Dean of the College John W. Boyer: College Housing Updates

From: John W. Boyer, Dean of the College
To: Students in the College who are returning to College Housing 2017-18
CC: Dean of College staff, Resident Deans, College Housing Staff, DOS-U
Date: August 15, 2017
Subject: College Housing Updates

I am writing to share some important updates about College Housing that reflect planning that is underway and changes that will be in place by the start of the autumn 2017 quarter.

First, I am very pleased to inform you of an important leadership change in Housing and Residence Life. After an extensive national search this spring, Richard Mason has been named as the new Assistant Vice President for Campus Life and Associate Dean of the College. Many of you may know Richard as the former Executive Director of UChicago Dining. He played a major role in bringing Bon Appétit to the University’s dining halls and cafés, and has collaborated with students and other administrators on developing the popular Saturday Night Meal Exchange program.  In his new position, Richard will oversee all of our campus residence halls and dining commons and work closely with me, Assistant Dean of the College Sophia Chaknis and other College staff on matters related to housing, dining and campus life. I am delighted that someone with Richard’s deep understanding and experience with the University is stepping into this key role.

I am also very pleased to let you know that this summer I have appointed all the Resident Masters to the new position of Resident Dean, reflecting their essential service, both in residential and in academic life. As Resident Deans, they will serve as members of my senior staff and will play an important role in shaping the opportunities and programs available to students in the College throughout the year, including the Diploma Ceremonies that follow June Convocation.  They will also serve, individually and as a group, as advisers to my office and to the office of Campus and Student Life on a variety of issues and policies relating to student life in the College beyond housing.  The change in their title reflects the more extensive nature of their new responsibilities.  The leadership and commitment of the Resident Deans are critical to the long-term success of College Housing and to student life in general, and I look forward to working with them in this enhanced role.

Finally, providing students in the College with a meaningful and positive residential experience is among the most important priorities for the University.  To that end, significant investments have been made in our residence halls and dining facilities, seen most recently in last fall’s opening of Campus North and the Baker Dining Commons. To meet the growing demand for College housing and ensure that students enjoy the same high-quality residential experience in every dorm, the University is in the planning stages for a new residence hall and dining commons across the Midway from International House, at the corner of 61st Street and Dorchester Avenue. This new hall would join several new projects south of the Midway that will open in the next few years, creating a vibrant and dynamic corridor of activity on Campus South. I look forward to providing more details about the new residence hall and dining commons as the planning process progresses.

I wish you well for these final weeks of the summer break and look forward to seeing you in September.

Sincerely yours,

Dean John W. Boyer