Senior Associate Dean of Student Life

Bennington College
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Location: Bennington County,
About the Job

Bennington College invites applications for the position of Senior Associate Dean of Student Life.  The position is responsible for supporting the Dean of Student Life with an evolving portfolio, and is directly responsible for oversight of the areas of residence life and housing; student engagement and activities; community standards and conduct, and represents Student Life on a number of Campus initiatives.  The Senior Associate Dean of Student Life will work with Dean of Student Life to provide strategic direction, leadership, budget management and supervision of the co-curricular environment that develops student learning and community engagement of Bennington students. The role is critical in meeting the challenge of growth, and for the development of student capacities articulated as fundamental to the Bennington education.

Key duties and responsibilities include:

  • Develops and assesses living and learning experiences for student development with Residential Life and Housing and the Student Engagement and Activities Offices to support co-curricular experiences that contribute to the capacities of a Bennington education.
  • Provides strategic direction and supervision for residence life and housing, and operations for Bennington’s growing residential communities of 18 houses and 1 apartment building.
  • Provides strategic direction and supervision for student engagement and activities.
  • Provides strategic direction and supervision for education and outreach, enforcement, and response to violations of the Community Standards.
  • Works closely with the student health units (Health Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, and Health Promotion) to cultivate a culture of safety, wellbeing, and happiness for students to thrive.
  • Oversees processes related to involuntary or voluntary student leaves during academic term, and communicating with stakeholders.
  • Serves on campus-wide committees, including emergency response, as representative of Student Life, and for the Dean of Student Life if needed.
  • Incorporates intercultural competency skills, diversity and social justice concepts and principles into residential life, and student engagement, and all aspects of work.


  1. Master’s degree in student development, educational administration, or related field or equivalent experience.
  2. 7-10 years of professional student affairs work with experience/knowledge in residential life; disciplinary/judicial, and/or student engagement/activities.
  3. Demonstrated commitment to professional competency in understanding and supporting students of all intersecting identities and creating communities of inclusion, equity, and belonging through personal, group, and community engagement and education.
  4. Experience supervising and supporting professional staff.
  5. A broad knowledge of contemporary student development issues, trends, and best practices.
  6. Excellent managerial, planning, supervisory, interpersonal, team-building, and communication skills.
  7. Knowledge of risk management, emergency response, on-call policies and procedures.
  8. Excellent oral and written communication and interpersonal skills.
  9. The position requires the successful completion and acceptable results of a background check.
  10. Proficiency with Google Suite, internet research, student information systems/database.

Bennington College serves a diverse student population inclusive of members of ethnically/racially minoritized, international, LGBTQIA+, and disability communities as well as diverse gender identities, socioeconomic backgrounds, religions, and political beliefs. Our staff and faculty also reflect diverse and intersecting backgrounds and identities. All employees are expected to be respectful and responsive to these differences in the service of building community that promotes student and employee success. Each individual (faculty, staff and student) will be accountable for upholding these values. The College’s approach to pluralism and inclusivity—both as fields of inquiry and practice—is to prioritize flexible thought, and to invite the examination of access, value, power, and privilege through its institutional policies and areas of study. We encourage applicants from diverse realms of interest, backgrounds, experience, and accomplishment to apply.

Bennington is a hub for artists, writers, scientists, scholars—innovators in every field—who want to apply their individual talents to addressing global issues of urgent concern.  Bennington College has, in its persistent reinvention of liberal education, remained true to its founding virtues; which include, continued emphasis on self-directed learning, made real through hands-on experience in the field, has established Bennington as a bellwether among the nation’s liberal arts colleges.  The underlying purpose of Bennington from the start: to place students at the helm of their own education; to guide them in the direction of their greatest potential; and to enlarge, deepen, and transform their lives.

Candidates should apply online with a cover letter and resume/curriculum vitae including names and contact information of three professional references. Review of applications is ongoing, with preference being given to applicants submitting materials before February 1, 2022. This position requires the successful completion and acceptable results of a background check.

Employer's Approach to Diversity, Equity, & Belonging

Bennington College is fully committed to advancing antiracism and social justice throughout all aspects of the institution. During the height of the pandemic, in September 2020, then newly appointed President Laura Walker established the President’s Working Group on Antiracism (PWG) in becoming an antiracist, equitable institution "that is more diverse, more inclusive and is actively fighting against racism and exploring the intersections with class, gender, and other vectors of identity and positionality."

After conducting a national search in April 2021, Bennington College appointed its first Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and College Diversity Officer to work with all constituents in dismantling systems, policies, and programs that are systemically racist and create/sustain equitable approaches. Most recently, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) appointed an Associate Director who will oversee educational and social justice literacy training and programming and is in the process of hiring a Title IX Coordinator. Lastly, the ODEI is finalizing an action plan that incorporates PWG recommendations and addresses system and policy related initiatives.