If you would like to learn more about UWL Residence Life, take some time to view our blog.
We have included detailed information about our Hall Director role in the drop-down tabs so that you can decide if La Crosse is a fit for you! If you have any questions, please email Lisa Weston.
Dear Prospective Colleague,
You are curious. As you are searching for your next professional position, you have landed here, in hopes of learning more about the Residence Life program at the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse and are wondering if it would be a good step for you. How can you tell? How do you know if a university is going to challenge you professionally and offer the type of environment that appeals to your strengths and passions? The answer is… you cannot absolutely know while you are still learning about us. However, I can help you consider if UWL is a good place for you by sharing with you where our program is going and let you make the decision.
UWL has recently completed a new Strategic Plan and Residence Life is certainly thinking about our future with these things in mind. Learn more about the University’s Priorities, Goals and, Action Steps.
UWL Strategic Goal #1 - Achieving Excellence Through Equity & Diversity
Our department is currently assessing and redesigning our inclusion and diversity efforts to be more purposeful and intentional. Presently, we host a large array of diversity initiatives and programs that we carry out every year. We work closely with our campus partners to support all university diversity efforts. We train our staff continually in efforts of diversity. We know it is not enough and we need to do more. We are looking for new professionals who can help us build upon what we have done and move us forward in new areas as well. We are looking for staff who can help us create and implement a diversity curriculum that fully connects all areas of our department. Do you have a passion for social justice, inclusion and equity? Then UWL may be the right fit for you.
UWL Strategic Goal #2 - Increasing Community Engagement
The La Crosse community is full of opportunity. It offers more than meets the eye in terms of entertainment, culture, business, and recreation/wellness. Our residence hall students frequently volunteer, work, complete internships and recreate within the La Crosse community. We will be exploring how we might partner even more within the community in terms of possible living learning and thematic living communities. We will be asking ourselves how we can more connect our on campus living communities with the vibrant community that surrounds us in order to inspire the civic engagement and investment that our students desire. Does the idea of helping students engage in their residence hall community as well as the larger community around them energize you? Do you enjoy helping students make connections that will last into their adulthood? If yes, then UWL may be a good place to use that energy.
UWL Strategic Goal #3 - Investing In our People
After hiring a new Hall Director or Assistant Hall Director, we believe that it is our responsibility to create a good working experience as well as prepare them for the next step in their professional career. We will invest in you by giving you the autonomy to build your own residence hall community. We will invest in you by providing professional development opportunities in terms of training, conferences and attentive supervision. We will invest in you by working with you to provide experiences you do not have but wish to gain. We know that when our Professional Staff are valued and developed, they do the same for our Student Staff and for their peers. Are you ready to grow? Do you desire to support and help your teammates develop? Are you ready to invest in our students and student staff? If yes, then UWL is a great professional step for your own development as well as the growth of our students.
UWL Strategic Goal #4 - Transformational Education
University of Wisconsin–La Crosse students are very smart. UWL retains students at a higher level than the national average. Bright students require outside the box thinking. Residence Life is valued at UWL, as we contribute to the overall academic success of our residence hall students and our campus leaders know that. While we have dipped our toes in the Living Learning Communities world in the past, we will be spending the next few years assessing and exploring how we can redesign and create more high impact learning opportunities in partnership with departments and colleges. We are looking for staff who can think creatively and embrace faculty and other academic partners to provide unique learning opportunities. Does this speak to your passion and skills? If yes, then your desire to connect the classroom to the living environment will be put to good use at UWL.
I have highlighted four areas of anticipated growth for our department over the next few years. I think this paints a picture of who we are and who we hope to be. By doing so, I hope it also clarifies the role you could have within our department if you choose to pursue your candidacy. If what you have read energizes you, UWL is a great next step for you!
Director of Residence Life
The Residence Hall Director is a member of the professional staff within the Office of Residence Life which is in the Division of Student Affairs. The Residence Hall Director’s primary responsibility is to an assigned residence hall. In addition, the Residence Hall Director has shared responsibility for other significant aspects in the Office of Residence Life. The Residence Hall Director is supervised by an Assistant Director of Residence Life. The position is a twelve month appointment with reappointment contingent upon an annual evaluation.
The following job responsibilities will require Residence Hall Directors to work evenings and some weekends to meet the needs of the department, and to maximize our effectiveness in working with students.
Terms of Employment
The Residence Hall Director position in Residence Life at UW-La Crosse is intended to be an entry level position for professionals who have obtained a Master's Degree in Student Affairs, Counseling or a related field. Our desire is to provide a vast array of opportunities that improve competencies and increase confidence in the skills and abilities of our Residence Hall Directors. Our focus on professional development and advancement in career objectives is evident in our office culture. For these reasons a Hall Director's term of employment is renewable each year based on successful performance for up to 6 years of employment.
Benefits include a furnished apartment, meal plan, comprehensive State benefits package, professional development funds, cable, internet, parking, laptop computer, and a personal washer and dryer.
Please note that all totals are estimates based on 2016-2017 data and are not exact figures.
(Social Security, Health Insurance, Retirement)
22 days of sick leave and 24 days of vacation per year
For information regarding medical benefit options, please visit our Human Resources site here: https://www.wisconsin.edu/ohrwd/benefits/med/sgh/
For information regarding Social Security and Retirement, please visit our Human Resources department here or by calling 608.785.8013.
Partially furnished apartment including utilities, cable television, and a land-line telephone
Reserved Parking space paid for by the department (approximately $355)
169 per semester ($5.00/meal) = $1,700.00/year (approximate). Available when dining halls are open.
Professional Development Travel
$1,100 for all full-time staff
$200 to be used at the university book store, convenience store, vending or dining options
Unlimited use of private laundry (located in apartment or basement of building)
Wondering how UWL salary compares with others? Be sure to take into consideration the cost of living in each area. This neat tool will help you compare: http://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost-of-living/ (La Crosse is most similar to Eau Claire, Wisconsin)
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
A statement from UWL Human Resources:
"On Tuesday, November 22, a federal judge in Texas blocked the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) new federal overtime rule, which would have raised the Fair Labor Standard Act’s (FLSA’s) salary threshold for exemption from overtime pay. Because of this action, the changes to the FLSA are on hold until further notice and the UW System will not implement changes to employees’ FLSA status on December 1, 2016. The preliminary injunction by this federal judge is not a final decision and there is a possibility that the new federal overtime rule may be implemented at a later date."
Although our plan is on hold, in the interest of being transparent, we will leave our FLSA compliance intentions posted here. If the new overtime rule were to be implemented, we will move forward with our original plan.
We have diligently worked toward evaluating all options for FLSA compliance. With collaboration from UWL Human Resources and after gathering input from all professionals in Residence Life impacted by this change occurring on December 1, 2016, we have determined that Hall Directors will become Non-Exempt. This means that most weeks, Hall Directors will work 40 hours. We feel confident that the critical parts of the Hall Director role can be completed within this time frame. We acknowledge that there are certain weeks of the year (example: Hall Opening) where Hall Directors will be asked to work more than 40 hours. When we can anticipate those weeks, we will pay Hall Directors overtime for their additional work. In instances where emergencies or student crisis occur and a Hall Director must work over 40 hours to address the situation and support students, comp time will be earned.
We value the spirit of the Fair Labor Standards Act and agree that all professionals should be adequately compensated for the work they do.
The Office of Residence Life supports inclusive live-in requests for additional apartment occupants. Partners, spouses, and others often become part of the hall community. Parking spaces and meal plans are not provided for those living with the Hall Director. However, a residential parking space can be purchased for a fee. More details about this benefit program for the University of Wisconsin System can be found here: https://www.wisconsin.edu/ohrwd/benefits/dp/
Professional staff in the Office of Residence Life love pets and we are pleased to have a pet policy that allows full-time, live-in professionals to have a furry friend. Up to two pets are permitted in the apartment, depending on the type of animal(s) you have. One dog, two cats, or small caged animals like hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits are allowed. We have a specific approval process and standards that need to be adhered to for our pet policy including, but not limited to, current vaccinations and licensure with the city of La Crosse. Please note that Hall Directors in their first year of employment are permitted to obtain a new pet anytime after October 1. More information on the other stipulations of the pet policy can be discussed when pet ownership becomes a reality.
If the Office of Residence Life at UW-La Crosse is a place where you can envision incorporating your experiences and putting your Master’s Degree into practice, apply online at https://employment.uwlax.edu/. When applying, use position number 599.
In your cover letter, please include what interests you about being a Hall Director at UW-La Crosse. Also indicate if you will be attending the Oshkosh Placement Exchange (OPE).
UW-La Crosse will be attending the Oshkosh Placement Exchange. We are OPE Mailbox #2001. We will not be attending any other placement exchanges. However, we will do phone interviews with top candidates who are unable to attend OPE.
Applicants must have a Master’s Degree in Student Affairs, Counseling, or a related field. Prior residence life leadership experience is also required. Additional information is available by contacting Lisa Weston, Residence Hall Director Search Committee Chair.
UW-La Crosse Residence Life has been able to host the following events and award winning delegations/staff members:
- NACURH 1999
- WURHA 2001
- GLACURH Regional Conference 2005
- UMR-ACUHO Regional Conference 2007
- French Dip 2011
- WURHA 2014
- UWL Residence Life Reunion - June 2014*
- UMR-ACUHO Regional Conference 2015
- GLACURH Regional Conference 2017
Find out more about the UW-La Crosse campus and the La Crosse area:
* UWL Residence Life hosted a reunion weekend for all former employees. All student staff, professional staff, and support staff, past and present, were invited to stay on campus for the weekend.
NACURH: National Association of College and University Residence Halls
GLACURH: Great Lakes Association of College and University Residence Halls
WURHA: Wisconsin United Residence Hall Association
UMR-ACUHO: Upper Midwest Region-Association of College and University Housing Officers
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
The UW-La Crosse campus is nestled in a residential area of the City of La Crosse (pop. 52,000) located in western Wisconsin. The area, known as the 7 Rivers Region, is famous for its exceptional natural beauty which includes the Mississippi River on one side, majestic bluffs on the other, and views of rolling farmland and forested valleys in between. Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top ten “Best Places to Live” in 2009, La Crosse is one of the most scenic places in mid-America. Abundant water, woodlands and varying terrain provide ample opportunities for year-round outdoor recreation. Only a couple of hours from Minneapolis or Madison, La Crosse enjoys the affordability and charm of small town living with larger city benefits. Three colleges, two world-class medical institutions, the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra, a restored nineteenth century downtown business district, and a number of galleries and art centers have made La Crosse a regional center for culture, entertainment, medical care, shopping, sports and recreation.
What sets us apart?!
We are proud of our students, staff, and campus partners. Take some time to read through the following testimonials about our Residence Life program:
I chose UWL because of the incredible ability to say "yes" more than "no." When students have a new idea or a problem solving plan, I am given the support to say "yes" to them and help them make great things happen. This leads to our students searching for grandiose ideas to impact their living communities. It also challenges our students to become problem solvers instead of problem identifiers. They sincerely take ownership in their living environments because we are able to support them!
Why UWL? Because I get to be exactly who I am and be fully supported by my staff team and my supervisor. I get to work on initiatives to help make this campus better everyday, alongside professionals in the area I want to go into. Their passion for students and student staff has inspired me to pursue Student Affairs for my career. Ultimately, my why UWL is because I get to have a home like I have never had before and help to create the same experience for others.
I chose UWL's Residence Life program because I saw authentic student investment. The students that attend UWL have dreams and aspirations to influence a large sphere and make an impact. The individuals that work in Residence Life mirror the drive, passion, and excitement to serve the students that attend UWL. I have personally seen support and encouragement to step outside my professional comfort zone to learn and grow. I will be forever grateful of the opportunities UWL Residence Life has provided for my professional development.
UWL is definitely a unique place to live, work, and play. There are opportunities for everyone right at your fingertips. I chose UWL because of the vast variety of outdoor activities and resources, along with the true community feel I immediately felt the first day I walked on campus. Residence Life has allowed me to express my own values and it has given me the resources to grow into the person I always knew I could become.
Pedro Zavala, Resident Assistant
I chose UWL's Residence Life program because I saw an opportunity for development both academically and personally. This program is filled with individuals who want to see you grow and become a leader in your profession. The extensive training and support that I have received from the department itself, is indescribable, the Res Life Program aims to prepare you with the right tools to be the best you can be at your role. In addition, I have made some life lasting relationships both professional and personal. My only regret is that I did not apply earlier to be part of this outstanding program.
What sets UWL apart is our students and the focus we place on them. Students on my staff and in my building not only expect the most out of themselves, but their Hall Director. They continually motivate me to be better because they show me that they deserve it. So many of my students not only regularly attend programs, they seek out and often create additional ways to become involved. I am surrounded by incredible student leaders and I find myself fortunate to be part of a department that genuinely cares about their experience.
Becky Schwartz, Resident Assistant
As cheesy as it is, I chose UWL because of my first campus visit. I was walking through campus and it just 'felt right'- like I was at home. Wanting to deepen my involvement on campus, I became a Resident Assistant my sophomore year, and I fell even further in love with UWL. I felt like I had found 'my people' in Residence Life. I've been challenged to step outside my comfort zone, and my ResLife family has supported me both personally and professionally through it all. The skills and confidence I've learned through working for this department have given me a competitive advantage for my rapidly approaching job search. The sense of community, support, and knowledge I've received from ORL is beyond measure, and I am so grateful for my experiences in Residence Life!
Klare Armstrong, Hall Director
Two words. Student centered. As I made my way through my professional job search this past spring, those were the words that echoed in my mind as I thought of my time interviewing with UWL. I wanted to work for an institution that valued student thought, focused on student development, and kept the 'student experience' in the foreground of all decisions. I found that and so much more at UWL. As a new professional I am constantly blown away by the camaraderie, collaboration, and constant strive towards doing and being better. At UWL I have found an institution that supports my professional growth and development, while allowing me to be my authentic self.
Amolia Schumacher, Desk Coordinator
Since my first year at UWL, I have been fairly involved in the residence halls and on campus. I continued to meet and work with wonderful people in the Office of Residence Life, and I knew I wanted to become the kind of resource I had found within ORL. Applying to be a Student Staff member meant being able to work closely with all the people I was getting to know and forming the types of relationships that last well beyond graduation. In my time with the Office of Residence Life, I have found the freedom to think and act for myself, while having the constant support that has ensured my success. Working within this organization even helped me decide what I wanted to do after graduation as I will be pursuing a degree in Student Affairs. I owe all this and more to ORL and the people within it.
Hanah Diebold, Hall Director
Growing up in Arcadia, La Crosse and UWL were basically in my backyard. I grew up spending a lot of time in the area, and I was familiar with UWL’s positive reputation. After moving away and spending some time outside Wisconsin for grad school and work, I knew I wanted to move back to the area to be closer to family and to experience a sense of familiarity. When I interviewed for the position, I immediately felt at home; I felt respected as a professional and valued as a person! I’ve had so many wonderful interactions with students, staff, and the UWL/La Crosse community and I have felt at home here. The care shown by everyone at UWL has been encouraging and makes me proud to be here and privileged to work with a wonderful group of students, staff, and faculty!
Zachary Delgado, Desk Coordinator
There are many reasons to choose UWL’s Residence Life Program, but I think what stands out for me the most is the level of care they have for each student. UWL really made me feel welcomed and a part of something the moment I stepped foot on campus. I was able to call La Crosse home the day I moved in. As a student staff member, I love that I am able to communicate with anyone on the professional and central staff and know that my opinions and ideas matter.
Bridget Fish, Resident Assistant
From the first day on campus I knew UW-La Crosse was the place for me. I chose UWL to call home for the next four years and yearned to give back to the campus that has helped me become the person I am today. My freshman year gave me great friendships, wonderful development opportunities, and fantastic memories. With that, I chose to get involved with ORL and joined the Residence Hall Association Council. With my two years in RHAC, I learned more about UWL. The university values and mission statement have allowed students to grow and succeed in numerous ways and helped fuel my passion for working with college students and aided me in choosing to work with ORL as a Resident Assistant. I have enjoyed every opportunity I have been allowed as a student and as an employee at UWL and will relish the memories that have come to me along the way.
Living, learning, and working within the Office of Residence Life is something special and is an integral part of the student experience here at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. The work of our dedicated students and professionals within Residence Life complements and enhances the academic experience for the 3,500 students who reside on campus. I am continually amazed by the generosity and care of the residents in our eleven halls. Through their programming and community development they bring awareness to a variety of philanthropic efforts, support academic efforts, and provide opportunities for positive social connections. The Residence Life program here at UWL continues to be viewed as a point of pride for this institution and is an instrumental piece for our students' journey to success.