Dean of Students

Reporting to the Dean of Harvard College and serving as a member of the dean's senior cabinet, the Dean of Students oversees the Dean of Students Office (DSO) that supports the undergraduate student life function for approximately 7,000 students at Harvard College. The Dean of Students provides vision and direction to 80 staff within residential life and the House system, equity, diversity and inclusion areas, student engagement and leadership, and the central administrative functions. The DOS makes strategic decisions and investments that further the College's commitment to provide all students with a transformative education and set the standard for 21st century residential liberal arts and sciences education. The DOS will facilitate engagement on campus and imagine new possibilities for residential and student life, serve as key collaborator with a broad range of university offices that deliver direct services and support to students, and develop more systematic ways to assess, improve, and renew student-focused initiatives, benchmarking them against best practices in student development. The incumbent will work collaboratively with 24 Faculty Deans who serve as head-of-House for upper-level residential houses, supporting their staffing, programmatic, and intellectual initiatives. The dean of students leads the senior leadership team within DSO and supervises three associate deans and an executive director, an assistant dean, two professional staff, and co-supervises 12 Allston Burr resident deans in the Houses.


The Dean of Students Office

In support of the academic mission of Harvard College, the Dean of Students Office oversees an integrated four year residential and campus life experience for Harvard College students, seeking to create a campus residential and social community that is welcoming, open and accessible and supports the learning of all students. The four key areas that comprise the Dean of Students Office are central administration, residential life, student engagement, and equity, diversity, and inclusion programs.


In partnership with students and colleagues, the Dean of Students Office (DSO) cultivates engagement, belonging, and respect; fosters an integrated living and learning community; and inspires self-discovery among Harvard College students.


Key responsibilities:

• Provide leadership, strategic direction, and oversight of the Dean of Students Office; Provide oversight for departmental budgets, staffing, and programs totaling $19,400,000. Develop and implement policies, procedures, and practices which cultivate inclusion and are aligned with the mission of Harvard College.

• Serve as part of the dean of the College leadership team along with the dean for administration, dean for undergraduate education, dean of student services, faculty director of the Phillips Brooks center for public service and engaged scholarship, dean of admissions, athletic director, director of the Office of the Arts, and the dean's chief of staff.

• Lead the senior leadership team (SLT) within the DSO which includes the associate dean of students for residential life, associate dean for inclusion and belonging, associate dean for student engagement, and the executive director for administration.

• Directly supervise the associate deans, executive director, assistant dean for OUE and DSO, and executive assistant. Co-supervise, with Faculty Deans (FDs), twelve Allston Burr assistant deans (ABRDs).

• Partner with Faculty Deans to co-create and co-lead the overall residential life experience. Serve on the Faculty Dean Leadership Council (FDLC) and serves as liaison to the house Faculty Deans. Attends bi-weekly FDLC meetings and monthly Faculty Dean meetings. Partner with Dean of College in overseeing House Leadership.

• Convene key regular meetings, including the weekly senior managers group within DSO, the bi-weekly Allston Burr resident dean meeting, monthly DSO-wide meetings.

• Coordinate and convene the Committee on Student Life which meets regularly to advise the Dean of the College on matters related to the residential and co-curricular experience of students.

• Serve on the Student Support Team (SST) and consult with the dean of the College, the Local Emergency Management Team (LEMT), and other stakeholders on crises or serious student situations.

• Serve as point of contact for important stakeholders across the university including the Office of Health Services, Counseling and Mental Health, Harvard University Police, Harvard University Dining Services, Athletics, Alumni Affairs and Development, Harvard Public Affairs and Communications, Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) facilities and planning, Community Affairs, and the Office of the General Counsel, among others.

• Represent the DSO and College at key university events including Commencement, Convocation, Family Weekends, or other significant gatherings on campus. Participate in regular in-person or hybrid meetings and webinars with parents, incoming students, and donors.

• Represent the DSO across campus through presentations, workshops, or invited talks about Harvard College students and the student experience, including working closely with FAS Development and the Dean of the College to solicit and steward donors.

• Be a strong presence on campus with students and regularly attend student events and performances, athletic activities, volunteer opportunities, or programs within the Yards or Houses.

• Host students, student groups

• Maintain a strong University network with other student life professionals, including the Council of Deans of Students (CODOS). Actively participate in regional (Boston-area CSAOs), sectorial (IvyPlus CSAO), and national professional networks and associations (NASPA, ACUI, NACA)

Basic Qualifications :

  • Master's degree required.
  • Fifteen years of experience in higher education required. Five or more years of senior executive level experience

Additional Qualifications and Skills :

  • Doctorate Preferred
  • Expertise working in student affairs in a residential college, and a strong commitment to building dynamic living/learning communities
  • Demonstrated experience and commitment to the principles and practice of equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging in academic and residential settings
  • Significant engagement with and contributions to the student affairs profession, including active participation in professional associations and networks
  • Skilled administrative manager with functional excellence in the key areas – student engagement, residential life, DEIB, and departmental administration (financial, human resources, space and technology oversight)
  • Knowledge and commitment to supervise, develop, and mentor a broad range of staff
  • Strong written communication skills, public speaking and professional presence
  • Clarity on how to develop organizational identity internally and externally
  • Fundraising interest and skill
  • A collaborative and highly relational leadership style that can thrive in a heavily matrixed environment

Certificates and Licenses :

Physical Requirements :

Occasional carrying, lifting, or moving for events or meetings

Working Conditions :

This position will be based in Cambridge, MA. To effectively lead the student experience, the person in this position is required to work and live on campus. Housing will be provided.

Additional Information :

Harvard College is a close-knit undergraduate community within Harvard University. With world-class faculty, groundbreaking research opportunities, and a commitment to a diverse environment of bright, talented students, Harvard is more than just a place to get an education—it's where students come to be transformed. The College enrolls over 7000 students and is comprised of 7 major administrative units including the Office of the Dean, the Office of Undergraduate Education, the Dean of Students Office, the Office of Academic Integrity and Student Conduct, the Phillips Brooks House Center for Public Service and Engaged Scholarship, the Registrar's Office, and the Office for the Arts.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging :

Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.


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