champion and advocate for the student experience and the personal and professional development of staff in equal measure;
  • be comfortable having critical conversations with students and staff;
  • bring an entrepreneurial and innovative spirit to examine space and revenue;
  • value high-impact practices and continue to cultivate and nurture academic partnerships and programming leading to a philosophy of shared investment;
  • bring flexibility and creativity to continuous improvement and shifting institutional priorities;
  • understand the political acumen necessary to navigate a public institution of higher education, with the associated state budgetary expectations and advocacy opportunities; and
  • lead the growth and future of a successful campus housing program.


Measures of Success 

At an appropriate interval after joining the University of Utah, the following items will initially define success for the new Executive Director of Housing and Residential Education (HRE):

  • A thorough assessment of all areas within the portfolio has been conducted, mapping out clear goals, and direction has been presented and advanced.
  • In this critical position, the new Executive Director is leading from a framework that embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • A welcoming tone has been established inviting collaboration and encouraging students and others throughout the campus community to share in the responsibility for creating a vibrant campus community and seamless learning environment.
  • Students and staff respond favorably and report a high level of satisfaction with their housing and food services experience as reported on institutional survey instruments.
  • The current environment has been assessed, and a vision for the short- and long-term future of the department has been developed along with a strategic budgetary plan that is embraced by stakeholders across the University and is rooted in a respect for HRE history.
  • The Executive Director has established a strong collaborative relationship with all aspects of the U community.
  • The new Executive Director has a strong understanding of and ability to articulate the vision, mission, and values of the department, of student affairs and of the University.


Qualifications and Characteristics

A master’s degree is required with at least twelve years of progressively responsible experience in residence life and/or housing within a college or university setting, with at least three years administrative experience in a senior administrative position within a college housing operation. The successful candidate must demonstrate skill with planning, coordinating, and facilitating university-wide projects/programs; must demonstrate experience with budget development, facilities management, and fiscal reporting; and must demonstrate skill in written communications such as reports, proposals, professional correspondence, presentation content, and materials.  He or she will have demonstrated an ability to relate effectively to all members of a university community, with an appreciation for cultural, ethnic, and individual differences, along with experience developing and supporting university priorities related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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

  • champion current and future University housing needs;
  • ensure department offerings are inclusive and 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, and to make adjustments as needed;
  • in partnership with University law enforcement, legal, and other colleagues, be accountable for safety, security, and risk management in housing facilities;
  • ensure compliance with all relevant policies, procedures, standards, and laws, and conduct regular policy reviews to align the department with compliance and other obligations;
  • provide visionary, strategic, innovative, flexible, and change-oriented leadership for the department;
  • be accountable for business and financial operations of the department;
  • provide vision and leadership for broad-based diversity, inclusion, and equity initiatives for students and staff.

Institution & Location

Overview of the Housing and Residential Education Department

Housing and Residential Education creates an engaging community where students live, learn, and thrive. It develops a sense of belonging, provides opportunities for personal growth, and fosters a safe and supportive environment. The HRE team aims to make the University of Utah feel like home. It does so by implementing the values of customer first service, commitment to students and staff, integrity, respect and teamwork, inclusiveness and diversity, innovation, and stewardship.

See more at 2021-22 Org Chart

Overview of the division of Student Affairs

Comprised of 20 individual offices, Student Affairs encourages U students to participate in the creation of their own campus culture, collaboratively working alongside professional staff, student leaders, and academic partners to ensure all members of the community not only feel welcomed but are fully incorporated into University life.

Division priorities are outlined in four areas:

1. Diversity & Inclusion

Student Affairs is doing its part to create a richer overall campus climate, to create a sense of community and belonging, and to strengthen the U’s ability to educate the next generation of leaders.

  • Support centers
  • Community and identity centers
  • Involvement

2. Health, Support & Wellness

Student Affairs provides education, prevention and intervention to support student health and wellness. It create environments that promote a healthy lifestyle, which is tied to success both in and beyond college.

  • Mental and physical health
  • Coaching and advising
  • Support resources

3. Engagement & Leadership

Students develop leadership and transferable skills necessary to become civically engaged, productive members of society.

  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Student groups
  • Leadership opportunities

4. Places & Spaces

Student Affairs creates a community that complements the academic mission of the U by providing spaces across campus for social, cultural, and extracurricular activities.

  • Housing
  • Dining
  • Meetings, activities, and recreation

Leadership of the Division

Lori McDonald, Vice President for Student Affairs

Lori McDonald, PhD, is serving in her third year as Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of Utah. She has previously served as Associate Vice President and Dean of Students from 2013 – 2019.

Credited with the capacity to build vibrant partnerships with major offices and academic units across campus, McDonald provides innovative leadership to a comprehensive Student Affairs Division that includes housing and residential education, student development & inclusion, student health & wellness and the office of the Dean of Students. As the former Dean of Students, she served as the student affairs administrator for campus emergency management and as the senior deputy Title IX coordinator. She now sits on the President’s Cabinet and the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs’ academic leadership team.

McDonald earned her doctorate from the University of Utah’s department of educational leadership & policy. She has a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs from The Ohio State University and a bachelor’s degree in biology, also from the U. This year of her tenure as Vice President marks the 25th year of service within the University of Utah’s Division of Student Affairs.

Jerry L. Basford, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs

Dr. Basford has been involved with finances and financial management for the past thirty years.  He has spent the better part of his life as a financial analyst for profit and not-for-profit organizations, serving on the board of directors for credit unions, little leagues, and sole proprietor companies as well as being the senior analyst for Fortune 500 organizations. Dr. Basford came to the University of Utah in 1998 as the Senior Finance Analyst before moving to Student Affairs to be the Assistant to the Vice President in 2002. He is currently the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs that oversees nine departments within Student Affairs and the budget process for the Division. He also teaches a personal finance course as an adjunct instructor in the Business School at the University of Utah.

Institutional background/history

Originally named the University of Deseret, the University of Utah is the oldest state university west of the Missouri River. Founded in Salt Lake City on 28 February 1850, the school’s first term was restricted to men only in November of 1850, but the second term was opened to both women and men. At the end of the third term, in 1852, classes were discontinued because of lack of funds.

The University was partially reopened primarily as a business school in 1867, and was reestablished completely by 1869. The University was housed several places in Salt Lake City until 1884 when the school moved to the site of West High School. The first official commencement was held in 1886 when ten normal and two bachelor degrees were conferred. By 1900 enrollment had grown to 400 students, and BA and BS degrees were offered in classical, scientific, and normal programs.

The institution’s name was changed from the University of Deseret to the University of Utah in 1894, and Congress granted 60 acres of Fort Douglas land on the east bench to the school. Classes opened on this site 1 October 1900.

Thirty-two more acres of land from Fort Douglas were annexed to the campus in 1904, and during the 1920s new classrooms and an athletic stadium were constructed. Programs established in the early part of the 20th century included authorizing masters degrees, opening a two-year medical school, organizing an extension division, and establishing a law school.

During World War I, a department of military science and tactics was developed. Military drill was compulsory for able male students, and women had to participate in some form of war-preparedness work. The student army training corp was organized, and regular ROTC instruction began. Enrollment increased from 1,029 in 1918, to 1,638 in 1920, and continued to increase from 2,910 in 1922, to 3,600 in 1932.

In the 1930s, 61 additional acres from Fort Douglas were deeded to the University. New buildings included a field house and central library, partially constructed with Public Works Administration funds. The Great Depression of the 1930s saw budget cuts of as much as50 percent. Faculty and staff salaries were reduced, and normal advancements in rank and salary were eliminated. Needy students secured assistance from the Federal Emergency Relief Administration and the State Emergency Administration. A placement bureau was organized to serve employers and graduating students.

Professional courses in social work were introduced in the 1930s which led to the establishment of the Graduate School of Social Work. The advanced training of nurses developed in the School of Education until the establishment of the College of Nursing. Freshman and sophomore years were separated into a lower division devoted primarily to general education. Specialization was required in the upper division junior and senior years.

The Experiment Station of the School of Mines, the Biological Survey of Utah, the Geological Survey of Utah, and the Bureau of Economic and Business Research were organized. A full-scale graduate curriculum was obtained by the mid-1940s. The College of Medicine, now a four-year school, graduated its first class in 1944.

During World War II, all first-year civilian males were required to take a course in military science and tactics. Courses on the economics and philosophy of war were taught, and the physical education requirements were increased to meet the demands of military programs. A four-quarter schedule of classes was adopted to facilitate training doctors, engineers, and technicians for the military services.

The years following World War II saw classes scheduled from 7:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M.; temporary buildings were renovated for dormitories, classrooms, and offices; new faculty were hired; and there was further acquisition of Fort Douglas land. Schools were converted into colleges and new colleges were created. Improvements in curriculum, faculty, and facilities were made to meet the accreditation standards of the various professions. Interdisciplinary programs gave rise to institutes and centers.

The first football and track teams were organized in 1892, and the first paid coach was hired in 1900. Besides football and track, early athletics included tennis, basketball, field hockey, and skiing. Intramural teams number more than 70, and there are clubs for rugby, lacrosse, ski racing, and other team sports. Intercollegiate teams compete in Division I of the NCAA. In men’s and women’s skiing and in women’s gymnastics, the University’s teams have won national championships. In football, basketball, tennis, and swimming, the regular placement of teams at first or second place in conference ratings has come to be expected, and nationally ranked teams are occasionally fielded.

Present-day campus organizations include orchestras, bands, jazz combos, an opera ensemble, and several choral, chamber, dance, and theatre groups. The Pioneer Memorial Theatre Company, a professional equity company, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Natural History, and the state Arboretum are located on campus. The University also has a public television and radio stations and operates a state instructional television channel.


Salt Lake City, Utah

Surrounded by mountains, this lively city has an interesting and unusual past and a bright future. The vibe is friendly and laid-back, and the access to both urban and outdoor adventures creates opportunities for travelers of every ilk.

Exciting Additions

Salt Lake’s urban landscape is changing exponentially, and the fruits of this transformation are increasingly enjoyable. The Natural History Museum of Utah houses world-class exhibitions in a gorgeous building in the foothills. The outdoor City Creek Shopping Center features more than 90 stores and restaurants and has two fully retractable glass roofs, ensuring a year-round, climate-controlled environment. Other highlights include the architecturally astounding Salt Lake Public Library, the Leonardo Science and Culture Museum, and the Rio Tinto Stadium, home of the Real Salt Lake soccer team. The Eccles Theater performing arts center opened on Main Street in 2016.

Good Taste

Salt Lake is for food lovers. Sophisticated palates should reserve a table at Valter’s Osteria for an authentic taste of Tuscany, or La Caille for a night of elegant French cuisine. Log Haven’s romantic mountain setting, New American menu, and award-winning wine list are noteworthy. Downtown are Pago’s locally sourced, seasonal plates, Frida Bistro’s Mexican brunch, and Beer Bar’s bratwursts. Salt Lake has a wealth of nationally recognized breweries and creative mixologists.

Uniquely American History

While Salt Lake’s origin story incorporates familiar Wild West themes, its cast of characters is extraordinary. The valley was settled in 1847 by Mormon pioneers who crossed the country, facing enormous obstacles, in hopes of practicing their religion and way of life unhindered. One can learn about the city’s history at some of Salt Lake’s most iconic attractions, such as downtown’s Temple Square, where tours are given in more than 40 languages. Evidence of the city’s heritage can be seen in the spirited ongoing dialog between the modern-day faithful and Salt Lake’s secular citizens, who now make up the majority of the city’s population.

User Friendliness

There is a reason Salt Lake was recently named the USA’s “Least Stressed City.” Services and amenities are always close by, the streets are easy to navigate, public transportation is punctual, and an extensive shareable bike program lets riders cruise around downtown for a charge that amounts to pocket change.

The Gateway to Utah’s Wild Places

Utah is famous for its natural wonders that span everything from towering desert spires to lush alpine forests. There are five national parks within a couple hours’ drive, and Salt Lake is the perfect place to plan for and unwind from adventures. Even closer are 11 world-class ski resorts, a distinction that earned Salt Lake the moniker of “Ski City,” where enthusiasts can spend the day skiing, the evening at the symphony, and the night in the club or the hotel bar.


Mission and Values

The University of Utah fosters student success by preparing students from diverse backgrounds for lives of impact as leaders and citizens. It generates and shares new knowledge, discoveries, and innovations, and engages local and global communities to promote education, health, and quality of life. These contributions, in addition to responsible stewardship of intellectual, physical, and financial resources, ensure the long‐term success and viability of the institution.

University of Utah Core Values

  • Student success and engagement
    • The U is committed to providing the financial assistance, personalized support, and engaged learning experiences that increase access to the University and facilitate persistence through degree completion.
  • Research and teaching excellence
    • The U engages in cutting-edge teaching and research that foster inter- and trans-disciplinary innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship, and knowledge and technology transfer.
  • Diversity
    • The U celebrates the rich diversity of people as well as creative and intellectual traditions by being inclusive in every respect.
  • Sustainability
    • The U contributes to a more sustainable world through research, teaching, and demonstrating best practices in protecting and enhancing the natural and built environment on the campus and environs, making it a great place to live, learn, work, play, create, recreate, and visit.
  • Global vision and strategy
    • The U thinks and acts globally by increasing opportunities for students and faculty to engage in international study, teaching, research, and service.
  • Community
    • The U maintains a strong sense of community among students, faculty, and staff, and cultivates meaningful University, neighborhood, city, region, state, and global partnerships.
  • Leadership
    • The U engages students, faculty, staff, and the larger community in conversations that lead to positive transformation at the local, state, national, and global levels.

Strategic Goals

The University of Utah is a world-class research and teaching institution built on a legacy of innovation, collaboration, community engagement, and service.  The University of Utah Strategic Goals roadmap provides a shared vision for the future of the U. It identifies mission, values, strengths, and strategies for the continued excellence and the long-term success of our students and programs.


  • Transformative Excellence Program: Recruit clusters of high achieving faculty in target areas of strength and societal relevance to ensure vibrant future
  • Increase diversity of faculty, including women, in science and engineering
  • Enhance graduate program quality and student support to enable recruitment and education of top talent
  • Build program quality in key areas


  • Expand scholarship opportunities and strategically align scholarships with access, achievement, and completion goals
  • Deploy data analytics and retention reporting systems to facilitate improvement in student support and services
  • Extend UOnline to increase access to U programs and promote completion
  • Increase participation in high impact programs (deeply engaged learning opportunities)
  • Enrich and expand learning communities to include honors, transfer, sophomore, and living and learning communities


  • Provide transformative and innovative health care
  • Enable exceptional quality patient care
  • Expand outreach and engagement to shape and improve the U
  • Engage communities in a broad range of campus offerings, from arts to athletics to lifelong learning opportunities
  • Increase access to the U through online offerings
  • Partner with communities to meet critical needs and enhance access to the U


  • Improve physical facilities and campus infrastructure to support core operations
  • Promote efficiency in all aspects of University operations
  • Reduce impact of the U on the environment
  • Ensure effective communication with stakeholders and build support for University initiatives with legislative, corporate, and private partners
  • Achieve an appropriate balance among affordability, access, and quality across the institution
  • Engage in continuous improvement practices across the University


Taylor Randall, PhD, President

Taylor R. Randall, PhD, was selected as the 17th President of the University of Utah by the Utah Board of Higher Education on August 5, 2021. Prior to his appointment as President, Randall led the nationally ranked David Eccles School of Business for 12 years. Under his innovative and dynamic leadership as Dean, the Eccles School grew five-fold, creating significantly greater opportunity for students, faculty, and the community.

Significant milestones during his time as Dean include serving as Utah’s economic lead on the Unified Command for the COVID-19 recovery; increasing scholarship funding for students from $800,000 to more than $15 million; forming the Ascent Program for first-generation students from underrepresented populations; achieving a top-three ranking among state schools nationally for the percentage of tenured and tenure-track women faculty; and creating five outstanding centers that serve students and the broader community locally, nationally, and globally. These centers, among others, include the acclaimed Lassonde Entrepreneurship Institute, the locally prominent Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, the difference-making Sorenson Impact Center, and the nationally focused Marriner S. Eccles Institute for Economics and Quantitative Analysis.

In keeping with the Eccles School’s substantial upward trajectory and Randall’s growth mindset, over the past decade, Randall has overseen the funding, design, and construction of three major buildings on campus and is executing on the design phase of a fourth building dedicated to student experiences and housing. In addition, under his guidance, the University of Utah Venture Fund became the largest student-run venture fund in the country.

Before assuming the role of Dean, Randall served as a professor of accounting for 11 years, earning accolades throughout his teaching career for his relentless focus on students. He graduated from the University of Utah with honors in accounting and then earned an MBA and PhD in operations and information management from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Randall is a third-generation professor with a long and deep commitment to the University of Utah.

Academic Programs and Faculty

With 18 colleges and schools and nearly 100 departments, one would be hard-pressed to find a subject matter not taught at the U. It is this broad spectrum of diverse academic pursuits that contributes to the intellectual energy experienced on campus.

The University of Utah is home to some of the world’s greatest thinkers and academic minds. The faculty consists of a collection of tireless individuals who excel at both teaching and researching in their respective disciplines.

Faculty (Fall 2020): Full-timePart-time
Tenure Line1,535173
Career Line1,587 222

Benefits Overview

Benefits Overview

  • Medical plans
  • Dental plans
  • Wellness programs
  • Employee assistance program
  • Health care flexible spending account
  • Retirement plans
  • Life and disability insurance
  • Paid leave
  • Tuition reduction

For more information:

Application & Nomination

Application and Nomination
Review of applications will begin November 5, 2021 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 University of Utah website at

The University of Utah does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, pregnancy-related conditions, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information or protected veteran’s status, in employment, treatment, admission, access to educational programs and activities, or other University benefits or services.

The University does not discriminate on the basis of sex in the education program or activity that it operates, as required by Title IX and 34 CFR part 106. The requirement not to discriminate in education programs or activities extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator, to the Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, or both. 

Additionally, the University endeavors to provide reasonable accommodations and to ensure equal access to qualified persons with disabilities. 

Where discrimination is found to have occurred, the University will take reasonable steps to investigate the matter, stop the harassment, prevent its recurrence and remedy its effects.