Director, Illini Union

The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is accepting applications and nominations for the position of Director of the Illini Union, a self-supporting auxiliary unit.  The Union serves as the community center for a vibrant residential campus, offering a diverse array of quality student-led programming and many convenient services that cater to a diverse community.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is one of the original 37 public land-grant institutions created by the Morrill Act in 1862.  It is located in east-central Illinois, about 140 miles south of Chicago, 125 miles west of Indianapolis, and 180 miles northeast of St. Louis.  The flagship campus of the University of Illinois system has nearly 33,000 undergraduate students and just over 11,000 graduate students, hailing from all 50 states and 111 countries. 

Construction on the Illini Union began in 1939 and concluded with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt dedicating the building in 1942.  An addition was built in 1963 to accommodate services to the growing student population.  To date the Union has greeted over three million visitors.  While rich in history and tradition, the Illini Union is a state-of-the-art facility featuring 25 meeting rooms, 74 hotel rooms, a food court, banquet facilities, retail outlets, a computer lab, and numerous study spaces.  The Union provides office space for more than 55 registered student organizations and provides a place for groups to work, collaborate, and come together.  The Illini Union Bookstore is one of the largest independent college bookstores in the country and is focused on serving both students and the campus community.  Beginning as a book exchange in the 1920s, it now offers textbooks, general books, apparel, gifts, souvenirs, and general merchandise.  Proceeds from sales at the Bookstore are used to promote student programming at the Illini Union.

Reporting to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs/Director of Auxiliaries, the Illini Union Director oversees the total operation of the Illini Union, including the following departments:  Student Programs and Activities, Building Operations, Business Affairs, Retail Services, Document Services, Campus Mail, Marketing, Information Technology, Human Resources & Administrative Services, and Parent and Family Programs.  The Director also serves as an ex-officio member of the Illini Union Board. 

Duties and responsibilities of the Director include:

  • Directs the day-to-day operation and maintenance of the Illini Union and its departments.  The Union currently employs approximately 175 full time employees and 500 student employees.
  • Oversees the development and supervision of a $33,000,000 budget, including pricing decisions for goods sold and services rendered.
  • Directs and monitors all major maintenance or renovation projects.
  • Establishes operating policies and procedures consistent with University policies and regulations, and state and federal law.
  • Maintains generally accepted cash handling controls, and accounting and auditing procedures.
  • Directs short range, long range, and strategic planning efforts for the organization. Monitors all purchasing decisions.
  • Works closely with the Illini Union Board and assist the organization in building an inclusive campus community through social, cultural, educational, and recreational programs and activities.  Attend weekly Illini Union Board meetings, solicit advice on building policy matters, and meet regularly with Board President.
  • Serves as liaison between the Illini Union and other departments such as Facilities & Services, Public Safety, Purchasing, Alumni Association, Human Resources, etc. and organizations such as the Moms and Dads Associations.  Advises the associations on an as-needed basis.
  • Serves on Student Affairs and University committees as required.
  • Maintains relationships with external private vendors/operations.
  • Performs other duties and additional responsibilities as assigned.

A Master’s degree in Business Administration, Higher Education, or other appropriate discipline is required.  Other minimum qualifications include ten years of progressive experience with a minimum of five years in an upper level administrative position in a comparable student affairs unit, plus five years of experience in the operation of a student union in a higher education institution; a demonstrated ability to lead and direct a large and complex organization which provides programs and services that are essential to the campus community; a thorough understanding of how the union functions as a part of Student Affairs and the University at-large; a demonstrated ability to work effectively with diverse constituent groups; familiarity with centralized University services such as Human Resources, Purchasing, Accounting, Facilities & Services, etc.; and the ability to represent the Illini Union in any interactions with these areas.

Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.  This is a full-time (100%), benefits-eligible academic professional position appointed on a 12-month basis.  A starting date of July 1, 2017 is preferred.

Candidates must complete an online application at and upload a cover letter, resume, and names and contact information for three professional references.  For full consideration, completed applications should be submitted by February 6, 2017. 

To nominate an individual or for additional information, please contact:

Shirley Olson

Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Phone:  (217) 333-1300


Illinois is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, status as a protected veteran, status as a qualified individual with a disability, or criminal conviction history. Illinois welcomes individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusivity. (