Massachusetts Education Jobs

MassHire JobQuest Logo

Job Information

University of Massachusetts Amherst Director of Basic Needs Initiatives in Amherst, Massachusetts

Director of Basic Needs Initiatives

Apply now ( Job no: 522397

Work type: Staff Full Time

Location: UMass Amherst

Department:Dean of Students


Categories: Student Affairs & Services

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.

Job Summary

Under the general direction of the Senior Associate Dean of Students, the Director of Basic Needs Initiatives performs a variety of functions and responsibilities related to the delivery of student support services with primary responsibility for the leadership, oversight and day-to-day operation of the Dean of Students office basic needs programs and services.

Essential Functions

  • Provides strategic leadership and supervision of the Dean of Students Office basic needs initiatives including but not limited to, Student Care Emergency Fund, Short Term Emergency Loans, Meal Swipe Programs and Student Care Supply Closet.

  • Responsible for the selection, training, and supervision of Graduate (1-2) and Undergraduate student employees (3-4).

  • Develops, implements, and assesses basic needs initiatives addressing students’ basic needs around food, housing, financial, technology, etc.

  • Develops and implements policies and processes for effective triage of referrals, standards for working with students experiencing basic needs insecurity, and processes for effective referrals to campus resources and community agencies.

  • Meets with students experiencing basic needs insecurity, determines eligibility for University resources, identifies possible federal/state/local resources that are available, and supports students in accessing basic needs programs and services on and off campus.

  • Maintains effective partnerships with key departments including but not limited to: Residential Life, Student Success, Financial Aid Services, Bursars Office, Office of Equity and Inclusion, and programs and services within the Advocacy, Inclusion and Support Programs.

  • Develops and maintains effective partnerships with key community organizations that provide support to individuals experiencing basic needs insecurity including but not limited to, food banks, shelters, religious organizations, state agencies, etc. Represents the University on external committees regarding issues associated with student basic needs, including Massachusetts State Single Point of Contact meetings.

  • Develops and oversees budgets in collaboration with the Dean of Students and SACL Finance.

  • In partnership with the Dean of Students and Senior Associate Dean of Students develops and executes ongoing fundraising initiatives, as well as researches, identifies, and supports grant applications for federal, state, and local funding opportunities.

  • Stays abreast of legislation, legal precedent, and best practices as they relate to basic needs programs and services and takes steps to ensure University policy and procedures are updated accordingly. Serves as the Dean of Students Office/SACL content expert regarding basic needs.

  • Develops and implements multimodal communication strategies to inform campus community of campus and community basic needs resources, trends in students’ need and usage of basic needs resources.

  • Supports the Dean of Students Leadership team in the development and implementation of programs, policies, and procedures. Represents the Dean of Students Office and Dean of Students Collaborative on University committees.

  • Conducts programs and trainings, which may include assisting in transporting materials and supplies.

Other Functions

  • Performs related duties as assigned or required. Understands responsibilities with respect to Title IX, Clery and other compliance requirements.

  • Demonstrates capacity, skill, and willingness to engage students and contribute to student success.

  • Understands responsibilities with respect to conflicts of interest and behaves in ways consistent both with law and with university policy.

  • Contributes toward creating a positive and respectful workplace. Uses access to sensitive and/or not yet public university related information only in the performance of the responsibilities of position and exercises care to prevent unnecessary disclosure to others.

Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Master’s Degree in a related field including but not limited to Higher Education, Student Affairs, Public Policy, Counseling Education, and Nonprofit Management.

  • Five (5) years’ experience providing services to students at a college/university or community agency which includes direct experience in supporting students/individuals experiencing basic needs insecurity.

  • Understanding of basic needs concerns on college campuses and awareness of best practices, and federal/state/local agencies providing basic needs resources.

  • Demonstrated ability and experience in developing and maintaining positive, collaborative relationships with internal and external constituencies.

  • Demonstrated experience working with diverse populations and in developing inclusive communities and work teams.

  • Excellent administrative skills including experience using a web-based software platform to initiate, track, and record work, and computer skills including Microsoft suite products.

  • Demonstrated experience creating and delivering trainings, workshops, and presentations.

  • Excellent communication (oral and written) and presentation skills.

  • Class D Driver's License or equivalent upon hire.

Physical Demands/Working Conditions

  • Typical office environment/activity.

  • Ability to lift 30 pounds without restrictions.

  • The position duties include frequent walking, standing, lifting, and carrying, as well as seated desk activities. The Supply Closet functions require loading/unloading personal care and cleaning supplies.

  • Position occasionally requires driving a University vehicle.

Work Schedule

  • Typical work schedule: Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm.

  • Required to work some nights and weekends.

  • Position tasks are generally required to be performed in-person with some flexibility for a remote or hybrid work schedule on occasion.

Salary Information

Level 28

PSU Hiring Range (

Special Instructions to Applicants

Please upload a resume along with the completed application. References will be checked at the finalist stage. Please be prepared to provide contact information for three (3) professional references.

UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, caste, creed, sex, age, marital status, national origin, disability, political belief or affiliation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related condition(s), veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, natural and protective hairstyle and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University. To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans. It is the policy of UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

Advertised: Feb 13 2024 Eastern Standard Time

Applications close: Jun 16 2024 Eastern Daylight Time