About The University
Founded in 1801, The University of South Carolina is a public research university located in Columbia South Carolina. It is the state’s flagship university, governed by a board of trustees appointed by the governor and state lawmakers, and led by Dr. Harris Pastides, President and senior officer of the Columbia Campus and the entire USC system since 2008. The University has received many distinctions, among which are consistently being rated as: a Kiplinger’s and Princeton Review “Best Value,” a U.S. News top twenty “Living and Learning Community program”, a U.S. News top twenty “University 101 program to watch”, and one of only 32 public universities to earn the Carnegie Foundation’s top-tier designations in research activity and community engagement.
Reporting to the Associate Vice President for Student Housing and Well-Being in the Division of Student Affairs and Academic Support, this position provides leadership to a comprehensive housing and residence life operation that supports 7,200 beds distributed through 24 campus residence halls, occupying approximately 2.1 million square feet of space at the main Columbia campus, supported by a $50 million auxiliary budget with supervision of 154 full time employees, 45 full-time temporary employees, and nearly 300 student staff members. This position has division level responsibilities for living and learning community operations; housing assignment software support for three regional campuses and Greek Life; and provides assistance to the office of student conduct, the Student Disability Resource Center, and the Office of Student Success; and serves as the Senior Housing administrator on-call.
A Master’s Degree and ten years of progressively responsible, full-time, related experience in higher education, student affairs, fiscal and organizational leadership, operational and facilities management, or other relevant discipline are required. A Doctorate and fifteen years of professional experience in a university auxiliary and/or residential life and housing operations, are preferred. The successful candidate must be able to lead a team of seasoned professionals in managing a multifaceted auxiliary department. They must demonstrate such high level skills as: entrepreneurial thinking, creative problem solving, supervision, training, management, assessment and evaluation, a deep understanding for student development, commitment to diversity and the needs of special populations, and the ability to build and maintain interpersonal relations with campus partners and the general public.
Opportunities, Priorities & Challenges
The new Executive Director will need to demonstrate strong leadership ability and foster an atmosphere of excellence equal to the reputation of the Housing and Residential Life program, the Division of Student Affairs, and the University of South Carolina. They will understand the distinctions of an independent, nationally recognized research university with more than 30,000 students and 7,200 residential students. The Executive Director should encourage faculty, staff, and student involvement, transparency, and feedback; and promote engagement with campus and community partners.
The University is in the process of seeking state approval for a major re-development of the south campus housing area, which will require the replacement of three high rise residence halls and an apartment complex with a newly envisioned “Campus Village” that will house nearly 4,000 students. This project is essential to accommodate residential students at a growing institution and will require the new Executive Director to engage quickly to move the project forward.
Since 2011 University Housing and institutional leadership have worked with the consulting firm Brailsford and Dunlavey to develop and implement a Housing Master Plan (HMP) that balances the cost of investment, market demand, and project sequencing with the University’s mission and strategic drivers. This approach has assured the financial stability of the department’s finances, addressed millions of dollars in deferred maintenance throughout the system and initiated major renovations to several Residence Halls. The new Executive Director will need to bring existing experience with similar tools to this position, and make it a priority to understand the financial dynamics which undergird and drive the department’s finances and facility management.
The new Executive Director will be working cooperatively with a number of faculty lead living and learning communities. The University is pursuing creative collaborations with faculty led living and learning residential communities. The Executive Director will foster strong relationships and work cooperatively with faculty principals, the Provost Office, and the Associate Vice President for Student Housing and Wellbeing.
The new Executive Director will inherit a rich and robust program of assessment and evaluation tools as described in the book Making a Difference: Improving Residence Life Assessment Practices, 2016
Applications & Nominations
The University welcomes candidates to apply via the University of South Carolina job site.