Student Union, Inc. of San José State University is continuing its search for the position of Executive Director. This is an outstanding opportunity to provide vision, dynamic leadership, and administrative direction to a high-functioning organization with exemplary, student-focused facilities, programs, and services designed to support the development, growth, and wellbeing of a diverse population of approximately 34,000 students. 

The successful candidate will demonstrate superior team-oriented leadership, a commitment to collaboration, strong financial and administrative management skills, and the experience and ability to inspire, motivate, and communicate effectively with professional and student staff, Student Affairs colleagues, other campus partners, and SJSU students. The Executive Director must demonstrate excellent cultural competence and sensitivity, and the ability to work well with and engage diverse groups to ensure that the facilities, programs, and services are inclusive and meet the needs of all community members. In addition, the Executive Director should possess knowledge and understanding of complex organizations and the principles of organizational sustainability, which is inclusive of budget, risk management, and human resources. To be successful in this position, the new Executive Director must be able to manage a complex organization working with many different constituencies in the institution in a way that serves the best interests of the students.

Student Union, Inc.

The Student Union, Inc. of San José State University, a non-profit corporation, is a California State University auxiliary organization that manages and maintains three major facilities at SJSU: the state-of-the-art Diaz Compean Student Union; the Event Center Arena/Sports Club; and the new Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center, which opened on April 18. In addition, Student Union, Inc. is responsible for campus recreation programs and a range of other services and programs for students, the campus community, and the community at large. A Board of Directors composed of eleven members, six of whom are students, governs the organization, which receives no tax dollar support and is funded through mandatory Student Union student fees, revenues from facility rentals, and fees for services. Student Union, Inc. employs 68 full-time staff and over 400 part-time student staff.

San José State University

San José State University, located in the heart of the Silicon Valley on a thriving 154-acre campus in downtown San José, provides a comprehensive university education and offers 145 areas of study with an additional 108 concentrations. SJSU’s most prized tradition is its commitment to offering access to higher education to all persons who meet the criteria for admission, yielding an extremely diverse student population. The institution is deeply committed to student success and academic excellence. One of the 200 top research universities in the nation, SJSU offers rigorous course work and research opportunities to more than 34,000 undergraduate and graduate students in eight colleges.

San José State’s location in the Silicon Valley makes it an exceptionally rewarding learning environment for students. Silicon Valley firms and agencies seek SJSU students for internships, summer work programs and for assistance with research and development projects. Silicon Valley firms employ more graduates from SJSU than from any other university in the nation. SJSU, founded in 1857, is one of 23 campuses in the California State University system.

Position Summary

Reporting to the Board of Directors with a dotted line reporting relationship to the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Executive Director serves as the chief administrative officer for the organization and is responsible for the overall administration and executive leadership of a wide range of auxiliary operations that include facilities maintenance, human resources management, accounting and finance, information technology, marketing and public relations, strategic planning, risk management, and capital planning. The Executive Director engages in and supports a strong relationship to the campus for services provided for the entire community in support of the institutional mission.

Duties and Responsibilities:

The Executive Director:

  • Provides leadership and oversight for the daily operation of the Diaz Compean Student Union, Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center, REC annex, Event Center Arena/Sports Club, all Spartan Recreation Programs, Bowling and Billiards Center, administrative and support functions for the corporation.
  • Provides direction, leadership, and oversight for all departmental personnel actions, including selection, training, evaluation, and supervision of a diverse team comprised of 68 full-time staff and over 400 student staff.
  • Creates a cohesive team across departments that effectively administers and accounts for the department’s successful operation, initiatives, and customer service.
  • Develops, administers, and is fiscally responsible for a $15 million annual operating budget. Maintains a complete understanding of the balance of: student fees required for operations; tenant and program revenue; and expenses for facilities operations, compensation and benefits, equipment replacement, annual bond debt, and reserve requirements.
  • Directs the establishment, implementation, and enforcement of department priorities, policies, procedures and practices for operations, fire/life safety and risk management, ADA, event crowd control, budget and financial controls, and human resources management.
  • Works with departmental managers and directors to determine annual major and minor capital projects, preventative maintenance, equipment replacement or other considerations necessary for the improvement of existing facilities.
  • Works with the Associate Directors, the Director of Facilities and IT, and the Student Union Board of Directors to determine major facility improvements and expenditures to serve the campus community and changing needs.
  • Coordinates with campus capital planning, architects, contractors, Director of Facilities and IT, and appropriate Associate Director for any major capital projects that require student union student fee funding, or that are taking place within the facilities under the Executive Director’s oversight.
  • Develops in conjunction with the staff, and Board of Directors, the organizational strategic plan.
  • Develops, negotiates, and manages all business leases, contracts, and memorandums of understanding with campus partners, the university, vendors, and possible outside businesses. Engages with the campus to review any areas appropriate for shared services.
  • Develops and executes departmental strategic planning, data informed policy development, and assessment of student learning outcomes and the student success initiative.
  • Develops marketing strategies to increase the awareness and usage for all facilities and departments under the Executive Director’s oversight.
  • Works with the Vice President of Administration and Finance and their department to coordinate the presentation of the annual budget, CSU operating agreement with the trustees, any audit requirements mandated by the Education Code, or any Executive Orders by the Chancellors Office.
  • Creates and engages in strategic partnerships with campus departments, campus auxiliaries, faculty, staff, students, and alumni to create student centered initiatives that focus on the development of a vibrant campus community to positively impact student retention, persistence, and graduation rates.
  • Works collaboratively with campus departments to ensure services to students are delivered effectively.
  • Serves as the departmental representative to the Division of Student Affairs Leadership Team, and other divisional or campus-wide committees or initiatives.
  • Works with the university and the Chancellor’s Office Finance Department regarding revenue bond requirements.
  • Serves at the state, regional, or national level with associated professional organizations.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications and Specifications

  • A Master’s degree in Business Administration, Higher Education, Student Personnel, or a related field is required.
  • A minimum of ten years of full-time experience in student personnel administration, higher education, business administration, or other appropriate discipline that demonstrates progression in terms of responsibilities and expectations.
    • A minimum of five years of the required experience must be in an upper level  administrative position.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead and direct a large complex organization that provides facilities, programs, and services that are essential to the student, staff, and faculty community.
  • Demonstrated facilities oversight experience and understanding, including project and facilities enhancements, renovations, and capital planning.
  • Experience with the development, enforcement, and management of lease agreements, memorandums of understanding, and vendor contracts.
  • Extensive knowledge and experience with developing and implementing strong policies and procedures that: minimize risk; ensure the safety of facilities and departments; and maintain the financial viability of all areas within the Executive Director’s oversight.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Ability to effectively establish and maintain cooperative working relationships within a diverse multicultural environment.
  • Preferred: Experience in a Student Union, Campus Recreation, similar 501(c3), Housing, or Commercial operation in a higher education institution.
  • Preferred: Experience with operations and facilities management of a medium sports/athletic/arena complex and programs.
  • Preferred: Understanding of the business requirements for non-profits and corporate filings.
  • Preferred: Understanding of student development, student success, and student needs in higher education.

Application Process

Student Union, Inc. of San José State University has partnered with Keeling & Associates, LLC, in this search process. Application materials should include a resume/curriculum vitae and a letter of interest and must be sent, preferably as PDFs, to K&A at The subject line of the email should read “SJSU — Executive Director.”  

A confidential review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the appointment is made. Applications received by June 7, 2019, will receive full consideration. Nominations, expressions of interest, and requests for confidential conversations about the position prior to application are welcome and should be directed to Jeff Ewing (, the K&A senior consultant leading this search.

The Student Union of San José State University is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer. The Student Union of San José State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, age, disability, veteran status or any other protected group.

To download the position profile, click here.