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Residence Life and Housing

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Residence Hall Director (RHD)

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To apply for a Residence Hall Director (RHD) position, please refer to the Human Resources "Employment Opportunities" web page. You will find a listing only if there is a vacancy for this position.

SUNY Oswego, located on the shore of Lake Ontario, 35 miles north of Syracuse, NY, is in the midst of a multi-million dollar construction, renovation and renewal plan, the results of which will transform our campus and further cultivate our learner-centered community. The College is also proud of its commitment to being a predominantly residential campus. All residence halls are staffed by full-time professionals who provide a positive and dynamic educational experience in a well-managed environment. In addition to traditionally organized halls, the campus has several program buildings, including the Hart Global Living and Learning Center and the Johnson Hall First Year Residential Experience.

Residence Hall Director Job Description

Effective July 1, 2013

The Residence Hall Director is responsible for the total functioning of the residence hall as an educational environment consistent with the academic and educational mission of the College.


A.   Promote development of a community environment within the residence halls characterized by consideration, respect and appreciation of others.

B.   Foster development of an environment conducive to: student engagement and participation; academic endeavors and achievements.

C.   Encourage the development of students' leadership skills.

D.   Assist students, whenever possible, in identifying and pursuing personal and academic goals.

E.   Promote respectful treatment, care and maintenance of the physical facilities for the comfort, health and safety of all residents.



A.    Student and Community Development

1.     Initiate and maintain activities of a developmental nature utilizing our Student Learning and Success framework.

2.     Work with residents on individual developmental issues and make referrals as appropriate. Provide assistance to students in developing their interests and abilities.

3.     Work with staff and residents to develop community in the hall and on individual floors.

4.     Advise hall government and subgroups, and help coordinate the efforts of hall government and student staff toward achieving specific residence hall objectives.

5.     Initiate and coordinate overall hall curriculum (student and community development) including development, implementation and evaluation of programs that are unique to each residence hall. Assist students in assessment of needs.

6.     Assist in the development and implementation of campus-wide programs.

7.     Routinely visit each residential floor and foster a professional relationship with students in the hall/community.


B.    Staff Selection, Supervision, Development and Training

1.     Select, supervise and train Resident Student Staff (Resident Assistants, Resident Mentors, Village Community Assistants, Graduate Resident Mentors).

2.     In designated buildings, supervise a Graduate Assistant Hall Director.

3.     Select, train and supervise Student Operations Services staff and other in-hall staff, including Red Carpet Captain and Crew.

4.     Participate in staff development workshops;


C.    Administrative 

1.     Promote safety and security within the community. Supervise, assess and improve inventory and management of keys and access codes for assigned hall/community.

2.     Supervise and maintain appropriate housing records, including room changes and waiting lists.

3.     With assistance of student staff, open and close the hall at the beginning and end of the academic year, and for periods of academic recess.

4.     Work with graduate and/or undergraduate staff to assure the efficient and effective functioning of residence hall front desk operation.

5.     Communicate, explain and enforce procedures, rules and regulations of the College with regard to residents and staff.

6.     Participate in the judicial process by serving as hearing officer, complainant or advisor, as appropriate.

7.     Be available to residents, building and departmental staff. Maintain regular in-hall office hours (including daytime and evening hours) as well as phone accessibility between 10:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on weekdays. With prior supervisor approval, take no more than two weekends away from campus per month.

8.     Develop and refine mutually supportive relationship with custodial employees assigned to the residence hall in conjunction with the supervising janitor.  Oversee building recycling operation.

9.     Conduct regular (at least weekly) tours/inspections of assigned residence hall and community.

10.   Monitor and assess response to electronic requests for maintenance and/or custodial services submitted for assigned community.

11.   Promote and develop management procedures and practices which preserve and enhance the residence hall.


D.  Departmental

1.   Serve on departmental committee(s) as assigned.

2.   Participate in other programs as requested (potentially including Admissions Open House, New Student Orientation and other departmental or divisional programs).

3.   Assume on-call responsibility for the campus as assigned by Residence Life and Housing.

4.   Initiate and maintain effective communication with other members of the Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Division in implementing departmental and divisional objectives.

5.   Serve on a divisional and/or College-wide task force(s)/committee(s) with prior approval of immediate supervisor.

6.   Initiate and maintain cooperative relationships with University Police, Auxiliary Services and other administrative and academic departments.

7.   Meet regularly with staff of assigned dining center(s) to develop collaborative relationship and discuss any dining hall issues/concerns, including student behavior in the dining centers.

8.   Establish and maintain positive community relations with individuals, businesses and organizations off campus.

9.   To balance workloads, directors of smaller residence halls may be involved with additional departmental tasks.



Opportunities for summer employment may be available. Possible assignments include development and facilitation of undergraduate and professional staff training (Resident Student Staff, Professional Staff, Student Operations Services staff), summer housing operations, Student Learning and Success.  Some summer employment opportunities may require moving to a different residence for the term of the assignment and/or working evening and weekend hours.

Directors may also be asked to assume some out-of-hall responsibilities during other periods of recess such as winter break and/or spring break. This may include committee work or other assignments in the Office of Residence Life and Housing.



A. This is a ten-month, live-in position.  The term of employment is August through May. However, first year Residence Hall Directors begin work in July; compensation for work performed prior to August 1 is in addition to the annual salary.

B. The Residence Hall Director position is an entry-level assignment. To assist Directors in developing professional skills necessary to move beyond entry level positions, we have developed a four stage professional development plan. Directors are encouraged to participate in the plan.

    C. It is expected that Residence Hall Directors will be regularly available to residents and respond to crisis situations and emergencies as necessary. Residence Hall Directors are also expected to participate fully in professional, graduate, and student staff training in August, as well as mid-year training in January.

        D. Occupancy of the assigned apartment is for the term of appointment. Check-in to and check-out of the apartment is to be arranged with the Residence Life and Housing Office. Residence Life and Housing furnishes all staff apartments with fine quality furniture; for this reason, all department-owned furniture is to stay in the designated apartment. It is not to be removed from the apartment for any reason.

          E. Director who is not working for the Department during the summer will typically be able to occupy the apartment over the summer if s/he is returning as a Director for the next academic year. Hall Directors not working for the Department over the summer who occupy their apartment over the summer will be expected to perform a minimum level of duties as long as they reside on campus. These assignments include, but are not limited to: professional on-call responsibilities, orientation sessions and staff searches. Residence Hall Directors who are not returning for the next academic year will typically be required to vacate their assigned apartment by mid to late June.

          F. Regardless of whether or not a Residence Hall Director is working for the Department over the summer, s/he may be required to move to a different location, depending on facility usage. 

            G. Residence Hall Directors must abide by the department's pet policy in existence at time of employment.

                H. Significant involvement outside of job responsibilities must be approved in writing in advance by the Director's immediate supervisor. This includes, but is not limited to, involvement such as teaching, academic advising, taking classes, performing internships, working, volunteering, coaching. Directors are not allowed to take on any additional employment or significant outside involvement in the first year of employment. Complete information regarding this can be found in the Professional Staff Manual.

                    I. Residence Hall Directors must abide by College policies and model mutual respect and inclusion for all residents.

                        J. Residence Hall Directors will not be assigned to any duties nor be subject to any terms that are inconsistent with the standards set forth by the representing union: United University Professions.


                          md 1/31/13