Associate Dean of Students and Executive Director of the ASUC Student Union

The University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) has begun the search for the next Associate Dean of Students and Executive Director of the ASUC Student Union (Executive Director). In this important leadership role, the Executive Director provides vision for the ASUC Student Union and leadership for the team responsible for providing students and other members of the University community with spaces and services that support student engagement and success. This is a position that requires strong management, supervision, interpersonal, communication, and negotiation skills; a commitment to students and their development; and well-developed business and political acumen. The successful candidate will be able to understand complex financial matters, identify new and support existing sources of revenue, and respond to challenging student and campus issues in an appropriate manner.

The Executive Director reports to the Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students as well as to the ASUC Student Union Board of Directors; the Executive Director must value and embrace the role that student leaders play in the oversight of the Student Union. The ability to build an excellent working relationship with the leaders of student governance organizations (the Associated Students of the University of California and the Graduate Assembly) will be a key factor in ensuring the Student Union is able to meet the needs of the student body. The Executive Director advises the executive officers of these organizations, as well as the Student Union Board Chair, on matters relating to commercial activities, campus policies, community development, and Student Union business operations.

The ASUC Student Union at Berkeley is composed of multiple facilities, including Eshleman Hall (new in 2016) and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Union (renovated in 2016), with a mission to provide a welcoming environment and co-curricular experience for Berkeley students, faculty, staff, alumni, and visitors. Housed in the ASUC Student Union facilities are: auxiliary services functions (including retail and owner-operated businesses); multi-purpose programming space; general lounge spaces; information functions; the LEAD (Leadership, Engagement, Advising, and Development) Center, the Public Service Center, the Multicultural Center, and other service centers; and offices for student organizations, the ASUC student government, and the Graduate Assembly. The Student Union is financially supported through student fees and income from retail operations including the Cal Student Store, multiple food service and catering, vending, and a variety of self-operated business units such as the Berkeley Art Studio, Creative Lab, and Event Services.

The Position

The Associate Dean of Students and Executive Director of the ASUC Student Union is responsible for formulating the vision and strategic plan for the Student Union and for supporting programs, activities, and services that promote community, individual growth, responsible citizenship, and a global perspective for a student body of approximately 42,000 students. The Executive Director is ultimately responsible for managing the administrative services and/or general operations of the Student Union, establishing operational objectives and work plans, and delegating assignments to subordinate managers. Further, this leader is responsible for managing, preparing, administering, and directing resources; reviewing and approving recommendations for functional programs; monitoring division and department adherence to approved budget; and being involved in developing, modifying and executing campus policies that affect immediate operations and may also have campus-wide impact.

Reporting to the Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students (AVC/Dean), the Executive Director will work with the AVC/Dean to develop and oversee the unit’s strategic planning by serving as a key staff member on the AVC/Dean’s central leadership team. The Executive Director is accountable to both the AVC/Dean and the Student Union Board for fiscal integrity and efficient administration of all ASUC commercial and student services. The Executive Director is an important partner to campus leadership and may serve on various campus committees on issues related to space management, student experience, and campus retail/business partnerships. The Executive Director also serves as a member of the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs leadership team (Cabinet).

The Division of Student Affairs shares a deep commitment to enhancing opportunities for students to grow and flourish, and the team working with the Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students play key leadership roles for those initiatives.

Main Responsibilities

  • Manage the administrative operations of the Student Union, which include the following functions: facilities, student services, leases, human resources, and budgetary financial management; ensure compliance with all applicable policies, codes, and regulations
  • Facilitate strategic planning and provide a vision for the Student Union; lead the development of goals, objectives, and director for all Student Union programs and services
  • Oversee the planning and administration of all commercial activities, including the provision of retail space, food service contracts, and self-run businesses; through direct reports, oversee negotiation and management of all business leases and contracts with third-party providers; serve as the contract administrator of the bookstore management contract
  • Oversee the development and management of the budget and related accounts within policies and guidelines; review monthly expenditure report and strategize with Finance Director and senior leadership team regarding the creation of opportunities for the generation of new revenue sources to meet increased service needs
  • Set and maintain policies governing Student Union operations and programs
  • Ensure the Union operates within budget and in compliance with audit requirements
  • Serve as a member of the AVC/Dean leadership team and of the Vice Chancellor’s leadership team; serve as part of on-call dean system for responding to after-hours crises and emergencies and as a backup first responder to student activism and protests
  • Provide strategic guidance to the VCSA in pursuit of the emerging campus Strategic Plan.

Key Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in Student Affairs, Higher Education, Business Administration, Communications, Public Administration or related field
  • Eight or more years of experience in Student Unions, Student Affairs, or an environment that utilizes similar skills and expertise with evidence of professional growth and progress
  • Experience that demonstrates effective supervision, planning, negotiation, communication, and financial management skills; demonstrated ability to lead and direct a complex organization providing programs and services that essential to the student, staff, and faculty community
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with diverse constituent groups
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to effectively lead, motivate, and influence others and to develop and maintain high standards of customer service
  • Strong oral and written communication skills including the ability to represent the Student Union and the University effectively with media outlets; strong public speaking skills and leadership presence.
  • Demonstrated experience addressing liability and risk management, including crisis response.
  • Strong commitment to principles and values of equity and inclusion

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience building strong relationships within a university community
  • Experience with student government and operating in an environment of student activism

UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley is one of the world’s most iconic teaching and research institutions serving over 40,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Since 1868, Berkeley has fueled a perpetual renaissance, generating unparalleled intellectual, economic and social value in California, the United States and the world. Berkeley’s culture of openness, freedom and acceptance—academic and artistic, political and cultural—make it a very special place for students, faculty and staff. Berkeley is committed to hiring and developing staff who want to work in a high performing culture that supports the outstanding work of our faculty and students.

As the world’s leading public university, Berkeley educates, challenges, mentors, and inspires tomorrow’s leaders in academia, arts and culture, business, government, and the professions. The university offers more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate courses in approximately 300 degree programs, and it ranks among the top five Ph.D.-granting institutions in the U.S.

Berkeley’s research strength includes expertise in addressing pressing global challenges in the areas of health, energy, and the environment. In the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings, Berkeley’s graduate programs placed first in the world in chemistry, computer science, English, history, public policy, and sociology; second in psychology, statistics, and physics; and third in engineering, earth sciences, math, and social welfare.

Application Procedure and Timeline 

UC Berkeley has partnered with Keeling and Associates, LLC (K&A) in this search process. Applications should include a cover letter and resume/curriculum vitae and must be sent, preferably in PDF format, to The subject line of the email should read “UC Berkeley – ADOS/Executive Director.” A confidential review of applicants is ongoing and will continue until an appointment is made. All applicant materials received by January 27, 2020, will receive full consideration.  

Confidential inquiries and nominations should be addressed to Jeff Ewing, Senior Consultant for Executive Search, Keeling & Associates, at  

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

To download the position profile, click here.