Residence Hall Directors
Learn about the RHD position at NAU
We are currently seeking applicants for the RHD position!
Thank you for your interest in a Residence Hall Director position with Residential Life! NAU offers an exciting opportunity for those seeking a comprehensive and valuable experience in housing and student affairs.
About the Department Accordion Closed
Residential Life at Northern Arizona University provides staffing for 16 residential communities housing over 8,000 on-campus students. Housing options include traditional style, suites, and apartments. We also manage the Residential Colleges program, which encompasses all first-year residential students, the Residential Student Conduct program, and community development initiatives. Our department consists of full-time Residence Hall Directors, part-time Graduate Assistant Residence Hall Directors, and over 200 student staff. Learn more about our mission and values and our Commitment to Inclusive Communities.
About the RHD Position Accordion Closed
Every year before student staff arrive for Fall Training, new and returning Residence Hall Directors (RHD) Graduate Assistant Residence Hall Directors (GARHD), and Graduate Assistants (GA) attend Foundations Training. Foundations Training is not only an introduction to different departmental processes and procedures, but it is an opportunity for the entire department to build connections with one another before the start of the academic year. A range of topics presented by department staff members provide the knowledge and tools for new staff to transition into their role.
Transitioning to the RHD Role
The RHD Selection Committee is the point of contact when preparing for your move and transition to NAU and Flagstaff. Our department helps welcome new staff into our family by answering any questions new staff have and providing tips and tricks to adjusting to the new environment. The returning staff will even be there move in day for all new staff to help individuals move in and make the process as smooth as possible.
The first few months of the role is a transition itself and can be difficult, but the returning staff are present to help. New staff will gain a lot of knowledge through Foundations Training, but RHDs will also learn through their experiences as time goes on. There are designated social events built into the Foundations training schedule that ensure there is time for team building and any questions to be asked in a less formal setting.
Individualized Community Building
The Residential EXperience (REX) is our community building model. It is intended to support the Residential Life mission and serves as an underlying model for all aspects of community building in our residence halls.
In our community building model, we have five target goals that we focus on:
- Sense of Belonging (the core)
- Academic and Career Support
- Leadership and Involvement
- Relationships and Community
- Well Being and Personal Responsibility
With this model, RHDs and GARHDs have a significant amount of autonomy in developing plans for their community and discretion on how to implement their plans with each RA staff.
RHDs are encouraged to continue their development process by taking advantage of different personal and professional learning opportunities. Each year RHDs create a detailed professional development plan based on NASPA/ACPA competencies. By assessing current competencies RHDs prioritize specific areas of development they want to focus on for the year which helps with being more intentional with goal setting.
To accomplish these individualized goals, RHDs over the years have gained experience through many different avenues such as participating in various state, regional, and national organizations. RHDs have had the opportunity to give presentations at student leadership trainings and workshops, have served on different task forces to influence departmental initiatives and are assigned to different departmental committees each academic year. Ultimately, RHDs at NAU have the autonomy to explore personal and professional interests and take initiative in designing their own development plans that can be incorporated into the overall employment experience.
About Flagstaff Accordion Closed
Located in the mountains of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff — or Flag, as the locals call it — offers a scenic environment for living and learning. Named among the top 10 Best College Towns in America by Travel & Leisure magazine, Flagstaff, Arizona is located at the intersection of I-17 and I-40, and is the largest city in Northern Arizona.
The City is also the regional center and county seat for Coconino County, the second largest county in the 48 contiguous states (by area). Flagstaff drew its name from a very tall flagpole made from a pine tree to celebrate our nation’s centennial in 1876. The City is a year-round mecca for visitors. The City of Flagstaff is comprised of just over 64 square miles nestled at the base of the San Francisco Peaks, home to the tallest mountain in Arizona, Humphrey’s Peak. and is in the world’s largest Ponderosa Pine forest. At nearly 7,000 feet, Flagstaff is also one of the highest elevation cities in the United States.
Flagstaff experiences all four seasons in Arizona with iconic scenery locals and visitors love. You’ll find adventure and exploration alongside the small town charm. The city is packed with cultural diversity, history, recreational activities, and so much more! On October 24, 2001, the City of Flagstaff became the World’s First International Dark Sky City, a designation awarded by the International Dark Sky Association. The city’s low-light pollution allows for breathtaking and friendly lighting for stargazing in and near the city. Strolling through downtown will take you through trendy restaurants, craft breweries, and galleries showcasing the local arts scene. Flagstaff seems to have something for everyone.
Historic Downtown Flagstaff
Application Process Accordion Closed
The RHD application process begins with a candidate completing an application on the NAU Human Resources website (link to position announcement).
First Round Interviews
Candidates selected to move forward will be contacted for a first round, 30 minute interview.
Second Round Interviews
Candidates selected to move forward after first round interviews will be contacted for a second round, 45 minute interview.
Candidates selected to move forward will be contacted for permission for the RHD Selection Committee to contact their references.
Candidates invited for final interviews will be asked to join us for a zoom day at NAU. This will include two 45 minute committee interviews and multiple opportunities to interact with our Residential Life community.
Staff Testimonials Accordion Closed
What brought you to NAU?
Morgan Somers (RHD, Mountain View Hall)
I was drawn to NAU from the very beginning of my job search. For one, it’s the most beautiful campus and city I have ever seen, having a view of the mountains every day never gets old to me. What really encouraged me to want to work at NAU was the people I met throughout the process. I had so many genuine interactions with various staff members and students from the start. I didn’t feel like I was just another candidate being asked the same questions over and over again, the staff wanted to get to know me and what I bring to this position. Ever since stepping foot on campus, NAU really felt like a place I could call home.
Payton Albrecht (RHD, South Village Apartments)
The impression I got from NAU during my on-campus interview was that this was going to be a department and work culture that supported my growth and goals as a new professional, so I didn’t really have to think twice before accepting the position. It can be extremely challenging to do everything as a graduate student while balancing coursework, an assistantship, and internship hours. At the end of my job search at NAU I wasn’t left with a feeling of insecurity that any gaps in my experience or resume would be used against me, but rather that I was being given the opportunity to work in a department that was ready to invest me as a new professional to help me gain experience and build new skills.
What keeps you at NAU?
Tyler Conlon (RHD,Courtyards)
For me, having the support to explore my interest areas in student affairs broadly as well as those in housing specifically has kept me at NAU. I feel that I am supported in taking advantage of professional development opportunities that contribute to the department and in service to the field. Personally, I’ve been a part of Arizona NASPA and have felt the support my colleagues and my supervisor in both allowing me the time to pursue these opportunities and in coming to events to support me. NAU is a place where you can invest in yourself long term and know the department will help you along the way.
Serena Brown (RHD, Pine Ridge Village)
My time at NAU has been an experience that has provided me with several opportunities for growth and development. During my time I have been able to oversee our largest building, work with 22 resident assistants and 2 graduate assistants. Working with graduate assistants has been a rewarding experience that has allowed me to gain further supervisory skills. In addition, I always feel supported by my supervisors in my current work and professional steps forward. I am currently using the tuition waiver on another masters and had the opportunity to volunteer at a financial aid office over the summer. Overall, NAU has made me feel prepared for my job and to take my next steps in higher education.
How did the RHD position prepare you for your next professional role?
Bri Ott (Academic Advisor, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Arizona State University)
Being a Residence Hall Director has been one of the most challenging, yet rewarding positions that I have ever had. It challenged me because it pushed me outside of my comfort zone and forced me into a place to grow professionally in all avenues, and with that, has prepared me for the position that I am currently in. I am currently working as an Academic Advisor at Arizona State University, and in my daily responsibilities in this role, and constant interaction with students, I am constantly using skills and tools that I learned in the Residence Hall Director position. As a RHD, I learned how to have valuable conversations with students, how to advise students (with both personal and academic goals), and most importantly how to best connect with students.
Troy Campbell (Assistant Director, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Arizona State University)
The RHD role prepared me tremendously for my current role in Fraternity and Sorority Life by providing me great opportunities for advising a Hall Association. Being a RHD also allowed me so many opportunities to hear all different types of conduct cases. The opportunity to supervise RAs and GARHDs has also prepared me by giving me tools in my tool box when I am working with my current team.
Kelly Goolsby (Community Manager, Fremont Station)
The experience that I gained as a Residence Hall Director at NAU prepared me for my next role in many ways. I was able to get experience in recruiting and selection, training and development, social justice work, counseling, supervising teams, budgets and finance, and many other areas. The skills that I was able to use in my role are among some of the most widely applicable skills that you can have in the professional world. The flexibility needed as a RHD has prepared me for anything that could happen, literally! I think that the most useful skill that I developed as a RHD is my ability to confidently advocate for myself, and to be able to take ownership of the balance I need in my personal and professional life. The staff at NAU, and all of my supervisors, were incredibly supportive and flexible, which made that development a smooth process.