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Senior Associate Dean of Students

companyNorthwestern University
locationWashington, DC 20037, USA
PublishedPublished: 5/20/2023

Senior Associate Dean of Students

Job ID: 47727
Location: Evanston, Illinois

Dean of Students Office Value Statement: The Dean of Students team is a workplace that values integrity, collaboration, and engagement. Through meaningful conversations, understanding power and privilege, and timely conflict management, we strive to be a highly collaborative environment in which all staff members can learn and grow. We are accountable to ourselves and one another, honor that we are not perfect, and make mistakes. We will engage in respectful ways that honor the humanity of one another to build a foundation of trust that allows us to do the challenging work of supporting our students. DOS/

About Student Affairs: By pursuing justice, equity, and belonging, Student Affairs cultivates student programs, services, and skills; disrupts barriers; and partners across Northwestern and neighboring communities to create an inclusive culture in which all students can thrive. Learn more about the Division of Student Affairs here:

Job Summary:
The Senior Associate Dean of Students partners with the Dean of Students to provide direction and oversight within the department. As the right-hand advisor to the Dean of Students, they lead strategic projects and respond to critical, escalated student incidents on the Dean of Students’ behalf. The role is responsible for risk mitigation protocols and conduct appeals.

The position supervises the Office of Community Standards, which resolves student conduct and conflict issues, as well as the Assistant Dean for Operations and Strategy/Director of Off Campus Life. In addition, this position, along with the Associate Dean and Director of SASS, will convene the deans meeting in the DOS to ensure consistency of practice across the Dean of Students office. This role also leads communication across the Dean of Students office and represents the department throughout the university. This position will also take the lead in partnering across the university to develop conflict resolution and restorative practices.

Occasional weekends and evenings as requested and with some possible travel, as required.

Principal Accountabilities:

  1. (30%) Manage crisis response for critical, escalated incidents
    1. Serve as primary contact or backup on behalf of Dean of Students for escalated situations. Communicate with faculty, staff, parents, community members, students, law enforcement, and other campus stakeholders
    2. Serve as second-in-command during major campus incidents such as student death; come to campus to co-lead response
    3. Review high-stakes documents/correspondence to students
    4. Provide ongoing consultation to academic units around distressing student behavior
  2. (15%) Oversee the Office of Community Standards and the Office of Operations and Strategy
    1. Provide direct supervision to the Director of Community Standards and the Assistant Dean for Operations and Strategy.
    2. Serve as appellate panel manager; author final appeal outcome letters
    3. Develop Alternative Resolution Strategy through DOS
  3. (15%) Ensure effective management of institutional risk
    1. Continuously evaluate and improve risk management strategies and policies in all DOS units to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations and university policies.
  4. (15%) Assess outcomes and align strategy
    1. Assess outcomes and evaluate program objectives to ensure consistency with office, divisional, and university goals
    2. Work closely with the Assistant Dean for Operations and Strategy, Director of the Office of Community Standards and the Associate Dean and Director of SASS to ensure all incident reports receive response and follow up.
  5. (10%) Function as second-in-command leader for Dean of Students
    1. Assist AVP/ DOS with implementation of strategic initiatives in the DOS department
    2. Assume primary responsibility for operations when DOS is out of the office
    3. Assist the AVP and Dean of Students with content of agendas and meetings
    4. Share back-up duty for the Administrator on Call with the Dean of Students
  6. (10%) Represent Dean of Students across the university
    1. Partner with Student Affairs Offices, Office of Civil Rights Compliance, Office of Institutional Diversity & Inclusion and the Ombudsperson to develop a conflict resolution and restorative practice strategy.
    2. Conduct outreach to partners across the university to design and implement programs to increase community awareness of and adherence to policies
    3. Serve on Alcohol Task Force, NU Police Advisory Board, and Behavioral Consultation Team (BCT)
    4. Function as the primary liaison for Athletics, Fraternity and Sorority Life and NU-Q
    5. Function as the primary liaison to the Office of Civil Rights Compliance and Title IX, ensuring coordination on student concerns
    6. Develop, cultivate, and oversee a DOS student advisory board
  7. (5%) Other duties as assigned

Minimum Qualifications:

  • D. or masters in higher education and law including knowledge of FERPA, Title IX, Office of Civil Rights.
  • Minimum of seven to ten years work in higher education
  • Previous work in a university conduct system as an investigator or preferably a director of an office of student conduct
  • Experience in training students and professional staff about student conduct processes and procedures
  • Significant crisis management and postvention experience

Minimum Competencies: 

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Demonstrated critical-thinking skills
  • Extensive knowledge of university conduct systems and relevant legal, regulatory, and risk management issues
  • Attention to accuracy and detail
  • Ability to maintain successful partnership with students, parents, faculty/staff, administration, community members, and other stakeholders
  • Ability to lead a staff team to achieve goals, reinforcing positive performance and addressing areas for improvement
  • Ability to evaluate/assess programs, interpret data, and establish priorities based on findings
  • Ability to take initiative, balance multiple projects, and set priorities
  • Ability to work independently and in teams
  • Ability to process and communicate difficult/sensitive information

Preferred Competencies:

  • Experience with restorative practices, conflict resolution or means of resolving student issues that do not rise to policy level violation

Please apply online at

Benefits: At Northwestern, we are proud to provide meaningful, competitive, high-quality health care plans, retirement benefits, tuition discounts and more! Visit us at to learn more.

Work-Life and Wellness: Northwestern offers comprehensive programs and services to help you and your family navigate life’s challenges and opportunities and adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles. We support flexible work arrangements where possible and programs to help you locate and pay for quality, affordable childcare, and senior/adult care. Visit us at to learn more. 

Professional Growth and Development: Northwestern supports employee career development in all circumstances whether your workspace is on campus or at home. If you’re interested in developing your professional potential or continuing your formal education, we offer a variety of tools and resources. Visit us at to learn more. 

Northwestern strongly recommends COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters for people who can obtain them as a critical tool for minimizing severe illness. More information can be found on the COVID-19 and Campus Updates webpage.

The Northwestern campus sits on the traditional homelands of the people of the Council of Three Fires, the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, and Odawa as well as the Menominee, Miami and Ho-Chunk nations. We acknowledge and honor the original people of the land upon which Northwestern University stands, and the Native people who remain on this land today.

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Click for information on EEO is the Law.

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