1001 S. Wright St., Champaign, IL 61820 | Summer Hours: M-F, 10AM-4PM |  hello.ymca@universityymca.org  |  (217) 337-1500

Director for Student Leadership and Engagement

Champaign, IL
Jim Hinterlong

University YMCA

The University YMCA, founded in 1873, develops campus and community leaders committed to social justice, environmental protection, interfaith cooperation and global engagement by fostering dialogue, reflection and action.



The University YMCA of the University of Illinois seeks a Director for Student Leadership and Engagement to join, guide, and facilitate our efforts as a student-centered organization. We seek an experienced team member to a) design and lead staff-directed programming for students and non-students, and b)dedicated to welcoming and connecting all students through dialogue, action, reflection, and advocacy to issues focused on social justice, environmental protection, interfaith cooperation and global engagement.We are actively engaged in understanding ourselves as a progressive and historically white organization, and in learning how to dismantle the explicit and implicit barriers to becoming an anti-racist organization.

Through your own leadership and example, you will help us to develop, invite and encourage the broadest possible participation in our staff-led programming, like Friday Forum, Art @ the Y, Bailey Scholarship Program, and interfaith programs, particularly among students who are underrepresented in the University Y. You will provide mentorship to a talented and diverse array of students who create, lead and participate in student-, staff- and community-directed initiatives. Some of our students approach this work through an advocacy lens, others embrace their role as an activist. We expect you to bring your own voice and history of deep, values-driven engagement with issues related to our mission.

Our students are valuable contributors to the governance of the University Y. Each affiliated student organization can nominate a full, voting representative to our Board of Governors. Students hold other at-large seats as well. You will help us to foster a strong sense of purpose and efficacy for these individuals and our Student Board as a whole. For 150 years, the University Y has served as a bridge between stakeholders, forum for dialogue, and space for innovative and creative action. As a staff member, you will work with undergraduate and graduate students, community members and leaders, and University faculty, staff and administrators. Some of these will be donors and friends of the organization, some will represent key partner organizations. Your ability to forge effective collaborations aimed at effectively addressing significant issues and seizing emerging opportunities will be invaluable.

We recognize that different persons will vary in how they demonstrate the qualities and qualifications for this role. We are committed to understanding from you how you would bring abilities, experience and perspective to our staff team. If you believe you are a great fit for this position, we strongly encourage you to apply. We are committed to ensuring equal employment opportunities for all job applicants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability, marital status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other protected status. In addition to federal law requirements, we comply with applicable state and local laws governing non-discrimination in employment in every location we work.

Interested applicants should send a cover letter, current resume, and contact information for three references to jobs@universityymca.org. The cover letter should explain how your experience aligns with these qualifications, and describe your passion and fit for this position. The subject line of your email should be “Director of Student Leadership and Engagement Application” and attach your cover letter, resume and reference names and contact information.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Questions may be sent to the search committee chair: Ann Rasmus (ann@universityymca.org).

We conduct background and motor vehicle record checks on finalists prior to extending an offer of employment.


The salary range for this position is $44,000 to $50,000. Final salary will be commensurate with experience and background, and with attention to equity for all personnel in the organization. We currently have less than a 3:1 ratio between our highest and lowest paid full-time employees.

A generous benefit package is available, including five weeks of paid vacation leave, as well as paid sick and parental leave; employee and dependent life, health, dental and vision insurance; and the option to participate in the National YMCA Retirement Fund after two years of employment, as well as other retirement savings programs. Benefit eligibility and coverage details can be provided upon request.


  • Proven track record in leading and developing student-centered programs
  • Demonstrated commitment to social justice and equity
  • Demonstrated experience in effectively fostering an environment of inclusivity, equity and diversity
  • Demonstrated ability to establish and work collaboratively with diverse teams of students, staff, board, volunteer and community members
  • Demonstrated ability to champion and tell the stories of our students, and help them do the same
  • Demonstrated understanding of how to establish and maintain healthy, positive professional relationships with students and others
  • Experience advising and supporting racially underrepresented student populations
  • Experience with shared student governance
  • Skills and experience in assisting students to understand and successfully navigate transitions
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Experience in using social media to engage students and other stakeholder
  • Familiarity with managing and aligning resources with mission

Job Duties & Responsibilities

In collaboration with students, staff, board members and community partners:

  • Contribute to the design and delivery of the University Y’s staff-led programming, including Friday Forum, Art @ the Y, Bailey Scholarship, and interfaith cooperation
  • Promote programmatic and student-centered collaboration with the New American Welcome Center
  • Foster trust and healthy relationships with and among students and others affiliated with the University Y
  • Design, develop and direct trainings, workshops and other leadership development opportunities for students
  • Actively connect students, student organizations and building residents to the University Y’s mission, especially those who are not currently or historically involved with the organization
  • Personally demonstrate, and create and lead initiatives that teach, model and encourage collaboration, civil dialogue, and respectful, constructive approaches to identifying and resolving conflict and disagreement
  • Develop and deliver programming for the Bailey Scholars Program in coordination with the Program Administrator and the Program Steering Committee (https://universityymca.org/bailey/)
  • Maintain a flexible work schedule, including nights and weekends, that fits the programming needs of diverse audiences

Essential Knowledge & Skills

  • Ability to communicate effectively across diverse backgrounds, languages, and cultural perspectives
  • Experience in leading and developing programs that involve students in mutually-beneficial community-university partnerships
  • Experience in higher education or community-based non-profit organizations
  • Experience equivalent to, or a graduate degree in a field related to the position responsibilities.
  • Experience in supervising other persons and employees
  • Trained intergroup or sustained dialogue facilitator
  • Skills and experience specific to leading social justice, antiracist, interfaith, or environmental work