Kirk White

Kirk White
Assistant Director
Student Conduct and Community Standards for Residential Life

Kirk is currently participating in AMG’s 2017 Proshare Program, a program which focuses on networking and learning about the work and workplaces of other AMG professionals across campus.


What is your role at UCLA?
I serve as the Assistant Director, Student Conduct and Community Standards for Residential Life.  I oversee the conduct process and coordinate follow-up efforts to critical incidents for the 13,000 + student who reside “on the Hill”.  If someone outside of Higher Education asks what I do, I say “I send emails all day”.

Before joining UCLA, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
I was a manager at a small town video game store at the height of the N64 era.

How do you balance your career at UCLA and family?
Over the years, I’ve gotten much better at compartmentalizing my work and not ruminating over things while at home with my family.  I do my best to sift through my emails and identify time sensitive concerns so I can respond prior to leaving work.  In our line of work, there is no “finish line” nor is there a time when everything will be “done”, so it’s important for me to find a natural stopping place each day so I can go home with a clear head.

What was your first impression of UCLA?
That it is very big, fast-paced, and silo-ed.  That impression hasn’t changed.

What’s your favorite aspect of your job?
Working with the students during critical moments in their development and potentially influencing their trajectory is a great honor and the best part of the job.  It also keeps me young.

Which day of the work week are you the most productive and why?
Monday mornings, because I really don’t have a choice but to get things done.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Helping conceptualize and implement the first UCLA Volunteer Day is something I will always remember and value about my experience at this institution.

If you could change one thing about UCLA, what would it be?
I would like for the academic rigor to be less stringent, as I see the impact such intensity has on students’ mental health.

Tell us about someone who has mentored or influenced you the most in your career path. In what way did he/she/they shape your decisions?
AVC Suzanne Seplow is someone I admire tremendously.  Who she is as a person is reflected deeply in Residential Life’s values as a department and my values align completely. Assistant Dean Val Holtom has also been instrumental in pushing me to examine my approach to various situations and think more broadly about how I can represent Student Affairs as well as Residential Life.

What do you think is the most important quality you need to have for success in UCLA or in general?
The ability to see multiple perspectives and acknowledge them without endorsing them.

What would you tell someone who is applying for a job in UCLA?
Brush up on your acronyms.

Share with us something about you that most people don’t know but you would like them to.
My first passion was to write screenplays and I pursued that for a few years when I first arrived in Los Angeles.