Director, Student Activities / Orientation / Student Union

University at Albany   Albany, NY   Full-time     Education
Posted on May 23, 2024
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Director, Student Activities / Orientation / Student Union

About University at Albany:
Established in 1844 and designated a University Center of the State University of New York in 1962, the University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research, and public service engages a diverse student body of more than 17,000 students in nine schools and colleges across three campuses.

Located in Albany, New York, New York State's capital, the University is convenient to Boston, New York City, and the Adirondacks.

Job Description:
As Director of Student Activities/Orientation/Student Union, reporting directly to the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, you'll play a crucial role in fostering an inclusive learning environment. Through education, leadership development, mentorship, and advocacy, you'll collaborate with campus and community partners to support student success.

In this position, you'll oversee and manage the facilities, programs, and services of the Great Dane Union, a dynamic and diverse hub spanning over 300,000 square feet across four floors. This vibrant space, serving as the heart of college community life, provides a gathering place for students, faculty, staff, and visitors, offering a wide array of formal and informal activities.

Your responsibilities include understanding the diverse social, recreational, inclusive, and educational needs of students. By providing a comprehensive program of extracurricular activities, you'll enrich the educational experience and contribute to the overall retention and success of all students.

With a scope of activities and operations that are both comprehensive and significant, you'll demonstrate a profound commitment to advocating for diversity education and initiatives. This commitment is crucial as it positively impacts students and fosters a more inclusive and equitable learning environment.

Primary Responsibilities:
Personnel and Management

  • Directly oversee Student Activities and orientation, Fraternity and Sorority Life, the Campus Center, and Intercultural Student Engagement, serving as a visionary leader.
  • Support the Assistant Vice President in the planning, administration, and leadership of the units above (as well as their staff), with a focus on creating an environment that contributes to and/or leads to the retention and success of the student population.
  • Support diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts for all students, student employees, and professional staff under their vision and supervision.
  • Promote university and divisional learning outcomes and program assessment, serving as a strong proponent for student learning and success.
  • Stay abreast of current issues and best practices in higher education, specifically in student leadership development.
  • Support the system of internal controls developed by the University, Division of Student Affairs, and individual departments. Uphold all applicable laws, regulations, policies, and procedures.
  • Play a key role in the implementation of the Division's strategic plan.

Fiscal Management and Oversight

  • Assume fiscal responsibility for all accounts associated with the units that comprise the Great Dane Union.
  • Advise a student board responsible for allocating a robust campus life fee programmatic budget.
  • Provide leadership in the areas of planning, human resources, policy development, operational, facility, and budgetary aspects for all reporting units.
  • Prepare financial reports/engage in the budget review process for the areas that serve as direct reports.

Student Engagement, Activities, and Programs

  • Create and develop sustainable systematic initiatives and opportunities to increase student retention, with the goal of increasing students' sense of belonging, involvement in campus activities, and well-being, all of which, according to National research, have been correlated to fostering student retention, growth, persistence, and graduation rates.
  • Implement a new student orientation program to ensure that entering students and families experience a seamless transition to the University at Albany. Maintain relationships with various campus partners to ensure continuity and synergy among all programs for new students and their families where applicable.
  • Oversee a fraternity and sorority life program, inclusive of IFC fraternities, NPHC organizations, and LatinX organizations.
  • Develop an annual strategic plan to impact student success to the largest scale/degree possible while retaining individual student efficiency.
  • Lead campus efforts to coordinate the Student Experience to ensure a diverse and robust calendar of events for the student body.
  • Maintain, grow, and develop "major" events that have a large-scale impact on the entire campus community.
  • Provide leadership over the Great Dane Welcome Experience, which typically encompasses over 100+ events in the first six weeks of the semester.
  • Responsible for assisting in the coordination of cornerstone campus "traditions" such as Welcome Week, Torch Night, Candlelighting, Great DaneTOPIA, Dance Marathon, President's Awards, and Senior Week.
  • Advance a vision for building community among a diverse population of students, faculty, and staff members, which contributes significantly to a sense of belonging and the evolution of a socially just campus.
  • Collaborate with campus partners to provide ongoing risk assessment, reduction, and management for student activities, fraternity and sorority life, and student-sponsored campus events.

Student Government

  • Oversee the advisement and support of the undergraduate and graduate student governments.
  • Assist in managing the undergraduate student government, including but not limited to risk management, fiscal management, and student leadership and development.
  • Coordinate custodial efforts for the almost $3,000,000 in activity fee monies provided to undergraduate and graduate student governments.
  • Serve as the campus advisor and designee to the undergraduate student government to ensure compliance with the Board of Trustees guidelines and provide timely advisement, coordination of training, and support to all three branches of government: Executive, Senate, and Judicial.
  • Support, advise, and manage student government initiatives and programs, including major campus traditions and events such as Parkfest and Cultural Carnivale.

Facilities and Services

  • Supervise and support the Union staff in providing the following services: room reservations, information desk, campus technical services, and management of the Great Dane Game Den.
  • Work with campus leadership to develop a "master plan" for maintaining and refurbishing the Great Dane Union facility. This plan includes purchasing equipment and furniture as needed.
  • Serve as the liaison between physical plant, dining services, and tenants that provide business services in relation to maintenance requests and maintenance billing.

Ancillary Responsibilities

  • Serve as co-lead, Designated Public Forum Event Response.
  • Represent and act on behalf of the Dean of Students in his/her absence.

Supervisory Relationship

  • The Director of the Great Dane Union reports to the Assistant Vice President & Dean of Students and directly supervises the staff (administrative and professional) below:
    • -Administrative Personnel
    • -Student Activities and Orientation
    • -Campus Center
    • -Intercultural Student Engagement
    • -Graduate and Student Assistants

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Master's degree from a college or university accredited by the U.S. Department of Education or internationally recognized accrediting organization.
  • 5-7 years of progressive experience in the management and administration of student activities or student union programs.
  • Demonstrated experience in crisis response and crises management.
  • Experience working in highly collaborative environments requiring interpersonal communication competence, initiative, listening, and emotional intelligence.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and establish cooperative working relationships with others - faculty, staff, students and parent partners.
  • Ability to coordinate and execute a variety of tasks and to exercise judgment and discretion.
  • Applicants must demonstrate an ability to develop inclusive and equitable relationships within our diverse campus community.
  • Applicants must demonstrate an ability to support diversity, equity, access, inclusion, and belonging relative to their role.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master's degree in student personnel or related area from a college or university accredited by the U.S. Department of Education or internationally recognized accrediting organization.
  • Demonstrated experience planning and executing large scale programs and events.
  • Experience conducting financial analyses and reviewing expenses to confirm that the team is using funds appropriately and following the budget.

Additional Information:
Professional Rank and Salary Grade: Associate Dean of Students, SL5; $100,000-110,000.

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, or Clery Act, mandates that all Title IV institutions, without exception, prepare, publish and distribute an Annual Security Report. This report consists of two basic parts: disclosure of the University's crime statistics for the past three years; and disclosures regarding the University's current campus security policies. The University at Albany's Annual Security Report is available in portable document format [PDF] by clicking this link

Pursuant to NYS Labor Law 194-A, no State entity, as defined by the Law, is permitted to rely on, orally or in writing seek, request, or require in any form, that an applicant for employment provide his or her current wage, or salary history as a condition to be interviewed, or as a condition of continuing to be considered for an offer of employment, until such time as the applicant is extended a conditional offer of employment with compensation, and for the purpose of verifying information, may such requests be made. If such information has been requested from you before such time, please contact the Governor's Office of Employee Relations at (518) 474-6988 or via email at


Please apply online via

Application Instructions:
Applicants MUST submit the following documents:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter stating all the required minimum qualifications and any of the applicable preferred qualifications
  • List of 3 professional references with e-mail addresses and telephone numbers
  • Applicants should be prepared to facilitate a presentation that speaks to their experience/ability to build a comprehensive program of extra-curricular activities designed to enrich the educational experience and overall retention and success of all students.

Note: After submitting your resume, the subsequent pages give you instructions for uploading additional documents (i.e. cover letter etc.).

This position will remain open until it is filled.

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