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Manager, Desk Services

Date: August, 2014
Reports to (Job Title): Director, Student Development and Residence Life
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles): None
Department: Housing & Residences


Main Campus


35 hr/wk

Primary Purpose

The Manager, Living-Learning is accountable to the Director, Student Development and Residence Life for the strategic development, implementation, management and assessment of learning initiatives in residence including student development programs, student success and support initiatives and academic/educational content across all residence communities. The incumbent is responsible for developing key partnerships with Housing, Faculty and Student Services stakeholders in order to accomplish the above.

Key Accountabilities:

Also reporting to the Director, Student Development and Residence Life is the Manager, Residence Life and the Manager, Desk Services. Reporting to the Manager, Living-Learning directly are:

Co-ordinator, Living-Learning Programs Co-ordinator, Living Learning Programs

Co-ordinator, Administration and Academic Programming 50-80 Peer Leaders (student staff)


Living-Learning is the fundamental  philosophy driving our residence experience  based on student development theory and a relationship-based  model of residence life which is in place to encourage and facilitate the institutional priorities of outstanding academic programming and a vibrant student experience.


Collaborative working relationships with academic and service-oriented areas on campus will allow the Manager to oversee effective creation, implementation and assessment of holistic and integrated co- and extra-curricular learning opportunities for students, such as living-learning programs and student success initiatives. These programs will vary widely in scope and goal, ranging from tutoring sessions in residence to fully integrated theme/academic cluster living and service-learning opportunities. Some examples include academic cluster programs (currently 12 across 4 faculties, 3 affiliated and federated institutions, and 1 student service office - Co-operative Education and Career Action), international 2+2 cultural support programs, undergraduate summer bridge programs, integration with course content via projects and application of material learned in the classroom.


In order to accomplish the above, the Manager, Living-Learning interacts with a wide variety of campus partners including professors, Associate Deans and Academic Department Heads, heads of Academic support Departments (i.e. Student Success Office, Centre for Teaching Excellence, Health Services, Counselling Services, Waterloo International, Writing Centre), Residence Directors of the Affiliated and Federated Institutions of Waterloo, the Federation of Students executive and many others. The incumbent must be able to establish strong professional relationships with the ability to educate about student development theory and best practices in student learning, specifically as they relate to the residence experience. One of the major focuses of the position is the student affairs-faculty relationship, in particular

the ability to educate, engage and influence peers and senior staff and faculty in order to achieve desired results.


A community of learners can interact at anytime and anywhere because of the benefits that computer­ mediated educational tools provide. Blended learning provides a good mix of technologies and interactions, resulting in a socially supported, constructive, learning experience.

It is expected that the Manager is knowledgeable about current trends and best practices in student learning and implements this blended approach to program development by ensuring the use of face-to-face as well as a-learning (i.e. a-tutoring, a-mentoring, a-portfolio) tools and initiatives.


The Manager, Living-Learning provides leadership to the Department in the areas of student development, success and support. He/she works collaboratively with all areas within the Department of Housing and Residences to create an integrated and engaging student experience. This includes, but is not limited to full partnership and integration with residence life, collaboration and direction on living-learning admissions placement and marketing strategies, creation and use of information systems and technology, and the use and development of facilities and spaces that support student success and engagement.


The Manager is responsible for creating a comprehensive student staff training strategy that educates and sets clear expectations for all residence student staff (i.e. Peer Leaders, Dons, FDAs, SCCs, etc.) on the educational philosophy of the residence experience, with clearly identified goals, objectives and expectations for them as peer supports and resources.


The Manager, Living-Learning actively participates in and contributes to the following committees on a regular basis and other project oriented groups as required:


Department of Housing and Residences Management team Faculty/Department level meetings each term for all Living-Learning clusters





The Department of Housing and Residences is an ancillary operation which must maintain its fiscal viability by remaining competitive and effectively marketing its services. The Manager, Living-Learning is responsible for an expense budget of approximately $470,000, broken down as follows:

Salaries and benefits: $ 400,000
Community funds $ 30,000
Programs and Materials: $ 30,000
Staff Training and Development: $ 10,000






Position Requirements


Graduate degree or equivalent experience in a student development related field



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Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

Level of Responsibility:

Decision-Making Authority:

Physical and Sensory Demands:

This managerial role in an office setting involves minimal physical demands and moderate sensory effort resulting in slight fatigue, strain, or risk of injury.

Working Environment:

Minimal exposure to conditions typical of a position exposed to stress and pressure associated with management-level responsibilities. Individual must be able to manage concurrent assignments and prioritize workload in order to meet deadlines. Periods of irregular/high volume will require some evening and weekend work (e.g. student staff training). Occasional participation in the department's emergency on-call rotation (approximately 3 to 4 weeks over the course of the year) is required.