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Residential College Assistant Chair


The 2023-24 application deadline has passed.  Recruitment for the 2024-25 academic year will begin in spring of 2024.


Position Description

Assistant Chairs are Northwestern doctoral students appointed by the Director of Residential and Academic Engagement on the recommendation of the Faculty Chairs of residential colleges. Appointment requires an interview by the Associate Director of Residential Colleges, who recruits a pool of applicants from which Faculty Chairs may select candidates for their college. Reporting to the Associate Director, Assistant Chairs work most closely with their residential college’s Faculty Chair and student executive board members, they also have responsibilities to the Office of Residential Experience and collaborate with the Residential staff of the college.

Assistant Chairs must be in residence at Northwestern through the academic year, from early September through the week of Commencement in June, apart from University holidays. Absences for three or more consecutive days (including weekends) require permission in advance from both the Faculty Chair and the Associate Director. 

The work commitment averages 10 hours per week during the academic year. The overall percentage of time devoted to each area outlined below may vary at different points of the year. Assistant Chairs are expected to always conduct themselves in an appropriate and professional manner in their role with responsibilities ranging from student advising to financial transactions. Specific duties and assignments are subject to change based on the needs of the Faculty Chair or Residential and Academic Engagement.

Assisting Faculty Chair with Programming and Community

  1. Building relationships with students and fellows.
  2. Implementing academic and cultural programs.
  3. Facilitating spending and reimbursements.
  4. Alerting the Faculty Chair to important issues in the college.
  5. Recommending the appointment of graduate associates.

Advising College Executive Board and Student Members

  1. Informally advising student members.
  2. Formally advising the college executive board.
  3. Overseeing spending with college debit cards.
  4. Attending designated college meetings.
  5. Holding office hours.

Performing Administrative Duties for Residential and Academic Engagement (RAE)

  1. Coordinating college participation in RAE programs.
  2. Attending meetings with the Associate Director.
  3. Preparing monthly reports on college programs.
  4. Participating in the annual conference for new executive board members.

Collaborating with Residential Experience

  1. Maintaining regular communication with the college’s Resident Director.
  2. Referring executive board business as needed to the Resident Director.
  3. Consulting with Resident Director about programming.
  4. Share facilities concerns with the Resident Director.


Assistant Chairs receive an annual supplemental stipend (currently $11,164) allocated through monthly paychecks (September through June inclusively) plus access to periodic meals with the affiliated residential college during academic sessions.

Information for Prospective Applicants

Qualifications for Prospective Applicants

To be eligible, an applicant must be:

Anticipated Openings for the 2023-24 Academic Year

To learn more about the colleges with anticipated openings visit the residential college housing pages.

Informational Sessions

Interested doctoral students are encouraged to contact Nancy Anderson for an individual consultation by Zoom or phone.

Indication of Preference

The themes of residential colleges that have one are not extensions of academic departments. When you consider where to apply, follow your interests and not necessarily your field of study. Residential colleges provide the opportunity for people to meet a variety of people who share diverse interests.

You may apply to multiple colleges with posted openings, but do not indicate any ranking or preference; doing so may jeopardize your chances with colleges lower on the list because your application will be sent to the Faculty Chair of each college you select.


Not all applicants are interviewed. Appointment requires an interview both with the Faculty Chair of the college and the Associate Director of the Office of Residential Colleges. Generally, appointments are made by mid-June.

Application Process

Access the Assistant Chair application form to apply. All applications must be received by 4:00 PM, Tuesday, May 9, 2023.  

To complete your application:

  1. Submit the Assistant Chair application form.
  2. Upload your CV to the TGS Interdisciplinary GAship Application Portal, and
  3. Ensure your departmental advisor or Director of Graduate Studies approves your interest to apply in the online TGS Interdisciplinary GAship Application Portal. Prior to the application deadline, communicate with your advisor or DGS about your interest so they are aware and approve of this professional development opportunity you seek as it connects with your educational/career plans.


Contact Nancy Anderson, Associate Director, Residential Colleges,