Director of the College Union
Responsibilities: Oversees the entire union operation and its personnel. Establishes the overall standards of performance through selection of administrative personnel, budgetary controls, and overall thrust and direction of programs and services. Usually reports to the chief student affairs officer on the campus. Serves as the primary communication link between the union and other campus departments and the community. Works directly with the union’s governing board and stimulates and coordinates all staff and student effort to realize the union’s educational and service objectives. May have direct supervisory responsibilities over particular functional areas, though wherever possible it is desirable to avoid these multiple assignments of direct supervision by appointing associate or assistant directors to supervise major functional areas.
Special qualifications: A well‑developed talent for leadership of college students. A thorough knowledge of the philosophy of informal education and of the process by which leadership skills are developed. Demonstrated expertise in management skills, including assessment, setting priorities, planning, training, evaluation, communication, and collaboration. The knowledge of college union philosophy and an understanding of how to meet the cultural, social, and recreational needs of the campus community. An understanding of and the ability to apply student development and learning outcomes theories. An understanding of how the union functions within the institutional setting and of institutional business and management practices. The ability to set standards for human resource management and for fiscal responsibility and accountability. Skill and interest in recreational activities. The ability to stimulate student interest and to enlist the best efforts of staff. Articulateness. An awareness of the educational and cultural benefits of multiculturalism. The ability to recognize and foster high ethical standards of performance, service, and professionalism among staff.
Experience: Administrative experience in a college union or closely related field (for example, director of a smaller union, assistant director of a union, student services professional such as program director or coordinator of student activities, or administrator of a community center or residence hall complex) combined with business management experience. Other valuable experience includes work as a school executive, recreation director, business executive, college fund-raiser, teacher, or service volunteer. Successful undergraduate leadership experience in a major college activity or program (for example, union board, student government, residence hall board, special interest or service club, or student media)
Education: Bachelor’s degree is required in the social sciences, liberal arts, education, recreation, or business. Master’s degree usually is required in education administration, student development, recreation administration, business administration, or a related field. A few institutions prefer a doctorate in an appropriate discipline and broad college administrative experience. Aspiring professionals might focus on college credits or special training in organizational development, education administration, student services, business administration, arts administration, or successful completion of an internship or graduate assistantship in college union administration.
Core competencies: Communication, Fiscal Management, Leadership, Management, Planning
Updated Jan. 20, 2013