Assistant Vice President for Student Engagement and Executive Director for Housing & Residence Life

You need to sign in or
create an account to save a job.

Assistant Vice President for Student Engagement and Executive Director for Housing & Residence Life


Western Kentucky University seeks a seasoned student affairs professional to join institutional leadership as the Assistant Vice President for Student Engagement/Executive Director for Housing & Residence Life.  Reporting to the Vice President of Enrollment & Student Experience, this position will provide oversight and administration of the student engagement and auxiliary student services of the division. This role provides leadership and supervision to the functional areas of student housing & dining, student activities, the student union, and student recreation. 


Western Kentucky University (WKU) prepares students of all backgrounds to be productive, engaged, and socially responsible citizen-leaders for a global society.  The University provides research, service, and lifelong learning opportunities for its students, faculty, and staff as well as alumni and community members.  Providing access and opportunities to first-generation as well as robust financial support to all students are hallmarks of the WKU mission.  WKU is a student-centered institution of applied research.  WKU enriches the quality of life for those within its reach.


The Assistant Vice President for Student Engagement/Executive Director for Housing & Residence Life is responsible for the coordination, supervision, and leadership of the following departments within the Division of Enrollment & Student Experience (ESE): Housing & Residence Life, ID Center, Campus Recreation & Wellness, and the Student Activities, Organizations, & Leadership Programs office (including Downing Student Union).  As a member of the ESE team, the AVP for Student Engagement will collaborate with the other senior staff of the division and members of the university community to provide the standard of living on campus and the opportunities for co-curricular engagement available to Hilltopper students.  The integrity of the team leadership model provides cross-collaboration opportunities and professional development across the traditional roles of both enrollment management and traditional student affairs professional responsibilities.


Primary Job Duties & Responsibilities


The following duties and responsibilities for this position are customary, but not to be construed as all-inclusive.  Duties may be added, deleted, and assigned based upon management discretion and institutional need.


Leadership & Supervision

  • Serve as the Chief Housing Officer for Western Kentucky University ($25M Budget) – as Executive Director of Housing & Residence Life, this position will lead this department directly
  • Directly supervise the departmental leadership of Housing & Residence Life, the ID Center, Campus Recreation & Wellness (the Preston Center), and Student Activities, Organizations, & Leadership (the Downing Student Union) – develop goals and objectives to support the mission of these departments and institutional needs
  • Serve as the primary liaison and provide contract administration to the student dining services with the WKU Restaurant Group (Aramark) – 11 locations and 23 restaurants with approximately $18M in annual sales
  • Serve as the Executive Director for the Student Life Foundation (independent, non-profit foundation which owns the residence hall property of WKU)
  • Work with the Department of Facilities Management (DFM) in the support and operation of auxiliary facilities of the university related to on-campus housing
  • Responsible for the development and management of the long-range housing/dining facilities master plan
  • Train and enrich the skills and talents of personnel for the advancement of the student engagement imperative
  • Develop, implement, and lead program-wide assessment
  • Coordinate with the leadership teams of Enrollment & Student Experience to build and empower successful strategies of student engagement, student life, student success, and enrollment management
  • Serve the ESE Division as a member of the Leadership Team, a peerage of senior leadership in the division managing the enrollment, retention, and engagement of students throughout their experience as Hilltoppers
  • Participate in and lead divisional meetings and development



  • Manage and administer the 15 residence halls and 2 apartment buildings which comprise the WKU Housing facilities.These buildings provide for a capacity of 5,220 student living space on-campus.This operation is maintained by 28 professional staff, 6 clerical staff, 52 maintenance staff, 22 seasonal housekeeping staff, and 100+ student staff.
  • Supervise the administration of 120+ full-time personnel across the Departments of Housing & Residence Life, ID Center, Campus Recreation & Wellness, and Student Activities, Organizations, & Leadership.
  • Manage the budgetary planning and fiduciary responsibility of these departments, including development, purchasing, fiscal planning, and payroll.
  • Provide management and fiduciary stewardship for the Student Life Foundation – provide needed informational support to the WKU Student Life Foundation
  • Responsible for creating the opportunity and environment to facilitate student development through engagement efforts.Including, but not limited to, hall governments, residential student conduct system, student government association, student activities, club sports, etc.
  • Serve as a representative for university-wide crisis management team


Secondary Job Duties & Responsibilities

  • Develop collaborative partnerships within the institution
  • Serve in leadership and committee roles within the institution
  • Perform other duties as assigned


Minimum Qualifications


A Master’s Degree in Higher Education, Student Affairs, Business Administration, or related field required.  Seven (7) or more years of supervisory experience required.  Experience in, or working knowledge in, student housing, student activities, student recreation, and/or student union operation is preferred.


Knowledge & Skills

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong budgetary development and management skills
  • Knowledge of accounting/financial analysis and auditing practices
  • Demonstrated knowledge of student engagement and student involvement practices including student development theory into practice
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, including the ability to effectively interact with individuals of all levels of the University community and favorably represent the institution to external constituencies
  • Knowledge of relevant federal and state regulations
  • Ability to investigate, analyze, and draw appropriate conclusions to problems and issues and respond accordingly
  • Initiative, self-discipline, confidence, and the charisma to lead, supervise, encourage, and challenge a multi-level team
  • Ability to develop and effectively deliver presentations
  • Proficiency with software applications appropriate to use in an office environment and in the administration of designated functions of student engagement


Applications and Nominations


The Search Committee invites nominations, applications (a letter of interest, resume, and the names and contact information of five or more references) or expressions of interest to be submitted to the search firm assisting Western Kentucky.  Review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the appointment is made. It is preferred, that all nominations and applications be submitted prior to January 10, 2023.  For additional information, please contact:

Erin Raines, Senior Principal
Parker Executive Search
Five Concourse Parkway, Suite 2875

Atlanta, GA 30328
Phone: 678-775-4568 |



About WKU


Western Kentucky University (WKU) is a student-centered, applied-research institution committed to providing its students with a transformative academic and social experience and to elevating its surrounding communities.  Founded in 1906, WKU is the second largest undergraduate institution in the Commonwealth of Kentucky with approximately 15,567 students (29% first generation, 17% underrepresented minority) and nearly 2,600 faculty and staff employees*.


Western Kentucky University is committed to empowering its campus community to embrace diversity by building equitable and inclusive learning, working, and living environments. At the heart of our mission, we seek to provide holistic education and employment experiences that prepare students, faculty, and staff to become effective scholars, contributors, and leaders in our diverse and evolving communities.


Located 65 miles north of Nashville, TN, and just over 100 miles south of Louisville, KY, WKU’s main campus is in Bowling Green, KY—a city with approximately 70,000 residents. Our population is ethnically diverse, with more than 85 languages spoken in and around Bowling Green, and people from 35 nationalities call our community home.


Western Kentucky University seeks to attract talented faculty and staff who are inspired individually to contribute to WKU’s strategic plans and ongoing success. We offer comprehensive wellness and health benefits to employees and their families, including domestic partners and other qualified dependents and take pride in providing a workplace culture that supports balancing the responsibilities of work and family life. Paid time off for holidays, vacation and sick leave, and a tuition discount program for employees and dependents are also provided. Learn more about WKU and Bowling Green at*Spring 2022 data; updated annually