Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) invites inquiries, nominations and applications for an experienced, innovative, committed, and collaborative professional to serve as the next Associate Dean of Student Affairs & Director of Residential Education.

About CMU  

cmu c4d006c9e6 oCarnegie Mellon University is a highly selective global research university with more than 13,900 students and nearly 6,000 faculty and staff. It is known for its world-class arts and technology programs, collaboration across disciplines, and innovative leadership of education in the fields of Business Administration, Computer Science, Engineering, Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Public Policy & Information Systems, and Science.  The fall 2018 first-year enrollment totaled 1,572.  The first-year retention rate of students who entered fall 2017 was 96.7%; with all students having a six-year graduation rate of 88%. 

Carnegie Mellon is consistently ranked among the top 25 universities in the United States. With a main campus in Pittsburgh, the University also has campuses in Silicon Valley and in Qatar, and programs in Australia, Portugal, Rwanda and other locations throughout the world. 

The University is situated in the heart of Pittsburgh, a city that has reinvented itself as a core of innovation and information and life sciences technology. The city is home to nine colleges and universities, opera, museums, a world-renowned symphony, and professional sports teams. It is known for its diverse neighborhoods, top schools and hospitals, affordable housing, eclectic restaurant scene, dynamic arts and music communities, and recreation opportunities found in the city’s more than 2000 acres of city parks and on its three rivers.

Pittsburgh offers a quality of life that is internationally recognized, supporting the city’s ranking as America’s most livable city in recent years. 

About the Position

cmu 23c80980de oReporting to the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs for Community Life, the Associate Dean of Student Affairs & Director of Residential Education is responsible for the direction and oversight of the campus-wide house model that provides a vibrant residential experience for the 4,000 undergraduate students living in university housing.  This opportunity comes at a historic juncture as the university has just embarked on planned investments over the next eight years of nearly $300 million for the construction of five new residence halls and four neighborhood-based community centers.  Carnegie Mellon seeks a visionary leader who will drive the design and delivery of a cutting-edge program for residential living that is commensurate with these investments.

The Associate Dean/Director is charged with leading a university-wide team of 20 professional staff and 125 student staff in creating and implementing a comprehensive living experience that supports students’ personal and academic success, both in and out of the classroom.  In particular, the Associate Dean/Director will build linkages with faculty, staff, student leaders, and other key stakeholders in advancing a robust curriculum that leverages the residential experience to enhance student development in the domains of wellness, decision-making, cultural competency, and social responsibility. A priority is to strengthen the residential neighborhood identities and resources as medium-scale opportunities to develop affinity and connection among students, faculty and staff. 

Due to the position’s high expectations for visibility and engagement in the residential communities, the Associate Dean/Director is required to live in a university-owned house that is located adjacent to campus.  The incumbent is a member of the divisional senior staff on-call rotation.

Position Duties & Responsibilities
  • Hire, supervise, coach and evaluate two Associate Directors, one Assistant Director and one administrative assistant within a department comprised of 13 full-time staff.

  • Provide administrative and budgetary oversight within the department.  Manage approximately $3,000,000 in budgets.

  • Ensure the coordination of resources that support personal and academic success for student residents through partnership with other relevant departments. 

  • Provide leadership and manage emergency and crisis situations involving students.

  • Invest in and socialize a comprehensive strategic vision for students’ residential education that is responsive to their changing developmental needs while at the university.

  • Serve as a liaison to the other 14 departments in the Student Affairs division as well as several academic units.

  • Participate in professional development opportunities, including service to the broader university community through committee work and collaborative innovation.

  • Manage special projects and initiatives, as needed.


The Successful Candidate

Carnegie Mellon seeks candidates for this role who are motivated by working in a highly student-centered environment where a deep and abiding care for students is a paramount value.  The Associate Dean / Director is expected to be a university champion and thought leader regarding the power of community settings to enhance and transform students’ lives. 

The successful candidate will have excellent interpersonal, verbal, written, and listening skills, including the ability to communicate effectively with students, faculty, staff, and parents. The Associate Dean/Director must have demonstrated short- and long-term tactical planning skills, as well as the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously. Self-initiative, creativity, enthusiasm and ability to motivate staff, and build an effective team are essential for this position. The candidate must have demonstrated management experience with budget oversight and facilities operations.  Strong problem-solving and reasoning skills; flexibility, organizational and planning skills; and analytical skills are required.

The incumbent must have demonstrated knowledge and experience working collaboratively with faculty and student affairs staff in support of student learning and development; experience developing and directing programs in a residential setting; and excellent management and program development skills. The Associate Dean/Director should have experience with strategic planning and the implementation of new initiatives. Successful oversight of a residential education assessment model is essential as well as demonstrated ability to communicate the philosophy, values and outcomes of a residential education experience.

The successful candidate should possess a minimum of eight to ten years of relevant professional experience in a comprehensive on-campus residence life operation or student affairs. A Masters in student affairs, higher education, or a related field is required. 

How to Apply

Interested candidates should send a letter of application and resume that relates skills, abilities, knowledge, and professional experiences to the stated qualifications for the position and notable achievements. The packet should be sent to  The email subject line should be ADDRE. 

For full consideration, all materials should be received by October 28, 2019.

Confidential inquiries may be made by contacting Megan Spelman at at 585-366-4329. 

Carnegie Mellon University considers applicants for employment without regards to, and does not discriminate on the basis of, gender, race, protected veteran status, disability, or any other legally protected status.  Qualified candidates who can contribute through their work/life experiences to the diversity and excellence of the academic community are encouraged to apply.

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