Jobs at Western

Resident Director

Apply now Work type: Permanent Full Time
Location: Bellingham, WA
Categories: Enrollment & Student Services

Position Title Resident Director
About the University Western Washington University, with over 16,000 students in seven colleges and the graduate school, is nationally recognized for its educational programs, students and faculty. The campus is located in Bellingham, Washington, a coastal community of 90,000 overlooking Bellingham Bay, the San Juan Islands and the North Cascades Mountain range. The city lies 90 miles north of Seattle and 60 miles south of Vancouver, British Columbia. Western is the highest-ranking public, master's-granting university in the Pacific Northwest, according to the 2019 U.S. News & World Report rankings.
About the Department

In support of WWU bringing together individuals of diverse backgrounds and perspectives in an inclusive, student-centered university developing the potential of learners and the well-being of communities, University Residences (UR) engages students in diverse and inclusive, healthy, safe and sustainable communities fostering academic success and personal growth. We house over 4,000 students in 15 residence halls and one apartment complex. The residence life staff consists of one associate director, three assistant directors, one conduct/care case manager, two support staff, three supervising resident directors, five resident directors, three assistant resident directors, and approximately 100 paraprofessional staff. We are seeking candidates who will bring new ideas to our unit and further our goals to enhance the on-campus student experience at Western Washington University. Please refer to the WWU, University Residences, or Bellingham, WA websites for more information.

University Residences, Residence Life support Western's mission, which states that together with our students, staff, and faculty, we are committed to making a positive impact in the state and the world with a shared focus on academic excellence and inclusive achievement. We encourage applications from women, people of color, people with disabilities, veterans, and other candidates from underrepresented backgrounds and with diverse experiences interested in this opportunity.

About the Position University Residences is recruiting for Resident Director position(s) for the 2020-2021 academic year with an anticipated start date of August 3, 2020.

About the Position: The resident director (RD) is a full-time FLSA exempt, 12-month appointment, live-in position within University Residences reporting to an assistant director of residence life. RDs provide educational and administrative leadership in developing diverse and inclusive communities enhancing student learning and development. RDs supervise staff, manage facilities, coordinate the activities and programs of a university traditional or apartment community, and may also work with summer conference and guest housing. RDs provide a safe and secure living environment maximizing student involvement. RDs perform appropriate administrative duties in support of each area of accountability. The RD is student-centered, customer-service oriented, and has the ability and desire to work in an organization fostering academic success and personal growth.

Resident directors must demonstrate the ability to work with diverse populations to create inclusive communities. RDs are educators who develop and implement a residence life program centered on engaging students through intentionally designed lesson plans to reach specific learning outcomes guided by theory and effective educational strategies. RDs partner with resident advisors/apartment advisors and student leaders to help residents learn through a focus on three main areas: personal wellness, inclusive community building, and career preparedness. Residence Life’s curriculum is titled University Residences Initiative for Student Engagement (URISE).

Position Responsibilities: Lasting no more than four (4) academic years in appointment, the resident director is responsible for the coordination of all aspects of student life in a residence hall/apartment area of 300-500 students; provides leadership and education in developing diverse and inclusive communities and enhancing student learning; develops consciousness regarding principles of equality, respect, and individual and collective responsibility; provides conduct adjudication and hall council advisement; supervises and provides training for student staff, and participates in departmental assessment efforts.

Student Development and Residence Education (35%):

  • Provide leadership and guidance in the implementation of student learning facilitating student reflection and education that is grounded in multiple frameworks including but not limited to student development theory, critical race theory, a strengths-based approach and community-based learning. Collaborate with other departments in their implementation of programs that support student learning through a residential curriculum model.
  • Plan and work with students and staff to coordinate efforts and dialogue promoting inclusive communities and ensuring the creation of a safe, welcoming environment.
  • Maintain knowledge and educate self in areas of power, privilege, and oppression.
  • Provide guidance and support to the inclusion community assistant program to educate students in the areas of power, privilege, identity development, and oppression.
  • Facilitate initiatives to offer mentorship and support to underrepresented student populations living in the residence halls.
  • Serve as the primary advisor to hall/community council(s) during the academic year with responsibilities including:
    • Meet weekly with council president(s) and/or executive board(s)
    • Provide leadership development opportunities to achieve specified learning outcomes
    • Attend all hall/community council executive meetings
    • Participate in council-sponsored activities, particularly those occurring off campus
    • Ensure council is in compliance with university policies and procedures
    • Oversee financial procedures to ensure vice president for finance position follows university policies and procedures
    • Opportunities are available to co-advise the Residence Hall Association (RHA) and the National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH)
  • Serve as a visible and accessible resource in the residence hall community for student interaction.
  • Provide one-on-one intervention to students placed on academic probation, financial aid probation, or students who are academically at-risk.
  • Provide academic resources and referrals in collaboration with campus partners.
  • Develop and implement assessment to measure student progress toward learning outcomes, and the effectiveness of training and other processes.
  • Communicate, educate, and follow up with residents on Residential Community Standards and responsible decision making through the student conduct process.
    • Utilize URISE learning outcomes to facilitate and evaluate student learning and reflection
    • Assign educational sanctions, up to and including eviction from University Residences.
  • Consult with Counseling, Student Health, Prevention and Wellness Services, and other departments to make appropriate referrals.
  • Provide crisis management, conflict management and mediation assistance for students.

Staff Selection, Training, Supervision and Performance Evaluation (35%):

  • Directly supervise, train, and evaluate six to 12 resident advisors/apartment advisors and one residential office assistant.
  • Co-supervise, train, and evaluate one inclusion community assistant in conjunction with the supervising assistant director.
  • Participate in the recruitment and selection of all paraprofessional staff with the goal of selecting staff members to assist in the effective implementation of the residential curriculum, URISE.
  • Coach, train, and mentor resident advisor/apartment advisor staff in the implementation of educational strategies to meet the learning goals of URISE.
  • Communicate and hold staff accountable for job expectations as outlined by residence life.
  • Conduct performance evaluations twice per year with paraprofessional staff members.
  • Facilitate one on ones, weekly staff meetings, and continuous training for all paraprofessional staff in residence life.    
  • Apprise supervisors and department leadership of significant circumstances and impact to student health and well-being, work environment, efficient organization operation, and appropriate risk mitigation.  Effectively train and supervise staff to this standard.

Administration (25%):

  • Participate on and/or chair departmental committees including, but not limited to: Staff Selection and Training, Ethics and Conduct, Equity and Inclusion, and Residential Curriculum.
  • Manage tracking, assessment, and evaluation of the residential curriculum, URISE.
  • Liaise with UR Assignments as they oversee occupancy management and desk operations in each residence.
  • Oversee building supplies and equipment by maintaining appropriate records and procedures.
  • Collaborate and communicate with UR Facilities regarding maintenance requests; assist with key control to optimize building security and resident safety.
  • Coordinate fire drills, emergency procedures, and general health and safety protocols for the residential community.
  • Manage hall council and staff programming budgets of approximately $5,000-$10,000.
  • Maintain written and verbal communication with immediate supervisor, the Residence Life central office, and all relevant parties regarding activities and incidents occurring within the residential communities.
  • Apprise supervisors and department leadership of significant circumstances and impact to student health and well-being, work environment, efficient organization operation, and appropriate risk mitigation.  Effectively train and supervise staff to this standard.
  • Perform other functions and assume responsibilities related to hall and unit management as assigned.

Campus-Wide, 24-Hour "On-Call" Responsibilities (5%):

  • Participate in a rotating departmental on-call system as the emergency responder for the entire residential system of approximately 4,100 students.
    • These duties include responding to student staff needing direction or support, students in significant medical or psychological crisis, facility issues, and communicating/following up with appropriate staff (supervisors, police, fire, medical, counseling, facilities, etc.), parents/guardians, and students in a timely manner.

Position Assignment: The academic year and summer building assignments are based upon the needs of the entire University Residences program and are subject to change. Resident directors will be given a 1-2 bedroom apartment, as specified in the Employment Agreement, and may be required to move temporarily or permanently to accommodate summer responsibilities, or an incoming RD, especially in the event they have been released from the terms of the Agreement for the summer or will not be employed the following academic year. In the period between mid-June and mid-August, RDs are assigned to a variety of ancillary projects and tasks that support the development of the department. RDs must have a Washington state driver’s license within 30 days of hire.

Required Qualifications
  • Master's degree, at time of hire in student affairs, higher education leadership, college student development, or similar field from an accredited college or university
  • Demonstrated commitment to equity and inclusion in addition to the ability to create an inclusive residence hall community
  • One-year professional, full-time experience in higher education at the time of hire, or two years graduate-level experience at the time of hire, working in a higher education setting
  • Experience in the supervision of paraprofessionals (Resident Advisor, Apartment Advisor, or other student positions, etc.)
  • Experience in the selection and training of paraprofessional staff
Preferred Qualifications
  • Experience with emergency response and crisis management
  • Ability to innovate and implement new initiatives
  • Experience advising student leadership organizations
  • Experience in the development of student learning initiatives and/or experience working with a residential curriculum model
  • Graduate or professional experience working in housing or residence life
Salary The Resident Director position is a 12-month, full-time Administrative Exempt position with a starting salary of $47,700, furnished apartment, staff meal plan, professional development opportunities, and a full University benefits package. Employment commences August 2020 for a maximum term of four years.
Application Instructions

Please visit for more information about the position. All applicants must submit an online application which can be accessed at A cover letter and resume are required and should address your experience related to the position responsibilities and the required and preferred qualifications. Also required is a separate statement (max. length one page) addressing your demonstrated commitment to equity and inclusion, in addition to the ability to create an inclusive residence hall community.

Please include the names and contact information of three professional references.

For more information/questions, call (360) 650-2960 or email Residence Life at Western Washington University will be attending The Placement Exchange in Austin, Texas in March 2020, employer ID 732. Please indicate in your cover letter or application materials if you are also attending The Placement Exchange.

Closing Date Notes Position closes April 1, 2020.

Western Washington University (WWU) is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, WWU does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and parenting status), disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status or genetic information in its programs or activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs. See WWU’s Policy on Ensuring Equal Opportunity and Prohibiting Discrimination and Retaliation. Inquiries may be directed to the Vice Provost for Equal Opportunity and Employment Diversity, Title IX and ADA Coordinator, Equal Opportunity Office, Western Washington University, Old Main 345 (MS 9021), 516 High Street, Bellingham, WA 98225; 360.650.3307 (voice) or 711 (Washington Relay);

WWU is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. To request this document in an alternate format or to request an accommodation, please contact Human Resources Disability Services, 360.650.3774 or 711 (Washington Relay).

Annual Security and Fire Safety Report: This report is provided pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act ("The Clery Act"). It includes statistics for the previous three calendar years concerning reported crimes that occurred on Western's campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Western; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. You can obtain a copy of this report in printed or alternate formats by contacting the Office of the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services at The report can be found at: Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.

All new employees must comply with the immunization policy and show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service before beginning work at WWU. A thorough background check will be conducted on all new hires.

Job no: 497617
Advertised: Pacific Standard Time
Applications close: Pacific Daylight Time

Back to search results Apply now Refer a friend

Share this:

| More