The University of Chicago (UChicago) is pleased to invite applications and nominations for the position of Deputy Director of Student Disability Services. This is a critical leadership role that promotes inclusion and access by working in collaboration with faculty and staff colleagues to provide a range of resources, support, and accommodations for students as it pertains to curricular and environmental accessibility. Supporting the Director of Student Disability Services, the Deputy Director assists in leading and managing the day-to-day operations of Student Disability Services; contributes to the development and implementation of policies, programs, services, and supports for students with disabilities; and supervises professional and student staff, including two assistant directors and an access coordinator. The Deputy Director provides highly responsible and complex administrative support and serves as the leader of the department in the Director’s absence.
The University is seeking a dynamic, experienced, and responsive Deputy Director to work strategically and cooperatively within a dedicated team environment committed to enhancing the services provided to driven and highly talented students at all levels of the University. Successful candidates will have demonstrated experience managing accommodations in a higher education setting; a proven ability to evaluate and interpret disability documentation to implement reasonable accommodations; a strong understanding of the legal and technological changes and developing best practices in the field; an excellent track record of establishing and managing effective work relationships with students, parents, faculty, staff, and community resources; a strong affinity for the University’s academic mission; and a deep knowledge of, and appreciation for, the strategies needed for success in promoting disability equity and inclusion and supporting a diverse undergraduate and graduate student population.
About the University of Chicago
Founded in 1892 by John D. Rockefeller, the University of Chicago is one of the world’s preeminent universities, with a history of world-renowned research and education. More than 90 Nobel laureates are associated with the University, including six current faculty members. The University of Chicago is known for its excellent faculty, increasingly diverse student body, distinctive urban campus with strong community connections, and a robust global presence. U.S. News and World Report ranked the University 3rd in its latest annual survey of the best universities. The University enrolls more than 18,000 students, more than half of which are enrolled in graduate and professional programs.
The University of Chicago operates a major medical center, the nation’s largest academic press, two national laboratories, the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, the renowned N-12 Laboratory Schools that have led many innovations in education, and four charter school campuses on the South Side of Chicago.
The University of Chicago is located in a dynamic, thriving city, where opportunities abound to learn from, contribute to, and engage with the surrounding community. In the heart of Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, a racially and economically diverse residential community of 43,000 people on the shores of Lake Michigan and about fifteen minutes south of downtown Chicago, the University of Chicago features traditional English Gothic and modern buildings designed by world-class architects.
About Campus and Student Life and SDS
Campus and Student Life (CSL) is comprised of a variety of departments that serve all of the University’s undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students, as well as the campus community more broadly. CSL’s programs and services focus on supporting student academic success, promoting wellbeing, providing opportunities for personal growth and leadership development, developing community and engagement through the residential housing and dining program, and in areas such as artistic expression, spiritual exploration, and athletic competition. CSL has a profound commitment to the diversity of the University of Chicago community and is focused on creating an environment where students can thrive. Through its wide array of programs and services, CSL provides opportunities and experiences that build community, help students grow personally and professionally, and create a place that students can call home.
Student Disability Services (SDS), a department within Campus and Student Life, works in collaboration with University of Chicago faculty and staff to provide resources, support, and accommodations to ensure that all aspects of student life are accessible and inclusive of persons with disabilities. To ensure the intellectual richness of research and education, the University of Chicago seeks to provide an environment conducive to learning, teaching, working, and conducting research that values the diversity of its community. The University strives to be supportive of the academic, personal, and work-related needs of each individual and is committed to facilitating the full participation of students with a disability in the life of the University. The University is committed to complying with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Reporting to the Director of Student Disability Services, the Deputy Director of Student Disability Services works collaboratively with students, faculty, and staff across the University to determine and implement reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. The Deputy Director will help lead and manage services, support, and accommodations for students with disabilities and assist in removing barriers so that all students can fully participate in the life of the University. The Deputy Director employs knowledge of current disability services best practices and strategies and works as a resource to campus partners. The Deputy Director is responsible for managing and overseeing the staff operations of the department. The Deputy Director is in charge of all administrative functions for student service portfolios, communications for the department, and developing and monitoring progress toward departmental goals. In collaboration with the Director, the Deputy Director will actively engage in planning initiatives, assessing services, and representing Student Disability Services (SDS) within the UChicago community.
Principal duties and responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Provides thought leadership and oversight for various aspects of the Student Disability Services office, supporting the operational and strategic goals of the department.
- Hires, supervises, and manages the workload of Associate and/or Assistant Directors and Access Coordinators’ portfolios; provides appropriate staff and student employee development opportunities; establishes job standards and expectations.
- Manages a caseload of students with disabilities, including conducting intake interviews; determining eligibility for reasonable accommodations; and facilitating the implementation of accommodations with staff and campus partners.
- Determines eligibility for services and appropriately communicates information about disability accommodations and services.
- Supervises Access Coordinators responsible for the effective implementation of accommodations for students, including notetaking services, communication access, testing accommodations, and/or accessible course materials in a timely and effective manner.
- Conducts trainings for campus stakeholders and staff to educate about disability rights and inclusion.
- Collects, verifies, and securely maintains disability documentation and other relevant confidential information; analyzes and interprets students’ diagnostic psycho-educational assessments/scores; and forwards all disability documentation to appropriate clinicians for independent review, as necessary.
- Provides policy and assistance in implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act to faculty, staff, and administrators.
- Provides effective communication to students and families about the student disability accommodation process and resources on campus; and refers students to other appropriate services.
- Oversees provision of auxiliary aids and services, including materials in alternate formats, interpreters, captioners, adaptive technology, etc.
- Collaborates with IT, the Library, and academic divisions on the placement of adaptive technology and furniture; and provides students with resources related to disability issues and accommodation needs.
- Collaborates with medical consultants, Student Wellness (medical, counseling, and health promotion), IT services, University Library Systems, Dining Services, Housing and Residence Life, Facilities Services, Parking and Transportation, Environmental Health & Safety, Legal Counsel, vendors, area deans of students, disability liaisons, faculty, advisory boards, other academic appointees, and other administrators.
- Provides technical assistance to faculty, staff, and administrators and liaises with other higher education institutions; networks with disability agencies and other community organizations providing services to students, including but not limited to: Chicago Lighthouse, Chicago Hearing Society, Chicago Area Interpreter Referral Service, and Caption First.
- Documents communication and events by writing and filing interview notes; assists with the development of policies and procedures which reflect best practices among peer institutions; updates Student Disability Services website and newsletters; maintains student-tracking database (Accessible Information Management); contributes data for the annual and other reports when necessary.
- Assists the Director in managing the budget, monitoring and reconciling accounts, processing payroll, and preparing financial and/or administrative reports.
- Represents Student Disability Services on University-wide committees and at events; presents on SDS, disability, and accessibility in higher education.
- Bachelor’s degree required. Master’s degree in a relevant field is preferred.
- Concentration in higher education, disability services, rehabilitation, counseling, or related field highly preferred.
- Full-time, progressively responsible work experience in disability services or a related field; demonstrated leadership and management experience strongly preferred.
- Supervision experience.
- Prior experience in an educational or university setting.
- Knowledge of a wide range of disabilities.
- Knowledge of disability accommodations and best practices in the provision of services to students with disabilities in a college setting.
- Familiarity with available software and assistive technologies.
- Prior experience working with learning communities specifically designed for students with disabilities.
- Knowledge of best practices and innovations in the field.
- In-depth knowledge of the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
- Strong interpersonal skills and ability to confidently engage and communicate with a wide variety of stakeholders with a high degree of discretion and diplomacy.
- Demonstrated experience communicating effectively in various forms with diverse populations.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills.
UChicago has partnered with Keeling & Associates in this search process. Applications should include a cover letter and resume and must be sent, preferably in PDF format, to recruiting@KeelingAssociates.com. The subject line of the email should read “UChicago – Deputy Director, SDS.” Confidential inquiries and nominations should be addressed to Melissa Hagan, Executive Search Consultant, at mhagan@KeelingAssociates.com. Applications will be reviewed immediately, and the review process will continue until the position is filled.
We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages diverse perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange. The University’s Statements on Diversity are at https://provost.uchicago.edu/statements-diversity.
The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University’s Notice of Nondiscrimination.