Rutgers University–New Brunswick seeks an innovative, strategic, and relationship-centric residence life leader to be the next executive director of residence life.

The Position


Reporting to the associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students, the executive director of residence life serves as the senior housing officer for Rutgers University. The executive director is the primary architect of the residential experience for 16,000 increasingly diverse undergraduate and graduate residential students in 147 buildings across five campuses in New Brunswick and Piscataway, making it one of the largest residential programs in the nation.

The executive director provides strategic and innovative leadership to a residential life system, which includes housing operations (room assignments, contracts, IT, summer conferences), student behavior and crisis management, student leadership, and residential education. The executive director leverages a $12.4 million operating budget to ensure a safe, comfortable, learning-centric, inclusive community. There are five direct reports to this position, an additional 86 full-time and graduate professional staff, and an undergraduate student staff of 450.

The executive director is charged with building a long-term strategic housing and residence life plan that reimagines the residential experience in alignment with Rutgers’ most recent academic master plan. This position works closely with partners in academic affairs, student affairs, and Institutional Planning and Operations (IPO) to integrate academic enrichment, student learning, social engagement, and a sense of belonging into the fabric of the residential experience.

Additional responsibilities of the role:

  • Manage the development and delivery of student success strategies, including 26 academically linked living-learning communities (2,445 total beds), residential curriculum implementation, residence hall association/student leadership, student employment, and residential student conduct and care.
  • Serve as primary liaison with IPO to ensure residential facilities are well maintained and serve the needs of residential students, including making recommendations for residence hall renovations and repairs. In partnership with IPO’s facilities unit, maintain a competitive edge in student satisfaction, facility desirability, and housing affordability.
  • Provide high-quality care to students through proper student crisis intervention, response, and management for the residential campuses.
  • Build and develop a strong leadership team to support a residence life team of 500+ employees across five campuses.
  • Prioritize efficient and proper training, development of work standards, and consistency across the campuses.
  • Regularly assess the overall residential experience and develop strategies for ongoing improvement.
  • Serve as a key member of the division of student affairs and the university working in concert with other department leaders to advocate for students and provide an exceptional experience for Rutgers students.


A master’s degree and ten years of progressively responsible experience in housing and residence life are required. The next executive director must have a successful track record of goal setting and implementation in a university residential setting. They should be a capable and confident leader with an exceptional understanding of the value of the residential experience as it relates to the academic, personal, and social development of residential students.

The successful candidate will have demonstrated skill in relationship and coalition building across all university levels and will work collaboratively with students, staff, parents, faculty, alumni, and other stakeholders. The executive director will be skilled in organizational development, change management, and generating synergy across large teams, with focused attention on inclusive supervision and staff retention.

The executive director should have excellent oral and communication skills and be comfortable as a visible campus leader. Essential to this role is knowledge of current and relevant practices in higher education and student affairs, and a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Additional qualifications and characteristics include:

  • An educator mindset grounded in student development theory that supports a residential curriculum model for student learning and success.
  • Demonstrated skill in developing transformational living and learning environments focused on student belonging.
  • Sound management skills and an understanding of residence life’s educational and business needs.
  • Proven skill and experience in crisis intervention, response, management, and policy development.
  • Innovative and futuristic leadership to guide strategic change across a large and complex department.
  • Must be skilled in listening to the needs of residence life, campus stakeholders, and students.


The executive director of residence life position was created in 2007 as a result of the Rutgers University-New Brunswick reorganization plan, Transforming Undergraduate Education (TUE). Before 2007, the colleges that made up Rutgers University (Rutgers College, Cook College, Douglass College, and Livingston College) had their own residence life department, overseen by the dean of students for each respective college. After TUE, student services were centralized, and residence life professionals on each campus reported to one executive director for residence life.

Joan Carbone served as the first executive director of residence life from 2007 until her retirement in 2015. The associate vice chancellor then held the position in an acting capacity while a national search was conducted. Dan Morrison was hired in the spring of 2016 and served in the role until his retirement in June of 2022. The current associate vice chancellor for student affairs has served as the acting executive director while a search is conducted.


The executive director for residence life must be a leader with exceptional knowledge of best practices in higher education and residential life while actively providing creative solutions. This person’s leadership should guide the path toward deeper student learning, staff engagement, and relationships with key stakeholders across the campus. Additional opportunities and challenges for the executive director for residence life are as follows:

Student Success. Rutgers University has recently announced a new academic master plan moving the university toward greater scholarly leadership, innovative research, student success, and community engagement. With a newly implemented residential curriculum, 26 living-learning communities, and a staff who strive to be educators in all they do, residence life is aligning residential student success and learning goals with the new academic master plan. For more information on the new university academic master plan, please see Rutgers University-New Brunswick Academic Master Plan.

Funding. Rutgers residence life is funded through student rent. Currently, all housing revenue is collected and managed by IPO. Based on the necessary budget needed to manage the residence life operation, a portion of those funds are returned to residence life.

Facilities. Rutgers has an extensive and mixed portfolio of available housing for students. With a combination of old and new, the new director must work with IPO to align deferred maintenance plans with student needs.

Relationships. Critical to the success of the new executive director is an aptitude for relationship building that will lead to collaborations and allies across the department and campus to serve 16,000 residential students.

Communication. Consistency in communication will be critical for the executive director’s success. The executive director will have a large team and must navigate the communication strategies required to keep staff informed. Similarly, the executive director must communicate clearly and often to important stakeholders across the campus.


After joining Rutgers University-New Brunswick and the residence life team, the following will initially define success for the executive director for residence life:

  • The executive director of residence life is an engaged and visible leader on the Rutgers–New Brunswick campus.
  • The relationship with IPO has been successfully established, and the executive director has become the “go-to” residence life person for IPO and the campus.
  • There is an increased synergy across units within residence life that is optimistic and focused on how best to support students.
  • A strategic plan for the next five to ten years for residence life is beginning to form in alignment with divisional and institutional goals, and the executive director is clearing the path for implementation.
  • Student success and belonging have become the end goal for all members of residence life due to the executive director’s clear and well-communicated vision.

Institution & Location


Rutgers residence life serves 16,000 residential students across 147 buildings and five campuses, including international, graduate, and family housing. As one of the nation’s largest residence life programs, the department is focused on learning, community, inclusion, integrity, and innovation. To learn more about residence life at Rutgers-New Brunswick, click here.


“We create inclusive, engaging, supportive communities where residents thrive personally and academically. We achieve this through intentional engagement opportunities, support initiatives, and administrative processes.”

Click here for a residential life organizational chart.


Comprising 23 departments, over 1,000 staff members, and more than 2,300 student staff members, the student affairs division at Rutgers University-New Brunswick facilitates interactions among students, faculty, and staff members to promote students’ academic success and personal and professional development. Student affairs staff seek to help students succeed and thrive while attending Rutgers and beyond. Divisional programs, services, and learning opportunities align with the student affairs mission, vision, and core values, reflecting the tenets of the Knight’s Call, while using data to inform how programs and services evolve.

Student Affairs Vision and Mission

Core Values

Student Affairs Diversity Strategic Plan


Salvador Mena, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Dr. Salvador Mena came to Rutgers in August 2014 as the associate vice chancellor for student affairs. In this role, he served as the deputy to the vice chancellor for student affairs and helped manage the division. Over the last 20 years, Mena has served college students at various institutions, including public and private colleges and universities. Prior to Rutgers, Mena served as an assistant vice president and dean of students at the City University of New York. He received his doctorate in higher education, student affairs, and international education policy from the University of Maryland at College Park, a master’s degree in student development in higher education, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Maine.

Nationally, Mena has been involved with several higher education professional organizations, including the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. He is a regular presenter at national conferences and has published in the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice. He also contributed a book chapter in Cultural Centers in Higher Education: Perspectives on Identity, Theory, and Practice.

To view the student affairs organizational chart, click here.


Anne Newman, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Dr. Anne Newman oversees areas focusing on student advocacy in the division of student affairs at Rutgers–New Brunswick. Her areas of responsibility include the dean of students office, office of student conduct, office for student affairs compliance and Title IX, student legal services, graduate student life, professional development, and residence life. Newman also serves as the college student affairs program liaison. Newman is also an affiliate faculty member in the college student affairs program. She previously worked in student conduct and residence life administration. Newman holds a bachelor’s degree in human resource and finance from Adelphi University, a master’s degree in higher education administration from Florida State University, and a doctorate in higher education administration from Illinois State University.


Founded in 1766, Rutgers University–New Brunswick stands among America’s highest-ranked, most diverse public research universities. It is a member of the Association of American Universities and the Big Ten Academic Alliance. An academic, health, and research powerhouse and a university of opportunity, Rutgers is dedicated to teaching that meets the highest standards of excellence, conducting research that breaks new ground, and providing services, solutions, and clinical care that help individuals and the local, national, and global communities where they live. Today, more than 43,000 students attend Rutgers from over 120 countries, all 50 states, and all 21 New Jersey counties.

Rutgers–New Brunswick’s distinguishing feature is its eclectic atmosphere across its five distinct campus centers: Busch Campus, College Avenue Campus, George H. Cook Campus, Douglass Campus, and Livingston Campus. The campuses are linked by a campus bus system, which offers students access to services on each campus. Students enjoy a mix of residential living options, engagement opportunities, eateries, and study and academic spaces on each unique campus.


As one of the leading comprehensive public research universities in the nation, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, has a threefold mission:

  • Providing for the instructional needs of New Jersey’s residents through its undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education programs.
  • Conducting innovative research that contributes to the medical, environmental, social, and cultural well-being of the state, as well as aiding the economy and the state’s businesses and industries.
  • Performing public service in support of the needs of the residents of the state and its local, county, and state governments.

Each component of the university’s mission reinforces and supports the other two.


Jonathan Holloway, President

Jonathan Holloway, a U.S. historian, took office as the 21st president of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, on July 1, 2020. He also serves as a university professor and distinguished professor.

Before accepting the university’s presidency, Holloway was provost at Northwestern University from 2017 to 2020 and a member of Yale University’s faculty from 1999 to 2017. At Yale, he served as dean of Yale College and the Edmund S. Morgan Professor of African American Studies, History, and American Studies.

Holloway’s scholarly work specializes in post-emancipation U.S. history, focusing on social and intellectual history. He serves on boards of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Universities Research Association, the Institute of International Education, and the Academic Leadership Institute. In 2021, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy appointed him as one of four co-chairs of the state’s Wealth Disparity Task Force.

President Holloway’s full profile

Office of the President Organizational Chart


Francine Conway, Chancellor-Provost

Francine Conway, an internationally recognized child psychologist, was appointed the first chancellor-provost of Rutgers University–New Brunswick on July 1, 2021, a position which combines elements of the chancellor’s portfolio with those of the provost to establish a clear focus on academic excellence for students and faculty. She also serves as a distinguished professor.

Conway has served as provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs since November 2020. As provost, she has embraced a commitment to building a diverse and inclusive environment for faculty, staff, and students, including recruitment of faculty from underrepresented demographics and ensuring pathways to success for talented students from diverse and at-risk backgrounds.

Conway is a graduate of Cornell University and Columbia University and earned her doctoral degree from the Gordon F. Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies at Adelphi University, where she later served on the faculty for 13 years.

Chancellor-Provost Conway’s’ full biography

Rutgers University-New Brunswick Academic Master Plan

Rutgers University Enrollment Factbook


In January 2021, Rutgers announced five priorities that will guide the diversity strategic planning process at the university:

  • Recruit, retain, and develop a diverse community
  • Promote inclusive scholarship and teaching
  • Define sustainable and substantive community engagement
  • Build the capacity of leaders to create inclusive climates
  • Develop an institutional infrastructure to drive change

Read more about Rutgers Forward, the university’s diversity strategic plan, here.


The anticipated hiring range is $150,000.00 – $170,000.00 annually, commensurate with education and experience.

The university recognizes the importance of maintaining a comprehensive benefits program. To view the full benefits offered at Rutgers, click here.

Application & Nomination

Review of applications will begin March 29, 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 Julie A. Leos at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email

 Visit the Rutgers University website at

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