Director of Outdoor Leadership Programs, Mountain Campus

Apply now Job no: 494652
Work type: Staff Full-Time
Location: Denver, CO, Livermore, CO
Categories: Athletics / Recreation

Located where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains, the University of Denver embodies the spirit of exploration and discovery that defines our region and our history. DU is a private institution built on exploration through research and collaboration among educators, students, and local and global communities. With nationally recognized academic programs, a history of widespread influence, a forward-looking vision for a 21st-century education, and a deep commitment to promoting inclusion, we open a world of opportunity to students and empower Pioneers to make a difference around the world. Through learning, scholarship and practice, students gain the experience, knowledge, and courage they need to tackle big challenges in the real world and guide diverse communities and organizations.

At the Division of Athletics and Recreation, we build Pioneers for Life through excellence, character, and connection. We operate with a championship mindset; and we create and foster a winning culture every day. Inspired by our location in the Rocky Mountain West, we always find a better way forward; we work with optimism, passion, grit, and integrity. We forge lasting relationships one interaction at time; and our value to the University of Denver is the degree to which we offer connection points to a broad and diverse community. That's why we’re always looking ahead, and not just to the next championship or what's next in sports and wellness. Were also looking at what's next for you and how we can help you build a career you're proud of.

The University of Denver's vision is to be a great private university dedicated to the public good. Founded in 1864, DU is actively implementing its dynamic strategic plan, DU IMPACT 2025. Among the plans most significant goals is a strengthening of the 4Dimensional (4D) Experience for all students, including advancing intellectual growth, pursuing careers and lives of purpose, exploring character and promoting well-being. The James C. Kennedy Mountain Campus, announced in early October, will fully integrate the 4D Experience for DU students in a wilderness setting, with a particular emphasis on character and leadership exploration and enhancing well-being along social, spiritual, and physical pathways.

The new James C. Kennedy Mountain Campus is adjacent to Roosevelt National Forest and includes approximately 724 acres of rolling terrain with rock outcroppings and beautiful views of the Laramie Mountains to the west. Buildings include a dining hall/office, six large all-season cabins, four seasonal cabins, a dining hall, a health center with nurses’ apartment, recreation center, equestrian center with classroom, many miles of trails, and a high and low ropes course. All the infrastructure is in place including fire suppression, wastewater, internet and water storage.

Position Summary

This position provides administrative oversight, strategic planning, and resource management of all aspects of the University of Denver Outdoor Leadership Program which includes Outdoor Adventure Programming, Experiential Education, Outdoor Program & Services, non-academic courses and workshops, and Outdoor Clubs (Alpine Club, Kayaking Club, Climbing Club, etc.).

This position provides representation for the Division of Athletics and Recreation and Student Affairs and Inclusive Excellence at a Divisional/University level on experiential education and co-curricular 4D Experience initiatives.

The position also provides leadership, supervision, and risk management to the University of Denver, Ritchie Center and James C. Kennedy Mountain Campus climbing walls and locations, the delivery of outdoor leadership courses, field experiences, mountain campus experiences, climbing, challenge course, outdoor clubs, and related programs.

The person in this position must possess a personal and professional commitment to providing excellent student and customer experiences while creating inclusive environments. This is a leadership position requiring vision, a proactive attitude, and the ability to work autonomously, and respond to crisis situations.

Essential Functions

Decision Making and Participant Experience

  • Responsible for the identification, development, application and evaluation of policies and procedures related to the Outdoor Leadership Program for Division of Athletics and Recreation and the James C. Kennedy Mountain Campus programs and facilities.
  • Takes initiative to identify current needs for student learning in experiential education and requires strong and consistent communication both internally and externally to the University and its partners.
  • Collects feedback and assessment about program offerings, services, and the student experience.

Outdoor Leadership Program Administration

  • Directs, oversees, and provides leadership for the Outdoor Leadership Program, including programs, facilities, services, instructional classes, and rental programs.
  • Develops and designs all curriculum and trips for Outdoor Leadership Program courses and certifications.
  • Manages all financial aspects of the Outdoor Leadership Program programs, rentals, personnel, clubs, access to ensure a safe and secure environment for internal and external customers, setting fees and course charges, requesting quarterly transfer of club and university funds and reconciliation.
  • Ensures contracts, insurance requirements, university property management guidelines, department policies and city, county and state policies are adhered to for all offerings.
  • Serves as co-curricular liaison with the James C. Kennedy Mountain Campus, student affairs and inclusive excellence, and local and national certifying organizations.
  • Supervises outdoor clubs and their programs, events, and trips (Alpine Club, Kayaking Club, Climbing Club, etc.) to meet program standards.

Experiential and Co-Curricular Initiatives

  • Oversees the development, planning, implementation, and assessment of divisional and department wide opportunities for students in experiential education that support student’s success in partnership with university departments.
  • Provides expertise and strategic planning related to department initiatives concerning experiential learning.
  • Research industry trends.
  • Supports student leadership programs within the 4-D framework.

People Management

  • Prepare program staffing plans including employee and volunteer recruitment and hiring.
  • Develop checklists, standard operating procedures, and guidelines.
  • Develop and implement training and development programs that focus on coaching employees and volunteers.
  • Promotes workplace performance and conducts performance reviews.


  • Instructs a variety of courses, including, but not limited to wilderness first aid/first responder, whitewater rescue, rafting, backcountry leadership, climbing, teaching of outdoor techniques, leave no trace.

This job post is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change, or new ones may be assigned at any time with or without notice.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Strong Leadership Qualities
  • Excellent Communication Skills
  • Detail Orientated and Highly Organized
  • Strong Work Ethic
  • Good Interpersonal Skills
  • Proactive
  • Flexibility
  • Teamwork
  • Proficient with technology systems (rectrac)

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in Outdoor Recreation, Recreation Management, Student or Leadership Development or Related Field.
  • Five plus (5+) years of experience in outdoor or adventure programming, climbing, and recreation.
  • Demonstrated knowledge, ability, and teaching experience in adventure skill development in a college setting.
  • Ability to teach Rock Climbing [beginning & Self Rescue to advanced skills], Climbing Wall Instruction, and Wilderness Living Techniques.
  • Wilderness First Aid/First Responder.
  • Ability to safely travel in remote and exposed wilderness terrain.
  • Certifications in the following: CPR/AED for the Professional, Wilderness EMT, Professional Climbing Instructor, PCIA or AMGA Single Pitch Instructor by start date.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in Outdoor Recreation, Recreation Management, Student or Leadership Development or Related Field.
  • Eight plus (8+) years of experience in outdoor or adventure programming, climbing, and recreation.
  • Certifications in the following: American Canoe Association (ACA) Swift Water Rescue Instructor, ACA Paddle Raft Guide Instructor.
  • Demonstrated experience, knowledge, and ability to instruct/assist in the following courses: Whitewater Rescue, Paddle Raft Guide School, Winter Backpacking travel, Mountaineering, Ice Climbing, Backcountry Leadership.
  • Leave No Trace Master Educator or ability to obtain within three months of hire

Working Environment

  • Outdoors in all weather conditions and varying terrain.
  • Requires regular travel.
  • Works regularly on nights, weekends, and holidays.
  • Noise level is moderate.

Physical Activities

  • Ability to demonstrate and teach various outdoor activities.
  • Required to move about the office/campus/outdoors with the capability of transporting objects up to 100 lbs. with assistance.

Work Schedule
Varies. Works regularly on nights, weekends, and holidays.

Application Deadline
For best consideration, please submit your application materials by 4:00 p.m. (MST) February 1, 2022.

Special Instructions
Candidates must apply online through to be considered. Only applications submitted online will be accepted.

Salary Grade Number:
The salary grade for the position is 13.

Salary Range:
The salary range for this position is $90,000 - $100,000.

The University of Denver has provided a compensation range that represents its good faith estimate of what the University may pay for the position at the time of posting. The University may ultimately pay more or less than the posted compensation range. The salary offered to the selected candidate will be determined based on factors such as the qualifications of the selected candidate, departmental budget availability, internal salary equity considerations, and available market information, but not based on a candidate’s sex or any other protected status.

The University of Denver offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO pass. The University of Denver is a private institution that empowers students who want to make a difference. Learn more about the University of Denver.

Please include the following documents with your application:
1. Resume
2. Cover Letter

The University of Denver is an equal opportunity employer. The University of Denver prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age (40 years and over in the employment context), religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital status, veterans status, and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination under federal, state, or local law, regulation, or ordinance in any of the university's educational programs and activities, and in the employment (including application for employment) and admissions (including application for admission) context, as required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended in 2008; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967; and any other federal, state, and local laws, regulations, or ordinances that prohibit discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation. For the university's complete Non-Discrimination Statement, please see non‑discrimination‑statement.

All offers of employment are contingent upon satisfactory completion of a criminal history background check.

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