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Southern Methodist University (SMU) invites inquiries, nominations and applications for an experienced, innovative, committed, and collaborative professional to serve as the Director for Housing Operations, Residence Life & Student Housing. 

About the Position

DallasHallSouthern 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 Assistant Vice President and Dean of Residence Life & Student Housing and plays a key role in the strategic planning of the department with a focus on operations, safety, security, fiscal responsibility, & compliance.

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 and promotion of University housing, room assignments, billing,  and front desk management. This position leads the department’s occupancy management efforts, oversees the RLSH database software (StarRez), and manages 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.


Specific duties include but are not limited to these: 

  • Provide leadership for housing facilities & operations initiatives for university-owned student housing.
  • Supervise 7 Full time Professionals (including 2 support staff), 9 Graduate Assistants and approximately 45 Student Workers.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Lead the implementation and assessment process of a Housing Facilities Master plan. Compile an annual analysis of competitive market housing rates with recommendations for room rate structures. Assist in the implementation of housing studies that include housing retention & projection trends.
  • Manage the technological infrastructures of the residence halls and department.
  • Oversee furniture inventory including furniture condition reports, replacement schedules, and the acquisition and deployment of furniture in all RLSH facilities. Indirectly oversee hall opening/closing processes in conjunction with departmental leadership, hall staff and campus constituents. Oversee residence custodial & maintenance reporting.
  • Lead and manage departmental capital improvement projects from dedicated operating and capital budgets. Facilitate the departmental budgetary process to ensure adequate resources for operations, technology and facilities.
  • Lead marketing efforts to assure desired occupancy levels. Develop and implement a comprehensive marketing, promotions and brand plan. Coordinate and oversee the development of content for the RLSH website & social media accounts.
  • Develop & maintain partnerships with key University stakeholders, including but not limited to Campus Safety, Purchasing, Facilities Administration, Information Technology Services, Finance, and Capital Planning, ensuring the safety and security of the residential communities. 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 and Student Housing central office management team. Serve on and 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 Assistant Vice President and Dean of RLSH.

About SMU

foreveramustangSMU, a global research university with a liberal arts tradition, has seven degree-granting schools. Of the University’s over 11,500 students, more than 6,000 are undergraduates.  More than half of the undergraduates come from outside of Texas. The University’s profile benefits from an endowment of $1.65 billion and a recently completed fundraising campaign, which raised a record $1.15 billion to enrich faculty and academic excellence and the campus experience. From its origins, SMU was shaped by the entrepreneurial spirit of the region. The University is nonsectarian in its teaching and committed to academic freedom and open inquiry. 

SMU is a leading private University located in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, a dynamic region with leading high-technology companies in the aerospace, defense, energy, information technology, life sciences, semiconductors, telecommunications, transportation, and biomedical industries. Some of the top companies and research institutes with a strong presence in the DFW area include Texas Instruments, Raytheon, Bell Helicopter, Lockheed-Martin, Turner Construction, Jacobs Engineering, Trinity Industries, Huitt-Zollars, Inc., The Beck Group, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and Baylor Research Institute.

About the Division 

In concert with Launching SMU's Second Century, the University's strategic plan for 2016-2025, the Division of Student Affairs is essential to SMU’s mission of "shaping world changers who contribute to their communities and excel in their professions in a global society." Students are the center of the work division and are the focus the new strategic plan, Cultivating Courageous Change. The Division, as the plan’s title indicates, will be doing things differently, more boldly, to ensure it serves students with excellence and prepares them for the future and by extension, hope they live courageous lives cultivating change in their local and global communities. The plan fully embraces the University’s mission, and demonstrates that through academic and co-curricular experiences, Mustangs will explore a wide range of disciplines, think critically about complex issues, and learn how to effectively engage and navigate an increasingly globalized world. 

Mission Statement

The Division of Student Affairs creates and supports a robust student experience and forges strategic partnerships to best serve the entire SMU community. As educators and scholar-practitioners, we create purposeful learning and leadership opportunities for students to clarify and develop their knowledge, values, skills, and identities - challenging each to become a world changer.

Move in 9Education and Experience Required:

  • Master’s degree in College Student Personnel, Higher Education/Student Affairs or other related field.
  • 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.
  • Experience in residence life operations.
  • Strong work ethic and ability to multi-task and work comfortably in a fast paced and highly dynamic student-centered environment.
  • Web development skills and proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite i.e., Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint.

Strongly Preferred:

  • Experience managing complex operating & capital budgets.
  • Proficiency with housing & other university database systems is required. Previous StarRez database experience.
  • Demonstrated leadership experience, including the ability to work effectively with staff, students and other key stakeholders, inside and outside of Student Affairs.
  • Three years experience in supervising and advising professional and/or graduate level staff.
  • Demonstrated commitment to cultural competence.
  • Demonstrated crisis management skills.


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.
  • Ability to build relationships and work collaboratively with others, both inside and outside of Student Affairs.
  • Excellent attention to detail and accountability, including, but not limited to budgets, targets, reporting and assessment of services and systems.
  • Effective problem solving, analytical and critical thinking skills.
  • 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.
  • Effective leadership skills and staff development skills.
  • Willing and able to work evenings and weekends, as needed.


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 SMUDHO. 

Recruitment is underway and will continue until the position is filled. To ensure full consideration, applications should be received by October 28, 2019.

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

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,

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