Director of Housing Operations (Residence Life & Student Housing)
Southern Methodist University Inc

Dallas, Texas


Salary Range:

Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications

About SMU

SMU's more than 12,000 diverse, high-achieving students come from all 50 states and 90 countries to take advantage of the University's small classes, hands-on research opportunities, leadership development, community service, international study and innovative programs. The University offers a strong foundation in the humanities and sciences and undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs through eight schools.

Now in its second century of achievement, SMU is increasingly recognized for the ways it supports students, faculty and alumni as they become ethical leaders in their professions and communities. On the most beautiful college campus in the country, SMU Mustangs are energized by unbridled opportunities - from teaching, learning and research to creativity, performance and athletic endeavor.

About the Position:

Southern Methodist University (SMU) invites applications for the position of Director of Housing Operations, for the Department of Residence Life & Student Housing (RLSH). The Director serves as a senior staff member within RLSH & oversees the business operations within the department. The position reports to the Dean of Residence Life & Student Housing and plays a key role in the strategic planning of the department with a focus on operations, facilities, security, student services, and fiscal responsibility.

The Director must create efficient operational practices that focus on student learning, growth, and development. The position contributes to the strategic & capital planning within the department and the execution of housing operations including marketing/promotion of University housing, room assignments, billing, & front desk management. This position leads the department's occupancy management efforts, oversees the RLSH database software (StarRez), & manages the room selection process for students. The Director provides training and support to staff and team members. The position plans, oversees & directs summer conference operations in the residence halls. The position works directly with Facilities Administration to ensure the needs of the department are being met.

Essential Functions:

  • Provide leadership for all housing facilities & operations initiatives for university-owned student housing. Provide vision & leadership for housing occupancy management, including but not limited to planning, reporting, management, communication & marketing. Lead marketing efforts to assure desired occupancy levels. Indirectly manage & oversee housing assignments, billing, room changes/selection processes. Create occupancy projections and communicate those projections to University administration.
  • Manage requests for exemptions and releases from contract in a timely manner by coordinating with the Financial Aid office and Disability Accommodations & Success Strategies (DASS), supervising the Housing Exemption Committee Chair, and Chairing the Housing Exemption Appeal Committee.
  • Lead the implementation and assessment process of construction, renovation, deferred maintenance, renewal and replacement, as well as general and preventative maintenance of all RLSH buildings. Compile an annual analysis of competitive market housing rates and make recommendations for room rate structures. Assist in the implementation of housing studies that include housing retention & projection trends. Manage the technological infrastructures for the residence halls and department.
  • Provide direct supervision for the Senior Associate Director for Assignments, the Associate Director for Facilities Management, Assistant Director of Housing Operations, Operations Coordinator, Systems Administrator and Apartments Coordinator. Provide leadership for all professional and paraprofessional departmental staff. Create a supportive environment that promotes the professional/personal development of staff members.
  • Oversee all aspects of RLSH's furniture inventory including furniture condition reports, replacement schedules, and the acquisition and deployment of furniture in all RLSH facilities. Indirectly oversee all hall opening/closing processes in conjunction with departmental leadership, hall staff and campus constituents. Oversee residence hall custodial & maintenance reporting. Organize the response to campus and facility emergencies. Oversee the operations of the leased apartments.
  • Lead and manage departmental capital improvement projects. Budget, prioritize and oversee spending from dedicated operating and capital budgets. Facilitate the departmental budgetary process to ensure adequate resources for operations, technology and facilities needs that align with departmental mission and goals.
  • Develop & maintain partnerships with key University stakeholders, including but not limited to Campus Safety, Risk Management, Enrollment Management, Purchasing, Facilities Administration, Information Technology Services, Finance, and Project Management. Manage relationships with external service providers.
  • Assist with the creation, implementation, and evaluation of the department's strategic plan, mission, and goals. Serve as a member of the Department of Residence Life central office management team. Serve on & lead other departmental, divisional, and university committees.
  • Serve in an on-call capacity to support senior staff emergency response during evenings, weekends, and holidays. Other duties as assigned by the Dean of RLSH.


Education and Experience:

Master's degree in College Student Personnel, Higher Education/Student Affairs or other related field is required.

A minimum of 4-6 years of full-time post-master's degree work experience in a directly related/relevant field in a college or university environment is required.

Experience in residence life operations, is required.

Experience managing complex operating & capital budgets is strongly preferred.

Proficiency with housing & other university database systems is required. Previous StarRez database experience is strongly preferred.

Web development skills and proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) is required.

Strong work ethic and an ability to multi-task and work comfortably in a fast paced and highly dynamic student-centered environment is required.

Three years experience in supervising and advising professional and/or graduate level staff is preferred.

Demonstrated leadership experience, including the ability to work effectively with staff, students and other key stakeholders, inside and outside of Student Affairs is strongly preferred.

Demonstrated commitment to cultural competence is highly preferred.

Demonstrated crisis management skills is strongly preferred.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Excellent interpersonal, verbal, written, and listening skills, including the ability to communicate effectively with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse community.

Candidate must have the ability to build relationships and work collaboratively with others, both inside and outside of Student Affairs.

This position requires excellent attention to detail and accountability, including, but not limited to budgets, targets, reporting and assessment of services and systems.

Must have excellent problem solving, analytical and critical thinking skills.

Candidate must have excellent strategic, organizational, project management, and time management skills. Must have proven short and long-term planning skills, with the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously.

Must have effective leadership skills and staff development skills.

Must have web development skills and proficiency in Microsoft Office (MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook).

Must be willing and able to work evenings and weekends as needed.

Physical and Environmental Demands:
  • Sit for long periods of time
  • Bend
  • Climb
  • Reach above shoulders
  • Carry/lift 25 lbs.
  • Handle objects (dexterity)
  • Stand
  • Walk long distances
  • Push/pull
  • Drives motorized equipment
Deadline to Apply:

This position is open until filled.

EEO Statement:

SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601,


SMU offers staff a broad, competitive array of health and related benefits. In addition to traditional benefits such as health, dental, and vision plans, SMU offers a wide range of wellness programs to help attract, support, and retain our employees whose work continues to make SMU an outstanding education and research institution.

SMU is committed to providing an array of retirement programs that benefit and protect you and your family throughout your working years at SMU and, if you meet SMU's retirement eligibility criteria, during your retirement years after you leave SMU.

The value of learning at SMU isn't just about preparing our students for the future. Employees have access to a wide variety of professional and personal development opportunities, including tuition benefits.

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