Careers at UMass Amherst

Basic Needs Coordinator - Dean of Students Office

Apply now Job no: 518402
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Dean of Students
Union: PSU
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 

Reporting to the Associate Dean of Students, the Basic Needs Coordinator is responsible for the development, implementation and evaluation of systemic interventions and sustainable programs that ameliorate basic needs in a manner that promotes dignity and minimizes marginalization. 


Essential Functions 

  • Assists in development and implementation of a comprehensive program that assists students in addressing basic needs with primary focus on food, housing, and financial insecurity. 
  • Serves as an advocate and referral point for students experiencing food and/or housing insecurity, navigating barriers to resources and providing direct referral for case management within the Dean of Students Office for holistic student resource support. 
  • Serves as primary contact and maintains community partnerships including the Amherst Survival Center, the Town of Amherst and surrounding area basic needs resources. 
  • Travels within campus worksites and the greater community to provide support, administer programming and transport materials and supplies. 
  • Coordinates and implements daily operational needs for the Student Care Supply Closet(s) for students requesting personal care/cleaning items, maintains supply inventory to determine supply needs and hire, train, and supervise 2-3 undergraduate student staff assistants. 
  • Responsible for development of outreach strategies to students regarding basic needs resources. Implements evidence and data driven perspective through collaboration with campus partners, raises awareness about the prevalence and considerations of food and housing insecurity and works to destigmatize conversations about these topics. This may include classroom visits, flyers and social media, tabling events, workshops, and presentations. 
  • Serves as the Dean of Students Office content expert, and researches best practices, national trends, and maintains updates regarding Basic Needs campus and community resources and identifies areas of growth and learning opportunities for the campus. 
  • Represents the University/Dean of Students Office in external committees on issues associated with student basic needs, including state SPOC (single point of contact) meetings. 
  • Provides semester and annual reporting related to student basic needs cases, reviews case and student record data, and provides insight and recommendations based on trends and patterns. 


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) 

  • Bachelor's Degree. 
  • Two (2) years’  experience working with individuals with multiple personal and life challenges (preferably in a higher education or non-profit setting). 
  • Skilled in coordinating, directing, evaluating, and implementing programs, services, and initiatives. 
  • Knowledge and experience in the areas of student advocacy, food and housing insecurity, community support services, and economic emergency management with a primary focus on hunger and homelessness. 
  • Ability to communicate, engage, and develop rapport with individuals of diverse cultural, social, and religious backgrounds and varied age, gender, and sexual orientation. 
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain collaborative relationships with internal and external constituencies. 
  • Commitment to diversity, social justice, and cultural competence and the ability to work in a multicultural environment and the ability to foster cultural, racial and gender equality on a personal and programmatic level. 
  • Excellent writing, interpersonal communication, and organizational skills. 
  • Valid driver’s license and access to a car for travel to other worksites is required. 


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

  • Significant knowledge of available support resources in Western Massachusetts, or the related experience to identify and make connections with support services and insecurity programs. 


Physical Demands/Working Conditions 

  • Typical office environment/activity. 
  • Ability to lift up to 30 pounds without restrictions. 
  • Required to drive to multiple worksites on campus. 


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 


Special Instructions to Applicants 

Along with the application, please submit a resume, cover letter and contact information for three (3) professional references. The search will remain open until filled.


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information 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 the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action. 

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