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A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.

Job Summary

The Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design prepares students to think in new ways, to educate them to become concerned world citizens, and to equip them with the skills for life-long accomplishment. We are a tight-knit community of creators, and are seeking a director of student life to build upon our rich student experience.

The director of student life oversees and implements Stamps’ student life experiences and initiatives. This work is accomplished through supervising dedicated student life staff members and through collaborative work with staff in student life, academic advising, admissions, and academic programs.  The director’s work will focus primarily on undergraduate student life initiatives, though the director may collaborate with graduate program leadership in complementary programming as appropriate.

Major areas of student life oversight are promoting an inclusive community within Stamps and community engagement beyond Stamps; fostering student identities as artists and designers (creating studio culture); promoting student personal and financial wellness; developing student leadership opportunities and capacity; oversight of recurring student life events; career and professional development; evaluation and assessment of student life programs; and team leadership and development of student life staff. 

The director of student life leads other professional and administrative staff in the development of student life programs for the school and serves as a liaison to other university student life units.

The director of student life reports to the assistant dean of admissions and student services.


The director will work independently and in partnership with a highly collaborative team on the following:

  • Foster an inclusive community through initiatives to support new transfer students, first generation college students, and additional diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. Create opportunities for student-to-student and student-to-instructor connections.
  • Support the identity development of Stamps students as artists and designers. Promote a strong studio culture; creating and sustaining a community of makers.
  • Give critical attention to the personal and financial wellness of students, including serving as the disability services liaison, partnering with the Stamps embedded CAPS counselor, and creating dynamic programming to engage students in developing a sustainable school/work/life balance.
  • Serve as the lead staff member to execute hallmark student events, including juried exhibitions, fall welcome events, and spring commencement.
  • Oversee existing career and professional development initiatives including portfolio development, internships, employer relations, and alumni engagement.
  • Develop a thriving student leadership community through clubs and student government.
  • Lead a well-established team of FTE student life staff, including strategic planning for student life, participation in school decision-making, and student experience assessment.

Required Qualifications*

  • Bachelor’s degree (preferably in an arts-related field).
  • Minimum of 3-6 years relevant work experience, preferably in student life or comparable field.
  • Evidence of a solid grounding in principles and practices related to student life.
  • Demonstrated understanding of student development principles and identity development.
  • Experience in working with diverse communities and across multiple identities; and respect and consideration for all identities, perspectives, and differences. 
  • Excellent writing and verbal communications skills.
  • Excellent organizational skills and the ability to multi-task and anticipate needs.
  • Desire and ability to work with diverse constituencies.
  • Ability to work independently as well as within a team and exercise judgement; respect for confidentiality and discretion is a must.
  • Ability to contribute to the School’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, particularly efforts that are student-centered.
  • Demonstrated self-starter with the ability to set priorities, be proactive, respond quickly, and think creatively while operating in a flexible and professional manner.
  • Superior interpersonal skills and the ability to build successful relationships with a wide variety of people at all levels (Stamps leadership, collaborative units, faculty, staff, students, employers, alumni, etc.).

Desired Qualifications*

  • Master’s degree in a relevant discipline, such as Higher Education or an arts-related field.
  • Previous supervisory experience.
  • Familiarity with the curriculum and aim of Stamps School programs.
  • Familiarity with current art & design practices and trends.
  • Familiarity with UM’s administrative information systems or comparable information system.
  • Knowledge of the university’s organizational structure, policies, and procedures.

Additional Information

Supervision Exercised:
Career Development Coordinator
Student Life and DEI Coordinator

Supervised By:
Assistant Dean for Admissions and Student Services

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days.  The review and selection process may begin as early as the eighth day after posting. This opening may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.