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Job ID: 216379

Executive Director, Disabled Students Program (0318U), Disabled Students Program - 53544
University of California, Berkeley

Date Posted Jul. 19, 2023
Title Executive Director, Disabled Students Program (0318U), Disabled Students Program - 53544
University University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA, United States
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Director/Manager
  • Student Affairs

Executive Director, Disabled Students Program (0318U), Disabled Students Program - 53544

About Berkeley

At the University of California, Berkeley, we are committed to creating a community that fosters equity of experience and opportunity, and ensures that students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds feel safe, welcome and included. Our culture of openness, freedom and belonging make it a special place for students, faculty and staff.

The University of California, Berkeley, is one of the world's leading institutions of higher education, distinguished by its combination of internationally recognized academic and research excellence; the transformative opportunity it provides to a large and diverse student body; its public mission and commitment to equity and social justice; and its roots in the California experience, animated by such values as innovation, questioning the status quo, and respect for the environment and nature. Since its founding in 1868, Berkeley has fueled a perpetual renaissance, generating unparalleled intellectual, economic and social value in California, the United States and the world.

We are looking for equity-minded applicants who represent the full diversity of California and who demonstrate a sensitivity to and understanding of the diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ethnic backgrounds present in our community. When you join the team at Berkeley, you can expect to be part of an inclusive, innovative and equity-focused community that approaches higher education as a matter of social justice that requires broad collaboration among faculty, staff, students and community partners. In deciding whether to apply for a position at Berkeley, you are strongly encouraged to consider whether your values align with our Guiding Values and Principles, our Principles of Community, and our Strategic Plan.

At UC Berkeley, we believe that learning is a fundamental part of working, and our goal is for everyone on the Berkeley campus to feel supported and equipped to realize their full potential. We actively support this by providing all of our staff employees with at least 80 hours (10 days) of paid time per year to engage in professional development activities. To find out more about how you can grow your career at UC Berkeley, visit

Departmental Overview

The UC Berkeley Disabled Students' Program (DSP') is one of the oldest disabled student offices in the nation. The campus, considered the home of the Disability Rights/ Independent Living Movement, is the flagship institution for the University of California system. The ED supervises several programs, approximately 50 full time staff, and as many as 400 volunteers and student employees, within the umbrella of DSP, to ensure academic access for approximately 5,000 disabled students and support faculty by significantly facilitating the interactive process. The unit has an annual operating budget of approximately $4.1 million. DSP also has responsibility for fiscally managing a Department of Education TRIO Student Support Services federal grant. The UC Berkeley DSP Executive Director works in a challenging and complex environment, together with faculty and other campus partners, to uphold the civil rights of disabled students and the university's reputation for excellence in teaching, research, and equity.

The DSP Executive Director provides vision and leadership for the campus: innovating, implementing andevolving programming that is crucial to the success of both students and faculty in the classroom and beyond. The ED must both manage the operations of DSP, and build and sustain collaborative relationships across campus with faculty, staff and student leaders. The ED is crucial in helping the campus address the intersectional needs of the disabled community at Berkeley-Almost two in five (37%) DSP students have at least 4 marginalizations/minoritizations (across gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, disability, and class). The ED is also responsible for coordinating response to the needs of an expanding population of students with disabilities, including disabled veterans (wounded warriors), neurodivergent students, and students with psychological and learning disabilities. The ED oversees communication and coordination with subject matter experts in various disabilities, Disability Access and Compliance, UHS, Auxiliary Services, Alternative Media Center, the AIM student service system, Campus Test Proctoring Services, and extramural grant programs for students with disabilities.

The Disabled Students' Program is recognized for its commitment to ensuring that all students with disabilities have equitable access to educational opportunities at UC Berkeley and helps students to achieve academic and social success through its programs.

Application Review Date

The First Review Date for this job is: May 31, 2023


Internal Leadership:

  • Provides leadership, direction, and vision for DSP staff and stakeholders in the provision of a broad spectrum of compliance-based legally mandated services and accommodations for students with disabilities.
  • Provides leadership, direction, and vision for Student Services staff in the provision of student services beyond compliance for students with disabilities (SWD) including TRIO SSS-D, Career Services, the Disability Cultural Center, Autism Spectrum Services, DSP Learning Specialist, and Student Development for students with disabilities. Internal operationalization of this vision and direction is delegated to the Deputy Director at the ED's discretion.
  • Makes strategic decisions that are aligned with the mission, goals, and values of the campus, the Division of Equity and Inclusion (E&I) and the Disabled Students' Program (DSP). Engages in ongoing efforts to improve business processes and practices, including technology and promptness of service provision.
  • Conceptualizes, ensures implementation, and oversees new DSP and Student Services programs and initiatives.
  • In partnership with the leadership team, works with DSP department managers and supervisors to create and maintain a positive office climate for staff and increase staff collaboration within the department and units.
  • In partnership with the Deputy Director, arranges training on leadership for all department managers and supervisors.

Supervision and Management:

  • Oversees the management team (Senior Associate Director, Associate/Assistant Directors, and Business Operations Coordinator) of multiple service units, including compliance services and accommodations units (DSP).
  • Works closely with DSP's management team to develop priorities for the Program and conduct project management. Establishes short- and long-term programmatic goals and objectives and communicates them widely to all staff to ensure collaboration within the unit.
  • Participates in campus Emergency Planning and assists with the development of protocol for assessing and meeting the needs of students with disabilities during crisis events.
  • Oversees the collection and analysis of data to evaluate student success (including disabled student enrollment, retention, and progression through degree programs) and faculty related services.
  • Submits annual reports on program effectiveness and budget needs to Equity and Inclusion and campus stakeholders, to the Office of the President, and the federal Department of Education, among others.
  • Coordinates and manages DSP and Student Services outreach efforts to campus and students in a variety of venues, including DSP Orientation.
  • Conducts bi-weekly meetings with managers and supervisors to allow for collaborative problem solving and transparency.

Service Orientation:

  • Develops systems and processes that serve students, staff, and faculty.
  • Understands how the services of DSP fit into the Division and the campus.
  • Focuses on providing excellent service.
  • Develops new services, both compliance and non-compliance, to meet the emerging and intersectional needs and increase the enrollment and retention rate of students with disabilities at Berkeley.

Campus Leadership, Collaboration, and Outreach:

  • Establishes effective relationships on and off campus.
  • Internally, guides DSP's relations with the campus community, disseminating information about programs and services and building strong relationships with all constituencies.
  • Works closely with campus counsel to ensure that campus programs are accessible to students with disabilities and to ensure compliance with federal and state law and address appeals.
  • Works closely with academic leaders and Academic Senate related to faculty issues, cultural change related to disability and student affairs.
  • Works closely with University Health Services (UHS) on being responsive to emerging needs that arise around matters of disability access and equity.
  • Helps instructors, faculty members, department chairs and deans understand and successfully implement accommodations for students with disabilities.
  • Works with the E&I Division to increase campus awareness and knowledge of enhancing belonging and access for the intersectional needs of our disability community.
  • Works with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions to set policies and practices to identify applicants with disabilities who are likely to succeed at Berkeley; collaborates with the Financial Aid Office to set policies and practices to ensure that students with disabilities receive appropriate financial assistance.
  • Serves as a consultant to the campus administration on the needs of students with disabilities.

Communications and External Relations:

  • Serves as the DSP point of contact for media and is on call for DSP during emergencies and urgent situations that will impact students with disabilities.
  • The ED serves as the primary liaison between DSP and the campus administration, deans, chairs, etc.
  • Represents UC Berkeley DSP to national and statewide organizations including AHEAD, COE, WESTOP, UC Directors meetings and other groups.
  • Provides outreach to advocacy-, service-, and disability-based non- profit, charitable, and governmental organizations; conducts and/or arranges for staff training and development.
  • Consults with scholars and visitors from universities in the United States and other countries concerning the development of services for college students with disabilities; makes presentations at regional and national conferences.

Oversight of Accommodations for Disabled Students (DSP compliance):

  • Oversees the provision of a range of legally-mandated and best practice, curricular and co-curricular services to students with disabilities.
  • Supports the identification, provision, and formalization of accommodations for student groups that have historically been underserved, including graduate students and neurodivergent students
  • Facilitates the Interactive Process and administers the DSP Complaint Process.
  • Documents formal and informal complaints and resolutions for student complaints regarding accommodations.

Oversight of EnrichmentServices:

  • Oversees the provision of a range of equity services for students with disabilities including Career Services, TRIO SSS-D, the Disability Cultural Center, Student
  • Development for SWD, Housing Services, and Autism Spectrum Services.

Resource Management: Budget, Personnel, Technology, Space.

  • Budget (with support of Business Operations Coordinator and Financial Analyst):
  • Responsible for establishing goals and directions for a budget of approximately $4.1 million; this includes campus funds, a federal TRiO grant, and various endowments, temporary funds and donations.
  • Oversees the development of the budget, and the preparation of extramural grant proposals; accountable to external organizations for fiscal, contract and grant management.
  • Oversees recharge activities of services provided to other campus units/entities.


  • Responsible for 50 FTE, various limited staff and student appointees, and over 400 note-taker volunteers.
  • Directly supervises 3.0-5.0 career FTE.
  • Oversees the recruitment, selection, training, and performance management of staff.
  • Makes final decisions on corrective action, salary actions, hiring and separation of employees, and other human resources issues of managed staff.
  • Promotes leadership and professional development opportunities for all staff.
  • Staff are represented by PPSM and two bargaining units.


  • Ensures compliance with campus security and privacy policies and standards. Monitors and implements state-of-the-art assistive technology and alternative media services; researches and evaluates appropriate technologies; and secures funding.
  • Collaborates with other campus units to develop innovative approaches and applications of technology and to ensure web accessibility for students with disabilities.
  • Works with the Deputy Director to ensure ongoing staff updates of the DSP website to ensure that the website accurately reflects current department policy and law.


  • The Program is currently housed in five facilities: a central office in the Cesar Chavez Student Services Center, a Proctoring Center in University Hall, Auxiliary Services in Wheeler Hall, the TRIO SSS-D Program Room in Unit I Residence Hall, and the Disability Cultural Center in Hearst Field Annex.
  • The ED will work with the Deputy Director to ensure smooth transition plans to a centralized DSP Building in Dwinelle Annex and a new location for our Proctoring Services in Hearst Field Annex.
  • Works with other building occupants in maintaining and improving space.

Policy Development.

  • Provides direction for the campus, with campus counsel and faculty leadership in: developing policies that apply in all instructional settings for the provision of academic accommodations and auxiliary services for students with disabilities.
  • Establishes internal operational policies and practices to be followed in verifying documentation, determining students' eligibility, level of services to be provided, and other operating procedures.
  • Participates in campus-wide and system-wide committees that impact policies and programs concerning students with disabilities.
  • Chairs/CoChairs university-wide committees pertinent to issues related to serving students with disabilities.

Revenue Generation.

  • Develops plans for generating resources from outside the campus, including from foundations, corporate donors, and individual donors.
  • Supports staff application for renewal of the TRIO-Student Support Services grant with the federal Department of Education; ensures required progress reports and effort reporting are met.
  • Ensures content for corporate, individual, and foundation funding opportunities are provided to University and Development and Alumni Relations (UDAR) partners.

Required Qualifications

Competency to work with diverse communities:

  • Knowledgeable concerning intersectionality as a dynamic within the disability community: Almost two in five (37%) DSP students have at least 4 marginalizations/minoritizations (across gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, disability, and class).
  • Able to apply a disability justice framework to a DSO setting: 36% of DSP students are Underrepresented Minorities (URM') (and a majority are students of color), and 54% of DSP students are EOP eligible (URM, first generation college students, or low income students).
  • Committed to innovating for disability and gender equity: DSP students are more likely than the average undergraduate to be women, trans/gender non-conforming, URM,re-entry students, current/former foster youth, first generation college students, and low income.

Expertise in subject matter:

  • Background in and familiarity with effective programs and services for students with disabilities in a college or university environment.
  • Extensive knowledge and political/philosophical understanding of disabilities and neurodivergence understanding of the legal framework involving accommodations for disabilities through state and federal laws and regulations.
  • Familiarity with assistive technology for students with disabilities.

Leadership skills:

  • Excellent management and leadership skills; values collaborative solutions to complex problems demonstrated skills to lead, motivate and influence staff at all levels.
  • Keen sense of organizational acumen: understanding the campus culture, processes, procedures, and how decisions are made.
  • Advanced experience in managing and analyzing complex organizations, and successful use of process improvement strategies (KPIs, SMART Goals, etc).
  • Demonstrated skills in problem identification, sound judgment and transparent decision-making, critical thinking and creative problem solving.

Interpersonal and communication skills:

  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, including demonstrated ability to communicate clearly and effectively.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with a broad range of students with disabilities.
  • Experience in building successful collaborative relationships with a range of faculty and staff across unit boundaries.

Program and project management skills:

  • Experience in planning, implementing, and evaluating student service programs.
  • Track record of innovation and resourcefulness in meeting students' and faculty's needs for excellent organizational skills.

Administrative skills:

  • Demonstrated excellent supervisory skills with professional staff familiarity with personnel policies and practices.
  • Excellent skills in resource management in a complex organization: understanding and experience with managing financial, information, technology, and space resources.


  • Advanced degree in related area and / or equivalent experience / training.

Preferred Qualifications


  • Terminal Degree in a related area and / or equivalent experience / training.

Salary & Benefits

For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University, please visit the University of California's Compensation & Benefits website.

Under California law, the University of California, Berkeley is required to provide a reasonable estimate of the compensation range for this role and should not offer a salary outside of the range posted in this job announcement. This range takes into account the wide range of factors that are considered in making compensation decisions including but not limited to experience, skills, knowledge, abilities, education, licensure and certifications, analysis of internal equity, and other business and organizational needs. It is not typical for an individual to be offered a salary at or near the top of the range for a position. Salary offers are determined based on final candidate qualifications and experience.

The budgeted salary or hourly range that the University reasonably expects to pay for this position is $160,000.00 - $205,000.00.

  • This is a 100% full-time (40 hours per week), career position that is eligible for full UC benefits.
  • This position is exempt and paid monthly.
  • This is a hybrid position, eligible for 40% remote capability.

How to Apply

To apply, please submit your resume and cover letter.

Diversity Statement

Please include, as part of your application a brief (1-2 paragraph) statement on your contributions to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in your professional experience.

Advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion are fundamental to our UC Berkeley Principles of Community, which states that "every member of the UC Berkeley community has a role in sustaining a safe, caring, and humane environment in which these values can thrive."

Conviction History Background

This is a designated position requiring fingerprinting and a background check due to the nature of the job responsibilities. Berkeley does hire people with conviction histories and reviews information received in the context of the job responsibilities. The University reserves the right to make employment contingent upon successful completion of the background check.

Mandated Reporter

This position has been identified as a Mandated Reporter required to report the observed or suspected abuse or neglect of children, dependent adults, or elders to designated law enforcement or social service agencies. We reserve the right to make employment contingent upon completion of signed statements acknowledging the responsibilities of a Mandated Reporter.

Equal Employment Opportunity

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status. For more information about your rights as an applicant, please see the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission poster.

For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy, please see the University of California Discrimination, Harassment, and Affirmative Action in the Workplace policy.

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